If you’re just about to start a blog using WordPress, I bet you feel pretty much overwhelmed! Hopefully, I can help you today with that by sharing with you a list of essential plugins for WordPress that you must have. Why should you use one or a few of the most essential WordPress plugins I’m listing here today? Because they are one of the most useful elements to have on your website. Essential WordPress plugins include names such as Yoast SEO, WPForms, or Pretty Links.
All of these WordPress plugins are available on your dashboard, in the Plugin section, where you can download and install all of them one by one. This is a list of the best free WordPress plugins for bloggers that you must check!
Many of these have Premium features that help you even more with your blog’s structure, safety, speed, marketing, and design. Therefore, if you’re serious about blogging, I do recommend trying the premium version of those which have been highlighted!
Essential WordPress Plugins
Essential WordPress plugins for business include the ability to be reached. Each and every website and blog needs a contact form that makes it easy for visitors to reach you. WPForms is definitely the most popular, and most user-friendly essential WordPress plugin that you should get!
WPForms has a drag&drop online form builder, that allows you to easily create contact forms after your choice and taste. You can also use WPForms to create easily online order forms, payment forms, surveys, polls, and many more.
The other great thing about WPForms is that the plugin integrates with all the popular marketing and payment platforms. This makes it a powerful way to build forms within minutes.
While WPForms is an essential WordPress plugin, it also comes with great features such as conversational forms, user journey tracking, form abandonment, geolocation tracking, GDPR friendly, custom WordPress user registration forms, and much more!
All in all, WP Forms is definitely an essential WordPress plugin for bloggers and websites as well, to create a connection with readers, customers, and partners. Especially, if you’re serious about blogging or your business, and you’re looking for a powerful way to grow your business, you should have the WPForms Pro version because that’s the one coming with all the powerful features that you need to boost your lead generation efforts.
hCaptcha is an integration of WPForms, and another one of the essential WordPress plugins for business. Keeping your forms safe and spam-free is important, and this essential WPForms extension will also make it easy! hCaptcha is a tool that helps keep spam and bots out of your forms. It’s asking simple questions from users to prove they are human. It’s also free!
If you’re not yet familiar with what this all means, just think about reCapthca tool that’s provided by Google. When you’re being asked to select the road lamps or write how much is 2+6. The simple reason why these spam blocking tools are used is that you might end up with hundreds of emails, comments, and all types of contacts showing up daily. Believe me, I know… Until I didn’t activate my hCaptcha tool, I kept getting the very same email every single day from a spammer bot. It drew me crazy.
Not to mention those who want to trick you, hack your website, etc. So, having a tool blocking all this is super important!
As I have mentioned, Google’s alternative is always available, but if you’re concerned about privacy issues, site conflicts or you just want something that’s already integrated into a plugin that you’re anyway using (WPForms), you might want to consider using hCaptcha instead of the big bro’s alternative. hCaptcha is also providing a user-friendly experience while keeping you protected from bots, spam, break-ins, and so. The tool will also give you the possibility to adjust fail messages, enable no-conflict mode, and also to review your captcha.
3. Pretty Links
Pretty Links Pro is one of the best link management essential WordPress plugins for your blog or website. One of the most essential WordPress plugins, if you will. It also allows you to manage easily your affiliate links. It also makes it easy to shorten your affiliate links and make them memorable for sharing.
It is definitely a must-have essential WordPress plugin, a tool for affiliate marketers, podcasters, business owners, and basically anybody who wants to create easily URLs in WordPress.
Monster Insights is the most popular and probably one of the best Google Analytics essential WordPress plugin. It makes it possible for you to properly connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can have detailed and exact reports on how people use and find your website.
This is super helpful to optimize your website accordingly and increase traffic, subscriptions, and revenue. MonsterInsights has a free version as well. However, to truly benefit from it, you should consider using the Premium version of MonsterInsights. If you want accurate figures, that’s one of the most essential WordPress plugins right there for you.
5. EasyAzon WordPress plugin
EasyAzon provides the quickest way to create Amazon affiliate links without leaving your WordPress post editor. With EasyAzon you can easily create text affiliate links. As such, it is one of the most essential WordPress plugins for business.
You can also do that for any product available for sale on Amazon, without going through the tedious steps of manually creating links from your Amazon associate dashboard. Believe me, after writing multiple posts with that method, I can say it’s really a pain. EasyAzon can actually save time and hassle for you on that!
If you’re looking to collect subscribers, and create catching newsletters to stay in touch with them this is an essential WordPress plugin. Mailchimp is also great to collect the emails of your customers, stay in touch with them, and notify them about sales, and other news. That makes it one of the most essential WordPress plugins for business today.
With a great email marketing strategy, you can get more lead generations and sales to your products. To do that, you need to collect those emails as well and keep up those newsletters. MailChimp is free until you collect your first 2000 subscribers. The plugin will help you create good-looking opt-in forms as well. You can also connect the Mailchimp plugin with OptinMonster and Woocommerce, between many other essential WordPress plugins.
OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software in the market, and also an essential WordPress plugin. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers. This WordPress plugin and application helps you get more email subscribers and sales, fast.
The premium version of OptionMonster comes with hundreds of high-converting templates for sign up forms of all kind. You can create WordPress popups, slide-ins, announcement bars, gamified spin a wheel, and full-screen welcome mats to capture user’s attention!
The forms come with an easy drag & drop builder and can be easily transformed and optimized for your needs and taste. Essential WordPress plugins should be easy to use, and OptinMonster is one of them. OptinMonster is really helpful to capture those visitors, that then get on your Mailchimp newsletter list. You can also connect to Mailchimp within the platform.
8. Sassy Social Share
If you run a blog or a website, you do want to consider connecting it with social media. Why? Social Media is one of the most powerful tools to get more visits to your website, even sales. These days, no matter what field you’re in, you need Social Media as well for real success. Essential WordPress plugins for business include the ability to share your content fast and without stress.
For this, you need an essential WordPress plugin that allows your visitors to share your content. Sassy Social Share is definitely one of the best free WordPress plugins for social share. You’ll be able to share your content to more than a hundred social sharing and bookmarking platforms. It’s also easy to set up and customize for your needs!
9. WordPress Editorial Calendar
WP Editorial Calendar is my personal favorite essential WordPress plugin. It’s a great tool to plan your content schedule, and not miss the deadlines. It’s like your monthly planner, but it’s functioning within your WordPress dashboard. You can manage, schedule, and plan your posts, with an easy drag & drop method, and stay on top of your schedule.
The Editorial Calendar also shows you when each post will be published in a monthly planner view. This way, you can make sure that you don’t forget about them, and you can keep your drafts organized. It’s a powerful tool and one of the most essential WordPress plugins to grow quickly your content on your blog while staying organized within it.
10. Google Site Kit
Google Site Kit is an essential WordPress plugin for every blog and website. You can easily connect your website to Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Adsense as well within this plugin.
That will help you keep track of your effort, your performance within your WordPress dashboard. The most essential WordPress plugins allow you to track your insights accurately, leading to the success of your website or blog. Once you’ve connected your website, and you have your Google Analytics set up, you can also connect it to Monsterinsights for more detailed reports.
11. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a caching plugin that helps to improve SEO, speed, and user experience on your website or blog. A caching plugin is always an essential WordPress plugin to have if you want Google to rank your website higher!
W3 Total Cache increases your site performance and reduces download time. If your site is also mobile-friendly, once you’ve installed this plugin, your page ranking will improve as well. This caching plugin also reduces page load time, which can increase visitor views on your pages. The most essential WordPress plugins are made to help you improve your content to attract more visitors. That’s important to reduce your bounce rate as well!
12. Updraft – an essential WordPress plugin
Updraft is one of the essential WordPress plugins that you must have! This one is a MUST. UpdraftPlus creates automatic backups of your site on autopilot so that if anything goes wrong, you can just restore your website with the touch of a button.
There’s nothing worse than losing your whole site to a cyber attack or trying out something new with your website that ends up completely destroying it. Essential WordPress plugins also act on security, saving your work for you should anything happen.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress used by over 5 million websites. It’s also an essential WordPress plugin if you’re trying to sell something, be it a virtual or physical product.
Woocommerce comes with all the powerful features that you need to create your online store. It also has many features to integrate with Woocommerce, such as PayPal or Stripe getaways, customizer tools, currency switchers, and much more. The plugin grew so big that now there’s also dedicated Woocommerce hosting, themes, and separate plugins if you’re trying to set up an online store. You can understand easily why it’s one of the most essential WordPress plugins today.
14. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the most important SEO plugin, an essential WordPress plugin for every website and blog. Yoast SEO helps you with search engine optimization, so you can rank your articles (if you’re a blogger) higher in the search results.
Yoast SEO comes with recommendations for each page on how to optimize it, so you can make sure that once your content is ready, it can have the chance to rank on the first pages of search engines. That’s why Yoast SEO is one of the essential WordPress plugins you should activate on your website or blog. With no surprise, this will bring you a lot of organic traffic.
Not specifically a WordPress plugin, but SEMrush is the best SEO tool to use for your blog or website to grow your organic traffic, and optimize your website for SEO. I do consider it one of the most essential WordPress plugins for my own website. If you’re serious about your blog business or website, you must use an SEO tool like this. Otherwise, you can pay someone to do it for you, and it will cost you 10 times more! SEMrush also has a 30-day free trial!
Why SEMrush? Check your backlinks, do website audits, use their amazing keyword planner, and gro your organic traffic with the best SEO strategies provided by SEMrush!
Besides the essential WordPress plugins
If you’re new to blogging, and you’re just gathering information before starting out, make sure to read my guide on starting a blog. Then, you should also check the post on how to drive more traffic to your website with Pinterest, and also the Pinterest strategy! Collect all the essential information you need to set up and start a successful blog! To learn about driving traffic to your blog, check out my post with SEO for bloggers!
15 Essential WordPress Plugins you need
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, if you’re clicking on any and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small comission. This doesn’t affect you in any ways!