7 Must Have WordPress Plugins For Every Blog

I’m sure you have seen lots of articles named something like “best 30 plugins for WordPress” or “The coolest 60 plugins for WordPress” etc. In my post today I’m not going to make another collection of links but rather list just a few plugins that I’m using in my own blog. Of course, I haven’t added all of them from the very beginning. Depending on the task set before me I had to make some studies followed by experiments and make tests, tests and tests. I will explain why I find these plugins extremely useful as well as speak about some widgets that are worth using.

1. Akismet

Akismet is a perfect spam catcher. Not sure how they do this, but 99% of spam comments will get under I’ve had the problem with Akismet only once actually shortly after installation. For some reason it was recognizing uberVU – social comments (the post mentions on twitter) as spam but once I approved it, the Akismet learned the algorithm and now it’s saving me from hundreds of funky comments. There’s also a cool option to “Automatically discard spam comments on posts older than a month” which means that spam comments for the early posts won’t even be added to the Spam” section of blog comments, they will be deleted automatically.

2. Google Analytics for WordPress

A simple plugin allowing to add Google Analytics to your blog pages and enjoy a variety of tracking options available at Google Analytics account. Once you upload and activate the plugin go to the Settings section in the main menu and look for Google Analytics. Here’s the place where you can make a Google Analytics WordPress Configuration. All you have to do is enter your Analytics Account ID and click on save. Now you can go to your Google Analytics account and track visitors, traffic sources, search keywords and most popular articles.

3. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

As a blogger and project manager I know that it’s highly important to keep blog visitors on the website as long as possible, especially if you are selling ads and are going to earn something from them. This is where Yet Another Related Posts Plugin comes on arena. It allows to show links to related posts at the end of the article, and you can set this relatedness by a number of options, such as keywords in the text, titles, tags, categories etc. You can define the number of links to show and the period of time to check on related articles from your previous posts. You will find related posts section under the main Sections menu of the blog admin area.

4. SocioFluid

Seeking blog promotion and popularity I had to look for a nice plugin that would allow submission of the article to social networks on the fly. I might have tested around 10 plugins before I found and fall in love with Sociofluid. This plugin adds keen social network icons below the post that get bigger on roll-over. SocioFluid settings can be found under the main Sections menu of the blog admin area. There are 20 bookmarking site you can choose from (including my favorite Twitter, Digg, Facebook and Stumble) and you can also choose from the several icons sizes. You can define whether to display SocioFluid Bar for posts in home page or browse pages, to show it on the top of the page or after the article, whether the icons should open in the new window or not.

5. Dean’s Permalinks Migration

Dean’s Permalinks Migration plugin helped me to stay on board once I decided to update the URLs structure of the links on my blog to more friendly ones. I’m sure all of us do this from time to time having read some cool articles about SEO friendliness or deciding to test this or that option and to test the results. When your articles have been indexed by search engines and there are other websites linking to you, it’s vital not to lose this audience. What Permalinks Migration plugin does is it changes your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website. The settings are quite simple and understandable. Once you have updated the permalinks structure in the General settings section just enter the old permalink structure and the plugin will be automatically sending visitors from the old urls to the new ones.

6. Banner Plugin

The reason why I needed the banner plugin is that I wanted to convert traffic from the blog into product purchases from the main website. I wanted to add the product pics, have them in rotation and link all of them to according product pages. If compared to the other multiple banner plugins I have tested, Banner Plugin doesn’t have many options like conversion and visitors tracking, multiple campaigns with multiple banners, deducting the cost per click from the deposit etc. But it’s extremely easy to work with, you don’t have to go to the blog code to update a single thing and it’s widgets supported. That means that having uploaded and activated the plugins you just add the pics and the links, save the settings and then simply drag and drop the banner widget into the sidebar. A perfect solution if the simple banner is enough for your needs.

7. All in One SEO Pack

All in one SEO Pack plugin is meant for advanced blog owners and allows to enhance your blog in terms of search engines friendliness. You may skip this one if you’re not into SEO yet as this one requires some basic SEO knowledge. One of the things that I like is that there’s a direct link to options configuration panel right from the plugins section and you don’t have to dive into the settings and check where they could have been added. All in One SEO Pack allows to set the titles structure of blog pages, use noindex attributes for the sections you’d like to close from the search engines and set meta title and meta description for the blog main page without going into the blog code.

Summing this up, I’d like to say that this is definitely not a full list of nice plugins and that I might need more in the future depending on the goals I set. But the factor that plays the most important role for me and makes me test tens of plugins is the simplicity. Since I’m not a programmer I always look for simple solutions that won’t require much of my time and where I wouldn’t have to go into the blog source code and perform significant changes. I hope this article will be useful even for those bloggers who have been working with WordPress for some time by now and will save you some time.

Good luck!

Anastasia Miles

Project manager and usability specialist. Interested in SEO and marketing, friendly and always ready to discuss new opportunities. Now working in amazing SEO Company named WebPromoExpert.net and you are welcome to follow me and WebPromoExpert on Twitter

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Comments

  1. says

    All in One SEO is great but it doesn’t really do a good job for creating good meta tags. There are some inaccuracies for whatever reason that I came with. I guess it may depend on the theme that is used as well but not sure.

  2. prasad says

    nice post….i m using all the above you have mentioned, except socifluid and banner plugin

  3. Junaid says

    Thanks for the list, all these plugins are very useful and few of them i knew now :) .

  4. Mansi Bharat says

    Awesome List.Thanks for sharing.
    I think you should add w3 total cache and Yoast SEO.

  5. Robert says

    Thanks for this list. The Banner Plugin is one that I must try. Have the other good ones. Love the All in One Seo plugin.

  6. Terry Pearson says

    Now that Jetpack is available, it might be a good one to add to the list as well! Thanks for the good list.

  7. says

    Thanks a lot for those information, i was looking for a good related post plug in as Ive tried many of them but none really gave me satisfaction, this one seems to do the job :D

  8. arjun says

    Deans permalink migration plugin is the best one to change the permalink structure without loosing our seo rankings awesome plugins thanks for u guys if i don’t see your post i loose my seo ranks.

  9. Sam says

    Great post. I am using the Banner plugin. Its nice, but one customer can only provide 1 banner. if any customer have more then 1 banner then i have to create separate client name.
    The SocioFluid plugin does not work with WordPress 3.2.1…

  10. abhi says

    Nice List am using up to 4 plugins till now after viewing this post i understand the need of wonder full plugin Socio Fluid thanks for this post keep up.

  11. Eric says

    Thanks for the list! Very good picks. I think I’ll have to re-install Akismet for my blog too.
    Again, thanks for the info!

  12. Naveed Yahya says

    I must say it is an excellet list, and I am using 4 of these on my blogs, though I am skeptical about GoogleAnalytics, as you reveal most of the stuff to Google by using this plugin. A good alternate is to use wp-stats plugin.

  13. Buzz says

    Nice and simple list with pictures and excellent explanations instead of just listing or having links. Thanks-

  14. David says

    Platinum SEO (instead of All in one) has extra features from all in one including migration which means you dont have to install a seperate plugin like Deans. Also I looked up SocioFluid and it looks cool but hasnt been updated in almost 2 years and I need to make sure what I get now is compatible with WP 3!

  15. says

    With which plugin can i get such a “about the author” box beneath my posts?

    Thanks!!

  16. says

    I liked the banner plugin idea. This could really save a lot of time when setting up a site. I particularly like that one and the Sociofluid that you mentioned in this post. Thanks for sharing!

  17. says

    Hey,

    Great list you’ve produced. I’m brand new to blogging and was searching for a solid social networking plug-in and am in the midst of installing SocioFluid based on your recommendation. I thank you for saving me the time of having to install, test, and uninstall a slew of them. :)

  18. Billy says

    Thank you so much for this information – it gives me a clue about where to start! LOL

  19. says

    I had already 3 out of 7 installed. Gonna try the ‘Permalinks Migration’ one cuz i recently changed my permalinks to more friendly ones.

    Nice post!

  20. John Hoff - WP Blog Host says

    Nice list. The only one that I’ve never understood why people use is the Google Analytics plugin. All you need to do (without the plugin) is paste in the code Google gives you into your footer.php file.

    That should be just about as easy as it is to find, install, and activate a plugin and then go back and paste in the Google code into the plugin’s settings area.

    Just copy and paste into the footer.php file and you’re done.

    • says

      yep, that’s easy but if you have at least a small idea about php or html, I know many people who don’t and I try to make website management for them as easy as possible

  21. says

    Thanks for the list. I now have the all in one seo pack. Can’t wait to start posting and using it! :)

    Thanks

  22. Mark Wasyl says

    Thank you for the post…there are several plug-ins that I haven’t been using yet…but I guess now is the time to try them out!

    ~Mark Wasyl

  23. says

    Some interesting plugins there, SocioFluid and the related posts plugin are ones I’ll definitely be adding to my blog.

  24. Christian Russell says

    Cool social plugin; I’ll have to check that one out :) I’ve used the Google analytics plugin myself but found that if I’m going to cut and paste the code into my site, might as well post it into footer.php and be done with it…I’m not sure what that plugin really does other than that one simple thing!

  25. Playstead says

    Great list, I used most of these, but will give a couple of the others a try. I also think the Google XML Sitemap is a must.

  26. wpin.me says

    Great collection of plugins, thanks for taking the timeout to tell others!

    Bookmarked and tweeted!

  27. Yari says

    This is a great list, thanks for sharing. Google Analytics is definitely a must, I love it. I’ll have to give Askimet a go, I usually use WP-SpamFree, but I found it conflicted with an eCommerce plugin.

    I would also suggest Contact Form 7, for those who would like to add one to their blog. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/contact-form-7/

    There are so many great plugins for WordPress, I’ve been bookmarking my favorites, but I’m always happy to learn about new ones http://www.xerpi.com/389146

  28. michelle says

    nice plugins, thanks for the post. I always ignore Akismet but now i am going to activate it.

    Thanx

  29. Ed says

    Thanks for posting. SocioFluid is a new one to me, so well worth peeking in on this post.

  30. Amberly | Web Designer says

    Great article :) Thanks for shearing. Very useful stuff..

    • says

      The AdRotate features look really cool and easy to set up but it won’t work for wp users who have just started as you still have to go into the code and add some lines there. An easy thing to do for me and you, but a real disaster for a mom who decided to just share some tips with the other ladies :) I will try it on my blog though, thanks for sharing!

  31. Dawid says

    Nice list of wp plugin for new bloggers at this same time I recommended free ebook about Search Engine Optimization Here is direct link http://bit.ly/bNDvE9 the original link is big this is url shortener Thank You

  32. says

    hehe :) well I didn’t mean custom reporting for Google analytics :) Guess you’re right, I consider it an easy thing to do since I check it every day.

    I haven’t used comment prompt plugin, I think it’s somewhat pushy but I never got it a try