Top WordPress plugins: 8 free plugins that are must

WordPress is now being used by several websites and is widely used CMS, favorited by many. There are top wordpress plugins that one must have as soon as the blog is setup.

There are many reasons you should have blog on WordPress instead of other CMS’es and one of them which we really need is good for SEO. WordPress is coded in a way that Google easily understands it and Google really gives the priority to the blogs made on WordPress.

Other advantage is being very user friendly. There is no coding required to create a WordPress blog and it takes matter of 5 minutes and you can get ready with your first and new blog on WordPress.

Next is the availability of several themes and plugins – free of cost and paid as well. To customize your WordPress blog, you can use any plugin or theme and change the codes as well to suit your need. You have flexibility to do anything and if you don’t know the codes, you still have power to do anything with your blog by using the plugins.

Here I want to discuss the top WordPress plugins that you should use as soon as you have setup your blog before posting a single post.

top-wordpress-plugins

1. Wordfence

Wordfence is a very powerful plugin that you should install as soon as you install a blog.

It is all about security of your blog. I know that security is not a big concern for a blog that is just starting out but once you start to grow, you want to secure it even tightly. I am not suggesting to have those SSL things.

Wordfence also comes with pro features that are additional security measures. It helps in detecting any malware on the site’s end or in any plugin or theme file.

Total Installs: 1+ millions

2. Yoast SEO

This plugin does wonderful job when it comes to on-site SEO. This is one must have plugin before creating a single post or page. A highly recommended and trusted one.

You may use alternatives as well like SEO Ultimate but I would rather stick to Yoast considering the features and ease of use.

It has a feature of using a keyword, putting in and making sure that the keyword is optimized within the article the best way.

If you have missed anything while doing on-page SEO, it reminds you of those things like image alt text, number of characters in slug and taking care of description text.

Total Installs: 1+ millions

3. Askimet

Needless to say, comments are very important part of your blog posts and having right comment is a must as a part of the on-page SEO.

Askimet comes within the wordpress installation but you need to update it with the key which you can get easily from here – Askimet key.

Once installed, it takes care of spam commenting itself. They have huge database and they automatically detects if the comment could be spammed before throwing it on you to get it approved if you have setting of approving comments before being published.

Not that you will see it working a lot but I am sure this is worth it having in the set of must have plugins. It seems like it is a silent thing but it works like a charm.

Total installs: 1+ millions

4. Jetpack

This is another one of the top wordpress plugins. It comes by default with the installation of wordpress and is developed by Automattic team themselves but the best part is that it has several features.

The features which are very powerful and you don’t need to install many other plugins.

As you already understand that site performance is very important and considered as one of the ranking factors by search engines, we need to take care of the site speed. Site performance or speed is inversely proportional to the number of added plugins and having Jetpack in the deck means you will not need to install many several plugins.

It takes care of lot of features itself. Be it performance, security or site traffic, Jetpack has lot of features and once done right, you will reap the benefits of having it on the list.

Total installs: 1+ millions

5. Sumome

This is one of those awesome plugins which again takes care of multiple things at once – be it social sharing, email list building or content analytics. All these things are really important when you are doing internet marketing.

It comes with free and paid feature, with paid, expect more and more customizable templates but I think I am very happy with what I get from free features anyway.

Again, you might find an alternative to this plugin but to have complete features, you will have to have multiple set of plugins.

Installing one against many, obviously for the performance purposes, I would want to install one having ability to take care of many things.

Total installs: 100k+

Also Read: 16 Tips to improve WordPress Site performance

6. WP Touch

This is not a very different or surprising news that many people are using smartphones these days and having their website optimized and ready for smart phone is very crucial for website owners.

In fact, the more mobile-friendly your website is, the better chances are to get ranked on a smart phone or mobile device no matter if you are not very good match for a keyword.

Surprised?

Well, many people are still are on a slow connection and Google doesn’t want to show results that a user can’t open but is the best match. What is the best matched page which a user won’t be able to open.

Google would rather prioritize a page that is say 90% of the best match but this 90% matched is able to be opened by the user.

Total installs: 300k+

7. WP Smush

As they say it themselves – WP Smush strips hidden, bulky information from your images, reducing the file size without losing quality. The faster your site loads, the more Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines will like it.

Again, it is about site speed and performance and if your user is waiting for the page to be loaded just because of the site is not getting opened for the images, the probability is that the user will bounce off without even looking at your content.

Check your site speed: Pingdom

Google Page Speed Insight

Although you can check if the images are creating any problem or not but having this light plugin is worth considering the ability of this plugin to take care of images and hence reducing the site speed or page loading time.

Total installs: 300k+

8. WP Super Cache

This is another one of the top wordpress plugins and it is very much required plugin as soon as you have created the wordpress site. First, you need to understand what cache is. WordPress is a very dynamic site and cache is a static html page the is temporarily gets stored on the server when a user visits your website.

Those users who are not contributor – commenting or blogging – will get to see this static html page. The benefit is that loading your website all over again from the webserver consumes the bandwidth as well as takes time.

Cache is light weight file that is already there, ready to be shown to any user who comes and visit your blog. Once they make the changes on your blog, it gets updated and you get another copy of cache stored on the server.

This again helps in increasing page loading time and Google likes that kind of sites more.

Total installs: 1+ million

Conclusion

I have mentioned several plugins here. All these plugins, as I said, are essentially top wordpress plugins that are free and few comes by default with wordpress installation yet you need to configure them. I could have added 20 more plugins but the more plugins you have in your must have list, the heavier the site becomes and that leads to bad SEO.

Many of the plugins have multiple features like Yoast SEO or Sumome or even the Jetpack. You wouldn’t need many other plugins when you are using these free tools.

Please let me know if you happen to have a question regarding any of these and I will do my best to help. Also, if there is some must have plugin you think you are using, please let me know and if needed, I would expand my list 🙂

Keep sharing!

Pankaj Dhawan

Hello, I am Pankaj Dhawan starting out to share my knowledge in hope to serve you very well, as much as possible and I am open for any criticism.

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Top WordPress plugins: 8 free plugins that are must

by Pankaj Dhawan time to read: 7 min
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