Have you ever wondered what’s running under the hood here at Bloggers Passion?
Well, it’s been a long while since we last shared the list of essential WordPress plugins that we use to run our site.
So if you’re running a WordPress site and curious to find out the must have plugins for WordPress, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to share a list of plugins that are powering Bloggers Passion along with a few more essential plugins. Let’s jump into the details without further ado.
Table of Contents
- 20 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers
- 1. Akismet Anti-Spam
- 2. AMP WordPress Plugin
- 3. Broken Link Checker
- 4. Classic Editor
- 5. Contextual Related Posts
- 6. Contact Form by WPForms
- 7. Easy Affiliate Links
- 8. iThemes Security
- 9. Really Simple SSL
- 10. Schema Pro
- 11. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- 12. Simple 301 Redirects
- 13. Social Snap
- 15. TablePress
- 16. VaultPress
- 17. WP Review Pro
- 18. WP Rocket
- 19. WP-Optimize
- 20. Yoast SEO Premium
- Bonus: Ultimate Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Plugin
- FAQs About Essential WordPress Plugins to Install On Blogs
20 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers
Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is one of the most downloaded plugins with over 5 million downloads and it checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to prevent your site from getting spam comments.
As the popularity of your blog increases, it will become difficult to manage spam comments manually. Here’s where a plugin like Akismet comes into handy.
Just make sure to check your your comments spam folder on a regular basis because in some cases, Akismet plugin sends even genuine comments into spam folder.
If you’re still seeing a lot of spam comments even after installing this plugin, you can consider giving a try to Antispam Bee plugin which effectively blocks spam comments and trackbacks without captchas.
AMP (i.e Accelerated Mobile Pages) is designed as an open standard for any publisher to have pages load really quickly on mobile devices.
In simple terms, AMP speeds up your website page loading times by as much a second of total load speed by enabling AMP caching and here’s how it looks like on mobile devices;
Although there are a ton of plugins available to enable AMP feature for your sites but this is the official AMP plugin for WordPress that supports fully integrated AMP publishing for WordPress sites.
This plugin also offers you granular publisher controls and automatically removes the majority of unused CSS to give the total under AMP’s 50KB limit.
That being said, this plugin doesn’t offer you a mobile version for your website instead the AMP version is served to visitors who are visiting your sites from their mobile devices who are using platforms such as Twitter, Google search etc.
One of the major reasons most blogs struggle to increase their traffic from search engines is backlinks. Most blogs often suffer with broken links which are dangerous and can negatively impact your overall website’s SEO – that’s why you always need to keep an eye on fixing them.
Here’s where a simple yet powerful plugin like Broken Link Checker comes in handy for WordPress blogs.
Once you install and activate this plugin, it monitors all the links in your posts, pages, comments and detects links that don’t work or missing images and redirects. It also notifies you either via WordPress dashboard or by email so you can fix them as soon as you find them.
If you’re used to the previous editor, Classic Editor plugin is just for you which by default, it hides all functionality available in the new Block Editor i.e Gutenberg.
It is also an official plugin which is maintained by the WordPress team that simply restores the previous WordPress editor and also provides you the “Edit Post” screen so you can write and edit posts instead of using latest blocks from Gutenberg.
Ever since WordPress updated its version to the latest Block Editor, we’re using this classic editor plugin to restore the previous WordPress editor since we liked it the most.
Want to reduce your bounce rates? Then, start showing relevant blog posts under every post you publish.
This WordPress plugin allows you to display a list of related posts on your website where the list is based on the content of the title and content of the posts that makes them more relevant.
Here’s how it looks like;
Contextual related posts tries to improve relevance by contextually matching posts. For text-only related posts, it works out of the box and has a simpler settings page. It uses images inside a post as a thumbnail when no featured image or post thumbnail is found.
To display thumbnails, the plugin does not come with any template. Instead, it just displays thumbnail images in a bulleted list. You can add your own CSS to style it (if you want).
If you want to create a contact form on your WordPress blog, this plugin is just for you which offers you drag and drop WordPress form builder. It’s also the most downloaded contact form plugin in the WordPress directory with over 2 million downloads.
It allows you to not only create contact forms but you can also create feedback forms, subscription forms, payment forms effortlessly using this plugin.
The great thing about using this plugin is that it offers you a 100% mobile responsive contact form solution so your contact forms will work great on all devices including mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop.
Majority of the income of Bloggers Passion comes from selling affiliate products and we make sure to optimize our affiliate links for better user experience. We’re currently using Easy Affiliate Links plugin which helps you easily cloak your affiliate links.
This plugin is compatible with both the Classic Editor and new Gutenberg Block Editor and you can also shorten and shrink your affiliate links (in case if you want).
Another benefit is that you can track all the monthly and lifetime clicks for your affiliate products which gives you a ton of insights on what links are performing well.
Although we’re NOT using any security plugins on our site Bloggers Passion since we’re already using a secure web host like WPX hosting where they fix our sites if they get hacked.
In case if you’re interested in WPX hosting, it offers 3 pricing plans which are listed below.
- Business (costs you $24.99 per month and you can host up to 5 websites with a bandwidth of 100 GB with 10 GB disk space)
- Professional (costs you $49.99 per month and you can host up to 15 websites with a bandwidth of 200 GB with 20 GB disk space)
- Elite (costs you $99 per month and you can host up to 35 websites with UNLIMITED bandwidth with 40 GB disk space)
Click here to start your blog with WPX hosting (Apply BloggersPassion coupon to get 50% OFF for first month)
But if you’re using any other web hosts where there are no such highly exceptional security features are provided, you can install this incredible and widely used security plugin called iThemes Security.
This is the ultimate security plugin which helps your site in over 30 different ways including locking down WordPress, fixing common holes, stopping automated attacks and strengthening user credentials.
Https version should be enabled for every domain and website. This plugin handles most issues that WordPress has with SSL certificates.
All the incoming requests are redirected to https and you can also enable an htaccess redirect as it changes the site URL and home URL to https.
Also, it replaces all your insecure content by http:// urls with https://, except hyperlinks to other domains. This plugin automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https so the entire site will move to secure SSL i.e HTTPS version.
Here’s how it basically works.
- Get an SSL certificate (from web hosts like Bluehost or you can use free options like Cloudflare)
- Activate this plugin
- Enable SSL with just a single click
10. Schema Pro
If you’re looking to create reviews for your products and rank them in search engines like Google, you need to show rich snippets such as star ratings.
To get rich snippets, you need to integrate schema and it ultimately improves you overall organic traffic by increasing your CTR (click through rates) organically. Here’s how it looks like:
We’re currently using Schema Pro premium WordPress plugin that helps review a product where you can add product description along with review date, star rating for the product along with the reviewer name.
Even if you don’t know coding, this plugin helps you easily automate schema markup on your WordPress sites.
How much does it?
As we mentioned above, this is a premium plugin and it offers 2 pricing plans which are;
- Schema Pro which costs you $63 annually and you can use on unlimited sites
- Agency Bundle which costs you $199 annually and you can use on unlimited sites with few more added features which are suitable for agencies
Are you using a ton of images on your blog posts? If you’re using images on your blog without shrinking their image sizes, you’re actually slowing down your page loading times which can negatively impact your search rankings.
That’s why you always need to shrink your image sizes for better SEO for images. Although there are a ton of plugins and tools out there that you can use to optimize image sizes but ShortPixel image optimizer is definitely one of the ultimate plugins for image optimization.
We’re using the same plugin for shrinking image sizes here at Bloggers Passion because it offers both lossy and lossless image compression for all types of images including JPG, PNG, GIF and WebP, PDF files and so on.
Not only that, this plugin also offers you another incredible feature called glossy JPEG compression which is a very high quality lossy optimization algorithm where you can compress images with lossless option (that is without losing the image quality).
301 redirects are used to redirect one web page to another PERMANENTLY. There are a ton of ways to do 301 redirects such as editing your site’s htaccess file but most of them are complicated for beginners (with zero technical skills).
Here’s where a plugin like Simple 301 Redirects comes into play. It is the most powerful yet easy to use plugin for WordPress blogs as it helps you easily redirect a page or URL on your site or elsewhere on the web.
This plugin is a lifesaver especially when you are migrating your site to WordPress and can’t preserve your URL structure.
By setting up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages, all incoming links will be passed along effortlessly (without sacrificing the link juice).
13. Social Snap
If you’re running a blog, you need to start displaying social media buttons on your posts to increase your social shares (as it also helps you with better rankings).
Over the years, we’ve tried and tested a ton of social sharing plugins. In fact, recently, we even bought a premium plugin called Social Warfare but it had a ton of security vulnerabilities so we decided to move to another great social share plugin called Social Snap.
Social Snap is the ultimate social sharing plugin for WordPress blogs which includes over 30 social networks and apps to choose from including Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp and so on.
Above all, if you risk losing your social sharing counts after changing permalinks, domain updates, http to https changes and so on, this plugin can recover your precious share counts in just a few clicks.
That being said, this is a premium plugin where the pricing starts at $39 per year that you can use on 1 site with 1 year support and updates.
If you’re creating detailed articles, this plugin is a must for you as it automatically creates a table of contents. It can also output a sitemap listing pages and categories across your entire site. You can create your own custom style for your table of content box.
By default, this plugin will generate a table of contents if a page or post has at least four heading tags which are <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc.
Here’s how it look like:
As you can see above, we’ve used 1 H2 tag and multiple H3 tags which are displayed nicely under the “Table of contents” section and we’ve slightly customized coding to show arrow marks to make it unique.
TablePress is probably the #1 most downloaded table plugin for WordPress sites. If you’re someone who writes lots of product reviews, you need tables to provide better experience and quick access to the products to your website visitors.
Here’s where a simple yet most effective plugin like TablePress comes into handy. This is the same plugin that we’re using at Bloggers Passion and it enables you to create and manage tables on your site effortlessly.
You don’t need any HTML knowledge as it offers you an easy to use interface where you can edit table data and embed the tables into posts, pages or text widgets. It offers you a simple shortcode that you can use anywhere you want to display tables.
VaultPress is the same premium WordPress plugin that we’re using at Bloggers Passion for more than 3 years now and it’s a wonderful plugin that provides a real-time backup and security scanning service.
The great thing about this backup plugin is that it backs up every post, comment, media file, revision including the dashboard settings on your site. All these backup files and data is stored on their servers so you can restore them whenever you want.
This plugin is designed and built by Automattic which is the same company that operates millions of sites on WordPress. Above all, it also protects you against all kinds of hackers, malware, accidental damage along with host outages.
All in all, a great backup plugin which is worth every single penny you pay for. The personal plan costs you just $39 per year where you will get the following features.
- Automated daily backups with unlimited storage
- Brute force attack protection and uptime monitoring
- 30-day backup
- Spam protection for comments and pingbacks
- Easy site migration and 1-click automated restores
17. WP Review Pro
If you’re monetizing your site with product reviews, you need to install this plugin.
It’s a premium plugin from My Theme Shop which costs you $67 for a single site and it’s the same plugin we’re using at our site.
You can do a ton of things using this plugin including:
- Implementing rich snippets of 14 types (ranging from books to movies to games and so on)
- Multiple star ratings including star, point, percentage
- User comment rating
- Google places review integration
- Helps you create product comparison table
- And the list goes on
Here’s how it looks like;
All in all, this is a great plugin, especially if you’re looking to increase your affiliate product sales by creating product reviews.
How much does it cost?
Although there’s a free version is available to download for this plugin but it offers basic features. If you want all the ultimate features from the plugin, here are 3 pricing plans they currently offer.
- $67 if you want license for 1 site where you get 1 year updates along with support
- $87 if you want license for 3 sites where you get 1 year updates along with support
- $97 if you want license for unlimited sites where you get 1 year updates along with support
It also offers you a 30 days money back guarantee so you can ask for a refund if it’s not working well for you or if you’re not happy with their product or features.
18. WP Rocket
If you’re looking for a premium caching plugin to accelerate your site’s speed and performance, WP Rocket is just for you.
WP Rocket is NOT a free plugin as it comes in 3 pricing plans which are listed below.
- Single plan which costs you $49 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for 1 website
- Plus plan costs you $99 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for 3 websites
- Infinite plan costs you $249 where you’ll get 1 year of support and updates for unlimited websites
It also offers you a 14-day refund policy so if you’re not happy, you can ask for a refund within 14 days.
Important: If you’re looking for free alternatives to WP Rocket, you can consider other caching plugins like W3 total cache and WP Super Cache which are completely free to use and also widely used (but they don’t offer as many features as WP Rocket offers for speed optimization).
Faster websites are everything. Your website speed can make or break your blogging success. If you’re looking to improve your site’s speed, you need to optimize and clean your databases regularly.
WP Optimize is the same plugin we’re currently using at our site to clean our databases and we activate the plugin only when it’s needed. This can be considered as an all-in-one plugin because it not only cleans your databases but also helps you compresses your images and caches your site.
This plugin removes all the unnecessary data including trashed, unapproved and spam comments including pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transient options (which are not needed) with ease.
Hands down, WordPress SEO by Yoast is the must have plugin for every WordPress blog.
It’s the perfect SEO plugin that helps you easily optimize your blog posts and pages for your target keywords. Although their free version is enough for most WordPress users but here at Bloggers Passion, we’re using their premium version since last 2 years and we’re extremely satisfied with their features.
Using Yoast SEO Premium plugin, you can target to 5 focus keywords where in free version you can target only 1 focus keyword. Also it offers you social media previews where you can see how your post appears on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
You can optimize every single post or page on your website as Yoast SEO comes with a powerful content analysis tool. You will find Yoast SEO metabox with a snippet preview, focus keyword field and content analysis just below the post editor.
The snippet preview shows how your site’s title and description will look in search engines. Yoast SEO automatically uses your post title as title and excerpt as description, but you can change it by clicking on the edit snippet button.
Just enter your focus keyword in Yoast SEO and it will allow the plugin to analyze your content for that particular keyword. You can also analyze the readability of the copy you write and calculate the Flesch Reading Ease score.
Are you using the latest WordPress block editor which is Gutenberg? Looking for the best Gutenberg block plugins for your WordPress site? Then, make sure to give a try to Ultimate Blocks plugin which is developed by my friend Istiak Rayhan from Road To Blogging.
Here’s how a block (content filter) looks like;
Here are some useful default WordPress Gutenberg blocks that you can use with the help of this plugin.
- Table of contents: If you want to generate a table of contents from your headings such as h2, h3 and so on, this block is useful for you (and must have block for those who create detailed articles).
- Click to tweet: If you want to generate more retweets, this one’s for you where you can easily add tweetable content in your posts and pages.
- Content Filter: This is an incredible block that lets your website readers to easily filter the content based on different filters so they can skim and go through your content effortlessly.
- Social Share Block: You can easily add social share buttons in your posts and pages with this blocks and it offers a ton of customization options as well and you don’t have to install any other social sharing plugin if you’re using this block.
- Review Block: This is another exceptional feature where you can add a review block with product name, features, summary, button and star rating and it offers Schema Markup which helps you in increasing your organic CTR.
FAQs About Essential WordPress Plugins to Install On Blogs
Here’s a list of some of the interesting questions around must have plugins for WordPress blogs to install in 2020 and beyond.
1. How many plugins should you install on your WordPress site?
So how many plugins are too many for WordPress sites? That’s an interesting question to begin with. It’s always tempting to install a ton of plugins on your site but having too many plugins can eventually break your site (and most importantly slows down your site speed).
You need to limit your plugins usage to under 15 to 20. Although we’ve a HUGE site which is nearly 10 years old, we’re still limiting our plugin usage to just under 20 because we know, having too many plugins can affect our site loading times.
2. What’s the best security plugin for WordPress?
Securing your WordPress site should be your top priority as there are literally 30,000 WordPress sites get hacked every single day. Fortunately there are a ton of security plugins available for WordPress and some of them include;
- Wordfence Security
- iThemes Security
- Sucuri Security
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
- BulletProof Security
3. What are widgets in WordPress?
There’s a difference between plugIns and widgets on WordPress. Basically, plugins are extensions that you need to install and activate if you want to use them whereas the widgets are drag and drop content areas that you can add on your site when their corresponding plugins are activated.
4. What are the best WordPress plugins for eCommerce?
If you’re running an eCommerce store, here’s a list of some of the best plugins you can install to run your online stores smoothly.
- Cart66 Cloud
- WP eCommerce
- Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart
- Easy Digital Downloads
5. Can I install plugins on WordPress.com?
Whether you know it or not, WordPress offers 2 versions which are;
- WordPress.com (completely free to use but cannot install plugins unless you upgrade to the business plan which costs about $299 per year as with free plan, you cannot install 3rd party plugins)
- WordPress.org (where you can easily install plugins but you need a web host along with domain)
Final Thoughts On Best WordPress Plugins
Although there a plenty of plugins out there in the WordPress directory but most of them are NOT needed. That being said, to maintain a power packed WordPress site, you need to install the essential WordPress plugins shared above.
So what plugins are you currently using? Did we miss any of your favorite plugins in the list? Share your thoughts in the comments.