10 Best WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers 2017
If you are starting a blog with WordPress, sometimes it is hard to know where to begin when it comes to using plugins. If you are like most people you may not even know what plugins are. So how are you supposed to know which ones are good for your blog? There are hundreds of plugins and without a starting point it is hard to know where to begin. Look no further. Here are 10 easy to use plugins that will benefit your blog.
10 Best WordPress Plugins:
When setting up your blog, this is the first plugin you should install. This plugin does exactly as its name says: it will back up your blog, every file every piece of data. We all know that sometimes websites crash or have problems. If this happens to you, you want to be sure that everything is saved so you can easily recover your data. You can pick and choose which files you want regularly backed up and how often. Never worry about losing your data again with this plugin.
This is another great plugin to install on your new blog. Wordfence is a security plugin that will protect your site from hackers. There are a lot of tech savvy individuals in this world and some of them are not very friendly. They take pleasure in wreaking havoc, even on beginner blogs like yours. Depending on how popular you expect your blog to become, you may want to use the premium version for more features and better protection. There is, of course, a free version that will still protect you with firewalls and alerts. Wordfence even has a real-time feed that shows you the traffic to your site and the hack attempts. You will be alerted of anything suspicious. As a new blogger, you may not be too worried about hackers, but wouldn’t it be better to put your mind at ease by protecting your site anyway?
While we are on the topic of security, let’s talk about spam. One of the most annoying things about blogging is getting comment spam. Does this sound familiar: you have just published a great blog post, you receive notification that someone has commented, you get excited and then discover that it is nothing more than spam. There is nothing more infuriating. Not to mention all that spam will slow down your site. It’s annoying for you and those who actually want to leave meaningful comments on your post. Prevent comment spam with Akismet. This plugin helps weed out the spammers by automatically checking all comments and deleting the ones that look like spam. Don’t worry, you can review dismissed comments just in case some legit ones get caught up in the spam. Keep in mind that you will need an API key from Akismet.com to use this plugin. Keys are free for personal blogs and paid subscriptions are available for businesses.
Usually, when someone comments on a blog they don’t really expect to be replied to so they never check back to see. With this plugin, your reader will be sent an email when you reply. This is a great way to let your readers, especially those who take the time to comment, know that you care about their feedback. They will be happy to hear from you and this may encourage them to continue commenting in the future. Just so you know, this plugin isn’t constantly updated like some of the others, but it still works well and lets your readers know that they are appreciated.
Anyone who has a website of some sort knows about SEO. But do you really know what that means? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting traffic to your site from search results on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Basically, when an individual searches for content relevant to your blog you want your site to show up at the top of the results list. Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for driving traffic to your site. This plugin will guide you when you are creating your post so that you pick relevant keywords and use them enough in your article so it will be found by search engines. There are many other features of Yoast SEO that will help your blog’s SEO rankings but you have to use them for it to work. There are video tutorials that will help you use this plugin to its full extent and get you the rankings you want.
This plugin is more for convenience than anything else. When you start a blog you probably want to know how many visitors you get and which posts get the most interaction. This plugin puts all those stats right on your WordPress dashboard. You could just look up these stats on Google Analytics any time that you want to see them, but why do that when this plugin conveniently puts them within easy viewing all the time. Once you know which posts are getting the most views and comments you will know what your audience is looking for from your blog and you can cater to their needs.
The one thing bloggers want most is for their content to be shared and read all over social media so that they can bring in new followers and readers. Make it easy for your readers to share your content with this plugin. Simply put, this plugin lets you add social media icons to your blog, on all of your articles and pages. You can even customize the icons to match your blogs design or make them easy to see. You can add social media icons such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other icons for over 200 other social media platforms.
If you want a bigger following on your blog you need readers to subscribe. Besides readers sharing your content, the best way to do this is to use pop-ups to encourage users to subscribe. Yes, pop-ups can be annoying but they work. Did you know that most visitors to a blog just read one article and then never come back? Don’t let this happen to you. Make more of your readers into subscribers with this plugin. Optin Monster is better than other pop-up plugins because instead of flashing your pop-up right away and annoying a new visitor, you can delay your pop-up until your reader has been on the site for a few minutes or when they are reading one of your posts. If they like what they are reading they are more likely to sign up so they can read more of your work. You can even design your pop-up so that it grabs your reader’s attention and is more appealing. Though it may seem annoying, this tool will help you expand your blog by expanding your following.
As your blog gains more traction, your readers may want to be able to contact you with questions or comments. This plugin allows them to do just that. You can create customized contact forms for every need your followers may have. You can create one solely for questions and another for topics your readers would like to see next. On your forms, you can create required boxes that ensure the commenter leaves their name and email address so that you can get back to them and add them to your email list. This is a great way to interact with your readers and gain a bigger following.
If you like posting videos on your blog, then this is the plugin for you. This plugin embeds videos on your page using lightbox overlay display. Lightbox overlay is when your entire video fills the screen while dimming the rest of the page behind it. Chances are you have seen this before. It looks cool and it ensures that your video will be easy to see. You can display videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Flash, etc. without a problem. The best part is that these videos can easily be viewed on smartphones and tablets.
Building a new blog does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be very fun if you have the right plugins to help you. Begin building your following and improving your blog with these top plugins and you won’t be disappointed.