Top WordPress Plugins For Bloggers

 
I use a lot of WordPress plugins on this site, and some of them I wouldn’t be without. Having mentioned a couple in online blogging groups recently, I’ve realised that some of my favourites aren’t ones that everyone knows about. So, I thought I’d do a quick run through of my favourite top WordPress plugins.
 

Top wordpress plugins

 

WP Fastest Cache 

 

The speed of your site can make a real difference to your reader’s experience and to whether or not they want to make a return visit. There are different things you can do to speed your site up, but for me the WP fastest cache plugin is the thing that makes the biggest difference.

I use google’s Pagespeed Insights website to test my site’s speed. I often use it just before and then after adding a new plugin to my site, to make sure the plugin isn’t causing speed issues.

 

UpdraftPlus 

 

For a long time I didn’t back up my site, but the larger in size my blog got the more I worried about losing all my posts and having to start from scratch. A lot of web hosts will back up your site for you if you have that option as part of your hosting package. However, it’s a good idea to back up your site yourself, so that you can easily access the files.

Also, if your host had an issue it’s a back-up plan that you’ll be glad you have in place. I use UpdraftPlus which is really easy to use, backs my site up daily and handily sends the back-up to my Dropbox account.

 

Akismet 

 

I moderate all comments that get placed on my site, not as in I change things according to whether people agree with my opinion, ha but just that I manually accept whether a comment appears on my site. This avoids spam and comments of an adult nature appearing on my family friendly site.

This would take me a really long time if it wasn’t for the help of the Akismet plugin. It filters my comments for me so that in the majority of cases the spam comments go to my spam area without me having to manually send it there. When you get 100s of spam comments a week, this is such a time saver.

 

Better Delete Revision 

 

This plugin is another one for speeding up and cleaning up your site. Every time you write a blog post, WordPress is in the background saving your ‘revisions’ of your post, so that if you had issues you should be able to recover the revision version of your draft. However, if you take a long time to write a post, or if you save several draft versions, then your database will be getting filled with revision versions of your post and taking up space.

The Better Delete Revision plugin will at your request delete all revision posts, without affecting your most recent draft or your published posts. It’s a genius plugin in my opinion.

 

Compress JPEG & PNG Images 

 

This plugin does exactly as it says, it compresses the images on your blog without losing the quality of the images. By doing this you make your images quicker to load, and therefore your site faster.

The only tiny downside to this plugin is that with the free version you can only compress 500 images a month, so if you’re adding it to a bigger site for the first time it can take a while to gradually with 500 a month work your way through your site. It’s easy to use and works very well, though.

 

Yoast SEO 

 

This plugin is brilliant – at times when they update it goes a bit haywire for a while, but they always sort out the glitches ad I’ve learnt not to update for a couple of days after an update goes live and wait to see how it works for others first – sneaky.

This is the plugin, that lets you change what text shows up when you share a post, so instead of a bit chunk at the beginning of your post appearing when you share a post, whatever description you choose to type in appears. It just looks a lot more professional and is better for SEO – search engine optimisation.

SEO Yoast also has a traffic light system so that you can see how well your post will perform from an SEO perspective. SEO Yoast also helps you with webmaster tools and helps you set up your open graph meta data for social media. This is what helps to show your images along with your posts when you share them on social media.

It also helps with sitemaps and all sorts of other bits and pieces I won’t list individually, as you can investigate yourself if and when you download it.

 

WP Drafts For Friends 

 

This one is for bloggers who either want to allow a friend to read a blog post they are writing before they publish it, its sometimes handy to have a second pair of eyes read through for you – or for letting a PR see your post before it goes live.

For any non-bloggers who are reading this, that doesn’t mean they check review post before they are published and get us to make changes, it’s actually just that some like to make sure we’ve used the correct links to their site and haven’t used any images from sources that we shouldn’t etc.

Anyway, bloggers this plugin lets you share a url link to your draft post for as long as you set it to be available, to be viewable by someone clicking on the link. No more copy and pasting whole posts to Word or elsewhere.

Wordfence

It is a sad fact that there are a huge amount of hackers and spammers out there and you need to protect your site from them. I have been hacked in the past and it really is not a nice experience.

I managed to fix it myself as I am pretty good at the tech side of things on WordPress, but often people have to pay a fortune to have someone else fix their site. It really is time-consuming and stressful.

The best plugin by far that I have found to protect my site – I wish I was using it before the hack, it may well have prevented it. You can set Wordfence up to automatically scan your site so that if anyone does manage to add malicious files or make changes without your knowledge, then you can hopefully get rid of them before any real damage is done.

It will prevent certain file changes from happening, block those it can definitely tell have malicious intentions and best of all, in my opinion is being able to view Live Traffic. With Live Traffic you can see who has visited your site and lets you block those who you can tell were up to no good. Such as people trying to log in.

Wordfence has blocked several hack attacks on my blog already and I would not be without it now.

That’s it, my favourite plugins that I use. There are a few other more boring ones, but these are the ones I really do find the most helpful. I hope you find them good as well!

 

Stevie x

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64 Comments

  1. Robyn
    12 February 2016 / 7:21 am

    Great list Stevie, I think I will have to investigate some of these for my site. I haven’t really thought a lot about the loading speed, even though I know it’s important I didn’t really know how to check it or improve it. Now I do – thanks!

    • 12 February 2016 / 2:06 pm

      Thanks Robyn, one of the best ways to gauge your site speed other than the website checker, is to turn the wifi off on your phone and try to load it on 3 or 4g. If it’s a bit slow you’ll soon know.

      Stevie x

  2. Kim (sisterkin)
    12 February 2016 / 7:58 am

    Oh this is so useful. I am a bit of a technophobe so thank you for making this post so accessible. I will definitely be re-visiting. #PicknMix

  3. 12 February 2016 / 9:20 am

    Great post and so useful – thank you! #picknmix

  4. 12 February 2016 / 10:07 am

    This is super helpful, Stevie! I use Yoast and a couple of the other well known ones, but wasnt aware of the image compression one and Better Delete Revision, so I will be installing those today! Thanks so much! Xxx

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:26 am

      Glad it’s helpful, searching for a good plugin drives me crazy as I’ve broken my site a few times with a dodgy one so happy to save anyone else that hassle ;)

      Stevie xx

  5. 12 February 2016 / 10:41 am

    All great tips and ideas, thank you! #picknmixfridays

  6. 12 February 2016 / 10:43 am

    There’s some great ones on there that I use. It was your recommendations of drafts for friends that that really helps when working with PRs. Askimet is a God send and I wouldn’t be without Yoast #picknmix

    • 12 February 2016 / 1:50 pm

      I love it when I can help others out and lots of bloggers have done the same for me over the last year :)

      Stevie x

  7. 12 February 2016 / 11:03 am

    This is great thank you, I will be bookmarking this page for future. I love anything that makes life easier :-) x #PicknMix

  8. 12 February 2016 / 11:23 am

    Thanks for some help in this area, I had no idea about these things. Still pretty New!

  9. 12 February 2016 / 12:11 pm

    These are really useful, thanks for sharing #picknmix

  10. Jodie Allen at Makeup to Motherhood
    12 February 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Thank you! This post was super useful as I have only recently moved over to WordPress. I was worrying about WordPress saving ever “revision” of my posts and I also wasn’t sure which backup plugin to use. Now i know! Thanks for sharing #PicknMix

    • 12 February 2016 / 2:01 pm

      Good timing then and my pleasure lovely glad it’ll come in handy

      Stevie x

  11. Budgetfoodmummy
    12 February 2016 / 3:46 pm

    I think we should crown you, The Queen of WordPress!
    You taught me more in one day about WordPress and blogging than I have learnt in a year! #PicknMix

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:12 pm

      Ha ha thanks lovely, and sorry for the bossy messages but glad I helped ;)

      Stevie x

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:13 pm

      I have to confess for being a little bit too in love with plugins and loving finding a new one ha ;)

      Stevie x

  12. 12 February 2016 / 4:54 pm

    This is really useful and I have bookmarked for further investigation!! I have no idea what I am doing most of the time and have been wondering what a plugin is…!! Oops So much to learn! Kathy #PicknMix

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:14 pm

      Ha bless you, I’m not sure if you can use plugins on .wordpress sites or not to be honest, it may only be for self hosted, but hopefully helpful in the future for you

      Stevie x

  13. Yvonne
    12 February 2016 / 5:33 pm

    Oh now I have added this post to my favourites! I am currently debating on whether to take the next step and get away from the standard wordpress site. I feel I want to do more with my blog and I am not sure I can get that with the current set up. Did you start with the free version first? Are you happy you moved? Oh I have so many questions for you :) #PicknMix

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:15 pm

      I was on blogger first actually but only for a few weeks then I went straight to wordpress self hosted and love it. If you do decide to take the leap, you can buy domain names cheaply and hosting through someone like TSO host who most bloggers I chat to are with :)

      Stevie x

  14. Sara at Handy Herbs
    12 February 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Thanks for these tips, Stevie. I wasn’t aware of some of those plugins so will be taking a look at some of them now :) #PickNMix

  15. 12 February 2016 / 7:06 pm

    Definitely agree on YOAST and Akismet. Haven’t heard of some of those others so great post introducing me to new plugins :)

  16. 12 February 2016 / 7:25 pm

    Thank you for this I am doing refubishment to my site and I was thinking of useful plusgins. So I have shared this and pinned ti thank you

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:10 pm

      My pleasure and aw thank you for sharing it’s very much appreciated :)

      Stevie x

  17. 12 February 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Forgot to mention #PicknMix Linky is how I found you

  18. 12 February 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Excellent choice of plug ins for beginners!

  19. Tracey Abrahams
    12 February 2016 / 8:06 pm

    Oh there are several here I havent heard off. Time to do a bit more investigsting #picknmix

  20. There's always time for tea
    12 February 2016 / 9:14 pm

    I don’t understand plug-ins at all! I need to go on a ‘how to use wordpress’ course I think! xx #Picknmix

    • 12 February 2016 / 11:58 pm

      Ha bless you, it does al take a bit of getting used to, but plugins can be amazing if you get the right ones. I’m forever playing around with new ones :)

      Stevie x

  21. 12 February 2016 / 9:49 pm

    This is so useful! Thank you! #PickNMix

  22. 12 February 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Thanks for posting this, there are some great suggestions that I’ve added to my site. As I’m so new to blogging it’s great to get advice on this type of thing. #picknmix

    • 12 February 2016 / 11:37 pm

      My pleasure, I’ve only been blogging a year but it’s surprising what you learn and pick up along the way :)

      Stevie x

  23. 12 February 2016 / 10:32 pm

    You have told me most of these before and so I am eternally grateful! x

    • 12 February 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Ha you get the insider info as payment for having to put up with me when I’m having a bad week ;) ….. yes I know that ‘payment’ is NOT enough

      Stevie xx

  24. 12 February 2016 / 10:59 pm

    Great list Stevie – I really need to download the Better delete revision. The Jpeg compress one also sounds ideal – I always downsize my images as I’m worried about them taking up too much space, but the quality is compromised. I wonder if this would sort that? #Picknmix x

    • 12 February 2016 / 11:30 pm

      I’m sure it would help lovely :) make sure you downsize your images either before adding or in the media part of wordpress, as they go a bit crazy if you resize in the post and still take up the same amount of room

      Stevie x

  25. 12 February 2016 / 11:02 pm

    Ooh this post is really helpful, thank you! I will definitely be back to check out your tips when I have time to sit down and do the technical stuff.

    • 12 February 2016 / 11:28 pm

      Glad it’s useful, I love being able to help the blogging community when I can :)

      Stevie x

  26. 13 February 2016 / 1:33 pm

    This is a great informative list! Thanks for sharing. I have not heard of some and will definitely be trying. #PickNMix

  27. 13 February 2016 / 11:12 pm

    This is really handy, thanks. I’m planning to go self-hosted soon and will have access to plugins so will be saving this post :) #picknmix

    • 13 February 2016 / 11:28 pm

      Glad it will help and ooh good luck with going self hosted, you will LOVE plugins ;)

      Stevie x

  28. 14 February 2016 / 12:38 am

    Thanks, Stevie! I use some of these already, but there are some I will be looking into now! #picknmix

  29. Lisa@intotheglade
    14 February 2016 / 4:03 pm

    This is fab Stevie, I am just compressing my pictures as I type. I didn’t know about any of these and spend most of my time completely flummoxed! Thank you so much lovely xx

    • 14 February 2016 / 4:12 pm

      Aw I’m glad it helped lovely! You know if you ever get really stuck you can just inbox me, I really don’t mind helping when I can :)

      Stevie xx

  30. Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb)
    15 February 2016 / 1:59 pm

    I am only starting to get to grips with different plugins. Updraft plus and yoast are ones i know of. I didn’t know plugins like wp drafts for friends even existed – that’s really helpful to know so thank you for sharing these :) #picknmix

    • 15 February 2016 / 3:19 pm

      My pleasure lovely, the drafts for friends one is great handy for getting someone else’s opinion before you hit publish as well :)

      Stevie x

  31. 17 February 2016 / 10:12 am

    I’m patting myself on the back a little for using most of these already. There are a couple I need to go and get now though! Great post!

    • 17 February 2016 / 10:26 am

      Ha, please tell me you get as over excited about a good plugin as I do?! ;)

      Stevie x

  32. 17 February 2016 / 10:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing these! I’ve just had to publish a password protected post on WP because I didn’t have the Draft For Friends plugin. What a great plugin! x

    • 18 February 2016 / 6:39 am

      It really does come in handy, and I’m glad it’ll come in useful for you :)

      Stevie x

  33. 18 February 2016 / 10:35 am

    Ooh there are a few on here that I don’t use. I love a good plugin xx

  34. 8 March 2016 / 4:02 pm

    Great post, had a few of these already, but thank you for letting me know about the better delete revision, I have so many revisions, this is great! Apologies for not commenting weeks ago, just getting back to the linkies I haven’t managed to comment on now. Once I finish getting up-to-date I can let myself link up again! :) x #picnmix

  35. 15 May 2017 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks for this list! I’m a newbie blogger and not that tech-minded, so this is really helpful to me! I hadn’t even thought about hacks or backing up my blog so I’m glad I saw this and have now installed the plugins to protect me!

    Thanks again!

    Beccah xx
    thehonestolive.com