Top WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers

I’ve spoken before in an earlier post about using WordPress as my blogging platform. As far as I can tell, there is just no comparison to the other blogging platforms and when I took the plunge to go self-hosted (more of this to come in another post) I loved using it even more. One of the brilliant things about having a self-hosted blog is the ability to construct and design your site as you want it to be and my favourite tools for doing this are plugins. If you are new to blogging and like me are bamboozled by the technicalities of it all, then a plugin is basically just a modular piece of software that acts as an add-on to your blog site which can give you various different functionalities.

WordPress has a Plugin directory with literally thousands of plugins to choose from. This in itself can be confusing – how are you supposed to know which ones to use or which ones are any good? Well, I’m going to share with you my favourite Plugins for newbie bloggers. You can then simply type in what you are looking for in the ‘search’ bar, choose the plugin, click activate and all the hard techy stuff is done for you.

My Top WordPress Plugins:

  1. Akismet – This clever little Plugin will save your site from spammers and is an essential bit of kit. It basically filters through all of the comments on your blog and holds the ones it thinks are spam in a spam folder for you to empty. This will keep your site clear and running smoothly.
  2. Wordfence Security – Provides a high level of site security to stop hackers breaking in to your site – an absolute essential in my opinion.
  3. Jetpack by WordPress.com – This is another essential when using WordPress and is just a really good all-round, behind the scenes plugin. Some of it’s functionality includes displaying your site statistics, protecting your site from hackers and speeding up your images.
  4. CommentLuv – I’m sure you will have seen this one if you have been reading and commenting on other blogs. CommentLuv will visit the blog site of the author of the comment and retrieve their latest blog post for them to include at the end of their comment. It makes commenting easy and means visitors are more likely to leave you a message. You may also find some new and interesting blogs to read this way.
  5. Custom Share Buttons with Floating Sidebar – You want to encourage visitors to your site to share your content on their social networks and this really simple plugin allows them to do just that with a quick and user-friendly sidebar. Easy to set-up and it runs across nine different social networks. You can even choose which buttons you want to display.
  6. Free Stock Photos Foter – Readers love to see large, good quality images in your posts but you have to be careful about which photos you are using and having the correct permission if you use someone else’s. This plugin has a large library of free photographs to choose from and will enter the correct photo credit for you.
  7. Social Media Feather – allows you to quickly and painlessly add social sharing and following features to all your posts, pages and custom post types. There are loads of plugins that do this but this is plugin that works for me and it was really easy to set up.
  8. Pinterest Pin it Button – Pinterest can be a great source of traffic for your blog if you are using it correctly. If you are a new blogger then start by installing this plugin and pinning your images to your Pinterest profile. You never know who will see the image and click through to your blog as a result.
  9. MiloTree Popup – I don’t really like pop-ups in general, they just irritate me when I’m visiting blogs. However, this one I will make an exception for as it isn’t overly intrusive and will nicely advertise whichever of your social media profiles you choose. I have my Instagram profile on mine as I am trying to grow my following over there and I have noticed a difference since installing it.
  10. Yoast Comment Hacks – This makes the whole commenting process a little easier and applies some nice hacks that enable you to do things such as reject comments below a certain length and redirect first time commenters to a thank-you page.
  11. Yoast SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is one of those terms you are bound to have heard being bandied about by seasoned bloggers. It’s a complicated business but this plugin makes it easy for you by forcing you to choose a keyword for each post and then making you use it as much as possible to increase the SEO of your post. It guides you to choosing good words by rating each keyword with a traffic light system.
  12. Better Delete Revision – Every time you click ‘save draft’ on your posts, a copy will be stored. So if you do this say, ten times each time you write a post it can add up to an awful lot of drafts which will slow your site down considerably. This plugin will run through your site and delete all of the redundant drafts as well as associated data such as tags etc.

These are my current favourites for starting off. If you are newly self-hosted then I hope you have found this list useful. Why not leave me a comment and let me know which are your favourite plugins?

xxx

 

A Mum Track Mind
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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69 Comments

  1. April 29, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Bookmarking this for when I do eventually decide to go self-hosted and take that giant leap! This is such an informative post which I’m sure will help other bloggers. Love WordPress so far Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Pramshed recently posted…Maternity Leave: What I will and won’t missMy Profile

    • April 30, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      It scared me too when I first started out! Thanks for linking up with us x

  2. April 30, 2016 / 9:21 am

    This is so helpful! I’ve just gone self hosted myself so finding out which plugins I need is great! I’ll have to check these ones out 🙂 #fortheloveofblog

  3. April 30, 2016 / 9:30 am

    Great timing, the first linkup I have done since moving to my own site and this is the post I find! Love it and off to download these. Thank you so much! I have been scouring the web for plugins but good to get advice from someone who actually uses them. Good luck with the new linkup! Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG

    • April 30, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      So glad you’ve found it useful! Thanks so much 🙂 x

  4. April 30, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Oh some good plug-ins here that I wasn’t aware of. Thanks 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    Emma recently posted…Portelet Common, JerseyMy Profile

    • April 30, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      You’re welcome! Thanks for linking up with us x

  5. April 30, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Oh my GOODNESS this is helpful! I think I”m using about half of these but the other half … well, I’m off to investigate! Thanks so much; really mean it – what a great start to the Bank Holiday weekend 🙂 And well done on starting #fortheloveofBLOG – love the name!

    • April 30, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      Great! So happy it’s useful thanks for supporting our new linky 🙂 x

  6. April 30, 2016 / 10:34 am

    That’s a great list of plugins – there’s quite a few I use already but one or two I haven’t come across that I’m definitely going to check out. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • April 30, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Yes do and I hope you find them as useful as I do x

  7. April 30, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Great post! I’ve already install a couple of these plugins just now, based on your recommendation alone! Thanks for sharing. #fortheloveofblog
    Jason recently posted…Top 5 Fridays: iPhone Apps.My Profile

    • April 30, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      That’s great, I hope they are useful x

  8. April 30, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Really helpful! Just added three of them to my blog!

    • April 30, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      Great! Thanks for commenting x

  9. April 30, 2016 / 11:17 am

    This is a very informative post. I hadn’t heard of some of the plugins but will check them out. Bookmarking your post for reference. #Fortheloveofblog
    Agent Spitback recently posted…I Have Chosen Not To ForgetMy Profile

    • April 30, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      Fab, I’m so glad it was useful. Thanks for commenting x

  10. April 30, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    Ooh this is a good list. I will come back to these. I use Yoast and a few of the others, but I don’t have Comment Luv although I have seen it on other people’s sites, so I think I will add this one and also the Pin it button. Not quite got to grips with Pinterest yet and images are not my strong suit so this is an area I need to work on. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…Five Pertinent Pieces of Advice From My MotherMy Profile

    • April 30, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      I’m glad you’ve found it useful! Pinterest is definitely an area I need to work on too! Thanks for linking up with us this week 🙂 x

  11. April 30, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    I keep thinking I should go self hosted and I will definitely come back to this if/when I do! What a useful post! #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. April 30, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Self hosted is the best it drove me mental not being able to do what I wanted with my blog! Thanks for the great list I’ll go check some out now! #fortheloveofblog

  13. April 30, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    I have been so keen to find the CommentLuv plugging. So thank you! #forhteloveofblog

  14. April 30, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    This is ridiculously helpful and I don’t know any of them – looking forward to spending a couple of quiet hours perusing when I et a chance! Thank you so so much! #fortheloveofBLOG
    justsayingmum.com recently posted…“But You’ll Look Like A Mum!”My Profile

  15. April 30, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    There are some really useful plugins here that I will definitely be downloading, thank you xx. #fortheloveofblog

  16. April 30, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    So helpful. Blogging geeks like a secret code when you’re jus getting started and posts like this are really generous. #FortheloveofBLOG

    • May 1, 2016 / 2:05 pm

      Thanks v much! Hopefully it will be helpful x

  17. April 30, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    I have no idea where to start when it comes to plug ins as a newbie, but I’m going to try these out! Thanks for a very useful list to guide the way!

    • May 1, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      You are very welcome. Please feel free to DM me on Twitter if you have any specific questions. Thanks for commenting x

  18. April 30, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Some great plugin tips here, thank you! I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to pin your post in the hope that one day I can go self-hosted? Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG 🙂

    • May 1, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      Absolutely, pin away my dear 🙂 So glad that it was useful for you x

  19. May 1, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Fab list of plugins – I have quite a few of these. It’s funny how the list differs for different bloggers! Thank you for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG
    Maria recently posted…Boys summer footwear inspirationMy Profile

    • May 1, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      There are so many to choose from aren’t there! Hopefully this is a good start though for bloggers just starting out. Thanks so much for joining us on #fortheloveofBLOG this week x

  20. May 1, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    fab list 🙂 i’m still umming and ahhing about doing self-hosted or the wordpress.com spent all of yesterday on my second blog faffing about trying to sort out my categories! sigh #fortheloveofBLOG

    • May 1, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      I don’t think a lot of people realise how much work goes on behind the scenes of a blog do they – I can totally relate to messing about all day, it’s so time consuming isn’t it! Thanks for your comment and good luck if you decide to take your blog self-hosted. I’m writing a post on how to do this, which will be published next week if you need any tips x

  21. May 1, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    I am on blogger so don’t use wordpress at all. i think if i decided to go self hosted one day i would head this way. the plugins look great! xx

    #fortheloveofblog
    RACHEL BUSTIN recently posted…My Sunday Photo 01/05/2016My Profile

    • May 1, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      I haven’t used Blogger so I don’t know what it’s like but I do really like WordPress. Thanks for linking up with us this week x

  22. May 1, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    This is awesome! I moved over the wordpress this week so this is exactly what I needed…thanks! #KCACOLS

    • May 1, 2016 / 3:55 pm

      Fab! So glad it is useful for you x

  23. May 1, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    This is fantastic – I have just moved to self-hosted wordpress and it s all very new but this post is really going to help so thank you #fortheloveofBLOGS

  24. May 1, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    Ive been blogging just over a year and I’m still clueless about plugins. Some of these do sound helpful so i really need to look into how to apply them! #KCACOLS

  25. May 1, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    Very helpful post, thanks so much for sharing. I have now installed Better Delete Revision as I tend to make loads of revisions to my posts …It counted 950 from only 45 posts!!

    #KCACOLS

    • May 1, 2016 / 7:16 pm

      Oh great Jane I’m so pleased you have found it useful! I was surprised when I installed that plugin to find how many drafts I had stored away – it must have been slowing my site down considerably! Thanks for commenting x

    • May 1, 2016 / 7:14 pm

      It can seem like a never-ending learning process Kate – I think you just have to take it at your own pace. Thanks for linking up with us x

  26. May 1, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    I’m still on blogger but this was in interesting read many thanks x #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mrs T recently posted…Candid Cuddles #49My Profile

    • May 1, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting then xx

  27. May 1, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    Hey, I’m reading this as part of #fortheloveofBLOG and I must say a huge thanks for this post. I’m never quite au fait with plugins but I have a few on my wordpress side. I really like the idea of the MiloTree popup so I might stick that on mine at some point. 😀 Thanks again.

    • May 1, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      There are so many to choose from aren’t there! But hopefully this is a good starting point. Thanks for commenting x

  28. May 1, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    Really helpful thank you! I’m new to blogging on wordpress so this is really useful to me. #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. May 1, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Thank you for a fantastically helpful intro to plugins. I had wondered where all the cool tools I’ve seen on blogs came from so this is really useful.

  30. May 1, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Thank you for a fantastically helpful intro to plugins. I had wondered where all the cool tools I’ve seen on blogs came from so this is really useful.

    #KCACOLS
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  31. May 1, 2016 / 9:38 pm

    Such a helpful post! I hear the word plugins used a lot and to be honest I didn’t even know what it meant haha, knowing all this info will be so useful, especially when I take the plunge to self-hosted xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  32. May 1, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    Some of the wordpress plugins sound really fab, but I have to confess I’m still a blogger gal. 🙂 #KCACOLS
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…This Week #33My Profile

  33. May 2, 2016 / 11:54 am

    I am using blogger at the moment, but when my blog gets bigger I may move over to wordpress and self hosting.
    I will keep these apps in mind for then
    Ali Duke recently posted…My favourite things this weekMy Profile

  34. The_tale_of_mummy_hood
    May 2, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    This posts gives food for thought for a new blogger!

    #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. May 2, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    I am so clueless about these things on WordPress, I searched for ages for something to explain it to me. Great timing! x #fortheloveofBLOG

  36. May 2, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Really helpful post, I like to see tried and tested plug-ins for use on wordpress before I start installing. I’m filled with dread that one day I’ll make an error and lose the lot, or lose the plot, not sure which one will come first!:) x
    mainy – myrealfairy

    #KCACOLS

  37. May 4, 2016 / 1:02 am

    Thanks for this really helpful list. I have many of them on my blog as well. I think I’m going to install Comment Luv. I’m sure it encourages comments and it’s nice for see everyone’s posts.

  38. May 4, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Really helpful list, and something I’ve been looking for recently. I just installed Jetpack yesterday, but unfortunately it turned all my portrait photos to landscape (!), so I think I need to look at it a bit closer! Thanks for the insight #fortheloveofBlog

  39. May 5, 2016 / 12:17 am

    Fab fab fab post !!! Will be getting the delete drafts plugin tomorrow!

    • May 5, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Great! So glad it was useful for you x

  40. May 6, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    This is a great list! I have a few of these but there are a couple I haven’t heard. It is amazing the amount of plugins you can find. You can stay hours searching for them. I really love WordPress because it allows you to personalised your blog how you want it! It is really cool. There are now so many people migrating from Blogger to WordPress. It is definitely the way forward. I had WordPress since day one after doing a lot of research. And I have to say that that was the best decision so far. Great post for new bloggers. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. Hope to see you again on Sunday, 🙂 xx
    A Moment With Franca recently posted…Review – Bahlsen BiscuitsMy Profile

  41. June 11, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Thank you for this it was really helpful! Alot of these words seemed like gobble de gook when I first started, but I’m very slowly coming to grips with everything! Especially the last one about the drafts! I save mine about a million times! I am keen to start these Linkys but I’m a bit nervous about how it all works!

    A good post to read!

  42. September 22, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    yes its really good idea.it helps alot.This post is very good for the beginners who don’t have any idea how to start & where to start.Thank you so much for your valuable suggestion

  43. November 10, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    THIS is something that was on my to-do list in that I was trying to find a book with the top plugins for starting out – and here they are! You’re amazing! Thank you for this! I have a few but not all, so here’s my work cut out for the next week or so! Brilliant!

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