10 Must-have WordPress Plugins for Every Blog Owner
Today, I will present you a hand-picked selection of WordPress plugins that will make your work easier. I use each of these plugins as well and have tested them for a while now. You’ll already know some of these plugins, while others will be entirely new to you. Prepare to be surprised.
People that run a website on WordPress need plugins that make their life easier. The less time you have to spend on minor tasks, the more time remains for the essentials; the writing. And that’s exactly what a blog is about.
1 – The Most Important Plugin: Guarantee the Safety of Your Work
Safety and security are neglected quite often. Only because people want to save a ridiculously low amount of money. I’m talking about a really good backup solution. A backup is the beginning of a security strategy. Without a daily backup, you don’t even have to get started with security.
It’s just way too easy to lose your work just because you were too stingy. By the way, the most important part of a good backup solution is the easy recovery. What’s the point of a free solution that doesn’t let your recover the backup fast and easily? Right. There’s none.
VaultPress offers daily backups that can be recovered with just one click. You are also able to restore single files. Additionally, you can also use the service to simply transfer your website to a different server.
Another cool thing is that you also receive a free key for the antispam service Akismet. VaultPress is available for 3,50 USD a month or 39 USD a year. To use it, you need the VaultPress plugin. You can cancel it monthly or annually at any time, depending on the type of payment.
You can only pay via credit card. If you don’t have one, get a free prepaid credit card, e.g. from N26.
2 – The Display of Code on Your Website
You want to use neatly formatted code snippets on your blog, but don’t want to use a plugin that slows your page down unnecessarily? Then go ahead and use a version that large websites, such as the Smashing Magazine, CSS Tricks, and A List Apart, use as well.
The plugin that I will introduce you to now only weighs a laughable 28KB.
AH Prism Syntax Highlighter
3 – Article Formattings and Own Shortcodes
To me, this is the most important plugin. Working without this cool tool is hard to imagine, as it saves an incredible amount of time. Before, you had to go to the editor’s text area and enter everything yourself when it came to own formattings.
No matter if it’s about your buttons or shortcodes that you created yourself. All of this ends with this plugin. You can enter your most-used formattings, and implement them in your articles as a shortcode.
All of your self-defined formattings and shortcodes can be accessed via a comfortable generator in the text editor.
The Generator in the Visual Editor:
4 – SEO
These days, you’re not getting anywhere without search engine optimization. For me, Yoast SEO takes care of a general SEO optimization of my website. It provides functions I need, like Breadcrumbs, and the Sitemap.xml.
Yoast SEO – The Website Standard For Every WP Site
5 – Content SEO
Squirrly is what I use to optimize my articles to have a good ranking in the Google search results. Squirrly intuitively makes for better content and higher rankings. It also comes with a good and free analysis function on top of that.
If you want to rank high, I recommend spending the money.
SEO by Squirrly
A Video on the Plugin:
You can use the free plugin for some in-depth testing of the premium functions before the purchase.
6 – Contact Form
My clear favorite is the Contact Form 7 Plugin. It is very easy to use and can create and manage as many forms as required. It cooperates with Akismet regarding spam defense, but it is also able to use the Google reCaptcha system.
On top of that, you can also create a simple spam defense quit, allowing you to ask one question. The correct answer will send the form. Look at the Noupe contact form.
7 – Preventing Accidental Releases
There are only a few things more embarrassing than publishing an article that is only halfway done. Sometimes, you forget a lot in the heat of the battle. To prevent that from happening to you, use the Pre-Publish Post Checklist plugin.
This plugin lets you create a list of all the things that have to be done on each article before publishing it. All items have to be checked before you can publish.
The plugin attaches itself to the sidebar on the create post screen.
Pre-Publish Post Checklist
The last update was two years ago, but the plugin has been coded well, so it’s compatible with the newest WordPress version without any issues. Here’s an example of a list:
8 – Shortcodes – Light-Weight and Fast
Some projects simply need shortcodes for columns, buttons, toggles, alerts, and tabs. However, the problem with most of these plugins is that they simply need too many functions, slowing down the website unnecessarily. It doesn’t have to be like that. It can also be nice and fast, so here’s my secret tip:
9 – The Development Page
For the development of new themes, or to test new plugins, it can be advantageous to have a development page. Even if you only want to design small areas, like a form, a dev-page is very valuable.
The plugin “WP Staging” lets you clone your entire website, giving you an exact copy. This process only takes a few minutes.
WP Staging – DB & File Duplicator & Migration
How it Works:
10 – The Email Newsletter
Many page operators use MailChimp, as it’s free and offers many features. However, I use a WordPress plugin, because I like to have everything in one spot. Additionally, I know that the email addresses are not being messed with.
MailPoet is very easy to handle and provides complete freedom when it comes to filling it with content. You can either create new content for the newsletter or include your most recent articles.
Video on MailPoet:
I hope you enjoyed my selection. I love these WordPress plugins, and wouldn’t set up one of my installations without any of these.