Plugins are bloggers’ best friend when it comes to designing blogs. Today, I will be sharing with you my favorite, the best and free plugins I use for both of my WordPress blogs.
“Plugins? What are those?”
Good question. That was the same question I had after installing WordPress.
So, you just took the big leap and purchased your self-hosted blog and you have also successfully installed WordPress but now you’re staring at your laptop screen and have no idea what to do next.
Don’t you worry. I got you, bestie.
Welcome to the part where I will tell you what to do after installing WordPress.
Say hi to plugins. Plugins will be your new BFF and you must install them after installing WordPress and before you even begin choosing theme for your brand new blog.
Using WordPress.com, the free platform, didn’t require me to use them. I can still remember feeling stuck after I have asked Siteground to install WordPress for me. That’s why I love them. They also told me I need plug ins to start building my site and they didn’t make me feel that I was such a dummy for having tons of questions.
They even adjusted their vocabulary to match mine when it comes to starting a blog.
Read also: Why I Host my Blogs with Siteground
So, plugins. Here are the best and free WordPress plugins that bloggers use to customize blogs.
Plugins are software components that will add feature to the program which will allow you to customize your blog.
With plugins, it’s better to keep them simple. Some plugins have slowed my site down so I needed to uninstall them. Some didn’t look good and some just didn’t need to be there anymore.
Having a lot of plugins can make your site load slowly which will affect reader experience and will make them stop returning to your site.
There are free and premium ones and until this day, I am still using the free versions with no problem.
But before I give you the list of the plugins I use for both of my sites, let me quickly show you how to install them.
On your Dashboard, look for Plugins and click Add New.
It will lead you to this page below and look for keword and type the name of the plugin on thebox and hit Enter.
List of the plugins will be shown. Choose the name of the plugin you wish to install and click “Install”. Wait for it to install and then click “Activate” to activate it.
Unless you know how to code, please don’t click on “Edit”.
You can also deactivate or delete a plug in which you don’t find useful on this side. If there’s new version of the plugin, you will also see it on this side and just click “Update now” to update it.
Here are the free plugins that I use for both of my sites.
Insert Headers and Footers
A must-have plug in to connect Google Analytics to your site, add ads, scripts and authorize Facebook, Pinterest or embed email opt in forms without touching or editing the code especially if you don’t know how to code.
I use this plug in to connect Google Analytics, run ads and opt in form to collect email addresses for my sites.
For me this is like the mother of all my plug ins for codes and must be the first one to install.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a huge part of blogging. You know when you type something on Google and endless list of articles, photos and videos come out, that is what SEO is about. When optimized properly, your blog and your articles can show up or even rank high in Google.
This plug in is tells you how you can improve your SEO so your content can rank high on Google search.
I love how it has the three traffic light colors to give you the signal of how you did when it comes to the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. I love it when it gives me green sign because that meant that I followed its tips which assures me that somehow, Google will show my articles if someone searches about the topic that I write about.
WPS Hide Login
WordPress sites’ login URL is the name of the website plus /wp-login.php which is very easy for professional hackers to do.
With WPS Hide Login, you can protect your website by changing your login URL. You can change it something else aside from your /wp-login.php or wp-admin.
Social Warfare Button
This plug in is used to maximize social shares to drive more traffic using share buttons, call to actions like Pin-it and Click-to-tweets. You will also see how many times the post has been pinned, shared or tweeted.
Sassy Social Share
This is the same as Social Warfare but with over 100+ buttons to choose from even on the free plan. For This Village Girl. I only use Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Not that I need more for Virtual Besties. I just want to give it a try. So far, I am happy for using for.
jQuerry Pin It Button for Images
This plugin highlights the images when you hover on it and add a “Pin It” button to make it easy for your visitors to pin it for later reading.
UpdraftPlus- Back up/Restore
The plugin that backs up and restores your site on automatic and scheduled time.
Smash Balloon Instagram Feed
This plug in allows you to display and customize responsive Instagram feeds.
This antispam plug in filters and sorts your comments through while fighting spam comments and is built with data protection and privacy in mind.
It is quite annoying to delete and put the spam comments to spam folder. You don’t know how many of these comments you’ll get in a day and instead of using the time to focus on working on other tasks or creating content, you’ll be dealing with spam.
I have been running my blogs using these best and free WordPress plugins.
I am not techie at all and these plugins have been making my life easy. You don’t need a lot of plug ins especially when you’re new and still learning the ropes of blogging. Also, poorly coded plugins can slow your site down. Plus, you can install what you’ll need more later on.
I hope this post helped you or at least gave you an idea on what you need to after installing WordPress and which plugins to install.
If there’s anything I can help you with, feel free to email me or comment them down below.
Your virtual bestie,
Read next: 10 Things I’ve Learned After One Month of Blogging
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