Best WordPress Plugins: 15 Essentials Every Blog Needs

the 15 Best WordPress plugins that every blog needsWhen you start a blog (or even when you’ve been blogging for awhile!), there are a sea of options for making your blog do things. WordPress plugins, like apps for your blog, are what we use.

Whether you want your blog to be found by search engines or to make your content more shareable, the best WordPress plugins have these three things in common:

  1. They do what they say they do, and they’re easy to use.
  2. They’re lightweight –Β  meaning they don’t take up lots of resources on your servers and slow down your website.
  3. They “play nice” with other plugins…so they’re less likely to cause a conflict and mess things up on your blog.

Having used literally hundreds of WordPress plugins myself over the last six years, I’ve narrowed the list down to the very best – and these are the tried-and-true favorites.

Best WordPress Plugins // Security and Maintenance

These plugins help keep your blog healthy – preventing your site from getting hacked, keeping spammers at bay, and helping everything run more smoothly and efficiently.

1. Wordfence (free+)

Best WordPress Plugins: Wordfence SecurityMy favorite basic security plugin, Wordfence adds an extra layer of protection by locking out people who try to hack their way into your website, even blocking IP addresses of bots trying to access your site. You can customize email alerts to be sent to you if anything suspicious is going on, and they offer a premium version that gives you access to support if you need it.

2. Anti-spam (free)

This WordPress plugin does just what it says: it’s anti-spam, stopping regular spam comments in their tracks. And it does this without using captcha, asking questions, or annoying your readers…who really just want to leave a comment.Β  I personally have found Anti-spam to be better than Akismet, which is the standard one that comes with WordPress when you first start a blog – it simply works better.

3. Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker (free)

Well this one’s a mouthful. Basically, there are two types of spam: regular comment spam and trackback spam. The Simple Trackback Validation plugin stops the second type of spam, basically by verifying that sites trying to send you trackbacks are real websites run by real people. At one point before I was running this plugin, I was getting over 3,000 pieces of trackback spam per hour, but this one did the trick.

4. WP Optimize (free)

WP-Optimize keeps your blog running smoothly by optimizing your database tables, getting rid of old post revisions, and cleaning unapproved comments and other things you’ve thrown in the trash. It helps your site run faster by not letting extra data build up and sit on your site.

5. VaultPress ($5/month)

Best WordPress Plugins: VaultPressI cannot stress to you enough the importance of having backups of your blog located securely off-site. Even if you’re using a premium hosting provider like WPEngine, who keeps daily backups of your entire site with tons of extra layers of protection, there is always the remotest outside possibility that a real, live person could accidentally mess something up and lose your data.

I used to recommend BackupBuddy but found it too unpredictable – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t – and for a non-tech person, it could be difficult to set up and extremely confusing to actually use a backup to restore your site.

For my own site and others I maintain, I now use VaultPress, from the same people who make WordPress itself. For a tiny fee, I get daily off-site backups of my site – and if my site is ever hacked (or if I mess something up!) it’s literally two clicks to restore my entire site to a previous state.

Best WordPress Plugins // Traffic Generation & Social Sharing

These plugins are essential for getting more traffic to your site – both from SEO and readers organically sharing your posts.

6. WordPress SEO – “Yoast” (free)

Best WordPress Plugins: YoastHands down, WordPress SEO is the industry standard for SEO plugins. You can use the tools in this plugin as you’re creating your posts to guide you to make good wording choices and get the maximum leverage from keywords that will help you get found by Google. While there are plenty of features in WordPress SEO that help your blog’s rankings, many bloggers wrongly assume that just because they “have a plugin,” that’s all they need to do.

Wrong.

But luckily, Yoast has teamed up with the good folks at WP101 to produce tutorial videos that will teach you, step by step, how to use the plugin for maximum SEO impact. Those videos alone are worth the cost of a month’s access to WP101.

7. Google XML Sitemaps (free)

It’s true that Yoast’s plugin generates a sitemap for you – that thing Google reads to help it index your site better – but Google XML Sitemaps makes it easier. You activate the plugin, go to the settings and grab the URL the plugin uses for your sitemap, and paste it into Google Webmaster Tools. Easy as pie, and I’ve never had it go wrong.

8. Google Analytics Dashboard (free)

Sure, you can open up Google Analytics every time you want to look at your stats, but if you’re just after some basic information like page views and which posts are getting the most visits, Google Analytics Dashboard puts those stats right inside your WordPress dashboard. It’s certainly not necessary, but definitely convenient.

9. Frizzly (free)

Best WordPress Plugins: Frizzly social sharing

social share buttons appear when a reader hovers over the image

Definitely a great social sharing plugin for your images, Frizzly places a Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter “share” button over your images when a reader hovers, encouraging more social sharing of your content. If you’re a Twitter user, you can put your Twitter handle in the settings so you’re automatically tagged when someone shares your post via the plugin, and the blogger (rejoice!) can choose where the Pin Description comes from when a user pins – whether it’s the post’s title, the image title, or the Alt text.

10a. Genesis Simple Share (free, Genesis users only)

Best WordPress Plugins: Genesis Simple ShareIf you want beautiful, minimalist social sharing buttons and are using a Genesis theme, you’re in luck! Brian Gardner has released a lightweight plugin just for Genesis users called Genesis Simple Share. Just visit his site and sign up for free access. Another perk of being part of the fabulous Genesis community!

And for bonus points, you can use the CSS code Brian gives on his site to customize the colors of the buttons to match your blog’s design.

10b. Simple Share Buttons Adder (free)

Best WordPress Plugins: Simple Share ButtonsIf your blog isn’t powered by Genesis, there are still some other decent options available for social sharing plugins. My favorite is the Simple Share Buttons Adder. It gives you the usual options of which social networks to show, but you can also upload your own custom buttons to match your WordPress theme! I use this plugin frequently in my web design work, and it’s a nice finishing touch…not to mention the fact that your readers can share your content more easily.

Best WordPress Plugins // Subscribers + Community Building

Without a solid strategy for building your list and building relationships with your readers, you’re sunk. These plugins add that extra personal touch for growing your readership.

11. Comment Reply Notification (free)

There’s nothing like hanging around a blog waiting for the blogger to respond to your comment, is there? Did you know that most people you reply to never even know you took the time to reply?

With Comment Reply Notification, you can set up email delivery to notify your reader when you’ve responded to their comment. They’ll be surprised to hear from you – and chances are, they’ll leave comments again!

One quick note here: this plugin hasn’t been updated in over two years, but I still use it here on the Blog Maven, and it still works like a charm.

12. Comment Redirect (free)

The very first time a new reader comments on your blog, you have a golden opportunity to introduce yourself and welcome them to your community. Comment Redirect lets you do this automatically. If you want to see this in action, take a look at the brilliance over at Outspoken Media’s Thanks for Commenting page, where they welcome you to their tribe AND promote the value of subscribing to their blog – all in one fell swoop.

Genius.

13. OptinMonster (premium)

Best WordPress Plugins: OptinMonsterThere’s a reason people use pop-ups on their site to encourage subscriptions – it’s because they work.

But all pop-ups aren’t created equal.

OptinMonster is a finely-tuned marketing machine that gives you total control over your opt-in process. Instead of flashing a pop-up in front of your reader the moment she gets to your site, OptinMonster lets you delay your pop-up until she’s settled into reading your amazing posts (and clearly will want more!). (pro tip: 20 seconds is just about right!)

They also have extensive design options, and the higher-tiered license allows advanced functionality like exit intent, which means it waits to show your reader the pop-up until it senses they’re about to leave your site. If you want more email subscribers and are just not finding success without a pop-up, this plugin is for you.

14. CommentLuv (free+)

If you want to encourage more comments on your blog, one way is to reward your readers for leaving comments. The free version of CommentLuv does just that: it lists your commenter’s last post alongside her comments, rewarding her with a link back to her blog. The premium version of this plugin (which I use here) has lots of extra options, including analytics so you can see where your own comment traffic is coming from, plus the ability to reward your readers with extra links based on the number of comments they’ve left. This encourages readers to comment not just once, but on many posts on your blog.

15. Gravity Forms (premium)

You have lots of options when it comes to forms on your site, but Gravity Forms is by far my favorite. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface to let you build not just a contact form, but surveys, polls, quizzes, order forms so visitors can order products straight from your site…your site users can even submit donations via Paypal! Gravity Forms was the first-ever premium plugin I bought, and I’m still using it regularly five years later.

Did I miss anything?

What do you consider to be the best of the best in WordPress plugins? Got any favorites? Leave me a comment (or question!) below and I may just add it to the post.

the 15 Best WordPress plugins that every blog needsAnd if you’re always on the lookout for the very best WordPress plugins, be sure to pin this post on Pinterest so you can come back and check for my updated recommendations.

More Posts from the How to Start a Blog Series:

How to Start a Blog – the first steps, from buying hosting to installing WordPress

How to Configure WordPress in 5 Simple Steps

Best WordPress Plugins: 15 Essentials Every Blog Needs (you’re here)

The Best WordPress Themes for Blogs

How to Install a WordPress Theme

…and once you’ve made it all the way through, check out my favorite Blogging Resources.

Leave a Comment:

309 comments
lindsay says

do you happen to help with installing certain plugins or guiding us through set ups? i get so confused

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Lindsay, was there a certain one you had a question about? I popped over to your blog and obviously you know how to install plugins…is there one that’s giving you trouble?

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      lindsay says

      well I want to install digg digg but it always positions funny. THen I tried mail chimp and i’m not sure it’s working properly either. haha. see.

      Reply
        Jeni Elliott says

        I don’t offer tech support, but if you’re interested in hiring someone to help you troubleshoot and get things in order on your blog, you might try Jeremy Holden – he does that kind of thing all the time. Hope that helps!

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        Sophia says

        Hi Lindsay πŸ™‚
        I am using https://morningcatch.dk/english.php pop-up software. Is free of charge and takes only 4 steps to install it. I would say is very easy to use and has many premade responsive design pop-ups so you can choose to use the one that suits you best.
        Cheers, Sophia

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          Lisa says

          Wow, thanks Sophia…this looks neat!

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Awais Irshad says

Awesome list of plugins! I will definitely need to update my plugin list after this… Thanks for sharing this!

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Diane | An Extraordinary Day says

I was having all kinds of trouble with comment spam, so I tested several plug-ins and settled on this: WP-SpamShield. Maybe once a month a spammy comment gets through…but it takes me a minute to realize that it is because the comment is kind and appropriate…the web address is the giveaway.

Thanks Jeni for this list. It’s a very different list than I have been seeing. I have several of the plug-ins you suggest, but there are several others that I’m going to be spending some time checking out. Also… thanks for encouraging me to spend more time with Yoast. This is a huge weakness for me. I just don’t “get” keywords. Sure I get the “green light” for my posts…but I don’t think I’m any good at choosing great keywords.

All the best…

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Diane,

    Thanks for your insightful comment! Regarding keywords, the trick is this:

    Ask yourself, What would a reader type into the Google box if she was looking for a post like mine? Put yourself inside the mind of a searcher, and try to imagine what words she would type. More often than not, it’s an entire phrase…but that will give you a great head start on your keywords. πŸ™‚

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      Diane says

      Thanks so much Jenny! Your thoughts on the keywords are really helpful.
      Have a great day!

      Reply
      Kim says

      Hi Jenny! That’s what I learned from watching one of the “Learn to Blog” Hangouts over on Google+ with regards to setting up your keywords – what would I type in to find my post. I’d say that at least 70% of my “keywords” are actually a short phrase. Does that hurt or help?

      Reply
        Jeni Elliott says

        Hi Kim, that’s perfectly fine – in fact, most people’s keywords are “long tail” – that is, an entire phrase.

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        Richard says

        Hey Kim and Diane. Rather than getting good at choosing keywords, why not use a keyword research tool instead?

        This video explains a bit about keyword research and how you can use a plugin to find out the best ones.

        I linked it at the exact time when the keyword talk starts. 7:43 if it doesn’t link properly. I’m confident this will help you! πŸ™‚

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urdu news says

Before read this article no idea about WordPress plugin. Now, i clearly understand how to use WordPress Plugin.

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Krystal says

What a great list of plugins. I’ve been looking for one along the lines of what Optinmonster does but hadn’t been able to find one that was recommended highly enough. Thank you πŸ™‚

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Stephanie says

Great list; I use many of those but will certainly try Vault as I use WPBackUp and haven’t had a response to a support request for two weeks !

A recent plugin that I found is Dropbox Photo Siteloader. If you use Dropbox to collect your photos or receive photos from brands/PRs you work with, this plugin pulls all your selected photos from Dropbox folders into your media library. No more downloading and re-uploading !

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    Kim Miller says

    Stephanie – I’ve been looking for something like this! If I use an image from my Dropbox account for a post – if I move that particular image, will it still show on my post or would I need to go back in and re-add the photo from the new directory? I have a habit of rearranging things all the time (computer OCD) so before I get all giddy and go and download it – I need to know if I need to put the photos in a “concrete” folder before I use them or if the image will stay in the post no matter where I might move it to in my Dropbox folders.

    Reply
      Stephanie says

      Hi Kim

      the plugin create a copy of the photo on your WordPress media library. The original photo remains in the same place in your Dropbox folders.

      So the photo in your media library is NOT a link to the one in Dropbox, it’s a copy.

      Hope it helps

      Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    That sounds awesome, Stephanie. Will definitely add it to the list. Thanks for the tip!

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Mary says

I have some of these, but I think I will look into a few on your list. Especially the vault press. Why do have an extra plugin for answering comments, when commentluv does that? The one thing I love about commentluv is that it will email a reply.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    It has been awhile since I added both of those plugins – that’s a relatively new feature on CommentLuv, and I wasn’t aware they had added it. Thanks for letting me know!

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Tina Robertson says

Love the list Jeni! and I have been meaning to pop over and say THANK YOU for not only this amazing list because I was looking for a new popup for subscriptions but also because I followed your tutorial on how to put Pins on the sidebar and guess what?

Doing happy dance because I got 1075 new subscribers last month and going strong this month!! For finishing my first year, I am a happy blogger.lol

Thank you, thank you!!!

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Kim Miller says

I love this list of plugins, Jenny. Definitely going to be keeping track of this one. My webmistress is always yelling at me to stop using so many plugins lol! If I can whittle it down to just a handful that I need – she’d be happier than a robin in springtime! I do a ton of revisions before I actually publish a blog post – most have anywhere between 5 and 12 revisions – so I am definitely going to give the WP Optimize a go. I think if that does the trick with cleaning up some needed space she’ll be super happy and let me have some more plugins to play with! πŸ™‚

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I agree! Although I preach using as few plugins as possible (and it really does prevent problems), I tend to be a bit heavy on them like you. πŸ™‚

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Laura says

If you write a lot of sponsored posts or share affiliate content, having the Ultimate Nofollow plugin installed is really helpful. You simply check a box when adding a link to make it nofollow.

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    Kim Miller says

    I agree Laura – I use the Rel Nofollow Checkbox by Fabio Santos. I can just tick the box and tell it to no follow a link, and I can also set whether the link opens in a new window or not and add my alt text right there without having to hand code the information in. I love this plugin – and it’s free!

    Reply
      Gretchen Louise says

      I absolutely love Fabio Santos’ plugin Rel Nofollow Checkbox! So handy, not to mention simple, straightforward, and lightweight.

      Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    Great tip, Laura – thanks! Will add that to the post this weekend.

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Kim Miller says

I’m a free girl – for now. If it’s free and can help my site, I’ll give it a try. I rarely ever pay for plugins. I did purchase one a few weeks ago simply because I loved how simple it was to set up and it actually pulls the correct images from my posts when sharing (even if I don’t have one uploaded in the Social section on Yoast). It’s called Cresta Social Share Counter Pro (there is a free version). I’m a huge Buffer fan as well, and Cresta Pro allows me to have my Buffer share button up there with the rest of them. A lot of social share counter plugins didn’t show my Google+ shares or sometimes my Pinterest shares and Cresta has been grabbing them all and showing them. It was relatively inexpensive too – just $5.87USD ($4.99EURO).

What are your thoughts on the Social Warfare plugin from Dustin Stout? The Lieutenant’s Package is $24 (1 time payment for 1 website) and I love that I can customize certain things that I want tweeted out or pinned. Since I purchased Cresta – I was thinking that perhaps purchasing this as well would be redundant, but there are a lot of features available that Cresta alone doesn’t offer. Would love to know what your thoughts are on it. Another bloggy friend – Julie DeNeen – swears by it so naturally I just have to have it lol!

Just ran WP-Optimize … 5097 post revisions deleted, 2479 unused akismet comments metadata items deleted, and I cleared up a whopping 47.8MB of space on my server! Woo hoo! Thanks so much for THAT little gem!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I haven’t tried the Social Warfare plugin, but maybe someone else will see this and can put in their $0.02. πŸ™‚

    Reply
      Dustin W. Stout says

      Hi Jeni & Kim! We’ve got tons of pro-bloggers using Social Warfare so far and have had nothing but rave reviews. Today we also had someone release an unbiased data-driven study of how it matches up in performance with the previous fastest loading social share plugin (which you’ve mentioned here) Social Share Button Adder— I’m happy to say, Social Warfare came out on top.

      You’d probably also love the extra Pinterest features Jeni, since you seem to understand the importance of having a Pinterest-specific image and description. Our plugin was built with that in mind. πŸ˜€

      Reply
        Kim Miller says

        I definitely need to read your new post Dustin – I thought that perhaps it was the Social Warfare plugin causing it (I did purchase it and couldn’t be happier!) but I’m kind of perplexed that my numbers have gone down so drastically since migrating from http to https. Off to read!

        Reply
    Ana Willis says

    Jeni, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!
    I’m a brand new blogger and because of your awesome tips, I got my first 12000 page views right away. The blog is growing, my readers are engaged and now I’m focusing on growing my followers on Pinterest and email subscribers! THANK YOU!!

    Reply
      Jeni Elliott says

      So glad you’ve joined us, Ana. Congrats on your success so far – I’ll be cheering you on. πŸ™‚

      Reply
Lindsey G says

Great list – I’m definitely going to try a few new plugins that you listed. Have you found a favorite instagram plugin? I’d love to feature my IG posts in a widget on my sidebar or footer. Thanks!

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Annemarie (Real Food Real Deals) says

Thanks for this! I’ve been meaning to install a comment reply notification plugin, and now you’ve motivated me. Also, as a food blogger I couldn’t function without a good recipe plugin. I used to use Ziplist, but since they shut down I’ve been happy with Easy Recipe Plus.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for reminding me of those, Annemarie. Will definitely add them to the list this weekend!

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Jimmie says

I like Pippity for pop-up/out/over for opt-ins.
And I just discovered and am in love with Ultimate Social Deux for social sharing. Both of these are paid plug ins, but well worth the $$.

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hilarie says

Jen,

I am so glad to know that I already have more than half of these plug-ins. It means I am on the right track. What do you know about mail chimp and are there any free email capture plug ins that you can recommend? I am happy to pay for optin monster if it is a necessity I just want to make sure there is nothing else out there before I do.

Thanks

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    Gretchen Louise says

    I love MailChimp. I use several free email capture plugins,which I highlighted recently on my blog, including Newsletter Sign-Up by Danny van Kooten.

    Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    I’d follow Gretchen’s advice (above) here, Hilarie. Once I started using the email system I’m using now, I didn’t look back. But Gretchen definitely keeps up with what’s current and new.

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Alysia @ Slim Sanity says

I love SumoMe for my e-mail opt-ins using their List Builder app. They also have a social sharing app called Share that I love. It has a really great mobile optimization, where the buttons will float at the bottom of the mobile screen!

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    Nathalie says

    I was going to say exactly that! SumoMe changed my life, they made it so easy to do about everything. I especially love the click mapping. Incredibly useful to see where your readers are actually clicking.

    Reply
    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for pointing that out, Alysia. Will definitely add it to my list this weekend. I actually have the SumoMe tools listed on my Resources page, but didn’t include them here. Thanks for the reminder!

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      Kim Miller says

      I’ve added SumoMe to the “check these out when you get a minute to breath” list hee hee!

      Reply
Margaret Anne @ Natural Chow says

Oh my goodness I don’t know what I’d do without Vaultpress. I had a scare a little while back when my blog went down and I thought I got hacked and was so scared I was going to lose everything. After that, I was happy to pay the $5 a month so I could rest easy at night. I haven’t tried Optin Monster yet, but have heard such great things about it and plan on purchasing it in a month or so. What a great list, Jeni!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks, Margaret Anne! I agree – it only takes one brush with disaster before you’re ready to shell out $5/month. I’m a happy customer.

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Ann Marie Ackermann says

A great list, thanks! It’s nice to see I stumbled upon some of the good ones myself; in the meantime I’ll be looking to update based on your list. Thanks!

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Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love. says

I used a pop-up for awhile then stopped and now I’m back at it again. I use pop-up ally which is also free and has the same fully customizable options that OptinMonster does, including an exit intent popup. I’ve only been blogging for about 8 months but have never backed up my site. Yikes! I will e investing inVaultPress today!!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I haven’t used Pop-up Ally myself, Meghan, but I appreciate the tip. Will add it to my list this weekend! …and YES – get that site backed up ASAP!

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Kirsten says

Great list! A few of my faves that I use personally & recommend to my VA clients:
– Popup Ally – a beautiful pop-up to gather email address. It’s great b/c you can set it to recognize IP addresses so it doesn’t become annoying to regular visitors.
– Go Responsive Gallery – a paid plug-in but a beautiful gallery for all of my projects. And once it’s set up, it’s automated. I don’t have to populate it at all! I select categories and as I post, it populates the corresponding gallery.
– Tweetily – automatically tweets out old blog posts. I have surprisingly received great response to old posts from this!

Thanks for the list!

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    Gretchen Louise says

    Tweetily quit working for me for some reason, but I’ve been using Revive Old Post with similar results.

    I’m curious to try Popup Ally, as it comes up often as a good free alternative to Pippity.

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Gretchen Louise says

Great list! I love discovering new plugins. Here’s a run down on some of my most favorite.

I used to use Comment Reply Notification, but I’ve switched every one of my sites and my clients’ sites to Subscribe to Comments Reloaded. The most important feature of Subscribe to Comments Reloaded, in my opinion, is that it provides an unsubscribe link (crucial with all the anti spam laws). However, that’s just one of its many features. You can give readers a drop-down option for all comments or just replies to their comments, or choose which the checkbox defaults to. Plus, you can customize the notification messages–as well as the subscription management page on your own site. Not only is Subscribe to Comments Reloaded constantly being updated with new features (it has an active development team!), but it imports all your comment subscriptions from Comment Reply Notification so you don’t lose any in the switch. (Yes, I’m a big fan. And it’s free!)

Other comment plugins I love are Comment Probation (don’t automatically approve all future comments by this author) and No Self Pings.

For security, I use CloudFlare (free service + plugin) combined with Sucuri Security (free plugin) and Login Security Solution (free plugin).

I use Revision Control to keep the revisions from getting out of hand (because sometimes I don’t want to delete them all in one fell swoop).

I was sad when they removed the shortlink option from the admin toolbar, so I always install Reenable Shortlink Item In Admin Toolbar.

As much as I love Gravity Forms, I’m finding Ninja Forms is a great free alternative if you don’t need all the bells and whistles of Gravity Forms.

Align RSS Images answers a frequent client query for making the images keep their alignment in feeds. (Working with a plugin developer on another plugin that provides a lot of custom/summary RSS feed options–so excited about it!)

I like Simple Feed Stats for the sites that don’t use Feedburner or Feedblitz.

RealTidbits PushQuote is another one popular with clients.

With the demise of nRelate and its popular posts plugin, I’ve been using Google Analytics Top Content Widget.

I just read about Relevanssi – A Better Search and Better Internal Link Search. Still trying them out but impressed so far, especially with the options of Better Internal Link Search.

And for contributor/group blogs, I love Fanciest Author Box, Edit Flow, and Draft Notification.

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Gretchen Louise says

And in going over my favorites list on wordpress.org I realized that I forgot one of my most favorite plugins for authors: MyBookTable by Author Media. I use the developer version of the plugin to have access to all the features, but the free version offers authors the ability to create a simple and professional sales page for each of their books without having to fight with PayPal button code. Upgrade for the ability to display Amazon or Goodreads reviews of your book right on your book sales page, use your Amazon Associates ID for affiliate income, and a whole lot more! You can even import a list of ISBN numbers to create an entire bookstore right on your site.

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Chelsea Day says

It’s been on my list to install OptinMonster. Thanks for the reminder!!

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Caroline Starr Rose says

Just added in comment reply notification. Thanks for the tip!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you found it helpful, Caroline. It definitely helps build more of a community feel for your site.

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Jill says

I love Mail Munch (free or premium). It’s a completely customizable subscribe box and a pop up subscribe window.
We are using pretty close to the exact same list, but I am excited to try the one that gets the junk out of your site!

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Wendy says

Thanks for this great list; finding lots of useful stuff in the comments, too!

I have Yoast installed, but I’m just getting started.

I agree with previous commenters–I really like Sumome, too!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you found it helpful, Wendy. πŸ™‚ And it’s good to have another vote for the Sumo tools.

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Melanie Wilson says

Thanks for the amazing list (and to the commenters, too). The only problem I have now is I will be spending a lot of time checking out different plugins! Have you had the same problem I have in finding some cause conflicts with others?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    That can definitely be a problem, Melanie. To ward off plugin conflicts, it’s a good idea to only add one new plugin each week or so. That way, if a problem comes up, you know the culprit. πŸ™‚

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Melissa says

Thanks so much for this great list! I installed several plug-ins per your suggestions. I recently installed SumoMe and that has been really helpful. It’s free for the first year.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I appreciate you taking the time to comment, Melissa. Hope you find the new plugins you’re using helpful. πŸ™‚

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Corey @ Tinysidekick says

This came at the perfect time! I just switched hosts and when I did the counts on the Share Buttons Adder went to zero. The only fix would have been to upgrade to the pro version. So instead I installed the genesis simple share and all my counts are back! Not to mention I love how streamline it is and doesn’t distract from my content too much! Now to check out some of the others here! Thanks Jeni!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Woot! Genesis share for the win. Brian Gardner (the head of Studiopress) designed those himself, so it does go really nicely with all the Genesis themes. Glad you found a happy place. πŸ™‚

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deonna says

I have been googling “best wordpress plugins” for weeks now and this is a great list πŸ™‚ You’re awesome!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks, Deonna. Glad you found them helpful! The other bloggers who have commented have left really great replies, as well. If you’re still searching it would be worth browsing the comments a bit too. πŸ™‚

    BTW – loved your “Thanks for commenting” page you put up. Very nice.

    Reply
Josiah says

Check out the SumoMe plugin by AppSumo (http://www.appsumo.com/sumome/), it combines a couple of the plugins you listed into one, very easy to use, very customizable plugin that makes social media marketing, email signups, and a few other things a breeze. Great list!

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Steve Williams says

Great post Jeni. I’ve been trying to figure out how to activate comment reply notification for a while now and you supplied the solution. Took a few moments to download, activate and configure and I’m in business. Thanks again for your help!

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Daniela says

This post just helped me help a client of mine that needed a very complex form in their site. I was struggling to get 3 plugins to do the job, and it still wasn’t what they were looking for. After reading this, I downloaded gravity forms, and 2 hours later, their perfect form is up. They think I’m a genius! Thanks for this post!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Awesome, Daniela – that reminds me of an old ad for Maybelline cosmetics. What was it? “Maybe she’s born with it – maybe it’s Maybelline.” πŸ™‚ Rock that biz, girl.

    Reply
Daniel Boswell says

Jeni,

There were definitely some good plugins mentioned in this list. I’m curious though that with all of those plugins installed on your WordPress, what kind of affect does it have on site speed?

I’ve personally done away with XML Sitemaps in favor of the Yoast sitemap. I like that its all available in one plugin. Though I admit, there have been times where the sitemap wouldn’t work because of some conflict. The fix is usually easy enough but for non-tech people I can see why XML Sitemaps might be the better choice.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    I agree with you, Daniel – it’s a simpler solution, on one level, to just use Yoast SEO…but a lot of times, we geeks forget about how challenging some plugins can be for non-tech people. I like XML Sitemaps because it’s really transparent and does what it says. πŸ™‚

    My site is hosted with SiteGround, so I have pretty good site loading time – nearly always under 2 seconds. And this list only represents half of what I have running on my site…these are just the essentials. Most of these plugins aren’t really heavy on site resources – but I hate Jetpack for that reason: it makes too many calls on the servers and bogs things down…as do a lot of the social media plugins. I just advise adding new plugins one at a time and measuring your load time so it’s easy to tell which plugins are causing speed issues. Hope that’s helpful. I appreciate your comment, Daniel!

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Krithika Rangarajan says

Hey Jen

I hope to get my new website launched this year (or before Zombies strike!), so this is a fabulously useful post – thank you! I am a complete non-techie, meaning I might have to look up the dictionary to spell ‘technoology’ (wait – was that right? πŸ˜› )! So easy and effective options are my best friends πŸ˜‰

Thank you #HUGS
Kitto

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Glad you found it helpful, Kitto – there are lots of other ones that do cool stuff, but these are what I consider the essentials for any blog. Good luck with your launch!

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Kim K. says

This is such a helpful list! I have some of these already active on my blog (love Yoast!). My blog is in WP, but our website is sorely outdated (Dreamweaver). Next week, we’re relaunching our entire website, blog included, as a WP site. I’m looking forward to updating the blog with a few of these!

Question: Will a plugin (such as VaultPress) apply to the entire site, or just the blog portion? We’ll have a full-blown website with a WooCommerce store and blog.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Congrats on the upgrade, Kim! I’m so excited for you, and it will be nice for you to have easy access to your entire site. VaultPress will cover one WordPress installation, so if your website and blog are all located at the same domain, it will cover everything. If you’re using a separate installation for your website and your blog, then one subscription would only cover one of those…but you could easily purchase a second subscription (the base level, which is what I use, is only $5) and you’d be covered. Excited for this next chapter of your story!

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      Kim K. says

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jeni. We’re super excited! And both blog and website will be located on the same domain, so it sounds like we’ll just need one subscription. πŸ™‚

      Reply
Beth Anne says

I LOVE the google analytics dashboard! Makes tracking analytics so much easier!

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Chris Lovie-Tyler says

Thanks for these, Jeni. I’ve installed the first four so far!

Can you recommend a good RSS stats plugin? I’ve currently got Simple Feed Stats installed, and that seems to be OK, but I’m just wondering if there’s anything better. For your info, I just want to use the out-of-the-box WordPress feed.

Also, can you recommend an alternative to Jetpack Subscribe? I like that it’s simple, but there’s zero control over subscribers, and only one verification email ever gets sent out (even if a person tries to subscribe again), which is a worry. There’s potential for losing subscribers without even knowing it. I don’t really need Mailchimp or anything like that, just a simple, reliable way for readers to subscribe and receive posts by email, and for me to have some control over my subscriber list. I was considering MailPoet.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Chris, it sounds like you’re hesitant to use MailChimp or another third party service, but all signs in the business world point to email subscriptions being the way to go. They’re portable – you can take them anywhere. If you decide to start a different blog, change URLs, start a company…you keep your subscribers with minimal hassle. RSS subscriptions were a fad for awhile, but they really didn’t catch on in the general population. The only people who really valued them were bloggers and tech geeks. And then when Google Reader was discontinued a few years ago, bloggers lost a huge chunk of their following because they didn’t have any way to contact their followers and ensure that those Reader users switched to another service like Feedly instead. They just vanished.

    Your site does broadcast its own feed, but it’s way better for you to have those email addresses. I encourage everyone to subscribe to my blog via email, and if people want to figure out how to sign up via Feedly on their own, they can do that. But in the long run, that’s not the way to go.

    So there’s my $0.02, which you didn’t ask for. πŸ™‚ Simple Feed Stats is the only one I’m aware of that does that job. I did ask around to see if anyone in my network knew of another service, but the answer was no.

    My vote will remain with MailChimp (which is free up to 2K subscribers), or Mad Mimi which is also popular. Hope that’s helpful!

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      Chris Lovie-Tyler says

      Thanks for your reply, Jeni.

      I should clarify that my blog is a personal one, not a business one (at the moment).

      I did use Mailchimp for a while, and it is a great service, but I don’t currently have the money to get a P.O. Box, and don’t want my personal address in the footer of my emailed updates. (I’m not sending anything commercial at the moment, so it’s not mandatory). That’s why I was considering MailPoet, because it doesn’t force you to put an address in the footer.

      Although I love RSS myself (for subscribing to other blogs), you make a good point about not advertising my RSS feed and just encouraging everyone to subscribe by email. I might do that.

      Reply
Lindsey M says

I’m always worried that if I have too many plugins installed, it will slow down my site. Am I being paranoid for nothing? How many plugins do you (or any blogger) usually run?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Ayyyyy…that’s a good question, Lindsey. Of course you know it’s recommended to have as few as possible, but it depends on what types of plugins you’re using and what they’re doing on your site. So I have a membership plugin, a shopping cart plugin, three plugins related to my email subscription service… I have about 24 or 25 active at any given time. But the more you have, the more likely conflicts will be, so it’s a good idea to have backups that are easy to restore if something goes wrong when you make updates.

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Mee Magnum says

Jeni,

Thank you so much! I installed three of them on my blog, http://www.thechinesequest.com well two out of three. On the third o found one that seemed to be better than what you recommended. What do you think of the bone I used instead.

These plug-ins are great and I really appreciate you letting us know about them.

I installed frizzly, subscribe to comments reloaded (instead of comment reply notification, and CommentLuv. Oh. Forgot. Also installed Comment Redirect.

I hope I get lots more engagement now on my blog.

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Ann Marie Ackermann says

A great list, thanks!! I’m happy I found a couple on my own, and in the mean time I’ve installed some of your suggestions.

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Judith says

I just installed Frizzly and it’s so easy to get it up and running! Love it! I also love the Yoast plug-in, really simplified SEO for me!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Yep – Frizzly was a great find for me this past year. I love the fact that the visitor can choose any of the big 3 networks to share on, and it makes it so easy for them. Thanks for your comment, Judith!

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Pam says

Great list! Pinned it. I use a number of these. My favorite plug-in right now is Optimize Press. It isn’t free, but it allows me to drag and drop to make beautiful opt-in pages, sales landing pages, online newsletters, membership pages and more.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Yes – I know a number of people who love OptimizePress. I use LeadPages myself for opt-ins, but the drag-and-drop sales pages on OP are really appealing. Appreciate your comment, Pam!

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Heather @ Viral Upcycle says

Jeni, I wish I had found this a year ago. It took me a lot of energy finding the plug-ins I use. Although I use a couple of these mentionee or at least comparable. However not all is lost, I did implement a compatible version of the WP optimizer and I love the idea of the comment luv and comment redirect. Thanks

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Cheryl Brown says

I love slim stats. It is an analytics type plugin, but it is easy to use within your wordpress site.

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Liz says

Wow, what a great post! I’m so glad it was in my Pinterest feed this morning. I’ve found a few interesting plug-ins in the comments, too.

As for me, my go-to plugi-ins are:

-Ninja Forms – much easier to use/create different types of forms that Contact Form 7.
-All in One SEO Pack – I’ve tried Yoast’s but find it lacking when compared to All in One.
-Disqus for Comments – I like it because it’s used on so many websites and helps your content get found.
-upPrev – this creates a pop up in the lower right hand corner of your site of “related” content to help keep visitors on your site longer.
-Click to Tweet – it lets you create a pre-populated tweet within your blog post to help encourage sharing of your content

Thanks again for the great list! πŸ™‚

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Those are some great finds, Liz. I’m a fan of Click to Tweet as well, and upPrev is one I hadn’t seen before. Will be checking it out. Thanks for taking the time to leave your insights here!

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Mark Curtis says

Thank you for the list. I’ve since checked into Wordfence and I love that it has its own caching program. I’ve been using WP-Super Cache but have had trouble with it conflicting with other plugins. After installing it, I checked my site speed over at pingdom and found it to be back below two seconds. Thank you.

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Kathleen Bailey says

Great list but I have to add Social Metrics. I use the FREE version but there is a premium version as well. It allows me to see the number of shares my posts have received on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Stumbleupon, Digg and Linkedin all in one place, in my WordPress dashboard.

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Kathy says

I installed anti spam plug in that you recommended and in the last few days I have no spam in my folder to get rid of. This is great, as I was constantly emptying my spam folder, and now I can devote my time to other things. Thanks so much for the tip. I will be trying others…..

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Joyce Brewer (@MommyTalkShow) says

I’m looking to limit the number of plugins I use now. I think I have almost 40 that are active and I worry about slowing down my site.

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    Jeni Elliott says

    You and me both, Joyce. πŸ™‚ I’m just glad I have good hosting to keep things running fast – otherwise, we’d be crawling around here.

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    sandra says

    i use backup&restore dropbox as my blog’s backup plugin and WP-chat for live chat which is free and unlimited

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Mary Wilding says

Good information, Jeni. I plan to add a few on your list. I also really like the Smart Youtube plugin for those times you want to insert a video on your post instead of a link people have to click to get to the video. There’s also the option to personalize the settings so that no spam or advertising connected to the video you embed gets added too. I did one just this week on my February “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise! Celebrating Women!” post showing how remembering a simple acronym could save someone’s life. As a nurse, I feel it’s important to present easy ways for people to keep things in their memory as far as their health is concerned. Link:
http://wp.me/p2U2Tf-6H0 All you have to do after adding this plugin is add a “v” right after after the http on the Youtube URL you are putting in your post. I love it. You can also just visit my homepage at http://www.mytributejournal.com and you can see it on my latest post.
Thanks again, Mary Wilding

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Scott Tyler says

I would say Yoast SEO is the best plugin for handling meta tags, description. Anyone with basic knowledge about the SEO can easily optimize webpage with relevant tags.

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Imon says

YOAST is a boss plugin i ever used. I hardly have to do for my onpage customization. Comment redirect is also nice but i never used it before. I am just starting it on my dite. thanks for sharing a informative article.

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Diana says

Hi, Jeni, finally updated my blog with your listed plug-ins. Really awesome post and thank you so much for all info.

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Robert says

All these plugins have been added to my blog just after reading your article. thanks

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Cara @ Business Watch says

I’ve been using WPSecurity and it’s been fantastic for me, my ‘site is now a fortress

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TarynKaeWilson @ WoolyMossRoots says

Hi Jeni,
Thanks so much for this list! It’s extremely helpful! (Your posts always are.)

Do you have a favorite plugin for no right click? To protect images and content?

Love,
Taryn

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Tiffany says

Hi Jeni! I love the idea of being able to thank a visitor making a comment for the first time. However, Comment Redirect hasn’t been updated in 3 months. As a new blogger, I’ve heard to beware of using plugins that haven’t been updated in a while for security reasons. What are your thoughts?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks for your question, Tiffany – it’s a good one. It’s true that sometimes plugins that haven’t been updated in awhile can cause problems, but a lot of times, it’s just because WordPress hasn’t changed enough to warrant updating the plugin. In this case, the comment system in WordPress still works exactly the same way as it did four years ago, so it probably just doesn’t need any updating. πŸ™‚ It *is* a good idea to have a backup of your site on hand, just in case anything does go wrong with a plugin installation, but comment plugins aren’t usually complicated enough to cause issues. I appreciate you asking, Tiffany! I’m sure it will be helpful to other folks as well.

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      Tiffany says

      Thank you Jeni for your insightful response. I’m off to install Comment Redirect to my site! I intend to check out some of the other plug-ins you mentioned as well.

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Meredith - Kaffee und Kuchen says

Thanks for this great list of plugins! I’m always looking for new ones since I’m still pretty new to WordPress. I’m looking to build my blog community so I’m looking forward to trying out Comment Redirect and Comment Reply Notification. Loving all your blog tips!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Thanks, Meredith. Those are definitely two of my favorites – they take people from being “out there” to feeling more like they’re part of your tribe. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you.

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Laurel Bern says

Great list and I already have a lot of these and love them! I found the blog because I was looking for the comment luv plugin and here it is! Thanks so much for putting this together! ~ Laurel

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Marcelo says

Good tips on that list. I found some cool plugins here that I will definitely try them, thank you.

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Tarek Daoudi says

Hi,

Good information and Very good list of wp plug-in.

Thank you!

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vicki @ Five Spot Green Living says

Jeni thanks for this awesome list of plugins! I keep meaning to add the comment reply notification but I forget. Always! Thanks for reminding me why I need it!

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marina agadir says

Thanks a bundle for sharing such a helpful article keep it up
Cheers

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Naved Khan says

Great list of wordpress plugins. As we all know that plugins are the real power of wordpress and every wordpress blogs are incomplete without plugins but choosing the right plugin for a blog is the toughest thing……Thanks a lot for the great list of wordpress plugins. πŸ™‚

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Shanae says

Wow! Thank you so much for this list. I’ve installed WordFence and the Simple Trackback plugin and I love how easy they were to set up. Thanks again!

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Carli says

Thanks for this great list! I already use some of them but I’m definitely going to look into the other ones mentioned!

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Billy says

Thank you for the guide, can look at wordpress plugin section for hours trying different ones. Atleast with this guide I know exactly what to go for, thanks.

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girl games says

Tnx Jeni Elliott

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reyn says

Thanks for the guide

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Inderal says

Thanks for this nice overview and for the helpful links. It is a really ‘need to know’ information.

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Khalid Zidan says

Hey Jeni! Interesting blog you have here. Thanks.

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Marianne says

I love JetPack and Tweetily. They do so much of my social media work! Also, JetPack (free version) features some nice side-bar options.

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Jaizy says

Hello, Jeni!
Valuable content, as always! Thank you, thank you!
I use CommentLuv, wordfence, antispam, frizzly, simple share buttons adder and almost all of the plugins you’ve recommended. Hehe.
Thank you as always, Jeni!

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Sarthak Kataria says

Hey
I want to insert “Like us on Facebook,follow on twitter” kind of box or buttons so that my viewers can like my facebook page and follow on twitter. Please suggest a plugin for the same.
Waiting for reply

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Sandra says

Thank you for the list!!! Definitely usefull. i would like to know which plugin do you use to show the total number of comments CCC(151comments.leave your below).Thank you very much.

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    Sandra says

    Also i would like to know if you have used the plugin Contact 7 for your comment box. I am new working with wordpress and on my comment box just appear name-email and comment. I would like to have another fields to fill out like website to. Thank you again***

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      Jeni Elliott says

      Hi Sandra, sorry I missed this when you posted it a few weeks ago! My comment box uses the premium version of Comment Luv. Labeling the number of comments is a function of my theme, but the Comment Luv plugin is doing all the link building.

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Maria says

Thanks for the amazing list of plugins! I’ve most of these plugins installed already but the Editorial Calendar is a life saver:)

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Alina says

Oh, thank you for the CommentLuv. I will try it now. Just what i was looking for)))

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Margesh says

It is a great list of some essential WordPress plugins. Now it will be easy for me to suggest some best plugins to my client’s website. Thanks you so much for sharing.

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Anne says

Thank you so much for this great list. I found and installed a couple new plugins.

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Lara Moyles says

This post has been so insightful. I have been blogging for just over a year, and I’m slowly starting to look into plug-ins. But there are so many to choose from – it’s quite overwhelming. Thank you for the much needed information.

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Bohdan says

Hi,
thanks for this list of best wordpress plugins πŸ™‚ I definitely recommend also this plugin http://bit.ly/webwidgets, which allow add to your website floating share buttons, email subscribe widget, pop up window, contact form and many more feautures for free πŸ™‚

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Heather says

Fabulous list! I finally updated my free wordpress blog to a hosted one and this is such a wonderful list, it’s helped me a lot to choose plug ins.

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Sirun Muyassirun says

Hi Jen thanks. Good article. This is what I need since i am an amateur blogger.

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Dila says

Hi! I would like to ask if I can use several plugins for the security of my blog at the same time, such as Akismet and Suucuri? Would it cause a problem? Thank you!

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Dila, I’m not aware of specific conflicts between those two plugins – they’re well known ones and are consistently updated. But in any cases of installing a new plugin, it’s a good idea to have a backup on hand…that way if something does happen, you can always revert your blog to the state before you installed the plugin. πŸ™‚

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Maranda says

So informative and helpful! Checking out your other posts on setting up a blog. Thank You!!

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Kate Sheren says

Thanks for sharing such an interesting wordpress plugins.!!!!!!! Those are some great choices there.!!!!!!!!

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Ify says

Hi Maven, i absolutely got tons of value from your post. Please i have 2 quick questions.

1. What is the number of plugins every blogger shouldn’t exceed? I currently have about 18 installed, would you consider that number outrageous. Please could you also check out my site and offer me a

2. Your font is really beautiful. would you suggest plugins that would give me beautiful fonts just like yours?
Finally, would you spare a few seconds to check this site and offer me your candid advice http://www.samozoani.com

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Sam, sorry I’m just now seeing this! There’s no magic number of plugins you shouldn’t exceed – I’ve seen sites that function with 30+ plugins…you just want to keep things as lightweight as you’re able. If your site starts to slow down or breaks, you’ll want to figure out which plugins are causing the biggest problems and get rid of them. But 18 is pretty typical.

    Regarding the fonts, there are lots of blog themes that allow you to choose your own – several of the ones from Woo Themes do this, as well as the Design Palette Pro plugin for the Genesis Framework. Mine is custom coded, but there are lots of other solutions that don’t require coding. Hope this helps!

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Gratias says

Thanks for this helpful Blog.
I used a WordPress plugin that I found interesting. So I would like to recommend it.
The plugin helps me quickly create and customize images before inserting them in my blog post.
Check at: https://getpikiz.com/wordpress-plugin/
It’s free.

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Tiffany says

Thank you so much for this post! I have been so lost trying to figure out which plug ins I should be using. Are there any visual widgets you recommend?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Visual widgets…I’m not a huge promoter of filling your sidebar with unnecessary things. That said, there are a few plugins for Instagram that are really pretty and help move folks over to check out your Instagram feed. Hope that gives you an idea!

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Rizwan says

Great Post for every blogger or website owner to install new plug-ins in their WordPress site for optimizing their site
for search engine.

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samdani says

Plugins are the another reasons why WordPress has become so popular. Mainly plugins add additional activities to theme and ultimately on website and make sure a site to become dynamic and the best . As there are a number a plugins online , the best plugins must be chosen to get a success website . In this case this article will be more helpful surely .

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Mitesh Sanghvi says

β€œParticipants Database” Plugin seems to be well thought-out. One of our faculty wanted a way to generate student photos for a student roster in our LMS. This plugin installed easily. I added a dropdown list for a course list, and added an upload photo option. When the user submits their info, an email is generated giving them a private β€œupdate record” URL so that can add to or modify their personal info. There is also an option to re-send the update record URL to their email address. Uses shortcodes and shortcode switches/modifiers to post database info to one or more pages.

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Vikas kumar says

Listed plugins are best and easy to use. I use them.
Please tell me.. plugins for website rating reviews in post bottom.??

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reegan says

thanks for awesome article regarding the wordpress plugins.

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Louise says

Great list of plugins, and I’m really glad you made the point about how plugins should be lightweight, easy to use, and conflict free. Having fewer “heavy” plugins have really helped to speed up my site.

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Jose E Lopez says

I have enjoyed how she has set the plugins based on what the person is trying to accomplish very well though out post

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Scott C says

Great list! I have used most of those plugins and will always rely on Yoast and WordFence. Have found UpdraftPlus to be a good free alternative to Vault. Well, written article. Thanks for sharing.

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Prakhar says

I want to add one in the list
i.e Shortcodes Ultimate
It helps to make the articles more attractive. Especially the buttons and the carousel proved to the best for bloggers πŸ™‚

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Peter says

Nice article. especially for new bloggers

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Jessica Landon says

Hi Jeni,

Really useful list.

I already started using Yoast and Login Lockdown on my website.

For contact forms, I found WPForms Lite to be easier than Contact Form 7. You should check it out:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpforms-lite/

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Troy says

Good Plugins. I would like to add one more WordPress plugin in this amazing list. I have found Blog Designer Pro plugin which has amazing features that will help you to design an attractive and eye catching blog page. I hope you also like it.

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HireWPGeeks says

Nice list by the way! I had started using of WP Optimize plugin a couple of weeks ago on a project. Thanks for your entire team for sharing this article, would be pretty much useful for upcoming people. Definitely, I will bookmark this source for future reference.

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HireWPGeeks says

Nice list by the way! I had started using of WP Optimize plugin a couple of weeks ago on a project. Thanks for your entire team for sharing this article, would be pretty much useful for upcoming people.

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Brenda Smith says

There is no doubt that These are the must have WordPress plugins for every blogger.

Currently I am using few of them like Yoast SEO, Jetpack, W3 Total Cache, Redirection, Wp Smush.it.

For WordPress security, I am using ” iThemes security ” also known as ” Better WP Security β€œ.

Thanks for sharing this list with us.

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Tori says

Thank you so much for this list! I am a new blogger so I am still trying to build my foundation. This was very helpful πŸ™‚
I would also recommend SumoMe. That has gotten me the most subscribers over others!

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sarah nikol says

Hey,
I read your article and I really like your article, You giving me a great knowledge for plugins and It is very helpful for making the great site.Thank you so much for sharing the useful article with an online.
With Regards,
Sarah.

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Myra Mings says

This is a great list! I’ve had “install Wordfence” on my to do list for weeks now, thanks for reminding me! (PS-Does it slow the site down at all? That is my only hesitation.)

If I had to add any to the conversation it would be:

Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags
I don’t use this so much for myself because I use a lot of featured images that work just fine. Since some social media sites grab really random images from a page without featured images, I use this plugin on client sites to ensure that the links shared from the site look professional and have images attached. I may use in tandem with the Default Featured Image plugin.

Ultimate Nofollow
I don’t really do any affiliate marketing, but still use nofollow to handle links that Google might misinterpret. I really like how easy it is to use–just a checkbox.

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Damien Merali says

Hello, I just want to say, thank you for telling me all of these sweet WordPress plugins. I have just started up my blog and I am constantly trying to make improvements, thank you. I will be checking out this website a lot in the future!

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Emily Exsted says

Oh my gosh, I just came across this article through a Pinterest search and am SO happy I did! Thank you for the great insight, I had looked at a ton of articles earlier and none of them talked about Opt In options (weird, right?). I have already installed a few more as well- thanks again!

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Nancy | Plus Ate Six says

I was using Jetpack for the link within function but had to disable it – what do you recommend instead? I’m finding it hard to find something I like. Great tips – loving all the comments too there is so much information here.

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Dani Kemeny says

Hi thanks for such a great and helpful post!!!!!
Already tried some of your suggestions and Im loving them.
I tried looking for Wordfence but couldnt find it, do you have another suggestion for a different plug in that does something similar?
Thanks!

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Achintam karmakar says

After reading this article….I really need to update my plugin list

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Nora says

Hi,
Thanks for a great list of plugins.. Just trying to get my head around all of it.! Do you recommend activating Jetpack on WP or not?

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Jaelynn Palmer says

Pretty handy list of WordPress plugins. I think, most of them are essential for most niche websites.

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Jennie says

Geez, how I needed these! I’ve been so lost as a newbie. Thanks for this info.

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Heathers Heaven says

Thanks for sharing! I’m totally going to be using some on my website!

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monica says

I am started using backup&restore amazon s3 few months ago and i can tell that it is an excellent backup plugin.

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    Annie Martin says

    Hi Monica,
    There is also one plugin for cross posting named Blog2Social.
    I think you should also have a look at Blog2Social plugin as it is very user friendly. It is one of the finest social media cross-posting plugin, a user can cross-post blog posts on social media automatically, customized and scheduled. It allows the post author to advance directly to the posting dashboard of Blog2Social Word-press, in which pre filled posting texts are provided. After customizing the texts the author schedules the posts or publishes them without delay.

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ashish says

Thanks for sharing this awesome list.. i was not knowing about frezzly .will now install on my blog.

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Rachael says

Thanks for sharing this nice writeup…i use a free and easy to use wordpress plugin that i would also like to recommend..it helps to backup&restore amazon s3 , to add contact form with Google map ,live chats and File upload with other functionality of standard contact forms.
It is reliable and an easy tool especially for beginners. and i know it will be useful for your website..you can assess by following the link below https://wordpress.org/plugins/chats/

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    Ara says

    I agree with you.It is one of the best plugins that i have ever used.

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Lucy Barret says

You forgot to add any caching plugins. They are also very important for SEO purpose.

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Juan Pham says

Great free tools for wordpress, I also use some as your sharing. They are good enough for a normal blog.

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Christos Rontos says

Great List!!! Thx!!

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Melanie Tamble says

Excellent list, Jeni. Thank you!
SEO Yoast in one of my favorites. It really helps to streamline blog posts for SEO and readability, and I always find something to edit according to their suggestions. Thank you for pointing to the Frizzly plugin. I currently use the official Pinterest Hover Pin It plugin. But I will definitely try your suggestion. It’s a better option to offer more networks for sharing images than just Pinterest.
I currently use the GetSocial Social Sharing Icons. But I also use Mashshare on one of my blogs for the better design options. And Mashshare is the only plugin I know that works without external scripts, which is a great advantage, since external scripts sometimes slow down page speed. What is your experience with your plugins on this?

For active sharing of posts, try the Blog2Social plugin for its’ powerful options for cross-promoting your posts to social media with the option to customize each post to optimum for each network and schedule it appropriately. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Evan Ross says

Great list of WordPress plugins. I have used many of the tools mentioned in your blog.

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Gary Hall says

Thanks fo the list. Printing a blog was a train wreck with Jetpack’s Print Sharing. PDF & Print by BestWebSoft is the only one I’ve found so far that does a great job. You do need the Pro Version if you want to use your own icon. And it does leave the formatted page around, at lease in Chrome, after you down printing.

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Sarah Jay says

Awesome plugins list.Thanks for sharing that with us.

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Jasmine says

Really helpful WordPress plugins! And the details about it. Thanks dear for sharing with us and keep it up.

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Robi Erwin Setiawan says

I would like to suggest Regenerate Thumbnails and Featured Images in RSS w/ Size and Position. Its really help me to make precision theme and beautiful rss feed email.

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Jojo Avav says

Thanks! This article is EXTREMELY helpful!

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Tin says

Thanks a lot for the tips. I’m slowly learning how to actually generate more traffic. I already got the content down. It would be great if you could take a look at my blog and give some pointers.

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Onlinefashionlife says

Excellent content and useful. I have setup many of these and i missed Frizzly. Now Going to install in my blog πŸ™‚

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Yatin Arora says

Helpful…plugins…. Gonna use all for my new wordpress site specially yoast ….All in one seo pack is also a good choice

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Chitveen Kaur says

Thanks for sharing this great list of plug-ins.

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Kim says

Thanks you so much
This helped a lot

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Cort S. says

Great tips, I tried a different SEO plugin with little success (that may be noob error tho), but I will look at YOAST. SEO is something I have been struggling with a lot, thankfully there are folks like you out there to help us out. Backups are key, I had a blog not so long ago that was doing somewhat alright and lost everything, backup is an absolute necessity.

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Alpesh Desai says

Good information. i have one question how can i index my every blog post on google fast

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Deepak says

Thanks For The Info..)

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Harinder Paul says

Hello there, Thank you for posting this great info. I was searching for plugins those are most used on by bloggers. As I am creating my own list that will help new bloggers and to reach out those who haven’t read this post of your.

I’m going to post it tomorrow. Please pay a visit and let me know how i am doing.

Thank you

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Kim Lee says

Hi Jeni! Thanks for this awesome list! Do you have a recommendation for plugin that would make it easy to add a print button within a post? I want to post a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt with the option to print it. I had one on my old blog, but the life of me I haven’t been able to remember or find what I was previously using. Thanks so much for any suggestions you may have!

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Tiffany says

Hello from a fellow homeschool mom πŸ™‚ I just started my blog and I keep opening up your site again and again for tips on getting it up and running. Thanks so much for the info you share in a clear, concise way, especially for those who WP, website stuff, plug-ins, etc. doesn’t come easy to!

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Amelie Jons says

Hello,
Thank you for sharing this awesome collection of best WordPress plugins.
The plugins are for WordPress.org websites.
WordPress SEO – YOAST would be a great option here and it is one of my favorite plugin. I use this plugin in my website.
Keep updating!!!

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Tod says

I like Pippity for pop-up/out/over for opt-ins.
And I just discovered and am in love with Ultimate Social Deux for social sharing. Both of these are paid plug ins, but well worth the $$.

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Shekhar Mourya says

Hi Jeni,
Thanks a ton for this post it’s worth for beginners like me. Hats off for all the collection.
– Shekhar

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Sharon Hamlin says

Hi Jeni!
Wonderful list of wordpress plugins.Above mention plugins are really work worthy and easy to use.Now,demand of plugin is very high and people want to know which one is best. In this regard this article is best to know.Good job.

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American Environmental says

Thank you for this list. A couple of the plugins listed on here can be use on our Site.

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Steven says

What are your suggestions for the best plugins to take your blog post and email it to a list, so that the email looks almost identical to the actual blog post?

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    Jeni Elliott says

    Hi Steven, I actually don’t recommend mailing out full blog posts – it goes against some basic tenets of email marketing, training people to scan and delete, rather than click. A better practice is to send a quick handwritten note with *one* link (or the same link a few times) and link to the article on your site. Hope this helps!

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Bec says

Thank you Jenni,

I found this really useful and now have plug in’s galore! Gotta love a plug in. Fantastic list, thanks you.

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E says

Do you know some plug in for sharing on social media with bigger icons?

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sawn says

Hi Jeni Elliott!,
Nothing to say ! Really your choice is very much effective. From much experience i would like to say that the plugins shred here will be very conducive for any blogger .

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Johannes says

Hey,

Nice structure. Good for starting. I use thriveleads. I think its very important to build up the list.
What do you think about it?
regards
Johannes

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de marke twitter says

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

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Stacey says

Great blog! I currently use wp plugin microblog poster, it has a lot of features in free version.

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Mark Henry says

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Quite an elaborate post and I simply loved the detailing. Fantastic list!

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Kulraj says

Great recommendations and since I am new to blogging I am actually using your advice on few of the plugins. Thanks

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