6 Must Have Plugins When Starting A WordPress Blog

WordPress Plugins

1. Search Engine Optimization

The default settings in WordPress are great for SEO, however to knock it out the park, you need to modify your title tags, page descriptions and more. The two best plugins I’ve used are:

SEO Ultimate
WordPress SEO by Yoast

2. XML Sitemap Submissions

This is included with WordPress SEO by Yoast. If you’re not using that plugin, I recommend:

Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps has recently been disallowed by WP Engine, so they recommend Better Google XML Sitemaps instead.

3. Cloud Backup

Saving a copy of your website outside of your primary server is essential. Quick restores are helpful, too.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox is free and it works well, however there is no quick restore option.

A paid option is BackupBuddy. BackupBuddy is as seamless as WPB2DB and it also includes and great tool for restoring your site, or moving it to a new server.

My only problem with BackupBuddy is that if you backup to Dropbox, it requests permission to your entire Dropbox folder. As I am unwilling to share that much data with a 3rd party, it’s a turn off for me. WPB2DB, on the other hand, only requires access to a sub-folder that it creates to store your backup.

4. Social Sharing

As sharing on social media is integral to your SEO score, you need to have the option to share your posts easily available. I recommend using:

ShareThis or,
Jetpack by WordPress.com

ShareThis is a great tool and it’s easy to get started. You will have to sign up for an account with them.

JetPack is built by the WP team, so it’s also a seamless integration. This will require an account with WordPress.

5. Commenting

The native comment system in WordPress is prone to spam (as any WP user will know).  Avoid buying spam plugins by requiring people to comment via Social Media.  This allows people to follow their comments and they don’t need to sign up for a WP account.  The best right now are:

Jetpack by WordPress.com

6. Analytics

You need to know how many people are visiting, what they like to look at and where they exit your site.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics is free (awesome). HubSpot is for more advanced users and goes far beyond basic analytics and is for marketing professionals.

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