Let’s talk about some free plugins for your WordPress site. Because, let’s be honest, what’s better than free?! I always tell my clients to be cautious about the number of plugins they use because too many can cause a site to load slowly. But plugins are not bad.
Here are 10 plugins I recommend. I have used every one of them on my or my clients’ sites.
I am not suggesting you use all 10 of these or replace what you already have with one of these if they are of similar functionality. You will need to choose plugins that are based upon the needs of your site. There are about 30 other great plugins that I would recommend so I do not consider these the end-all be-all of plugins.
Without further ado and in no particular order…
10 Must-Have Plugins for WordPress Bloggers
- Contact Form 7
Although I prefer Gravity Forms for more substantial forms, such as my questionnaires, Contact Form 7 is perfect for a simple contact form. It can handle a bit more if you spend a little time on it and do not want to invest in GF.
- Yoast SEO
If you are looking for a bit more SEO than what your theme offers you out of the box, try Joost’s Yoast SEO plugin. If you’re looking to increase your readership, this plugin is for you! I can’t even begin to go through every benefit without writing an entirely new post, but from keywords to feed optimization, this plugin is a must-have.
- Genesis eNews Extended
Genesis eNews Extended is a great tool for easily integrating subscription lists from FeedBurner, MailChimp, AWeber, FeedBlitz and more into Genesis sites. Since I design exclusively on Genesis sites, this is a big one for me. The default coding for the plugin offers a simple look and it can be customized, as I have done, as well.
Reduce or even eliminate spam comments with one plugin. You will need a free WordPress.com account to integrate this plugin to your site. You can then choose whether you want to use this plugin for free or if you would like to invest for a bit more power.
- Jetpack Like Yoast SEO, the functions of Jetpack could be a separate post. Some features include top posts and pages, image optimization, sharing options, and many more. You will also need to connect to a WordPress.com account once in order to use Jetpack. It is worth setting up to see if any of the features may be useful to your blog.
- Simple Social Icons
There are several social icons plugins out there. What I love most about Simple Social Icons is the, well, simplicity. If you are comfortable in FTP, there are tutorials out there to add more icons to their already impressive list of social media options.
Want to receive alerts when someone has been locked out of your website after several attempts to sign-in? How about receive notifications when you have plugins that need updating. How about an alert if someone actually logs into your site? Wordfence is for you!
- Easy Recipe
There is no question that there are several great recipe plugins out there. I am recommending Easy Recipe today because it’s tried and true. I use it frequently with my Foodie Pro customizations and it is easy to use and easy to customize.
- jQuery Pin It Button For Images
Not too long ago, I was told that this plugin was going to be unsupported; however it seems that is untrue. This plugin will either place a red “Pin it” icon on an image on hover or a custom icon on hover. You may also choose the placement (top, bottom, left or right) and whether you would like the icon to appear on the homepage, single posts, single pages, etc.
- Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy Lite
For those looking for a free, intuitive and responsive slider, turn to Soliloquy. You can easily link images to a page or post or keep it static without a link at all. You can also select the size you want the slider to be without needing to know any code.