When me and my husband decided to start a travel portal, we had made up our minds to launch a travel blog in parallel as well. You see, we needed a platform to share OUR own travel experiences. To provide that personal touch. And that’s when my blogging journey began professionally. Sure, I had a hobby blog which I still maintain whenever I can. But I wasn’t serious about blogging till then. Throughout the blogging journey for around 3 months, I learnt so much, I could have written a book. And its only a small drop in a big ocean!
Since the motive of this blog has been spreading what I know to everyone, here comes another post where in I will summarize the top 10 free WordPress plugins you should install as soon as you start your blog.
10 FREE Top WordPress Plugins To Install As Soon As You Start A Blog
In some of the WordPress versions, Akismet plugin is automatically installed. But I’m not sure if its the same case in every version of WordPress. Akismet is the go-to plugin if you want to avoid spams in the comments section of your blog. It automatically avoids spams and the user either can direct Akismet to delete it automatically or put up for a review. Use this and you will get better sleep at night. No wonder this is one of the most downloaded free wordpress plugins.
As the name suggests, No Self Pings does as it says. This is one of the simplest free wordpress plugins out there. It avoids the blog pinging itself every time the admin comments, or posts, which apparently is the default behavior of WordPress. I wasn’t aware of this functionality and was really annoyed every time there was a ‘bounce’ with my reply to any of the comments. Then I realized it was the self-ping. If you too belong to my category, better install this.
Again, as the name says, Contact Form 7 plugin helps in installing a contact form in any of the page you want. Contact Form 7 is one of the basic wordpress plugins that you can use. I had written a detailed post on how to install the contact form and add it to your pages. When a user visits your site and wants to leave a separate mail/message to you, this is where they can interact with you. This comes as a mail to you, from the user’s email id to which you can reply easily. Pretty easy, isn’t it?
You may not have the need for this plugin right away. But once you start blogging frequently and the number of images you upload increases with each post, you soon will realize that the page loads slow, the site loads slow and performance is dropping. EWWW Image Optimizer helps in optimizing the pictures that you upload. It also could be used on ALREADY exisiting pictures in the Gallery. This was the BEST feature for me. And did I tell you, you could opt for a lossless compression? You can thank me later 😉
Does exactly as it says, it inserts headers and footers to your site. Header and Footer appear in every page of the blog. Insert Headers and Footers is a perfect plugin to do that. Some of the examples where you might use this plugins are, to add a footer bar code at the end of the page or to add analytics code through which the traffic analysis could be obtained.
Need I say more? UpdraftPlus plugin backs up the wordpress data automatically, in a frequency as suggested by the user. With multiple updates of plugins, themes and the WordPress platform itself, the blog could go for a toss in a blink! Why bring the horror when you prevention is better than cure? Shit happens. Better avoid it, rather than regret it. Just like Akismet, install it and sleep peacefully.
This plugin allows your site to use Google’s libraries than from WordPress’. Why? Because Google, being GOOGLE, has a great CDN facility all across the world. By using the libraries of Google, you are fastening the site by one step. You could still avail the facilities of other CDNs but this is definitely the first step for all the bloggers.
Just like Akismet, Yoast SEO is one of the most used free wordpress plugins. Along with being helpful to the readers, any professional blog needs to have the content optimized for search engines to fetch organic traffic to the blog. That’s precisely what Yoast SEO plugin helps us to do. You could target for specific keywords in the body, titles, metas and optimize the page effectively. Yoast SEO also provides XML sitemaps that you could use to submit to Google Webmasters Tool.
Don’t confuse this with other social media plugins. This is more to be used as a widget. Have you seen a facebook snippet in any of the blogs that you follow where the snippet shows number of followers and a like button for you to like? That’s exactly what Simple Facebook Plugin does. All you have to do is install and activate. Get the code and use it as a widget.
Social Media. One of the huge sources of traffic for many blogs out there, how can you ignore social media in that case? Digg Digg is one of the top free wordpress plugins that’s used for social media. You can have a floating bar of social icons in the home page or any other pages of your choice. This would not only prompt the user to share the quality content on the social media platforms but also provide a better social media presence through your website itself.