7 Must Have Plugins For Starting A Blog

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With all of the plugins for bloggers it can be tough to decide which ones are essential for your blog. If you’re starting a blog or looking to improve your blog this post should be right up your alley.  Fact, if you have to many plugins installed it can hurt your blogs loading time and negatively affect your blogs accessibility.  Before you go and install a million plugins I have composed a list of 7 of the most essential plugins that you need for your blog.

Commenting System 

If you’re going to run a blog you have to have a commenting system.  Preferably, not just the default one that comes from WordPress.  Different commenting systems have unique functions which combat spam, engage readers, etc.

CommentLuv

CommentLuv

CommentLuv is a premium WordPress plugin that is the most popular one amongst bloggers today.  For me I like using this plugin because when I comment on others blogs I can leave a link back to one of my recent post.  This works great when I run a giveaway or something, and want to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Disqus

Disqus

Disqus is a popular free plugin that works on an API.  Simply put, you can import your comments with Disqus and even back them up in case something happens and you lose all your comments.  One thing I do like about Disqus is the comments are SEO friendly and Google indexes them.  This is great and some plugins that run on Javascript are actually bad for SEO, because they don’t tell Google that a page has been updated with fresh content.

LiveFry

Livefyre

LiveFry is an excellent plugin used on this site which has many features for bloggers.  With LiveFry you can manage all your comments from the WordPress dashboard or use LiveFry to moderate comments.  Like Disqus this plugin backs up your comments in a database file.  It comes fully equipped with real time tracking and social media capabilities.

Social Sharing

In order to get your blog noticed you have to have a social presence.  There are an absolute ton of social sharing plugins for WordPress.  These will allow people to “like”, “tweet”, “plus 1” etc.  You need a social plugin that doesn’t annoy the crap out of the readers but is visible enough where people can share your post if they want to.

Floating Share Button

The floating share button developed by wpbeginner.com is a great light weight social sharing plugin.  Compared to Digg Digg or other similar plugins it gets higher rankings and doesn’t have as many bugs.  The share bar does not float on the side of the post or page which makes it mobile user friendly.

SEO 

SEO is really not all that complicated and if your new to it there are a number of plugins that can help make your post SEO-friendly.  For instance, you need to have your keywords in the title, description, h1, etc. in order to have proper onpage optimization.

Yoast 

Yoast is the grand daddy of all SEO plugins.  This plugin is 100% free and used by thousands of bloggers.  This plugin will automatically check your onpage SEO, meta configuration, canonical, breadcrumbs, permalink, sitemaps, etc.  This plugin will literally teach you how to create blog post that are seo-friendly.

Graphics

Adding pictures that are free and have sharing licenses are vital to increasing the look and feel of your blog.  Adding pictures is time consuming and anything you can do to streamline the process is a plus.

Image Dropper

With Image Dropper you can install the plugin and find “creative commons” images that you can use on your blog.  No longer are you going to have to search Google for royalty free plugins in order to make your blog aesthetically pleasing.  With this plugin you have access to almost 250 million photos.

Security

If your running a blog you have to have security.  It’s a fact that one day your going to run into problems which makes your blog prone to hackers.  There are a number of plugins that you can install, but having the added piece of mind that you can install a plugin which will automatically back up your data is a lifesaver.

Backup Buddy 

Backup Buddy is a fantastic plugin by ithemes.com which will allow you to backup your mSQL databases automatically.  From time to time your blog could have issues and you need to be able to restore it to a previous state.   There are a lot of similar plugins that do the same; this one is paid but well worth the money.

Content

Your content needs to be “claimed” in order to show your the original author of the content.  There are a ton of content scrapers out there that will try to steal your post and pass it off as their own.  Rather than having to send a ton of DMCA takedown notices you can easily install a plugin which helps Google keep your name clear from duplicate content.

Google Plus Authorship

In order to claim your post you have to dig into the code and put the correct code in your WordPress framework.  Thankfully, with Google Plus Authorship you can simply install a plugin and cut and paste your data from your Google +1 account in order to verify that your the original owner of the content.

Accessibility

Your site needs to be functional and one huge draw back to a blog is having to wait 20 seconds or something absurd in order to view it.  People are impatient on the internet and don’t want to wait forever for a blog to load.  Not to mention, Google takes presence over sites that load quickly.

WP Super Cache 

Caching plugins help reduce the load balancing of your server.  There are many advanced features that allow you to have full control over your WordPress site.  This plugin is 100% free and a must for any blogger who wants to increase accessibility on their site.  This plugin works by storing cache so that your blog will run faster and smoother.

 

Garen Arnold is the chief editor of BlogSetupGuide. Garen is a seasoned blogger who has created many niche sites over several years. Garen writes about blogging and SEO tips that are focused towards newbies.

13 comments
jsmoriss
jsmoriss

You don't need "Google Plus Authorship" with "WordPress SEO by Yoast".


And no Open Graph / Twitter Card plugin? Have a look at "NGFB Open Graph+" -- it's a great addition to any SEO plugin. ;-)

js.

southrngurl64891
southrngurl64891

Except for adding commentluv (which doesn't work with discuss and doesn't appear to work with livefyre), and maybe a twitter handle link plug in....I say that the comment system of wordpress is great out of the box. No need to sign up for a new account or pass on credentials/access to a social media account. One less hurdle to getting comments, and if using commentluv plus you get a TON of other great abilities for comments. Just my $0.02.

Keri Kight
Keri Kight

Of all these, the only one I've heard of is commentluv.  The image dropper sounds like a lifesaver.  I searched for it though in Wordpress and didn't come across it.  I also just backed up my blog today, and I didn't know there was a plugin for that.  Oh well.  

AmethystMahoney
AmethystMahoney

Why would you have CommentLuv AND Livefyre? BTW, I hate livefyre with a passion. ;-)

EveyWheelerLingenfelter
EveyWheelerLingenfelter

Garen, thanks for sharing such an awesome list.

I am for sure going to get that image dropper plugin, look into that Google+ Authorship plugin and I believe I am already using that WpSuperCache and if not I will get to it.


Great and useful list. THANK YOU!

Evey

bizplanmentor
bizplanmentor

Excellent suggestions. I found some new ones that I hadn't heard of previously. Thanks!

princessshimari
princessshimari

This is very good info. I see a few that I would like to add. I have a question though. Is there a limit to the number of plugins that it is safe to accommodate on your blog?

Thanks for sharing this. And I look forward to your response. 

BlogSetupGuide
BlogSetupGuide

@princessshimari No there is no limit, but the more plugins you have installed bogs down your server and decreases your loading time.