Congratulations on your important decision to start your blogging with WordPress. You have bought a domain, hosting space, a domain and integrated them; and installed WordPress on it. Now what? How to take it forward? Having amazing new ideas for creating content aren’t enough. Your creativity needs a hand of pre-existed the must have WordPress plugins that will make the content creation, optimization, and lead generation easy for your blogging or business.
In this article, I am going to list out 13 must have WordPress plugins for blog. These include content creation helpers, spam fighters, security, insights, and social media managers.
There are a lot of other plugin categories that we will bring you in near future but these 13 plugins are the essentials for any kind of business or niche blog established on WordPress.
What is the WordPress Plugin and Why Are Plugins Important?
If you are new to WordPress and you don’t know what a plugin is, this will give you an idea. WordPress is a flexible framework that allows developers to develop plug and play modules for websites that need no coding knowledge at all.
This is to make web designing and development easier than it used to be. You don’t need to worry about missing syntaxes of semicolons in the large lines of codes. You just need to install these plugins and start adjusting the settings according to your requirement.
Do not install unnecessary plugins just because you can. It affects the speed of the website and a few incompatibility issues might arise.
When an issue arises, you won’t be able to figure out where it happened. Aware of why and what purpose you are looking to achieve from the installation of a module. That’s why we have a list of the best plugins for WordPress.
13 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Blogs in 2021
MonsterInsights is an all-in-one integration plugin for all kinds of analytics like Google Analytics, WooCommerce, form conversion insights, and many more.
You can create universal tracking campaigns in a few clicks with no code implementation needed.
The tracking with MonsterInsights can be customized in different dimensions.
Key features of MonsterInsights plugin for WordPress:
- Universal tracking
- eCommerce tracking
- EU compliance
- Outbound link tracking
- Affiliate link tracking
- Enhanced link attribution
- File download tracking
- Scroll tracking
- Forms tracking
- Google AMP tracking
- UserID tracking
- Logged-in user tracking
- Author tracking
- Post type tracking
- SEO score tracking
- Published time tracking
- Category tracking
- Tag tracking
- Focus keyword tracking
- Telephone & email link tracking
- Media tracking
- Hash URL tracking
- Custom events tracking
MonsterInsights will be available as low as $99.50 to a high of $399.50 depending on the requirement of the user. Get MonsterInsights now.
Alternatives to MonsterInsights:
The following are the tough competitors and can be taken as good alternatives for the MonsterInsights plugin.
- Google analytics
- Adobe analytics
- Amplitude analytics
- Google analytics 360
- Motamo analytics
Rankmath is an SEO plugin for WordPress that helps to optimize the content with built-in suggestions and widely-accepted best SEO practices.
You can control what information the search engines have to index and what to ignore through simple customizable settings.
With Rankmath you can control the structured data differently on different pages and the entire website.
Key features of Rankmath plugin for WordPress:
1. Easy & powerful setup – Rankmath scans the website and recommends the actions to take to keep it ideal for a crawling bot capturing. It suggests the settings for the entire WordPress site and takes it in a step-by-step fashion. The optimization of the website, social profiles, webmaster profiles, and other SEO settings are grouped for easy pursual.
2. Clean and simple user interface – For any software, the user interface makes its usability simpler. Rankmath is succeeded in this regard. It offers a clean and simple interface with color-coded glyphicons and key suggestions to make the content look great in search engine result pages.
It highlights the information where optimization is necessary for the content on the page. It reduces the time to inspect the whole content on the page and improves the SEO instantaneously.
Another wonderful feature of Rankmath’s clean interface is that it shows the preview of the SERPs and rich snippets on search engines and social media. This gives the content creator an idea of how it should be structured for better visibility and click appeal.
3. Advanced SEO analytics module – The insights from the Google Search Console are fetched and displayed on the analytics screen of this plugin. This makes it easy to peek into the key information like sitemap status, indexing status, ranked keywords right from the WordPress dashboard itself. This analytics module divides the dashboard information into SEO performance, site analysis, and keywords.
4. Google analytics integration – It also integrates with Google Analytics and displays key website stats right on the WordPress dashboard.
5. Rank tracker – The website’s performance against the competition is always displayed to inspire the webmasters with a glimpse of ranking information for pre-set keywords.
6. Position history – The rank tracker also displays the position history of the keyword for the page. It helps digital marketers and webmasters keep track of the changes made to the content with time.
7. Ranking keywords for posts – A clear rank meter for the keywords inside the post will be displayed over time for a clear understanding of its performance.
8. Advanced schema generator – Rankmath creates an advanced schema for the website to perform best on search engines. It helps you structure the whole site, individual posts, and pages in a best-optimized way for the search engines – needless to say, that the search engines like well-structured sites and pages.
9. Import schema markups – Rankmath helps you to import the scheme markup of any page, post, or URL from your website or other websites on the internet. You can use the ready-made schemas for the site to get started with your website soon.
10. Schema markup validation – This plugin checks the schema markup against Google’s Rich Results validation tool right from the WordPress dashboard itself.
11. Custom schema builder – You can build your custom schema with sophisticated options from the schema builder window.
12. Schema templates with display conditions – Created schemas can be saved as templates and can be applied with just one click. All you need to add are the properties and property groups for adding the schemas with different display conditions.
13. Article schema – Rankmath helps you add appropriate metadata to the posts that allow search engines to understand them better. This will show up as a rich snippet or card on SERP which in turn improves the click-through rate on the impression.
Rankmath has over 88 key features which are amazingly crafted into a single plugin. Check out all features of Rankmath here.
Rankmath is available in two pricing plans,
1. Pro – for individuals and solopreneurs: $59/year
Rankmath Features offered:
- Unlimited personal websites
- Tracks 500 keywords
- Powerful schema generator
- 24/7 support
2. Business – for freelancers, business and agency owners: $199/year
- Support for client websites
- Tracks 10,000 keywords
- Powerful schema generator and
- 24/7 support
Rankmath SEO plugin has some alternatives. These plugins are the close competitors for Rankmath in features and functionality.
- Yoast SEO
- The SEO framework
- All in one SEO pack
Be it for a blog or business, you would need a form builder at some point of your journey with WordPress. Wpforms is a professional form builder plugin for WordPress that helps you create interactive forms with drag and drop tools.
This plugin has ready-made templates for one-click import and use.
Key features of Wpforms plugin for WordPress:
- Drag and drop form builder
- Prebuilt form templates
- Responsive mobile-friendly forms design
- Smart conditional logic
- Multipage forms
- Spam protection
- PayPal & Stripe addon
- Email marketing tools addons
- Custom captcha
- Conversational forms addon
- Offline forms addon
- Form locker addon
- Salesforce addon
- Zapier addon
Wpforms basic plan starts from $39.50 and ranges up to $299.50. Take a good look at what each plan offers before you make your buying decision.
Alternatives to Wpforms:
- Contact form 7
- Gravity forms
- Torro forms
- Ninja forms
- Visual form builder
OptinMonster is a lead generation software that grows the email list instantly and helps in increasing the conversion rates. This plugin is being used by more than a million website owners for generating leads, growing email list, and sales conversions.
It creates a visually stunning offer and personalizes them based on the visitors’ behavior thereby appealing more valuable to their actions on the input fields.
Key features of OptinMonster:
- Drag & drop builder
- Mobile-friendly popups
- Attention-grabbing animation and sound effects
- Custom success message
- Content locker
- Floating, slide-in, inline, lightbox popup, countdown timer
- Custom campaign triggers
- Targeted campaigns
- Seamless integrations with success tracking scripts and smart tags
- Actionable insights with real-time behavior automation
The basic plan of OptinMonster starts from $9 per month to the highest of $49 per month with a cap on features per plan and requirement. Get OptinMonster now.
Alternatives to OptinMonster:
- Ninja Popups
- Thrive leads
- Popup maker
- Convert Pro
- WP Subscribe
5. Social Snap
This social media plugin for WordPress websites offer more traffic and encourages engagement through social media profiles. It allows the visitors to share the content on their social media timelines and helps the website owners get more social media followers for the site.
It auto-posts on social media when a new article is published on the WordPress website.
Also, the most interactive ‘click to tweet’-ables is created inside the container so that when a visitor likes a particular point or quote, he or she can tweet that specific line followed by the link of the article.
Key features of Social Snap plugin for WordPress:
- 30 most popular social networks & apps
- Floating sidebar
- Inline on-media buttons
- Sticky bar
- Via widget and shortcode
- Button shapes, colors, and animations
- Individual & total share counters
- Easy recovery of share counts for permalink changes
- Integrated statistics and analytics
- URL shortening Bitly
- Sitewide and page-wide statistics
- Social auto-poster
- Social login
- Old post booster
Social Snap starts from $27.30 and extends up to $209.30 per year. You can install it up to 15 websites with the highest plan and it is money saving too. Get Social Snap here.
- Social Warfare
- Easy social share buttons
- Social Pug
- Swifty Bar
- Sassy Social Share
Backing up a website is of utmost necessary as server failures, hacks, incompatible plugin updates, vulnerable framework bugs, or any other issues arises on the site.
UpdraftPlus is the world’s most trusted backup plugin for the WordPress platform. It has an easy-to-use interface and comprehensive backup options.
You can even schedule the backups automatically so that you don’t need to worry about the version rollbacks when needed.
Key features of the UpdraftPlus plugin for WordPress:
- Backup and restore to local and cloud backup
- Multi-site compatible
- Backs up limitless non-WordPress files and external databases
- Incremental backups through hourly scheduling
- Files and databases on different schedules
- Automatic backups when theme updates
- Backup options to Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace
- Encrypted database backups and transports to cloud storage
- Thorough reporting, monitoring, and scheduling
- Convenient restoring, recovering and migrating
Updraft Plus is one of the best free plugins for WordPress.
Its premium package is available for $42 per year with all add-ons included, updates assured, and support offered.
The free version will have a lock on some of the premium features like more cloud options and backup scheduling, and so on. You can try this plugin for free before upgrading to premium.
Alternatives to UpdraftPlus:
- All-in-One WP Migration
- WPvivid Backup
- BoldGrid Backup
- Backup and Restore WordPress
7. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the most powerful caching plugin for a WordPress website.
It helps to load the website faster at the visitor’s end when he tries to open it more than once. A faster website is a good signal for SEO and lead conversions.
It minifies the scripts on the page and loads images only when requested (as scrolled down). The plugin’s code is created developer-friendly so that any WordPress developer can customize it as per the requirement.
Key features of WP Rocket plugin for WordPress:
- Page caching
- Cache preloading
- Sitemap preloading
- GZIP compression
- Browser caching
- Database Optimization
- Google Fonts Optimization
- Multisite compatibility
- Cloudflare Compatibility
- DNS Prefetching
- eCommerce Friendly
- Developer friendly
WP Rocket Pricing:
The pricing of the WP Rocket starts from $49 for 1 year for 1 website to $249 for unlimited websites. Check your requirement against the plans and make your choice.
3 Best Alternatives to WP Rocket:
- WP Super Cache
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Fastest Cache
Creating webpages is not a web designer’s work anymore. Elementor makes it easy to create pages and posts with simple drag and drop tools.
You can create a personal portfolio or a business website with Elementor with no coding knowledge at all.
If you have an idea of a structure of a website or a landing page, you can easily make it by yourself without having to hire a professional to do the job.
You have chosen WordPress for a reason, and Elementor proves it right.
Key features of Elementor plugin for WordPress:
- Drag & drop editor
- 300+ designer-made templates
- 90+ widgets
- Responsive editing
- Popup builder
- Theme builder
- WooCommerce builder
- Full site editor options
- Popup builder
- Landing pages design-friendly
Elementor Pricing and Plans:
The pricing of the Elementor starts from $0. Yeah! It is one of the best free WordPress plugins with drag and drop tools including 40+ basic widgets and 30+ basic templates.
The highest prices plan is $199 per year with access to 1000 sites including all pro features. Try the free version before you go for an elementor paid version.
Alternatives to Elementor:
- Divi Builder
- Beaver Builder
- WPBakery Page Builder
- MotoPress Content Editor
- Page Builder SiteOrigin
- Thrive Architect
- Visual Composer
9. Akismet Anti-Spam
Handling spam comments on a website is a headache. With WordPress and Akismet plugins installed on the framework, you don’t need to worry about it.
It blocks all spam comments from being published on the posts and assists you in weeding out the spam attacks.
This anti-spam Comment plugin is useful for all WordPress users despite the purpose they are using the website for.
Key features of the Akismet plugin for WordPress:
- Spam commenting filter
- Third-party WordPress plugin integrations
- API calls
- Free personal account
- Strict filtering algorithms
Akismet WordPress plugin allows the user to decide the price for personal use. It’s totally up to you how much you pay for a personal website. You can get the highest priority service and 60k API calls from its enterprise plan pricing at $41.67.
Alternatives to Akismet:
- Antispam Bee
- Stop Spammers
- WP Bruiser
- Cleantalk Anti-spam
- Spam Destroyers
- Spam Master
- WordPress Zero Spam
- WP SpamShield Anti-Spam
- Stop Spammers Spam Prevention
10. Easy Table of Contents
Sometimes the articles will be longer. Any reader will find it hard to scroll down and will get bored to stay on the page no matter how good the article is.
For such blogposts, it is important to give them a gist of what’s being discussed in the article on the whole in the name of headings.
You would have noticed the same practice on Wikipedia pages with a table of contents.
Key features of Easy Table of Contents:
- Auto-generation of table of contents for posts and pages.
- Supports <!—nextpage–>tag
- Supports the RankMath plugin
- Compatible with Classic Editor, Gutenberg, Divi, Elementor, WPBakery, Page Builder and Visual Composer page editors
- Supports smooth scrolling
- Auto-heights the widgets according to responsive design
This plugin is available for free. You can download install it from this link.
Alternatives to Easy Table Contents:
- Lucky WP Table of content by Luckwp
- Fixed TOC by wphigh
- Ninja Tables
- Table Press
- WP Table Builder
11. ShortPixel Image Optimiser
A website with large images will take a lot of time to load.
This increases the bounce rate on the pages or the website on the whole. ShortPixel Image Optimiser is a plugin used to optimize the images on the website by not compressing the quality of it.
Check your website speed on Google Page Load insights before and after the plugin installation. You will find a significant difference between the times.
Key features of ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin for WordPress:
- Lossless, glossy, and lossy compression
- No file size limit
- Automatic & bulk optimization
- One-click backup and restore
- Absolute image safety
- Most popular image + WEBP
- Same API KEY on multiple sites
- Save time with automation
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is available in three different pricing plans. For the first 100 images of the month, you can use it for free.
If it exceeds you will need to choose a monthly plan of $5 which gives you 5000 images per month or a one-timer of $9.99 for 10,000 images or $19.99 for 30,000 images. The expensive plan goes at $99 with 170,000 images. The monthly highest plan goes to $29.99 with a 55,000 images limit per month. Choose the best plan for your requirement from this link.
Alternatives to ShortPixel Images Optimizer:
- WP Smush
- EWWW Image Optimizer
12. Wordfence Security
The popularity of the WordPress platform welcomes threats of all sorts on the internet. Hackers try different methods to gain access to your websites – not just with WordPress.
Wordfence Security firewall checks for malicious traffic and blocks it. Also, the security scanner will check core WordPress framework files, themes, plugins for malware, and viruses. It will give you reports of where the vulnerability exists and how to secure it.
Key features of Wordfence security for WordPress:
- WordPress firewall
- WordPress security scanner
- SEO spam reduction
- Blocks bad URLs and backdoors
- Leaked password protection
- Live traffic
- Advanced manual blocking
- Country blocking Two-factor authentication
- Source code verification and hack verification.
The pricing of the Wordfence license starts from $99 per website. The more licenses you buy in bulk the more discount you are going to get.
For 15+ licenses bought, you would get 25% off the total price making the per website price come down to $74.25.
Alternatives to Wordfence security:
- All in one WP Security & Firewall
- Shield Security
- Sucuri Security
- Security & Malware Scan by CleanTalk
- Defender WordPress security, malware detection, and firewall
13. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is another money leak stopper plugin if you are doing affiliate marketing on your website. This plugin automatically inserts the affiliate links wherever feasible on all the pages and widgets on the site.
It turns the links into speakable, and shareable links by shortening them and adding the affiliate tags to them automatically.
If you are looking forward to earning from affiliate marketing, the Pretty Links plugin is a must have addition to your website.
Key features of Pretty Links plugin for WordPress:
- Advanced redirect types
- Auto-create Pretty Links through one-time installation
- Auto-link keywords
- Advanced Add-Ons
- Temporary and permanent redirects
- Clocked redirects
- PrettyBar redirects
- Meta-refresh redirects
- Tracking pixel redirects
- Insert link in Gutenberg Editor
- Detailed click reporting
The pricing of this plugin starts from $49 per year for 1 WordPress website with all essential features like advanced redirect, auto-linking keywords, creating pretty links, and extends up to $149 with added benefits.
Check out the pricing and feature sets of Pretty Links.
Alternatives to Pretty Links:
- Easy Affiliate Links
We picked 13 best WordPress plugins for blogs and business websites out of a huge list.
They are useful basic to a business operational level.
There are a few more that we will bring in future articles.
Subscribe to our blog updates to get notified when we post about them.