The Complete List Of Free Plugins For Blogs You Must Install. Don’t Waste Money On Paid Plugins!
A plugin is a piece of software that adds new features to your website.
I like to think of them as apps on your phone. Although they are different than apps, they add extras to your blog as apps would to your phone.
A plugin can be added to your WordPress website to make it more customizable, functional and protected. Plugins can be used to do all sorts of stuff; from spam filtration to sharing ease.
And luckily for us, there are plenty of free plugins for blogs we can use.
So if you’re running a WordPress website (or you want to start one), plugins are a need and a blessing.
How To Add Free Plugins to Blogs
To add free plugins to blogs, you need to go to your WordPress dashboard. Then on the side bar, you can find the Plugins section, as you can see below:
Click ‘Add New’, and it should take you to this screen:
Type in the plugin that you want, for example: ‘MailMunch’, and it should pop up in the results.
Click ‘Install now’.
After it loads, click ‘Activate’ and you’re done!
You can find your newly installed plugins on your dashboard’s sidebar (in most cases).
Essential Free Plugins For Blogs
Yoast SEO – Offers SEO tips, readability help, Sitemaps creation, customizable meta description, keyword integration and much more. Learn everything you need to be doing in SEO as a beginner in this post.
Pretty Link Lite – Changes ugly and unsightly long URLs (including affiliate links) to prettier looking ones.
Updraft Plus – Makes backups of your site, and stores them on Outbox, Google Drive, FTP etc. It automatically creates backups every day and deletes the old ones.
Sassy Social Share – Social media sharing buttons which can be customised to appear before/after content and as a floating sidebar.
Mail Munch Grow Your Email List – This is a basic plugin which allows people to subscribe to your email list. It is highly customizable. And in my opinion, it is the best FREE email plugin.
PROTIP: The above two plugins can be combined into one by using Sumome, but it is only free for a limited number of monthly views.
jQuery Pin It Button – Creates a pin it button on images. You can customize what the button looks like and where it appears. It is very effective in encouraging people to share your posts on Pinterest.
Google Analytics – Adds the Google Analytics code to your site AND adds an analytics page on your dashboard.
PROTIP: Adding the Google Analytics code to your site can be done manually, but if you can’t figure out how, this is a great option.
Easy Google Fonts – Gives you the ability to customize your headers and paragraph text with the live preview on your site. This plugin makes it incredibly easy to customize fonts and colors throughout your site.
Akismet Anti-Spam – Protects your site from spam comments and malicious attempts. This plugin basically keeps your website safe.
Jetpack by WordPress – Jetpack adds a number of different features to your blog. You can add sharing buttons before or after your content, it shows related posts under every article, it shares your posts on social media the moment they are published, and much more!
Simple Social Icons – These are social media buttons that take the users to your social media accounts prompting them to follow you.
W3 Total Cache – This plugin caches your website to make it appear as if it loads faster. This can be essential to keep users on your site.
Plugins To Download Later On:
WordPress Editorial Calendar – This editorial plugin displays your posts’ schedule as a calendar and makes it easier for you to change or move around your posts.
Broken Link Checker – Checks whether all the links you added to your blog are functioning. If they aren’t, you risk losing traffic.
Insert Post Ads – If you are using ads on your blog and you want to include them in your posts, this plugin can make it easier for you. You don’t have to add each advert manually, you can just insert the ad code in this plugin and instruct it to show before/after content, or after a particular paragraph. If you want to get ads on your blog, check out this tutorial!
Plugins For Genesis Theme Users:
Genesis Simple Hooks – This is a very handy plugin which lets you add code to all parts of the theme without having to touch the theme itself. It prevents you making a mistake and having the white screen of death appear! (It happened to me once or twice before I used this plugin :o).
After this extensive list of free plugins for blogs, I feel like I need to warn you about something.
Yes, plugins are sort of amazing. But don’t get too carried away!
Downloading a ton of plugins can seriously slow down your site which in turn can make people less interested in what you have to say.
Some people recommend that you limit your plugins to 20, but there is no hard rule about this.
PROTIP: If you don’t know if you’ve installed too many plugins, check out this useful post.
Another thing that might affect your site speed is the quality of the plugin itself. But I have never experienced such issues with the plugins listed above (I promise!).
If you do find that a plugin is slowing your site down or if it’s malfunctioning, delete it and install another one instead.
So that’s it. The rundown of the plugins your website/blog needs.
If you have these plugins installed, you will have everything you need for a functioning and easy-to-use website.
Do you use any of the above? Will you install them? Do you use any other free plugins for blogs that you think are useful? Share with us in the comments!