Since Housewife Hustle has hit it’s one year blogiversary, I’ve been stepping up my plugin game. Plugins are so useful and have become essential in helping bloggers grow their success. They are also pretty handy and can really free up some precious time, so bloggers can focus on other areas of their site as well.
I honestly didn’t start using plugins until these last few months, and saying that I was missing out is an understatement. I’m a major fan of WordPress, and I love their business account. There are a ton of plugins, and some are a must have for bloggers.
Top Free Plugins
Not only do I want to share my top plugins, I also want to share some that were recommended by the blogging community on Twitter. I did install and activate all of the ones mentioned, so I could get a feel for each and every one of them.
There seems to be a plugin for almost anything. There are plugins to create better content, maintain spam and security, increase marketing and SEO, and so much more. Pretty much everyone can benefit from plugins, but they always seemed daunting to me- until I actually gave them a real shot.
Adding most of them is as easy as one-click install, and changing the settings to fit my needs was so simple. With ease of use and all of the ways they can benefit your blog, you should check them out.
Top Free Plugins
1. Jetpack– This is the first plugin everyone should probably use. It already came installed when I switched to my WordPress business account. It does security, performance, and site management. I enjoy that basic security protection is free, but there is a paid option that offers more.
2. Yoast SEO– This is the top ranking plugin. I use it, and every blogger who has mentioned plugins, seems to use it as well. I honestly don’t put too much effort into my SEO, but getting this plugin has helped me in that area of blogging. It’s super helpful, and it’s highly recommended.
3. Akismet Anti-Spam– I hate spam and spammy comments, but this plugins gets rid of that garbage. It’s lovely, and it saves me some time to focus on other things rather than manually deleting spam comments.
4. Broken Link Checker– Broken links and that annoying error message can be frustrating to your blog’s visitors, so clear all of that up with this plugin. Having all of your links in their proper working order can help with SEO too, so give it a try. Plus, you can edit the broken links from the plugin page.
5. Mailerlite– I haven’t started an email mailing list or subscriber newsletter yet, but it’s on my to do list this fall. I plan on using this plugin, because it’s been recommended countless times and remains a blogging favorite. Many bloggers have also suggested switching to this if you’ve used MailChimp, because the prices and services are better.
6. Contact Form 7– Contact forms can be so handy, and this plugin is very popular. It’s simple, and it provides your site with a contact form rather than having your readers copy and paste your email.
7. WP Optimize– This is an all-in-one plug-in that compresses your pictures, caches your website, and keeps your database clean and tidy. This will cut down on your blog clutter and keep things speedy.
8. Google XML Sitemap– Sitemaps are actually pretty important to have on your website because it helps Google index your site. Before I started researching analytics and ways to boost traffic, I didn’t even know this was a thing. Thanks to Google XML Sitemaps, it’s ridiculously easy and free. After you install the plugin, it also automatically creates a sitemap that you can see as well.
9. Pinterest Pin It– This plugins allows a hover over image “pin it” option. I’m a Pinterest lover, and good chunk of my traffic is from Pinterest. This plugin allows you to easily pin your blog posts, images, and pages to your Pinterest account.
10. Add to Any– This is a social media sharing plugin that can increase growth and engagement, because they offer 100+ social sites and apps to share your blog to.
Other Recommended Plugins
Anyone can share the top ranking plugins, but I wanted to share some that you might not know about yet. I also want to share some that were recommended to me from other bloggers. Aside from the top ranking plugins, there are other good options too. Some of the best plugins aren’t as well known or popular, because they are climbing in ranks at the current moment.
Hustle– This plugin is another mailing list option, but it has other great marketing options too. Hustle allows you to advertise and add newsletter forms in widgets, slide-ins, embeds, and after post opt-ins.
WP Super Cache– This plugin clears caches and keeps your speed up, so visitors don’t get impatient with loading times.
Google Analytics– I didn’t put this in my top list for the same reason I almost didn’t include Jetpack. They both are kind of the basic plugins that everyone should have, and mine even came pre-loaded. Google analytics, like Jetpack, also has free and paid options.
Google Fonts– I don’t know about you, but coding gives me a headache. I’d much rather there be a plugin that handles adding the extras that I want for my themes, and that is exactly why I love this one. It adds custom google fonts, 600+, to WordPress themes without the need for coding.
I never really thought I needed plugins until I really started researching ways to turn my blog into something more than a hobby. Now, I don’t have a store or a reason to use the WooCommerce plugin, but that’s always an option. The point is, plugins are so beneficial for bloggers.
There’s a plugin for pretty much anything now a days. I definitely recommend checking out the ones I’ve shared. You should also do some research to see what would fit your needs the best too. There are so many options, but don’t let all of the plugins overwhelm you. They are created to take some of the work off of your hands.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and remember that I will be doing my body positive book launch for Eat the Damn Muffin on Monday’s Coffee Talks post. I will also be sharing the picture that I’ll be using on the cover on my Instagram today.