18 FREE  WordPress Plugins for New Bloggers, (the ones I can’t live without)

18 Must have WordPress plugins for new bloggers.

I am going to assume that you are following my Start a lucrative blog in 5 days series and found out how I did it for under R100. If so then you would have come directly from the day two post 3 Settings you must change on WordPress.

I would recommend starting there to make sure that you have not missed any juicy details.

When I started blogging, over 5 years ago, I had no money. Literally no money for hobby blogging or any blogging for that matter. I had just become a mother well into my thirties. I needed a lot of advice and stumbled into the mummy blogger space. I saw quite a few successful South African bloggers and thought to myself “I can do that!”

I got sucked right in! I loved it from the very beginning. I read everything I could about how to start a blog, how to style my blog and spent many wasted hours figuring out what works and what does not.

If you are not careful, like me, you could end up spending money and time on resources that will not help you build the right audience or make you any money.

My blog is always going to have two main focuses: making money and saving money. So of course I am going to share all the plugins that are FREE-99 that respected bloggers (and me) swear by.

Firstly let me start by explaining what a plugin is. WordPress is basically the platform or framework of where most blogs or websites are built. That’s the foundation. Then your theme will be the house or the building. Plugins are like underfloor heating or tiles.

They are separate pieces of code that add features to your blog. Very helpful for non-coding page builders like you and I.

There are hundreds of thousands of plugins to choose from.

Both free and premium plugins can make your site look better, run faster, and attract more traffic. They can protect your site from hacking and malware, streamline your workflow, and connect your site to other social media platforms.

These are mine (and other popular bloggers) 18 plugin suggestions.

You may also like: Ways to make R21000 a month blogging in 2021.

Disclosure: All posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I get a commision for reccommended products at no cost to you. I am adamant that I will only write well researched content not influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. Keep in mind that I will only ever link companies and products based on quality and my personal experience.The decision will always remain yours on whether you buy anything.  

1 | All in One WP Security.

I have tried a few and I like this WordPress security plugin the best. It’s comprehensive, user-friendly and it just works.

You can check them out here.  

2 | AntiSpam Bee

Most WordPress automatically comes loaded with Akismet however I found that this one works much better at stopping spam including comment spam.

I also like that it does it without forcing your readers to use the irritating captcha

3 | Simple Trackback Validation

This plugin is very good at blocking bots from spamming your website. It verifies that all trackbacks are from genuine websites that are managed by human beings. 

4 | WP Optimize

WP-Optimize keeps your blog from getting cluttered by optimizing your database tables, getting rid of old post revisions, and cleaning unapproved comments and other items sitting in your trash. The slower your site the more google will penalize you so removing unwanted data helps your site run faster

5 | TinyPNG

You should definitely compress your photos before loading. I use Canva for most of my images and before I download them I compress them but I still use TinyPNG for any that I have forgotten and it automatically checks and sees if my images could get smaller or catch the ones I may have missed. 

Woman working on laptop

6 | The SEO Framework

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase the chances that google will recommend your blog to match people who are searching for your topics. 

This plugin is amazing and prompts me with my SEO and lets me know how well I have optimised my posts. It can’t guarantee that your site will be found when people search topics because there are a host of other things you will need to perfect that site but this goes a long way with your SEO efforts. 

This was suggested to me by another blogger and I love it!

7 | Google XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap helps search engines easily navigate through your website content. It gives them a list of all your content in a machine-readable format.

The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will let you to quickly and easily generate XML sitemaps for WordPress.

Google XML Sitemaps is the best solution for most WordPress users because it simplifies the task of adding external URLs and changing the frequency and priority of content.

You activate the plugin, go to the settings and grab the URL the plugin uses for your sitemap, and paste it into Google Webmaster Tools. Easy as pie, and I’ve never had it go wrong.

8 | Google Analytics Dashboard

MonsterInsights is hands-down the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

This popular plugin lets you set up Google Analytics to track your site traffic easily. And you don’t have to touch a single line of code to get access to all that informative Google Analytics data.

You get detailed stats for each post and page, so you can see the most popular posts, pages, and sections of your site. 

9 | Sassy Social Share

Sassy Social Share is an easy to use social media plugin for WordPress with tons of options. It comes with support for many different social media websites, and you can add buttons in post content as well as a sticky floating social menu.

It supports social share count feature as well. However, like many other social media plugins, you will need to use a third-party service to retrieve those stats.

As for icon styles, the plugin comes with three basic styles: rounded, square, or rectangle buttons. You can set the positioning options in the plugin settings for both standard and floating social bars.

10 | Subscribe to comments

This is not a common plugin but its so nifty. 

I often leave comments on peoples posts but I never know if my comment was responded too unless I go back and look. That is the case for most readers. 

This plugin takes care of that. Your readers will get notified when you replay to their comment and it will encourage them to comment again. 

11 | Comment Redirect

Comments are golden for your blog. Everyone is busy and may not always leave a comment so people who do take the take are potential loyal followers and you can start building that relationship right from the start.

When a reader comments for the first time you have a golden opportunity to welcome them or to highlight some of your other content that they may like.

Right inside this clever plugin.

12 | Duplicate Post:

It’s very handy to duplicate an existing page as a starting point for a new one. This ensures uniformity of your blog posts. 

 This excellent plugin makes it easy.

13 | WP Database Backup

WP Database Backup plugin helps you to create Database Backup and Restore Database Backup easily on single click. Manual or Automated Database Backups And also store database backup on safe place- Dropbox,FTP,Email,Google drive, Amazon S3

14 | Broken Link Checker:

Broken Link Checker monitors and tests all internal links & external links on your site looking for broken links. It helps you fix bad links to improve SEO and user experience. I can’t tell you how many times this plugin has helped me.

15 | Advanced Editor Tools

Advanced Editor Tools (previously TinyMCE Advanced) introduces a “Classic Paragraph” block for the block editor. It just makes writing your blogs posts easier.

16 | ShortLinks by Pretty Links

Pretty Links helps you shrink, beautify, track, manage and share any URL on or off of your WordPress website. Create links that look how you want using your own domain name!

17 | WP Forms

One of the easiest ways for people to contact you on your website is a contact form. No one wants to copy and paste an email address so they can email you, especially on a mobile device.

Instead, install WPForms.

18 | Feed them Social

Using the plugin, you can create attractive social feeds for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

It is very easy to use and you can display social feed anywhere on your website, be it a blog post, landing page, or sidebar. And all the designs are mobile responsive, so you don’t have to worry about optimizing your feeds for different devices.

Feed Them Social also lets you add like or follow buttons to increase followers. Plus, the plugin also lets you auto load more posts when a user is done scrolling.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading!

I hope you found this post helpful.

If you have any specific questions please comment below and I will assist you as best I can.

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