When I first started blogging, there were so many things I needed to learn.
Deciding which plug-ins were a must-have for my self-hosted blog was only part of a far more complicated equation! I had no idea how many there were to choose from at first and I considered going on a wordpress speed optimization course for some guidence.
Given there were literally thousands to choose from (20k+ and growing), narrowing it down to the bare essentials was no small task.
But, before you get started installing all the fancy bells-and-whistles known as plug-ins on your self-hosted blog, I highly recommend you read my post A Word About WordPress Plug-ins so you know what you’re getting yourself into when you choose to add them to your site!
With that said, here are…
My Must-Have Top 5 Plug-Ins for WordPress
These plug-ins are listed in alphabetical order, so I can’t claim obvious favorites!
I can’t imagine a blog without this handy plug-in. Akismet prevents and filters out ‘comment spam’ and ‘track-back’ spam automatically, for you. It catches thousands+++ of spam comments and track-back spam before it even hits your comments queue. It saves me so much time from filtering through countless spammers! Just take a look at the Akismet official homepage to see how many spams zapped to date. As of this post, it was 99 billion. No, that is not a typo. That’s impressive!
2. Comment Reply Notification
I love this plug-in! This plug-in is intended to give a personal touch when connecting with readers (via comments) on your blog. Essentially, with this plug-in, when you ‘reply’ to a comment made by a reader on a post, this plug-in sends an email to the reader that commented and delivers it to the Inbox of their email address! Talk about reaching out and getting personal! So much better than making your reader come back to see if you bothered to respond to their comment on your post!
3. Easy Recipe
This plug-in makes it so simple to format your recipe in an easy-to-read format with a pre-formatted bulleted ingredient list and a pre-formatted numbered list for the instructions. It makes your recipe look professional and simple to print. It also lets you add a photo, add nutritional info, notes & more! Easy to use, simple to install – it’s the perfect recipe plug-in for your food blog!
4. Editorial Calendar
If you like structure and to see a calendar view of posts, this is the plug-in for you. This editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post is scheduled to be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire posting schedule for your blog. Please note: when you search for this plug-in to install it, it’s called Editorial Calendar. Yet, after it is installed, you will find it in the plug-in directory as WordPress Editorial Calendar.
5. W3 Total Cache
In simple terms, this plug-in is designed to improve the performance of your site by loading your site pages at a faster speed and improving your reader’s experience when they visit your site. In not-as-simple terms, it’s a WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any plug-ins you find essential that you’d like to share, please add them in the comments!