Plugins are an essential part of WordPress and its ecosystem. If you are a WordPress beginner you will soon get in contact with them and will most likely be stunned by the functionality they can bring into your website.
In this article I share 11 helpful WordPress plugins that you should consider installing as a new blogger, website or shop owner.
They will help you to secure your blog, get found by more people, earn more money and simply make your (website) life easier.
What are Plugins?
You can imagine plugins as pieces of software that contribute to the functionality of your WordPress website. They add many different functions to your site such as SEO, performance, planning, security and much more.
Some are essential, for example for spam protection, others are optional, but will help you get more organized and simplify things. This is cool, especially if you want to spend less time working on your website and more in your business.
How install WordPress Plugins
Luckily, installing WordPress plugins is as easy as pie! If you go into your dashboard, you will find the whole library of plugins right there at your fingertips. The majority of plugins are free to download, but some come with a free version and may require an upgrade into a paid plan for more advanced functionality.
The basic plugins are all free of charge for you to download, as well as all plugins I show you in this article.
If you have chosen a plugin you want to install, go to Plugins > Add New. There you can either upload a plugin you have downloaded from somewhere else or search the WordPress database directly. All plugins recommended in this article are part of the WordPress plugin library and can be found by typing the name into the Search plugins field on the right.
Once you have found your desired plugin, click the Install Now button. The plugin will install and you can Activate it once it’s finished.
And that is everything there is to successfully installing a WordPress plugin!
Please also remember that you have to keep your plugins up to date to minimize security risks. If there is a plugin update available, it will show a notification in your dashboard. Update those regularly, but make a backup before you do so. (I’ll show you my favorite backup plugin in the list below.)
What are the best WordPress Plugins for Beginners?
Let’s get to the best part now: I have put together the following list of 11 plugins that I recommend for beginners and I’m sure will help you get started with building a successful WordPress website.
Every plugin has another purpose, and you probably won’t need to install all of them. If you can get away with fewer plugins, that’s always better. In general, you should always think twice if you really need to install that plugin. To keep your WordPress website secure and lightning fast I recommend you to limit the number of installed plugins to those you really need and use.
Get more Traffic
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for search engine optimization (SEO). It helps you to tell Google and other search engines what your blog is about and where they can find it. Yoast also offers a system to optimize your blog posts and pages so they can get found in search engines more easily.
Making regular backups of your WordPress websites is one of the most important and at the same time on of the simplest things you can do to secure your website. It is especially important for bloggers who add new content regularly. Our recommended backup plugin is Updraft Plus. It lets you schedule backups and automatically save all your content, uploads and plugins to a secure location like your Dropbox, your email inbox or an external server.
If you have a contact or comment form on your website you will sooner or later experience bot messages and other kinds of spam. That’s where Antispam Bee comes into play. It’s a plugin that blocks spam comments and messages and is an essential tool for every WordPress website or blog.
Easy Forms for Mailchimp
Do you have an email list? It’s a must for everyone who wants to build a successful online business. The plugin Easy Forms for Mailchimp makes it easy to connect your Mailchimp account and lists to your WordPress site and insert unlimited forms into pages, posts and widget areas. This can look like our signup form below – try it out!
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WP Limit Login Attempts
Another handy security plugin is WP Limit Login Attempts. As the name suggests, it will monitor who tries to login to your site and limits the unsuccessful attempts with wrong password/username combinations. This helps to prevent so called brute force attacks where hackers try to guess your admin password.
Esy Affiliate Links
If you use affiliate links to monetize your blog or website, you will love this plugin. Easy Affiliate Links lets you save the links you use often and insert them into posts or pages with one click. You can manage all your affiliate links in one place, track clicks and save a lot of time in monetizing your site.
Autoptimize + Cachify
Get more traffic
Not only keywords and great content are important ranking factors for SEO – your site’s performance and loading times are as well. My two favorite plugins for performance optimization are Autoptimize and Cachify – however, please use them with caution! They can easily break your site if you don’t know how to setup them right, so better ask an expert if you are unsure.
WP Schedule Posts
A must-have plugin for every blogger is a content scheduler. My favorite one is WP Schedule Posts – it shows you all your posts in a beautiful content calendar, lets you schedule them and easily plan your further content.
Elementor Page Builder
If you want to build beautiful pages you won’t be able to escape page builders. I use Elementor for all my themes, because it’s ease to use and provides all important features. Check it out if you want to create better pages on your website.
Elementor has also recently launched a full Theme Builder with its Pro version. If you are not that techy savvy and have no coding skills, you can use this plugin to build your own blog layouts, header sections and shop pages – without touching a line of code!
Shop the Post
If you are a fashion, lifestyle or travel blogger and want to show your readers the products you use or wear, you can now use our own Shop the Post plugin. It will insert a shopping widget directly below every post on your homepage and make it so much easier to earn money with your blog – without any coding involved!
Currently, the Shop the Post plugin is exclusively available for our theme customers and comes for free with every My Boutique WordPress Theme.