15 WordPress Plugins To Instantly Improve Your Blog

Once you have your blog setup and theme installed – now what you may ask? Plugins are like mini programs that can “plug-in” to your website or blog.  They are great features to have if you know which ones will be a great benefit and addition to your site. Below I have rounded up my top 15 wordpress plugins to instantly improve your blog.  If you are just starting your blogging journey and need to set-up your blog, make sure to read my step-by-step guide first. 

15 WordPress Plugins To Instantly Improve Your Blog:

Akismet 

Every WordPress installation comes with two plugins pre-installed. One of them is Akismet, which is definitely a lifesaver! Even though Akismet comes pre-installed, it is not activated by default. You will have to take some extra steps to activate it.  A typical blog or website gets about 80% of spam comments coming in – which can be a time consuming task to say goodbye to the majority of comments.

Sumo me

The pop-up form I use to grow my email list. Since using this pop-up form, I’ve been able to more than double my monthly email subscribers.  they work on several CMS (content management systems) including WordPress, Squarespace, Blogger, Tumblr, Google tag manager, Shopify + Weebly.

I currently use the free version (which I feel has loads of good features included) but you can upgrade to get more in depth.  Some free version included items are a list builder, smart bar, welcome mats, social share icons, scroll box, and even a place where you track where you audience is clicking throughout your website. (how freakin’ cool!)

Below is the Sumo Me plugin tool that allows me to customize my list builder pop up box. Does the pop up look familiar?!

SumoMe List Builder

WordPress SEO Yoast

I’ve tested a handful of SEO plugins on the blog, but none compare to this one. It can:

  • optimize your content for social sharing
  • analyzes pages for how well they are optimized for specific keywords and phrases
  • reporting is easy to follow and comprehend

Google Analytics Dashboard

This is a great plugin that brings Google Analytics reports to your WordPress site. The tracking component of this plugin will automatically install Google Analytics on your website by inserting the required tracking code in all your webpages.  You will need to have a google analytics account before using this plugin.

Editorial Calendar

Love this calendar which is located directly within the backside of the blog for your eyes only.  It gives you a view of your entire blog post publishing plan and allows you to glance at your monthly or weekly scheduled posts to keep you on track.  It’s drag and drop is easy for adjusting your schedule.  You can easily create blog drafts to save for later.  It has helped me plan out my upcoming weeks’ blog posts. 

 

Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugin

Jetpack

This is a plugin made by WordPress – so obviously it’s a great one to have! Jetpack comes with 33 tools already integrated.  It allows you to use contact forms, seek out related posts, and view a built in analytics, and more.

Broken Link Checker 

One of the most frustrating things when visiting a website is clicking on a link that goes nowhere. Am I right? It is definitely hard AND time consuming to go through each and every link within a blog post.  Luckily the broken link checker quickly scans a blog post and points out the links that aren’t working correctly.

Simple Social Icons 

Simple Social Icons allows you to add up to 14 of the most popular social media icons to any area on your WordPress blog or website.  These icons include: Dribbble, Email, Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, Google+, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, RSS, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

It even allows you to customize the look! (genius!) You can change the size, shape, alignment, and hover color.

Better Click To Tweet

Create a tweet specifically for your blog post! This allows for more engagement and takes it social.  This plugin integrates right into a blog post and allows the instant tweet from a viewer by hitting “click to tweet.” 

Better Click To Tweet

Instagram Feed

It’s no secret that I LOVE Instagram – so I go out and find the best plugin to display those tiny squares as simply and easily as I can.  This plugin’s options include Headers, Captions, as well as Likes and Comments. It even has a “load more option and a “Follow on Instagram” button which will make it easy for viewers to follow along.

Instagram Feed WordPress Plugin
 

Recipe Card 

This is the plugin I use for all food and recipe blog posts.  I use this plugin to display my recipe cards.  It gives you tons of options as to how the recipe card is displayed.  There are lot of different styles, colors, and fonts to choose from! 

 

Recipe Card WordPress Plugin

Subscribe To Comments Reloaded

There are many times blog posts gather a lot of discussion between your community where viewers would like to be updated on.  With this plugin, it allows users to subscribe to your comment feeds. 

WP Smush – Image Optimization

Large image files might be slowing down your website/blog, which you might not even be aware of.  WP Smush resizes and optimizes all photos, limiting the lag time on your website. PLUS – with your page loading faster – search engines such as Google will love you for it (and rank you higher!)

WP Super Cache

Site speed is something that we take very seriously. In order to make sure that your site scales and sustain huge loads of traffic without crashing, you can utilize this plugin.

Pinterest Pin it Button For Images

Make images easily share-able to pinterest with a “pin it” hover button over blog post images. 

 

So many plugins to choose from – it was hard narrowing it down to 15!  What are your favorites? Do you utilize any of the plugins listed here? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

 

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45 Comments

  • Reply rachdean1 September 19, 2016 at 8:52 am

    This is a great list. Thank you. I immediately went and downloaded the Instagram feed. Will pin this for later!

  • Reply fivemarigolds September 19, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I’m happy to see I already have many of these, but I definitely need to add some listed here. Thanks for this resource!

  • Reply Sarah Jean September 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I need the editorial calendar and instagram feed. Thanks for the tips!!

  • Reply Kait September 19, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I’m in the midst of transferring to WordPress and I’m saving this post!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Allie Barke September 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Great post. I’ll be installing the click to tweet!

    XO,
    Allie
    https://alliesfashionalley.com/2016/09/bcbg-wrap-dress/

  • Reply kage2015 September 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Been wanting to try couple of these and now since you have given me more reasons why I should will be doing this soon.

  • Reply Happiest Mama September 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Excellent and informative post, thank you! I need to work on my editorial calendar, so this is perfect timing!

  • Reply Tejasvi September 19, 2016 at 9:13 am

    This is a much needed article! Thank you..!

  • Reply heyitsfitzy September 19, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for the recommendations. Very helpful. I am going to try the editorial calendar. Love that concept!

  • Reply Falon Loves Life (@FalonLovesLife) September 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I have quite a few of these, but haven’t heard of a couple. Pinned for future reference, I’m definitely going to check out the Instagram and Twitter ones!

  • Reply Summer Telban (@SummerTelban) September 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Yoast is my favorite! So glad it exists! Great list.

    http://www.coffeewithsummer.com

  • Reply Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons September 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    These are great tips! We have a lot of these currently, but there a few others that I can’t wait to check out!

  • Reply Bre | Maintaining Me September 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I have most of these and definitely agree they are great! I need to check out the calendar because I think that would save me lots of time!

  • Reply Sabrina September 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Thank you so much Nicole for sharing this list! I have been trying to look for an editorial calendar plugin for a while now but it always get pushed on the back burner. I will try out the one you recommend!

  • Reply Victoria Sponge Pease Pudding September 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    This has to be the most helpful post I’ve read in ages, thank you so much for compiling this list! Bookmarking a day in my calendar to get these installed and my blog looking a bit sharper!

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com/

  • Reply Jackie September 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Super helpful list of plugins! I’m kind of lost when it comes to WordPress plugins and what’s the best, so this is perfect. Thanks!

  • Reply Rebecca Hicks September 19, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    I use a ton of these already, and my favorites are definitely the Jetpack and SEO Yoast. They are SO helpful, and I have to work way less by having them installed.

  • Reply monogramsandmoscato September 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I have some of these, but not all!! Thank you so much for sharing. I love your layout – where did you get your theme??

  • Reply Jenny September 19, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Most of these I use and love but I need to check out a few others you’ve mentioned.

  • Reply Justine @ Little Dove September 20, 2016 at 9:02 am

    These are so great! Plug ins are one of my favorite things about WordPress for sure. Some of these I have, but some I’ll have to try! I’m going to check out Sumo Me, thanks!

  • Reply Miri September 20, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I want to check out the Editorial Calendar plugin. I already use SEO Yoast and would recommend as well.

  • Reply Ailie Wallace September 20, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for providing this list – Think I have most of these already covered, but there are a few new ones that I’ll definitely have to try out.

  • Reply Jas (@JasBanwait) September 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Nice list! I have to get the click to tweet plugin!

  • Reply iamzoewatson September 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Good to know that I’m using most of these! I’ll have to check out the ones I’m not. I know that I need to do the image ones to make my site run faster. Thanks so much for this list! Not sure exactly how I’d use the click to tweet option, I’ll have to look into that one.

    (jumped here from Bloggers Gonna Blog) 🙂

  • Reply Emma | Creative Explorations September 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I’m already using quite a few of these, but several of them sound great — I’m definitely going to install!

    Emma | http://www.creativexplorations.com

  • Reply Polly September 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    The Yoast plugin is such a life saver! I don’t publish my posts until it meets the SEO standards for Yoast. I really like how it’s so easy to use. I also use a lot of the plugins that you mentioned. Great post!

    Polly
    http://gemsandjoy.com

  • Reply pumpsandpineapples September 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Every time I feel like a WordPress pro and I know ALL the good plugins, I see a list like this and I’m reminded that I know nothing. I’m downloading the Broken Link Checker now!

    p.s. I LOVE your blog <3 bookmarking!

    Alaina | http://www.pumpsandpineapples.com

  • Reply Naomi September 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    This is amazing! I’m going to try the Instagram Feed right now!

  • Reply Emily Bendler September 20, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    This is an awesome list!! I will definitely be checking these out. I had been wondering about the twitter one!

  • Reply Ref J September 20, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Great list. I will have to look into the Broken Link Checker and the Editorial Calendar.

  • Reply Amy September 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    By now I have most of these and when I think back to when I didn’t I laugh. I was so hands on and tearing my hair out without them!

  • Reply happilyevergriedls September 20, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    I definitely need to check out the Sumo Me! Especially if it doubled your subscribers! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Stacy at The Preserves Project September 21, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I have some of these but not all. I love the calendar one! Great list!

  • Reply Misty Prewitt September 21, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Jetpack is one of my FAVORITES and I use it all the time. <3 This is a great list.

  • Reply Star September 21, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    ooooh, this is awesome and super helpful. Thank you!

  • Reply Sara September 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I’m already using some of these, but some other ones I’m installing right now! Thanks for the advice 😉

  • Reply YouMadeMyDay September 28, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Thanks Nicole! I just downloaded a bunch of it so I am going to be playing a little bit with my WP for a while now. Thanks again! So useful

  • Reply Jewel Eliese October 6, 2016 at 10:41 am

    This is great. Definitely will be adding some of these today. Tweaking the website is always a nice boost.

  • Reply Beth October 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Amazing list! I’ve been meaning to do a little backend WP clean up and re-org for a while now and got a few new plug-ins added from your list. Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply Anna December 1, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Helpfulness level 100

  • Reply Cheryl Forziati December 4, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Great List! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Letha December 12, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Great list. I will be applying some of these soon I hope! http://Www.upcountrywoman.com

  • Reply cassieoxo January 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Ooh, great tips!

  • Reply selena February 7, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Definitely will try it out!! I have been trying new ways to gain more traffic on my new blog!
    Thanks for the tips,
    selena
    lifeinfocus60010.wordpress.com

  • Reply Jess March 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    THIS- was soooo helpful!!! Thanks doll!

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