If you’re a blogger or thinking of starting a blog, you might wonder if it’s still worth the effort this 2023. According to Hubspot’s statistics, it is: after video content, blogs are highly used in content strategies. Plus, according to WordPress, around 409 million people look at more than 20 billion pages monthly.
Talk about the significant potential audience you’ll reach, right? Time to get started on blogging!
Blogging is more than just publishing a website and writing posts. Think of your target audience and your medium of publishing content. And, of course, you should have a website that looks good and is powered by good WordPress plugins to help you get the most out of your blogging efforts.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top ten blogger plugins for WordPress that will help you stand out and succeed in the competitive blogging world.
10 Essential WordPress Plugins for Bloggers
The best WordPress plugins for bloggers are those that help you get more visitors, create content faster, help you monetize your blog, or protect all your hard work in growing it. In no particular order, here are our handpicked plugins to help you excel.
Some of these are free to use, although you might have a better experience and get more features once you subscribe to their paid versions:
If you want WordPress SEO plugins that are free, Yoast SEO is one of them. It’s a plugin that helps you optimize your blogs and other pages for search engine visibility. It analyzes your keyword use, headers, page titles, meta descriptions, your texts’ readability, and more to help you get the best possible SEO-related results.
If you don’t know much about using keywords or organizing posts to get noticed by Google and other search engines, Yoast is a must for you as a blogger, especially if you aim to have more organic traffic.
Part of being a successful blogger is having a beautifully-designed website. The Maxi Blocks plugin will help you accomplish that. It’s free to use–no feature will be hidden behind a paywall!
Install it and enjoy accessing features like free templates, patterns, icons, style cards, and more. The creators of Maxi Blocks also promise that their plugin is simple to use–you can finish designing quickly and get to blogging as soon as possible.
Nowadays, online security means more than just coming up with a hard-to-guess password. Hackers now have plenty of methods of getting into your site. That’s why you need Jetpack, a plugin that, to quote the Jetpack website, “protects your investment.”
In your case, installing this plugin protects your investment in your blog. You’ll get real-time backups, malware scanning, and protection from spam comments that can get your blog deindexed by Google. You can focus on blogging and let Jetpack secure your site.
MonsterInsights is a plugin that lets you connect your blog easily with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is essential because it will give you insights into how your visitors interact with your website. You can then use the data to grow your blog.
However, if you’re not techy or you’re unfamiliar with how to set up Google Analytics, the steps can get complicated. MonsterInsights make it effortless for you. It also lets you see and interpret the data inside your Dashboard directly–no need to go to a different website!
One reason why website visitors leave blogs is because of slow loading times. If you have a blog heavy with photos and videos, that could slow down your site even further. WPRocket promises to help you avoid that–install and set it up (which they promise only takes 3 minutes), and you’ll be ready.
You’ll make a good impression on returning and new visitors and get a better site ranking because of a lower bounce rate and fast loading speeds. And, of course, if you’re selling something, you’ll likely get better conversions, too! It’s worth the installation, agree?
The Revive Social plugin offers a convenient solution for you to schedule the re-publishing of your posts on social media effortlessly.
Consider the scenario: you may have older posts that are once again relevant or are still unread by your new subscribers. With Revive Old Posts, you can automate sharing of these posts to your social media accounts. You’ll no longer have to locate your chosen post manually, copy the link, and schedule it for your followers.
By automating this process, you’ll gain valuable time to focus on creating even more engaging blog content.
One way to get visitors to come back to your blog is to get their email addresses. A suitable time would be when they’re about to leave your site. This is where OptinMonster comes in, as it lets you build high-quality pop-ups to remind your visitors about other things they can get when they explore your site.
You can build a variety of pop-ups to get them to download lead magnets, subscribe to your mailing list, and even remind them of products you are selling. That might make visitors stay longer, especially if they’re interested in the content of the pop-up. OpinMonster also promises that their pop-ups won’t be annoying–essential for keeping visitors happy!
If you have an email list signup or an option for an email subscription to your blog, an inconvenience that could happen is that your email confirmation can go to the recipients’ respective spam folders. WP Mail SMTP transforms your emails so they don’t get marked as spam. Install the plugin, connect your email service such as Gmail, verify your domain with your email service, and you can rest assured your emails are going to inboxes.
Adding images to your blog makes for a better visual experience. And, of course, you’d want to add the highest quality images possible. However, this could slow down your website’s loading times, leading to a negative visitor experience.
Well, all you need to do is install Smush, a plugin made by WPMU Dev. It compresses images to maintain their quality while improving loading speed. You can also customize image sizes, compress multiple images, and enjoy other useful features with this plugin that make a good blog visitor experience.
Easily encourage readers to share your blog posts, especially if they found it useful, with the AddToAny plugin. It adds share buttons of different kinds (take your pick) and lets visitors share your blog to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, WeChat, and many other social media platforms. This simple plugin can increase your traffic easily–cool, right?
Why There Is A Need For Testing Plugins Via InstaWP
There’s one more plugin we should have mentioned, one of the most essential WordPress plugins for content creators like you. And that plugin is the InstaWP Connect plugin, which lets you try out the capabilities of InstaWP.
InstaWP enables you to make a test site in less than a second, where you can test all the plugins you want to try before installing them permanently.
Why is testing important? Well, did you know that the mere act of installing or updating a plugin can break your blog? Would you really risk losing all your hard work (i.e., hundreds of valuable posts) on your blog, not to mention the ranking you’ve currently gotten on Google?
And remember, if the site breaks, your visitors won’t come back for a while–and possibly never come back, especially if you have a competitor with a functional website. By the time you fix your site (and who knows how long it will take), they may have forgotten all about you.
That’s why testing, while it may make your plugin installment longer, is a necessary step to ensure the safety of your website.
How To Use InstaWP Connect To Make A Test Copy Of Your Site
If you’re going to test blogger plugins for WordPress, you can’t just make a blank WordPress sandbox. It would be better if you had a copy of your site to test those plugins on. So, install the aforementioned InstaWP Connect plugin to do exactly that.
This plugin will connect your current live site to InstaWP and let you create a copy staging site even if you’re in your WordPress account.
To fully access the capabilities, such as adding more than one or accessing the staging site, you must sign up for an InstaWP account. Don’t worry: it’s free!
How does InstaWP help bloggers grow?
InstaWP’s test site or sandbox can be helpful in many ways, not just in testing plugins and themes. Here’s how:
- You Won’t Fear Experiments Anymore.
Bored with your current website and want to try out new looks and plugins? You can go right ahead, again without fear of breaking your site. Doing this will help you discover new plugins or themes you wouldn’t have if you were still afraid of playing around with your website.
You never know what new ones you can find–ones you can share with your readers, especially if part of your content reviews WordPress plugins.
- You’ll Have More Topics To Write About.
Sometimes, you may have the urge to write about random topics. For example, “How many plugins can I install in my WordPress before my website crashes?” Or, if your favorite color is red, you can also look for as many red-colored themes in WordPress and write about them as you install them on your test website.
The possibilities can be endless, thanks to InstaWP!
- Writing WordPress Guides Is Now Easier.
If you’re a blogger specializing in design, InstaWP can be your invaluable companion. With a test WordPress site mirroring your actual website, you can effortlessly showcase different design elements and how it affects your current site. Plus, you’ll be free to experiment with themes without worrying about damaging your live website permanently.
Also, thanks to the WordPress sandbox via InstaWP, you’ll find it much easier to create comprehensive guides, visually demonstrating your concepts through screenshots or demonstration videos. Your readers will greatly appreciate this approach as they can witness your actions firsthand and easily follow along.
And even if designing is not your niche, the ability to visually illustrate your instructions lets readers follow them easily. After all, they go to your blog to find solutions for their problems, right? They’ll appreciate you more as a result!
- You’ll Get More Credibility.
When people appreciate your website content and find it helpful, they’ll likely recommend your site to their friends and colleagues on their social media platforms. That means you’ll get more site visits, especially if your visitors’ friends seek the exact solutions. You’ll also get Google’s attention in a good way.
You see, the more people visit your site and stay long, the more Google gets a signal that you’re fulfilling its E-E-A-T guidelines: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. That’s great for ensuring you rank high in search engine result pages and get more chances for organic views from people who have never visited your site. And that means your reach is getting bigger!
- You Can Upgrade Your Skills.
Upskilling is always great in this day and age. Tinkering around with your blog design and trying out plugins can help you become better and more familiar with WordPress. You can get hands-on experience in managing and customizing a WordPress site.
Eventually, you can become so familiar with WordPress sites that you can develop your themes and plugins and even troubleshoot your website errors if any occur.
There are plenty of WordPress plugins for content creators or bloggers like you to help you stand out. You can use them to help your blogs rank better, get a better-looking website, and more. Choose the ones that fit your needs and install them as soon as possible to get an advantage–remember, you’re not the only blogger looking to improve your website.
However, a successful, visible blog you worked very hard on would be for nothing if you installed a plugin or theme and crashed your website.
That’s why you should always test any plugin you plan to install. The best way and fastest way to do that is to use InstaWP. You can get a copy of your live website and test everything you want without fear. Thanks to InstaWP’s 1-click sandbox creation, you’ll be more empowered to tweak your site and consistently deliver a better experience to your readers.