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If you just built your first WordPress blog, get ready to level it up using some essential WordPress plugins. From the thousands of options out there, we’ll help you pick the six best ones that offer great features and functionalities to skyrocket your WordPress blog. Let’s check them out.

Why should you utilize WordPress Blog Plugins?

When testing new plugins, it’s always recommended to make your blog private. That way you will avoid inconveniencing your visitors with slow loading, downtime, or an unfinished designed. You can read A Quick Guide on How to Make Your WordPress Site Private and learn how to do it safely.

Without further ado, let’s look at the six essential WordPress plugins for your blog based on their features, price, and ease of use.

Top WordPress Blog Plugins

Jetpack 

Jetpack is a feature-rich plugin that can handle plenty of essential tasks to keep your WordPress blog running at peak performance. It is the solution if you don’t want to clutter your blog with many different plugins. It comes with robust features to maintain your blog’s security, speed, and performance, while also providing some customization tools. While the free version will offer some great essential features, the advanced ones are locked behind a monthly subscription which starts at $3.85/mo.

Provided Features:

  • Downtime monitoring 
  • Brute force attack protection
  • Daily or real-time automated site backups
  • Spam and comment filtering
  • Malware scanning
  • Image and Video Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Lazy loading for images
  • Hundreds of free starter templates
  • The ability to display images in galleries, carousels, and slideshows
  • Built-in stats with the capability to integrate Google Analytics
  • Records of recent events to monitor the changes made on the blog
  • Publicize ‒ a feature to automatically publish your blog content on multiple social networks

Highlight:

  • Easy to install and use
  • Great support with a complete knowledge base, documentation, and expert help       

Yoast SEO 

Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin on the market. It is essential for building a search engine friendly website. The free version of Yoast SEO allows you to add a keyword or keyphrase to your content for optimization suggestions, while the premium version comes with extensive keyword optimization that offers synonyms and related keyphrases. This plugin is compatible with both the Gutenberg and Classic editor. Yoast’s premium version comes at $62.30 for a single website.

Provided Features:

  • Outdated content notifications
  • SEO and Readability analysis 
  • Canonical URLs to prevent duplicate content issues
  • Snippet preview 
  • Social preview
  • Redirect manager with the ability to import and export a CSV file
  • Internal linking tools
  • Advanced XML sitemaps
  • Breadcrumb customization

Highlight:

  • Good customer service with 24/7 support
  • Two-week release cycle that makes sure the plugin is up to date with the latest trends

WP Rocket 

WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that has all the features you need to speed up your blog. This plugin will automatically create a static version of your blog without requiring you to tweak any code. It works with multiple web servers, including Apache, NGINX, and Litespeed. You can get WP Rocker for a single purchase of $31.85 for a single site.

Provided Features:

  • Page and browser caching
  • GZIP compression
  • Static file minification
  • Cloudflare integration
  • Compatible with most CDN services
  • Cache and sitemap preloading
  • Regular cleanups for database optimization
  • Compatible with multiple multilingual plugins
  • Lazyload images
  • Compatible with WordPress multisite

Highlight:

  • Simple and quick configuration
  • Intuitive user interface 
  • Both beginner and developer-friendly

Contact Form 7 

Contact Form 7 can be your option to create a contact form and let visitors get in touch directly from your blog. This free plugin allows you to expand its default contact form functionality by adding several extensions or addons, including PayPal & Stripe and Mailchimp.

Provided Features:

  • The ability to create and manage multiple contact forms
  • Support simple shortcodes for inserting a contact form into different blog areas
  • Customizable form fields
  • Supports Ajax submissions
  • Spam filtering with Akismet 
  • reCAPTCHA v3 integration

Highlight:

  • Easy integration with WordPress
  • Great support and documentation, a support forum, and an extensive FAQ section

NextGEN Gallery is a must-have plugin if you want to share lots of pictures on your blog. It is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin and comes with a free and premium version. With this plugin, you can showcase pictures in stunning galleries and albums. The premium pricing starts at $79 for a single site.   

Provided Features:

  • Three basic gallery styles: slideshow, thumbnail, and an image browser
  • Two basic album styles: compact and extended
  • Additional gallery and album styles for pro users
  • Hover captions with titles, descriptions, and social sharing
  • Fade and slide up effects for hover captions
  • Image protection through watermarks and disabling right-clicking
  • Complete eCommerce features, including price lists and coupons 
  • Image social sharing, commenting, and deep linking

Highlight:

  • User-friendly and feature-rich
  • Easy gallery customization

Social Warfare 

Social Warfare lets you integrate your blog with multiple social networks and comes with modern social buttons. It is a lightweight plugin that won’t slow down your site’s loading time. Additionally, this plugin can help you boost user engagement and drive more traffic from social networks.

Provided Features:

  • Extensive customization options with thousands of potential style combinations
  • Social sharing buttons for the top social networks
  • Multiple button placement options
  • Supports Social Proof to show social share counts on each content piece
  • Floating share buttons when scrolling the page
  • Supports simple shortcodes for displaying social buttons on different blog areas 
  • Social Recovery ‒ a feature to recover share counts once you reset permalink settings 
  • Hide social share counts until a minimum threshold is reached

Highlight:

  • Simple and easy setup
  • Responsive share buttons, fit perfectly to any screen sizes

Conclusion

Now you know the best plugins you need to extend your WordPress blog’s features and functionalities. So, head over to your WordPress Dashboard and install them from the Plugins menu.  

We hope that this article is helpful. If you have other plugin recommendations, share them with us in the comments section! 

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