Everything You Need to Know About WordPress Plugins as Beginner Blogger

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure.

When you are a total newbie understanding what the best WordPress plugins for beginner bloggers are is kind of like understanding a foreign language.

At least that’s what it was like for me.

If you have just decided to start a blog or are a little further ahead then this post should be of some help to you.

Let’s start with discussing what plugins are, why you want them and why you don’t want too many.

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The Best WordPress Plugins for Beginner Bloggers

WordPress for Beginners

Don’t feel dumb if you’re confused about what plugins are. You’re not the only one that has wondered that.

Essentially, plugins are an extension of your site. You install them on your WordPress blog and they add certain elements that you can use.

For instance, you can get plugins to do specific things such as create email sign up forms, display images in a certain format, build pages and so much more.

The sky is the limit really.

However, there is a catch.

While it may be exciting to think that you can install a plugin to do just about anything you want on your blog, you actually don’t want to be using many at all.

But, why?

There are two main reasons:

1. They will slow down your site

The more plugins you have the slower your site speed will be.

I know that as a beginner blogger I had no idea about things like site speed. I just thought about creating content and marketing it.

However, it doesn’t matter how great your content is if people are clicking away because the page is taking too long to load.

Other Helpful Posts…

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2. More plugins increases the chance on conflicts

Not all plugins play nicely and the more plugins you have the more chance there is that one will conflict with another.

It is better to keep your plugins to the bare minimum in order to simplify things and create a better user experience.

A word of caution…

One more thing to always check is the last time a plugin was updated. If it hasn’t been updated within the past 3 months, I would be cautious.

Plugins get hacked and they can crash your site if the developers aren’t maintaining them on a regular basis.

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Best WordPress Plugins for When You Start a Blog

With all that said, there are some really great plugins that I absolutely do recommend people install.

These are my personal recommendations of the best WordPress plugins for beginner bloggers:

#1 Tasty Pins

I’ve done a full review of the WP Tasty Pins plugin HERE.

It is a plugin that allows you to do a bunch of awesome things when it comes to SEO and Pinterest optimization.

For instance, you can utilize the alt text for its original intended purpose (accessibility & SEO) while also having a spot to insert your Pinterest description.

This means you are optimizing your Pinterest image for both Google ranking and Pinterest ranking.

I also love that you can hide pin images within the post without having to do any coding.

This plugin is designed with page speed in mind so that is another win.

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#2 Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins.

Understanding SEO is not something that many beginner bloggers are interest in, but it is really important if you plan on having long-term success with blogging.

There is so much more to SEO than what comes with the Yoast plugin, but it does help to get you started.

Related: 7 Simple SEO Tips You Need to Know About

It’ll guide you through the process of connecting your Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Pinterest account as well as submitting your site map.

Plus, it gives you a helpful guide when it comes to ranking for keywords.

There is a clear spot to insert your keyword as well as specify your meta description and SEO title for your post.

While it is great to have some helpful suggestions, do remember to use your instincts and write for your reader, not just tick off a checklist.

Your post needs to be personal and have your voice if it is going to sound authentic.

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#3 Short Pixel

An essential part of a successful blog is having fast page loading times. This is ultimately related to user experience, but will also impact your rankings on Google.

For that reason, it is super important to make sure you are optimizing your images.

You can do this manually, or you can use a plugin to do it for you.

This is one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs.

Short Pixel has a free version and it will compress and optimize your images so that they aren’t slowing down your site.

There are other plugins that do a similar job, but Short Pixel is highly recommended and performs well.

#4 Contact Form 7

The Contact Form 7 plugin will allow you to create clean and visually appealing email forms on your site.

This is a great way for your readers and brands to get in contact with you.

It is very easy to set up and is free.

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#5 Social Pug

Every blogger wants their content to be shared so that more eyeballs land on their site.

For that reason it is incredibly important to make sharing your content as easy as possible.

A great way of doing this is to use a social share plugin so that readers can share your content without having to copy and paste anything.

Social Pug is my social share plugin of choice. Their interface is user-friendly, they regularly update their software and their support is awesome.

They have a free option that works really well, but if you want to use your brand colors, etc, then you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version.

#6 FMTC Affiliate Disclosure

If you intend to do any kind of affiliate marketing on your blog then you absolutely must disclose in the appropriate way.

This includes disclosing before any affiliate links.

You can manually type a disclosure into every post that has affiliate links, or you can just use a free plugin to insert the disclosure site wide.

I personally like this because it is just one less thing for me to have to think about.

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#7 Create by Mediavine

Create by Mediavine is one of my very favorite plugins because it is optimized for SEO and there is just so much that you can do with it.

First of all, if you are a craft or food blogger, this plugin is a MUST.

They provide recipe cards and how to cards that are beautifully designed and optimized for SEO purposes.

However, even if you don’t blog about either of those things (I don’t!) you’ll still find it very useful for creating round ups with their list feature and how to guides with their “how to” card.

Here’s an example of where I’ve used their how to card at the end of one of my posts: How to Write Blog Posts that Make Money

It is completely free for anyone to use and they are constantly updating the plugin with more valuable tools which makes it one of the very best free WordPress plugins.

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#8 Kadence Blocks

This is a plugin that is specific to the Gutenberg editor so if you’re still using the Classic editor this one is irrelevant.

However, I love using Gutenberg because of the control it gives me over the look and feel of my posts.

The Kadence Blocks plugin is free and has so many great add on blocks that can really up your game as far as blog design.

I have used it to link to related posts within my content using images as opposed to text links and have found it to work really well!

This results in more page views and a lower bounce rate which is what you should always be working towards.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t go crazy adding plugins to your site because you don’t want to kill your page speed.
  • Always make sure the plugin has been updated recently before you decide to add it to your site.
  • Consider user experience and balancing that with functionality
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