It’s been a while since I’ve updated my list of best plugins for WordPress Blogs (8 years, to be exact!). There are a lot more plugins available now but also more time to see which are diligently maintained, reliable, and don’t impact your site speed.
This is an updated list of WordPress plugins that still work better than ever and newer tools to add to your arsenal.
Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is a top WordPress SEO plugin, and will help your blog rank higher in search engines. It’s also helpful to remember that guest posts can actually help SEO. Yoast is pretty easy to use out of the box but can also be finely tuned if you want to make modifications to how it handles your sites SEO.
Maintenance Mode – Still a favorite, this plugin creates an “Under Construction” page for your site when you’re doing some work on it. This way, people aren’t running into an error when you’re sprucing things up. It can also be set up with links to redirect readers to everywhere else you might be found online so you don’t lose a potential subscriber.
Akismet – I recommended Akismet in 2013 and still do today. The plugin automatically checks all comments made on your site and filters the ones it suspects are spam, making it a useful tool to handle and reduce spam on your blog. Keep in mind that won’t need this plugin if you disable comments on your site. Akismet recently began charging for their plugin if you run any ads on your blog.
WhyDoWork Adsense WP In Post Ads – The WhyDoWork Adsense plugin became defunct in 2018, but there are alternatives to the plugin if you want to make some money with your travel blog. Adsense plugins provide easy ad management without complicated code. WP In Post Ads allows you to test different ad placements and see what’s making the most money.
Google Analytics – While plugins can bring increased functionality with ease to your blog in some cases, sometimes avoiding plugins increases your site’s efficiency. This is the case with Google Analytics, which I still recommend. The tool tracks and reports website traffic, which is important if you want to make adjustments and monetize on your blog.
Sucuri Security – The cost of this service has increased from $89.99 per year (in 2013) for a single site to $199.99. That price includes security monitoring, protection, and clean up if required. The plugin helps integrate the Sucuri service into your WordPress installation. You can also leverage Sucuri to protect your sites contact form from spam messages (in case you decide not to use Aksimet).
You’ll notice this is a clean, lean, and minimalist list and for good reason. Using too many plugins can slow down your blog and also increases the chances plugins will conflict with one another or your sites theme. Stick to only the plugins you find essential and let your creative work do the rest.