11 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install (2020)

One of the reason for selecting WordPress platform for a blog is that it supports plugins. Plugins are the building blocks of a WordPress blog.

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that allow you to add new features and functionality to a WordPress website.

WordPress plugin directory currently has more than 50,000 plugins. And there are thousands more on third-party websites.

With so many options available it becomes very difficult to choose the right and essential WordPress plugins for your blog.

I have compiled some of the best and essential WordPress plugins for bloggers that are crucial for your blog's speed, security and functionality.

These plugins will help in adding contact forms, taking backup, improving SEO, compressing images, increasing site speed, creating an online store, adding social share buttons or capturing email subscribers and many more features. Let's check out these essential WordPress plugins.

Rankmath SEO plugin

Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the main key to get consistent and free organic traffic from search engines like Google. RankMath is the one SEO plugin that you need to improve your SEO efforts and attract more traffic to their website.

Check out some of its wonderful features below:

  • SEO Analysis
  • Advanced SEO Optimization
  • Rich Snippets
  • XML Sitemaps
  • 404 Monitor
  • Redirection Manager
  • Google Search Console Integration
  • Advanced WooCommerce SEO
  • External/Internal Link Counter
  • Breadcrumb Navigation
  • and many more features

UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin

UpdraftPlus is the most popular scheduled backup plugin.

It allows you to backup your files and database into the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email). 

Once you have the backup in place, you can always restore your website with a single click if anything goes wrong with your website.

Why you should use a backup plugin?

WordPress like any CMS are vulnerable to server crashes, hacking, security flaws, bad plugin or theme updates and insecure web hosts.

If anything worse happen to your website it could cost your time, money and reputation.

Using a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus will allow you to restore your website (including all files and databases) in single click.

Thrive Architect Plugin

With Thrive Architect plugin you can turn your ideas into pages with the fastest and visual WordPress Page Builder. You can easily create beautiful, engaging and visually impressive content & layouts for your blog.

It has ready to use 334 beautifully designed and 100% conversion focused landing page templates which you can use to create your blog content.

Thrive Architect is simply the fastest way to create professional looking sales pages, opt-in pages, webinar pages and more.

You can create beautifully formatted blog posts that increases user engagement and shares.

In your blog post you can include things like:

  • Highlight boxes
  • Styled lists
  • Click-to-tweet quotes
  • Columns
  • Custom HTML
  • Countdown box
  • Custom Menu
  • Google Map
  • Lead Generation
  • And many more features

iThemes Security Plugin

Thousands of websites are hacked every day. Your website can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin or theme vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.

To save time and money, and also your efforts in creating your blog it is crucial to provide security to it.

iThemes Security plugin is one of the best security plugin. I am also using using this plugin to protect my blog from hackers.

Some important features of this plugin are:

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Malware Scan Scheduling
  • Password Security
  • Google reCAPTCHA
  • Prevents brute force attacks
  • Forces SSL
  • and many more features

WP Optimize Plugin

Faster websites tends to ranks better in Google. Why? Because among numbers of factors that are responsible for higher rankings in search engines like Google, speed of a website is also one of the important factors.

Thus, you should not ignore this and do everything you need to keep your website fast and thoroughly optimized.

WP-Optimize is a revolutionary, all-in-one plugin that cleans your database, compresses your images and caches your site to reduce your website's load time.

Important features of this plugin are:

  • Cleans and optimizes WordPress Databases.
  • Compress images
  • Cache web pages for super fast load times

Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

Spammers are everywhere. Once a blog starts getting organic traffic, it will face lots of spam comments every day.

To automatically block all the spam comments you can use this wonderful plugin, Akismet Anti-Spam.

Akismet checks comments and contact form submissions in your blog against its global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.

Major features in Akismet are:

  • Automatically checks all spam comments
  • Automatically deletes all spam comments
  • URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden links
  • Discard feature to outright block the spam comments

Google XML Sitemaps Plugin

It is important for your blog to have sitemap. Sitemaps make it easier for search engine crawlers like Google to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. 

The Google XML Sitemaps plugin supports various types of WordPress-generated pages and custom URLs.

Every time you create a new post the plugin notifies about it to all major search engines.

Contact Form 7 Plugin

Contact Form 7 is the most popular contact form plugin. When this plugin is installed and activated, users can easily contact you via contact forms.

It also supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering functionality to help prevent spam.

Broken Link Checker Plugin

Broken links are the links that bring your users to a page that says “404 error”.

Broken links not only results in lost customers and revenue but also hurt your search engine rankings.

If broken links are not fixed it can do some serious damage to your website reputation and your business.

Broken Link Checker plugin regularly monitors your websites to check for any broken links. If it finds any broken link it will notify you so that you can fix it by redirecting it to some other URL.

Elementor Page Builder Plugin

Gone are the days when you work on the backend designing your web page and guess what the frontend will look like.

However, with Elementor plugin you could work on frontend with its instant drag and drop page builder, instant live edit, and instant page load. Everything is live with Elementor. What You See is What You Get fits perfectly with Elementor.

If you are looking for a page builder that delivers high-end page designs and advanced capabilities then Elementor could be your best choice.

By working with Elementor you would be amaze to find how easy and fast it is to design a blog page or post.

Some of its features are Box Shadows, Background Overlays, Hover Effects, Headline Effects, Animations, Shape Dividers, Gradient Backgrounds and much more.

Image optimization is crucial while doing on-page SEO. Let's see what exactly is image optimization and how we can achieve it.

Website loading speed is one of the important Google ranking factors. Whether you are using single or multiple images on your website, you must compress it to keep the image size to minimum.

By reducing the image size your blog post or page will load faster. But how do we reduce the image size?

There are many plugins available that can help you to achieve that. I recommend you to use Smush plugin.

Smush helps to optimize your images by turning on lazy load and resizing & compressing it. It is 100% free. Download it from the button given below.

Improve Your Blog With These Essential WordPress Plugins

You can't imagine a WordPress website without a plugin. From the above list you must have realized that how much additional functionality it adds to your site.

Whether it is about improving your website speed, compressing images, taking backup of your site, doing SEO, adding email opt-in form, adding social sharing buttons, etc., plugins are essentially required to perform all these tasks.

In WordPress there are plugins for just about anything you can think of. You just have to find the perfect one that suits your need.

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Wrapping up

I hope you liked the above list of essential WordPress plugins for bloggers. Start using them to enhance your website's functionality and user experience.

If you are already using them, write your feedback in the comment box below.

Did I miss any essential  WordPress plugin? I would appreciate if you suggest me any.

Essential WordPress Plugins

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