Starting a new WordPress blog is the easiest task ever. The only difficult task is to manage it. If you started a new blog, there’re some very important things you need to do to optimize your WordPress blog. It may consist of different settings and plugins. In this article, I am letting you know about the 10 must-have WordPress plugins for beginners in 2021.
However, as the need comes, you can search for the required plugin and install it from your WordPress dashboard (Plugins » Add New) but there’re some WordPress plugins that must be installed in your WordPress blog from the very beginning. Let’s know about these plugins in detail.
1. SEO Plugin
An SEO plugin is one of the most important WordPress plugins that must be installed in every WordPress blog. We all know if any of our content is not appearing in the search results is just a waste of effort and time. So, if you recently started a WordPress blog or website, it’s very important to install an SEO plugin to optimize all your articles and pages for search engines.
And I think every webmaster must have an SEO WordPress plugin from the very beginning.
There’re different SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugins available for WordPress such as All in One SEO Pack, Yoast SEO, RankMath, SEO Framework, etc.
On this blog, we’re using the All in One SEO plugin and it’s working great. Other than the All in One SEO plugin, you can also try the Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress plugin because this one is also great.
2. Caching Plugin
Caching is very important to speed up your website. For WordPress, there are many caching plugins available on the WordPress Plugins Repository.
Two of the most popular free WordPress caching plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. These two plugins work great to fulfill your caching needs. You can install any of these two caching plugins on your WordPress blog to increase the speed.
If you have some budget and can afford a premium caching plugin, WP Rocket will be a great choice for you to completely optimize your WordPress blog for not only caching but for different other things like Heartbeat control, database optimization, and more. The price starts at $34.30 for one website.
3. Sitemap Plugin
A sitemap is another very important thing to consider when starting a new blog. It is very important to set up your website’s sitemap of posts and pages on your website and submit it to Google Search Console. This helps fast indexing of your pages.
Now, the question arises, how to create a sitemap for my blog posts and pages? When you’re working with WordPress, everything is very simple. All you need to install a sitemap plugin and it will take care of everything for you.
One of the best and highly recommended sitemap plugins is Google XML Sitemaps but if you’re using Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack plugin, you’ll get a built-in feature to add a sitemap. So, you won’t need any additional plugins for creating a sitemap.
4. Image Optimization Plugin
Image optimization is another important thing every webmaster should take care of. Every image you insert in a blog post must be well optimized to speed up the page loading.
You can however optimize every image manually from outside of WordPress with the help of any photo compressor or optimizer but if you don’t want to do it manually for every image, you may use an image optimization plugin to get it done automatically for all the uploaded pictures in the WordPress.
There are many image optimization plugins available on the WordPress plugins repository but only a few of them are worth using. WP Smush is one of the best image optimization plugins you must try if you’re looking for one.
5. Form Builder Plugin
Whether you’re setting up your WordPress for a blogging site or a business site, you’ll have to create different forms for different purposes. If you’re are having a “contact us” page on your website, it’s a great practice to have a contact form on that page so that your visitors can easily interact with you.
There’re many form builder WordPress plugins available and some of them are very popular and trustworthy. I would recommend you WPForms, Forminator, and Ninja Forms WordPress plugins to create different kinds of forms on your WordPress website.
6. Security Plugin
Security these days is the primary thing to consider. As the internet has become one of the most effective mediums to generate money these days, things are not that secure and safe as before.
There are different kinds of cyber-attacks being performed on the internet such as malware injection, brute force attack, phishing attempts, chocking, and more. Due to these kinds of attacks, Google and other search engines might block your website from showing in the search results.
To stay safe from these security threats, you can safeguard your WordPress blog with the help of a WordPress Security Plugin. WordFence Security and MalCare are two effective plugins to help you out in this regard. If you’re using professional WordPress hosting, you may also ask your hosting provider to suggest the best WordPress security plugin to safeguard your website.
7. Social Sharing Plugin
To encourage your visitors for sharing your articles on their social media handles, it’s very important to put social media sharing buttons below/above your blog post. And for this, you may use a social sharing WordPress plugin.
Among hundreds of free social sharing plugins available for WordPress, you need to choose the best one for your blog. One of my favorite social sharing plugins is Social Warfare. You can install this plugin for free from the WordPress plugins repository. This plugin also offers a premium membership for advanced features.
8. Comments Plugin
Generally, every WordPress theme comes by default with its built-in comments section. So, why do you need a WordPress plugin for showing comments on your blog or website? It’s because the default comments system lacks some advanced features.
There are many WordPress comments plugins available that upgrade your default comments system and help encourage more visitors to comment on your posts. Two of my favorite free comments system plugins for WordPress are Disqus and wpDiscuz.
If you want to know about any premium WordPress plugin for the comments system, the Thrive Comments plugin is one of the best choices. I’m also using Thrive Comments on one of my blogs.
9. Spam Protection Plugin
For security threats like malware, bruit-force attack, and blocking you may use any of the above-suggested security plugins but how will you protect your WordPress blog from spam comments and form submissions?
In order to protect your site from spam comments, pingbacks, and form submissions, you will need to use an anti-spam or spam protection WordPress plugin. Spam Protection by CleanTalk and Akismet are the two best options to try.
10. Popular Posts Plugin
Showing the most trending articles in the sidebar of your blog or website is a good signal to boost user engagement, reduce bounce rate, and enhance the overall website SEO.
There are many WordPress plugins available for this purpose. The plugin that I’ve tried on some of my blogs for showing popular posts is WordPress Popular Posts by Hector Cabrera. I think this is one of the best and easily customizable WordPress plugins to display popular posts on your website.
That’s all. These 10 are the must-have WordPress plugins for beginners as well as professional bloggers to use in 2021. I’m sure all of these 10 WordPress plugins will give your new WordPress blog a good start in 2021.