Finding Morgan

Essential Wordpress Plugins to Simplify Your Life

bloggingMorgan Taber31 Comments
 I am fairly new to Wordpress, I moved over from Blogger about 2 months ago. I was terrified making the move. The minute I got everything moved over, I wanted to run back to Blogger. Wordpress just seemed so...scary and lonely. I felt like I had moved from a cozy cottage in Martha's Vineyard to the dusty thoroughfares of the Wild West.


And then I found them. Wordpress Plugins. *Insert choir music*. At first I went a little plugin crazy, installing pretty much anything that looked like it maybe, possibly, kinda could help my blog. I think there were times when my blog would take over a minute to load. Yeah, don't do that. There are tons and tons of plugins out there, I suggest trying all of the ones that you think will do a service for your blog and/or make your life simpler. Just remember to at the very least deactivate similar plugins before you activate a new one, so you don't experience "plugin overload". I try to think of 5 things before installing a new plugin 1. Will it increase my traffic 2. Will it make my life easier 3. Will it help secure my blog? 4. Will it make my blog look better? 5. Is it similar to something I already have, but may do a better job? If I answer yes to one, I give it a shot. I am constantly updating and checking for new plugins as well as deleting ones that  just aren't meeting this criteria any longer. An added bonus: these are ALL free (some do have paid versions). What plugins are essential for your blog?

essential wordpress plugins

When I first started my blog, I had NO idea that SPAM comments were even really a thing. Until I got hundreds of them. Seriously, hundreds. This plugin is an absolute must have, it is pretty much your guard dog. Plus, it's kind of funny to go read through some of the SPAM comments that never were. Sorry, we don't advertise male enhancement drugs here, but thanks for the laugh!

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The better your posts are optimized, the higher they will rank higher in Google, which makes it more likely for people to find your awesome posts. I still recommend learning more about SEO, but Yoast really takes a lot of the guess work out of it.

If you're anything like me, you are a fontaholic. This plugin allows you to add Google fonts to your theme.

This really encourages readers to leave comments on your posts as it automatically adds THEIR last blog post to their comment. I have found so many great blogs this way. 

This built-in Editorial Calendar was an absolute life changer for me. I have always kept an editorial calendar in Evernote as well, but nothing keeps me accountable like the plugin. Move, drag and drop posts around, set drafts and schedule completed posts right through Wordpress.

Automatically tweets out random posts. Customizable settings for the times, hashtags and what categories to include. An awesome way to bring some attention to older posts.

"Sharing is Caring". I'll bet you've seen that at the bottom of some blog posts. Not only a great way to allow readers to share your content on a plethora of social media, but it also has options for related content. Related content=lower bounce rate.

The quickest and easiest way I found to ad a purty image slider on my blog.

Technically not a plugin, but it is so awesome I just had to include it. Add your call to action or your optin form using Hello Bar. A super effective, customizable way to get people to sign up for your mailing list.

If you are monetizing your site and use Google Adsense, this plugin makes it super-duper easy to place ads throughout your site.

Statistics show that if a page takes too long to load, people leave. I know I am guilty of doing just that. BJLL optimizes your site for speed. It prevents the imagse below the fold from loadnig until they are actually scrolled down to, which drastically reduces pageload time.

Backup and restoration made easy. Complete backups: manual or scheduled. Multiple backup location choices (including Google Drive and Dropbox)

Better WP Security What I've found to be the simplest and most effective way to protect and secure your blog.

The Mack Daddy of Wordpres Security. I use the free version and it is great. Fully integrated with it's own high speed caching engine to avoid security and caching conflicts.

ZipList Recipe Plugin Does all of the behind the scenes stuff to get your recipe to show up in Google's Recipe Search.

Recipe Rich Pins for ZipList  Works with Ziplist to optimize your recipes for Pinterest. I really noticed a big change in my re-pin action after installing these plugins.

All-in-One Rich Snippets Provides your site with Rich snippets. Rich Snippets will show a short summary of your post in Google, Yahoo and Bing in a professional, good-looking format. It also helps with setting up Rich Pins via Pinterest.