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essential-plugins-for-your-blog

Plugins are add on that you can upload to your blog/Website to perform certain functions or feature, for example, Social Share buttons that give the visitor an option to share your blog on a social media platform.

They are great pieces of kit to add to your website, but you don’t want to add too many as they will slow your website down. 

You want a few plugins as possible to perform the required tasks needed.

If your blog is on the free WordPress.com platform then, unfortunately, you have very limited free options and plugins are not one of them 

We recommend your website/Blog is on a separate hosting platform, with one click you can easily install WordPress to your hosting account, you would need to purchase your domain name and pay monthly for hosting, but you will be in control of your own website with more options and freedom. 

We recommend our Dose of Doughnut Hosting Plan or if you would prefer us to take care of the management and updates of the site we recommend our Hole In One Doughnut Hosting Plan

Security

One of the first and most important plugins you should install is a security plugin to protect your website.

We recommend Wordfence Security this is a free firewall and malware plugin that helps to protect your site from outside attacks.

 

SEO

RankMath is one of the best SEO Plugins available for optimising your website for Search Engines.

  • Setup Wizard (Easy to follow)
  • Optimise Unlimited Keywords
  • Google Search Console Integration
  • Google Keyword Ranking
  • Optimal Settings Pre-Selected
  • Add Overlay Icons On Social Images
  • Advanced SEO Analysis Tool

These are just a few of the features available to help and assist you to get your blog post seen.

*Remember it is just a tool to assist you and will not guarantee your post appearing on the first page of Google.

 

Page Builder

Elementor is a free drag and drop page builder that will enable you to create an awesome Home page, landing page and blog posts.

With Elementor you don’t have to create a web page from scratch there are hundreds of readymade templates to choose from.

There is the Elementor Pro version. Subscribe to one of their very affordable plans and gain access to the Pro version, premium templates and even more features.

 

If you prefer a professional to build your site, Design Doughnut has great monthly website subscription plans and can build your website and the templates for you.

Anti Spam

One of the most annoying things is spam comments, they are everywhere, but luckily there are great plugins to help you rid the annoying spam.

Antispam Bee is a great free plugin that does exactly what it says on the tin.

 

Contact Forms

Having a contact form on your blog is the best way for people to get in touch with you.

WP Forms 

This is a free and very easy to use contact form plugin, with pre-made templates and a form builder to create a custom contact form.

If you require a little more than just a regular form then WPForms also has a paid version with added features such as PayPal, MailChimp surveys and polls, plus much more.

Social Media Sharing 

You want people to share your post on their social media so it’s important to have social sharing buttons.

 Grow by Mediavine is a free social share plugin and makes social sharing very easy.

If Pinterest is your main social media for your blog post there is a paid version Go Social Pro that gives you extra Pinterest features like writing your own Pinterest description, choosing the image that will be pinned when someone clicks to share your post on Pinterest and lots of other features.

 

Cookie Notice

You are required by Law to inform your readers and website visitors that your website uses cookies, an easy and simple way to do that is the Cookie Notice plugin.

The next plugin features, Caching, Image Optimisation and Backups come as standard with our Litespeed WordPress Hosting Plans but

If your website is hosted on another platform, we recommended adding these plugins to your site.

Caching Plugin

What is a Caching Plugin? It is a plugin that saves a copy of your website and when someone visits your site the latest copy is shown, this means your website will load faster, this is important for user experience and SEO

 The plugin we recommend is Hyper Cache

Hyper Cache was specifically written for WordPress blogs, it can be used on low resource hosting as well as high-end servers and without the need for any complex configurations.

Backups 

Backing up your website is vitally important in case of any security breaches or an update to your, theme or plugins disrupts your site.

Our WordPress plans come with back up as standard stored on a completely separate server if you’re using a plugin you want to be able to store your site in a separate location also.

 

UpdraftPlus is a free backup plugin, once installed it is very easy to set up and you can choose where to store the backups of your website. 

 

You can choose between

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Amazon S3 (or compatible) 
  • UpdraftVault
  • Rackspace Cloud 
  • FTP
  • DreamObjects
  • Openstack Swift
  • Email

There is a Paid version that backs up to 

  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Backblaze B2
  • SFTP
  • SCP
  • WebDAV

 

Image Optimisation

Image optimisation is important as it has a high impact on the speed of your website, although a plugin is a great tool you also want to do a few little things to your images before you upload them to your site. 

  1. Sizing – Resize your image to match the size of your post area 
  2. Save your images as JPG, not PNG

 

ShortPixel is the image optimiser and compression plugin we recommend for your website. 

It’s a freemium plugin that is very easy to use and has a ton of feature. They give 100 free credits per month and if you require more it just a small fee of $4.99 (under £4 GBP) for 5000 image credits.

 

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