Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs (2020)

Getting the best plugins for your WordPress blog is a downright tough task with thousands out there to choose from. Even with user ratings and feedback, you’ll still need to test a plugin’s compatibility with your website and hope it doesn’t break anything. As such, it’s highly recommended that you only use WordPress plugins from trusted developers who continue to provide support for their work, especially if they’ve been doing so for a long time. Check out our list of the best WordPress plugins for blogs to help you get the functionality your site needs.

1. Yoast SEO

Search engine optimization is a must-have for any blog that wants to get as many readers as possible. You’ll want to set up your site’s SEO right from the get go, and there’s no better plugin for the job than Yoast SEO. It’s simply the best SEO plugin for WordPress, used by millions of website owners of varying sizes. It offers a comprehensive solution to improve your on-page optimization, helping you rank up higher in search engines.

Key features and benefits:

  • Improves chances for highly desirable rich results with schema implementation
  • Templates for title and meta tags for better branding and search results snippets
  • Create easy-to-read content for visitors and search engines with readability analysis
  • Keyword optimization for related keywords and synonyms
  • Single-button creation for advanced XML sitemaps
  • Prevent duplicate content using canonical URLs

View Yoast SEO on WordPress.org

2. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress

Tracking traffic to your blog is best achieved with Google Analytics, but setting it up is not exactly easy if you don’t have much web know-how. MonsterInsights makes it simple and “effortless” to integrate Google Analytics with this plugin so you won’t need to hire a web developer to get it done right. Even better, this plugin makes GA data viewable right in your WP dashboard. You’ll be able to review your blog stats in real time from within WordPress, along with custom reports to help you understand the important numbers.

Key features and benefits:

  • Easily connect your blog to Google Analytics
  • View real-time traffic stats right in WordPress
  • Determine which content gets top traffic for better targeting
  • Digest tracked data with customized reports
  • Analyze visitor demographics, behavior, conversions, etc.
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View Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin by MonsterInsights on WordPress.org

3. W3 Total Cache

Slow-loading websites are terrible. Waiting for a site to load for even a couple of seconds can cause visitors to instantly bounce, depriving your blog of traffic. W3 Total Cache optimizes your blog by storing frequently accessed files into a cache, highly improving page speed, visitor time on site, and conversion rates. Since page speed is an important metric in search result rankings, this plugin boosts your SEO efforts too.

Key features and benefits:

  • Reduce loading time of web pages including scripts
  • Enable browser caching for instant repeat page views
  • Improve web server performance during high traffic periods
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, HTML, posts, pages, and more
  • Integrate Content Delivery Networks for image optimization

View W3 Total Cache on WordPress.org

4. Wordfence

Needless to say, protecting your blog is vital. Wordfence adds a firewall and malware scanner to your site, protecting it from external threats. Unauthorized attempts to log into your site will trigger notifications while stopping them. More than three million users trust Wordfence to safeguard their blogs, as it’s the most powerful and comprehensive solution for WordPress security.

Key features and benefits:

  • Block malicious traffic with real-time firewall updates
  • Enable two-factor authentication for login security
  • Limit login attempts to prevent brute force attacks
  • Scan core files, themes, and other plugins for malware, backdoors, code injections, etc.
  • Track live traffic and hack attempts, storing origin, IP address, and other data

View Wordfence Security on WordPress.org

5. Akismet

Blogs with comment sections inevitably attract spam. Sooner or later, your website will get bogged down with thousands of spam comments, most often including links to malicious sites. Akismet is an official WordPress plugin from the team behind the platform itself, Automattic. It filters all comments you receive, blocking out spam based on its huge database built over the many years it’s been up. If you plan enabling comments in your blog at all, you’d want an anti-spam plugin to protect your site’s quality from the start, and Akismet’s the best at it.

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Key features and benefits:

  • Automatically filter comments to separate spam from genuine ones
  • Access status history of each comment
  • Save storage space by discarding the worst spam

View Akismet on WordPress.org

6. wpDiscuz

Speaking of comments, you’ll no doubt find the bare-bones comment section of WordPress quite lacking. Though there are many popular comment plugins out there, such as Disqus and Facebook, it’s better to have a fast-loading solution that lets you keep comment data in your own database. One of the best alternatives is wpDiscuz, a fast and responsive comment system that can be customized thoroughly. Its clean layout welcomes discussion and enables multi-level threads, comment upvoting, sorting, and more.

Key features and benefits:

  • Lazy loading of comments on scrolling for faster page speed
  • Interactive comment box with live updates and notifier buttons
  • Full integration with social media logins and user profile avatars
  • Clean interface and appealing layout
  • Nested comment threads with variable depth setting
  • Anti-spam features which can be integrated with popular plugins like Akismet

View wpDiscuz on WordPress.org

7. Sassy Social Share

Aside from SEO, social media is one of the top ways to get more visitors to your blog. Make your content easy to share by adding social media buttons that can be easily found on your site’s pages. For this we recommend Sassy Social Share, a free social sharing plugin with customizable icons and lightweight code for optimal performance. You can display share counts for every post so new readers can see just how many people have shared your content already. It’s mobile-responsive and easy to configure, and there’s no middle layer sending user actions to other servers.

Key features and benefits:

  • Allow visitors to share content to over 100 social media sites
  • Full icon customization and layout settings
  • Share counter options and cache
  • Free to use, no account registration needed

View Sassy Social Share on WordPress.org

8. Pretty Links

Affiliate links usually involve long and unattractive URLs that are also hard to remember. A plugin like Pretty Links make these, well, pretty to look at and easy to share. They work similar to shorteners like Bitly or TinyURL, except it’ll use your blog’s own domain name and you can customize the slug to be more descriptive. You’ll also be able to view detailed reports on clicks on your pretty link, allowing you to examine origin, browser, and other info.

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Key features and benefits:

  • Create short, clean URLs while keeping your blog domain name
  • Track link clicks along with extensive details
  • Set up redirects as needed
  • Optional nofollow or noindex tags

View Pretty Links on WordPress.org

9. Redirection

As your blog grows, you’ll want to be able to be able to tweak previous posts to target new and better keywords. However, simply changing the URL of a post or page will mean treating visitors using the old URL to a 404 page. Redirection prevents that and simplifies the amount of work you’ll need to do so that site visitors always reach the intended page. Moreover, you can use it to track all 404 page not found errors on your site so you can turn those wasted clicks into healthy traffic.

Key features and benefits:

  • Manage redirects without coding knowledge
  • Set up conditional redirects based on login status, browser, referrer, etc.
  • Log visitor data per redirect (optional)
  • Track and fix all 404 errors

View Redirection on WordPress.org

10. UpdraftPlus

Losing your entire blog to a server crash, faulty update, or malicious attack is devastating. It will cost money, time, and reputation to get your site up and running again if you don’t have a dependable backup ready. UpdraftPlus ensures you won’t have to go through that, as you can set it up and enjoy automatic scheduled backups. You can backup your files and database instantly with a single click, too, and send it to cloud storage services or your email. With over 2 million active installs and free expert support, it’s easy to trust your investment into your blog to UpdraftPlus backups.

Key features and benefits:

  • Schedule automatic backups of your blog
  • Restore backups easily
  • Multiple storage destinations including cloud services

View UpdraftPlus on WordPress.org

Didn’t find the WordPress plugin you need?

With thousands of highly-rated plugins to choose from, it’s impossible to create an exhaustive list for every functionality you need for your WordPress blog. This list provides the top plugin choices for functions we deem essential to any WordPress blog. Feel free to ask for recommendations as well as provide more top WordPress plugins below.

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