50 Free WordPress Plugins to Boost Your Blog
By: Jennine Jacob

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If you have a WordPress blog, you will know that plugins are an essential part of creating a customized experience for your readers, making maintenance easier, and amplifying your voice. From installing elegant slide shows to backing up your blog, keeping things going takes research and work. When I first started blogging, I loved plugins so much installing everything that tickled my fancy, these days after installing too many and slowing down my site, I’ve learned to pick only the necessary. Here’s a list of plugins you can use for your blog. Don’t use them all at once… but they will basically cover almost everything you need as a blogger!

Administrative:

  • Jetpack: Basically the all-in-one plugin pack that gives WordPress users site notification capabilities, social media integration, URL shorteners, commenting system, simple stats and so much more.
  • WE Total Cache: Your site can only hold so much information. Avoid overloading it and use this plugin to help your server’s performance, reduce downloading times.
  • Bulletproof Security: Helps protect your blog from being attacked by hackers.
  • All in One SEO: Increases you SEO visibility
  • Broken Link Checker: Helps you find those broken links.
  • Adsense Made Easy: Allows you to add AdSense to any widgetized area of your blog.
  • Editorial Calendar: Just in case you want something fancier than an excel spreadsheet.
  • WordPress Backup: You’ll need this just incase you are doing work on your site and things go bad.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox: In case you don’t have space on your hard drive.
  • Pretty Link Lite: Shrink, beautify, track, manage and share any URL on or off of your WordPress website.
  • P3 Profiler: If you have too many plugins they can slow your site down and start to cause problems. This plugin will help you identify problem plugins.
  • Outbound links: Slightly out of date, but nice idea to make all your outbound links open in new windows.
  • WP-UserOnline: Want to see how many lurkers are on your site? This will help.
  • SEO Images: Automatically adds “alt” tags to your images, making them search friendly.
  • SEO Rank: Gives you an update every 3 days about your rankings in Google.
  • User Switching: Do you have multiple user accounts on your wordpress? This plugin will enable you to switch between users.
  • Simple Login Log: Want to know who’s logging into your site. This will keep track.
  • Plugin Organzier: Plugin Junky? This will help you manage your plugins.
  • Anti Malware: Gets rid of malware because we know you don’t want it.
  • EditFlow: Allows you to better organize with your editorial team within WordPress.

 

Design/Usability:

  • Portfolio Slideshow: Assemble your very own image gallery with minimal work. Not to mention, the actual slideshow itself looks good on every blog, no matter the design. Clear frames, simple navigation options, and more.
  • LinkWithin: Increase pageviews with this widget that delivers similar content to your readers in thumbnail format.
  • WP Polls: Get feedback and measure your reader’s opinions with this customizable polling plugin.
  • WPtouch: Give your readers mobile access to your site all thanks to this easy and simple plugin.
  • Post Ratings: Lets your readers rate your posts!
  • Pricing Table: If you’re selling a product on your site, this table will help your customers weigh their options.
  • Greet Box: If you want new readers to get a special message, this box is for you.
  • Post Ender: Allows you to automatically add text to the bottom of your post. Signing out!
  • RSS Footer: Adds text to your RSS feed.
  • Subscribe to Comments: Hot topics a regular thing on your blog? Have your readers subscribe to your comments.
  • WP Sidebar Login: Allows your users to log in from the sidebar.
  • HTML5 Jquery Audio Player: Want to add music to your posts in a visually appealing way? This plugin’s for you.
  • SlideDeck Lite: Create beautiful slideshows with no need for code.
  • HelloBar: Adds a colorful top bar to your blog which can be used as a call to action.
  • NextGen Gallery: Create beautiful galleries with this plugin.
  • Login Logo: Adds your logo to you login page.
  • List Posts: Got great posts in a category? List post will turn any category into a list post.
  • WordPress Wiki: Turn any of your posts into a Wiki style post.

 

Social Media:

  • Tweet Old Post: Helps driving traffic by digging up old posts and tweeting them again.
  • Cevher Share: This plugin will place a nifty floating sharing widget similar to the one you see on Mashable.
  • Scrolling Share Buttons: Don’t let your readers forget to share, these buttons will follow them around.
  • Easy Tweet Embed: Makes it easy for your readers to Tweet exactly what you have written. (great for contests)
  • Social Media Tabs: Allows you to add social media tabs with sliding feeds to any widgetized area.
  • Pinterest Auto Pin ($4): Nearly free, this plugin automates your post pinning.
  • Liveblog: Ever do a liveblog? Well, this will make it so your readers don’t have to refresh to see new content.

 

Monetization:

People plugging in via Shutterstock

Comments

  1. zillz says:

    a cache plugin, jetpack, MAYBE nextgen if necessary. but other than that, everything else can be accomplished with a really good responsive theme.

    • Avatar of Jennine Jacob

      We use a responsive theme on the Genesis framework, and I’d have to disagree. Especially when it comes to back up and security plugins, and plugins like linkwithin… no theme comes with that.

  2. Avatar of Kashara
    Kashara says:

    This may be a really stupid question, but are these plugins only for those with WordPress.Org? I’ve been wanting to make the switch to WordPress.com and I haven’t quite figured out how to install plugins.
    Kashara | http://www.UndiscoveredWorth.com

  3. Avatar of Anastasia
    Anastasia says:

    Wauw this was a great post!!!
    thank you so much

    - Fashion Ramble

  4. Many thanks for this list Jennine!

    We’ve some already installed and have added others that you recommend.

    P3 Profiler is especially useful as we have a fair few plugins installed.

  5. Felicia S. says:

    Hello and I’ve just found your amazing site today.
    I’m here in Paris trying to figure out how in the world can I add Google Analytics to my blog. How can I do this? Thank you so much in advance for helping me with this.

    Felicia

  6. Gud one…satisfied…

  7. MattWest says:

    Wow, such a useful list. another plugin that i find useful is the sendola contact details button. visitors click the button and get your contact details sent to their phone via sms. could be useful for some kinds of business. check it out. http://www.sendola.com/

  8. David Jonn says:

    so nice plugin i use it on all my websites..thanks

  9. khan lala says:

    great collection of these plugins….. i always used these.

  10. Thanks so much for the list! This is enormous! Also, wordpress gallery plugin should be considered if you wanted to really amplify the use of your blog.

  11. Amazing plugins shared over here great share.Appreciate that

  12. Mehreen says:

    really nice plz share some plugins with video

  13. Before that I was too a bit skeptical at first, but everything has worked out with no problems. I use same theme from last 3 years on my website http://dailynewscompany.com I always go with same, and i suggest this theme to all WordPress user.

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