Top 10 WP Plugins For Your New Blog

Here at Blogging Tips 101 our aim is to help you improve your own website.  Whether you are an experienced veteran or complete novice, there is always one subject that gets people talking, and that is WP plugins.

I recently did a post on some great free WordPress themes for you to check out, but as of yet we haven’t done a list of WP plugins for you to take a look at. 

Well I think it is about time that I did, so here is a list of 10 of the best WP plugins for you.  I’d also like to add that I actively use all of these on my sites, so when I recommend them to you, I do so because I know that they work!

Let’s get to it shall we…

10 Of The Best WP Plugins

Top 10 WP Plugins

1. WordPress SEO By Yoast

I’ve stated numerous times that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is incredibly important for your website.  The ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ plugin makes things a lot easier by simplifying things and allowing you to change/monitor key SEO factors throughout your site.

The reason why I have added this first to the list is because it is essentially THE most important plugin that you should have installed.  So, if you only decide to install one of the plugins off this list, make sure that it is this one!

I’m still amazed that this WP plugin is free because the creators could easily charge for this and the vast majority of sites would gladly pay to continue running it (me included).  This is because the ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ plugin has a huge set of features for you to use, including;

  • Post snippet preview,
  • Page analysis,
  • Improved SEO,
  • Meta & link elements,
  • Breadcrumbs,
  • RSS optimisation,
  • Social integration,
  • Multi-site compatible,
  • …and so much more!!!

One specific feature that I really like and use a lot is the ‘Page Analysis’ tool.  This allows you to see where and how you can improve individual posts/pages that can help you to rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).  The help that this feature gives can make the difference between your posts being good or excellent.

Frankly, I could write a whole post on this one WP plugin (maybe in the future) as there is so much to talk about.  For now though, check out Yoast’s  definitive WordPress SEO guide for more info on this fantastic plugin.

2. WP Super Cache

Your website speed is something that you should always be looking to improve.  An easy way to do this is to install a cache plugin, such as ‘WP Super Cache’.

I have used a number of different cache plugins in the past, but find this one to be the best.  I was actually recommended it by my web hosting provider, so I know that it works if they are happy.

Essentially, what this plugin does is that it saves a copy of your web pages and presents that to your viewers.  This “cached” version is a lot faster to load than having to load up every separate aspect on an individual page every time a person visits your site.

Not only does this improve your load time, but it also reduces the strain on your hosting provider, which is why they like you to use this plugin.

3. WP

Whilst we are on the theme of improving your website speed, another great plugin that can help is the ‘WP’ plugin.

The biggest culprits of causing a site to slow down are image files.  Adding lots of images to a post can put a massive strain on your hosting provider and slow your site down significantly.

What the ‘WP’ plugin does is that it removes all of the unnecessary information/data from your images to reduce its file size.  It does this by;

  • Stripping the meta data from JPEGs,
  • Optimizing and compressing JPEGs,
  • Converting certain GIFs to PNGs,
  • Stripping the un-used colours from indexed images,

The plugin does this to all new images that you add to your site automatically, so you don’t have to do anything.  For any existing images on your site, you can run them through ‘WP’ and they will update for you across your entire site.

4. BJ Lazy Load

Again, sticking with the website speed theme, I have another great WP plugin to help you out.  The ‘BJ Lazy Load’ plugin stops a page from your site being loaded completely and only loads the part that the user can see.  As they scroll down the page, the images, videos, etc. will all be loaded up for them.

This plugin can really improve your site speed as unnecessary information is only loaded when needed.  The vast majority of people never scroll down to the bottom of every page that they visit, so this can really improve loading times.

5. Comment Luv

Comments are at the heart of any blog.  The default WordPress comment system is very good, but there are many comment plugins that you can install to improve the experience for your visitors.  Having tried a few, I opted for the ‘CommentLuv’ plugin.

CommentLuv’ encourages people to leave a comment by allowing them to add a link to their latest post from their own blog.  This, not only ends up with you getting more comments on your posts, but it also helps you to build up a community around your site with other bloggers.

CommentLuv’ is free although you can upgrade to their premium version for even more features, including;

  • DoFollow comment control,
  • Click stats,
  • Social enticements,
  • Automatic updates,
  • Comment rewards,

6. Akismet

No matter which comment system you choose to use, SPAM will always be something that you have to deal with.  There will always be people (or bots in some cases) that are only interested in getting dodgy links on your site which can be harmful if left unchecked.

Akismet’ checks all of the comments that are left on your site against its own database to assess whether a comment looks like SPAM or not.  You can review all comments that are marked as SPAM just in case a legitimate one gets caught, but generally this plugin does a great job of catching all the bad ones.

7. Thank Me Later

When someone leaves a comment on your site, ideally you want them to come back again in the future and leave another.  One way in which to encourage people to come back is by thanking them when they leave a comment, which is where the ‘Thank Me Later’ plugin comes in.

When someone leaves a comment on your website, the plugin sends an email to them thanking them for doing so.  You can fully customise the “thank you” email to say whatever you want, so you could promote a new product of yours, let people know of a new contest you are running, or just say thanks.

8. Google XML Sitemaps

I know I have already said it once, but I will say it again – SEO is important!  It can be difficult getting to grips with all the different aspects of SEO, but one thing that will always hamper you is if the search engines don’t know your website exists.

The ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ plugin creates a sitemap of your entire site.  This is basically just a big list of all the URL links of your site that will help search engines like Yahoo, Bing and Google to properly index your content.

What the plugin also does is it notifies said search engines each and every time you publish new content on your site.  This lets them know to come back and index your new content for people to find on their search engine. 

9. Contact Form 7

Every site needs a contact page, but there may be many other reasons why you would want people to get in touch with you on your website.  ‘Contact Form 7’ makes it easy to setup contact forms for people to reach you through.

The great thing about this plugin is that you can create as many different contact forms that you want for you site.  For example, a multiuser website might need contact forms for each of its individual writers, each pointing to different email addresses.

A plugin that is dead easy to setup and use for a specific purpose, this is one that you can benefit from using.

10. IGIT Related Post With Thumb Image After Posts

This, rather long yet aptly named plugin, allows you to include a list of links to related posts under an article that displays thumbnail images.

When someone reads one of your posts you ideally want them to stay on your website and read something else.  Displaying links to other related or relevant posts is a good way to do this, but by including thumbnail images to said posts, you are catching people’s attention and encouraging them to click on them.

We have been using this plugin for a while now and have found that it has reduced our bounce rate and greatly increased our average visit duration.

Your Turn:

I hope you enjoyed reading this list of WP plugins.  Like I said at the beginning of the post, I use all of these here on my sites, which is why I feel able to recommend them to you.  I use others, but I think I’ll save that for another post in the near future.

Do you use any of these WP plugins on your blog? 

What other “vital” or “useful” plugins do you use that I haven’t mentioned? 

I’d love to hear from you, so please drop a comment below.




Written by

Catherine Holt is the founder of Blogging Tips 101. She has been an internet marketer since 2012. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Google and Pinterest.

36 Responses to “Top 10 WP Plugins For Your New Blog”

written by Erik Emanuelli On 16 September 2014 Reply

What a great list of useful plugins, Catherine.

I use most of them, except for WP Smush it.
I’ve tried it a couple of years ago, but I’ve experieced several bugs.
I guess it’s time to try it again!

Thanks for sharing,
have an awesome week! :-)

written by Catherine Holt On 16 September 2014 Reply

That’s interesting Erik as I have never had any problems with the plugin. What type of bugs were you getting? Maybe it’s time to give it another go??

written by Erik Emanuelli On 16 September 2014 Reply

I don’t remember exactly what was the bug or the issue…

I guess it’s time to give it another try!
Have a nice day, Catherine! :-)

written by Areesha Noor On 16 September 2014 Reply

O my God, WordPress seo by yoast is my favorite Plugin and currently I have 3 website and all of them, I am using this plugin.
This Plugin have lot’s of feature even in free version.
I think there is no need to Google XML site map because there is already site map exist in WordPress seo by yoast.
What you about it?

written by Catherine Holt On 18 September 2014 Reply

Hi Areesha. WordPress SEO is awesome isn’t it. It certainly helps a lot!!! Yes your right that site map does exist in WordPress SEO. However there can sometimes be problems with it updating when it is embedded in another plugin so I like to use Google XML Sitemap just to make sure everything always works smoothly. It’s a double back up, as it’s so important!

Thanks for sharing with us today :-)

written by Norbert On 16 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

From this list I use wordpress seo, akismet, contact form 7, google xml site maps and commentluv.

I also installed wp earlier today and I’m still getting to grips with it.

I’m curious, which security plugin do you use? I use wordfence on my sites and it provides some great features to secure your blog from hackers.

I’d also love to know the one you use for backing up your sites. I use one called updraftplus.

written by Catherine Holt On 18 September 2014 Reply

Hi Norbert, thanks for stopping by.

Sounds like you use a great list of plugins on your site too :-)

There are so many security plugins that you can use on your site, all offering different benefits. I am actually going to publish a post very soon about how to secure your site without adding another plugin….so watch this space for this one!!

As for backing up, I use my hosting provider to do my backups. This works wonderfully and they are always on hand if there are ever any issues.

Have a great week and thanks for sharing with us.

written by Ryan Biddulph On 16 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine.

Smart list here. I use more than a few of them; ComLuv and Akismet are my faves. Being a comment junkie I like attracting folks who dig commenting too, so CL works. Akismet saves me some time wading through spam, and that’s good too.

Think function. If a plugin saves you time, and performs a critical function use it. If not, ditch it, because it’s not worth slowing down your blog’s performance if you aren’t getting some massive benefit from the plug in.

Thanks so much Catherine.

I have to say, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so much over the past few months. It’s inspired me and much more so because I know how busy you are offline with your job and family. Keep it up buddy, you’re doing great :)

Tweeting through Triberr.


written by Catherine Holt On 16 September 2014 Reply

Ha ha…it doesn’t surprise me that you use Comment Luv Ryan. Yes you are a comment junkie…in a good way of course :-)

You are so right about the plugin needing to have a function. If not, all it will do is slow your site down and then it just becomes a thorn in the side! If it serves a useful purpose then use it….if not….send it to the bin!

Thanks so much for the feedback Ryan, and I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. It is certainly a huge task getting everything done, but its awesome to hear that people are benefitting from it. Makes it all worth while :-)

Thanks for sharing here, and have a great week!

written by Andrew On 16 September 2014 Reply

Hey Catherine,

Great post. I heard of all of these except #7 and #10. With number 7 it seems like a pretty interesting thing to use and implement … perhaps I may try that out sometime. With #10, I’ve been through so many different plugins like that, and have been wanting to find something that could share related posts. I may need to try that out.

Thanks for this post.

Have a great rest of the week.

- Andrew

written by Catherine Holt On 16 September 2014 Reply

Ah #7 is a great plugin Andrew. Our guest blogger actually wrote a recent post about it here: It’s certainly a great way to build those ongoing connections.

As for #10 I use it on both my sites and have never had a problem with it. There are a number of plugins that offer the same thing, but I have found that this one is simple to use and I like the way it displays the posts. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas with us :-)

written by Tim Bonner On 16 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine

That’s a great list of plugins you’ve put together.

WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of my favourites. I was wondering why you’ve included Google XML Sitemaps as well? I use the XML Sitemap included in WordPress SEO by Yoast because it also includes images. Google XML Sitemaps doesn’t but I’m wondering if it has others benefits over Yoast?

I’ve used many of the others in the past and still do on some of the blogs I have on shared hosting. I don’t use Akismet any more because of the issues I was having with them and I’ve moved to Disqus instead of using CommentLuv.

Two plugins I find really useful are WP Optimize to keep the database clean and Starbox for a great looking author bio. I also use the nRelate plugins for Related Posts and Popular Posts. Most of the other plugins I use are either Genesis specific or premium ones.

Great to hear what you’re using on your blog! Thanks for sharing.

written by Catherine Holt On 18 September 2014 Reply

Thanks Tim. Blogging would certainly be a lot harder without the plugins wouldn’t it!

Your right, SEO Yoast does include the Sitemap but I prefer to use both to avoid any issues with updating (which can happen). Whilst you can just use the SEO plugin to manage the sitemap, I like to make sure this is covered well on my blogs as it is soooo important.

I like the starbox plugin you use for your author bio. I might consider that one myself!

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us Tim :-)

written by Marc On 19 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,
Thanks for this list. I use a lot of these plugins. The one thing that I would add is some sort of backup plugin. There are some free options available, or more comprehensive (i.e. not free) options like VaultPress and blogVault.

written by Catherine Holt On 21 September 2014 Reply

Yes backing up your site is incredibly important. If anything happened to our site you could loose the lot if you haven’t backed up properly.

A number of hosting companies also provide backup, but they don’t necessarily do it automatically do it is something to set up. It’s well worth the time and effort to do though.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us here :-)

[…] WP Plugins are important for your site performing to it's highest potential. A list of 10 highly useful WP plugins for you to consider.  […]

written by Amiti On 20 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

Great post, and thanks for sharing your expertise with the rest of us. I definitely agree with the majority of these plugins, especially Yoast SEO,, Akismet, and CommentLuv. I think Jetpack is great with all the features it offers. I’d love it if you could check out our plugin “Feedweb”, as we hope to turn it into a unanimous top 10 plugin in the near future.

written by Catherine Holt On 21 September 2014 Reply

Welcome to the blog Amiti. I love how plugins make our life easier. There are so many available it can be hard to choose sometimes!

I just went and checked your plugin and it looks great. I love how it stands out so much to encourage others to stay on yr blog for longer. I will look at playing around with it on my sites and see how it looks in action!

Thanks for sharing with us today :-)

written by Mi Muba On 20 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine

Just after starting our blog we need following type of technical support to make our blog a big success.

1) Our posts to be noticed by search engines
2) More and more people visit our blog
3) Our blog opens faster
4) No one can hack or harm our blog
5) Visitors get engaged in our contents
6) We make easy for visitors to search their required info

Very interestingly all the plugins you mentioned in this wonderful post do offer all the above technical support.

Thanks a lot for sharing a very technically informative post especially for newbie bloggers.

written by Catherine Holt On 21 September 2014 Reply

Absolutely Mi. Whilst there are so many plugins to choose from, you need to make sure that those immediate basics are covered. I could write a list of 100 awesome plugins to use, but having that many will just slow down your site. You need to think smart about only using the plugins that are going to have the biggest impact for your blog.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas :-)

written by Marcel Spitz On 22 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine.

I am not at all good at technical stuff and in fact, I kinda hate it.

I am really grateful to you for sharing this awesome list of WP plugins – am sure it will help me have a greater blogging experience.

Thanks for sharing.


written by Catherine Holt On 22 September 2014 Reply

Ah, very few of us bloggers are actually good with the technical side of things Marcel. This is why plugins are so AWESOME. They allow you to cheat the technical side of things…lol.

I’m glad this list will be helpful to you. Try a few out and see what you think. That professional website will be easier than you think!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :-)

written by Marcel Spitz On 23 September 2014 Reply

Great stuff, so now I can cheat without being a cheat…lolz.

Love your blog, will be a regular visitor, if you do not mind.



written by Catherine Holt On 24 September 2014 Reply

Ha ha Marcel, plugins certainly help with the ‘cheating’ don’t they! All bloggers use them, the trick is working out which ones are going to provide the maximum benefit so you are not downloading hundreds. As tempting as it would be, this will only do your site harm!

It’s great that you found the blog and hope to see more of you here. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :-)

[…] WP Plugins are important for your site performing to it's highest potential. A list of 10 highly useful WP plugins for you to consider.  […]

written by Marcel Spitz On 26 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine.

Yes you are very right, plugins do help to cheat…so now cheaters can cheat and be happy..just kidding.

Stopping by your blog is a pleasure..will be back for more.




written by Kevin Duncan On 26 September 2014 Reply

Hi Catherine,

Great list of plugins!

I use Akismet, CommentLuv, and BJ Lazy Load (and I’ve used Google XML Sitemaps in the past). I use W3 Total Cache instead of WP Super Cache, though.

Big fan of WordPress SEO by Yoast. It works really, really well.

I’ve never heard of the Thank Me Later plugin. I’ll have to check it out! Does it only email the first time someone leaves you a comment, or every time?

Hope you have a great weekend, Catherine!

- Kevin

[…] fact, I recently did just write a post about my favourite top 10 Word Press Plugins for a new blog.  I use all the plugins that I mentioned in the post and I couldn’t live without […]

written by Ron Killian On 10 December 2014 Reply

Awesome post Catherine!

I must admit I have not done much when it comes to optimizing for speed. Have gone to genesis, so it’s a start. But this is a reminder that I need to work on this important part of my websites.

Really like the idea of the plug in. We can only compress and optimize images so much before they start looking bad, so this plugin sounds like a great idea. Never heard of it, so thank you for sharing it.

So many plugin’s and idea’s, you just made my to-do list even

written by Catherine Holt On 12 December 2014 Reply

Site speed is incredibly important Ron, so it is good to keep up to date with it. If your site is too slow, readers simply wont hang around.

It’s great that you found this useful, but sorry for making your to do list longer….lol. I guess life as a blogger is never dull is it!

Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your ideas :-)

written by Megan On 11 December 2014 Reply

What an amazing list that was! The WP plugins you mention in the list are very crucial for WordPress Blog. I already using some of them for my wordpress blog. Big fan of WordPress plugin by Yoast and Wp super Cache.

written by Catherine Holt On 12 December 2014 Reply

They are two of my favourites too Megan. Yoast takes out a huge amount of stress, which means you can divert your attention to the more important things. Win win really!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

written by Tom On 21 December 2014 Reply

Amazing list for newbies :)

written by Catherine Holt On 23 December 2014 Reply

Thanks Tom. I’m glad that you found it useful :-)

written by Bored Guy On 16 January 2015 Reply

Great list! Thanks, I am gonna try out some of the plugins which I have not been using before. Since they happen to be essential :) Thanks for sharing.

written by Catherine Holt On 20 January 2015 Reply

Great to hear. Let us know how you get on with them :-)

Leave a Comment