Deciding to start a venture as a new blogger is an exciting one. There are so many WordPress plugins out there that it can be overwhelming when you are first setting up a blog to know which ones are the best and most helpful. I’m listing the best 14 WordPress plugins for new bloggers, and I personally use all of these on my website.
Before we get into the plugins, lets touch on a few steps for first setting up a new blog.
Setting Up Your New Blog
If you are new to the blogging world, there is a ton of information out there on how to set up a new WordPress blog and get started. Here are my recommended steps to take when it comes to setting up a new blog:
Step 1: Decide on a Name and Niche
Deciding on a name and niche for your new business is the first and most crucial step. You need to determine who your target market will be. This will help you design a site that your target audience will love, as well as creating content they will enjoy reading!
When it comes to deciding on a blog name, it’s a good idea to make it something catchy, personal, and easily rememberable. A couple of perfect examples of bloggers that really nailed it when it comes to their blog name:
- Pinch of Yum – a food blog
- The Humble Penny – a personal finance blog
- Pets Are Fur Life – a pet blog
- Practical Wanderlust – a travel blog
- Chic Pursuit – a fashion blog
Once you’ve decided on a name for your blog, make sure you do a bit of research to make sure there isn’t already one out there that is named similar. You want it to be unique, memorable, and stand out! You don’t want it to be confused with your competitor.
Step 2: Purchase a Domain Name
Once you’ve settled on a name, it’s time to choose your domain name. I recommend purchasing your domain through NameCheap if one isn’t included with your hosting provider.
Step 3: Set up your Website Hosting
I’ve used several different website hosting providers over the years, and Bluehost has been by far the best! They also have a super easy WordPress install option where your blog can be up and running in just a few clicks.
Step 4: Install WordPress
If you didn’t go with Bluehost and need to install WordPress yourself, there are a few ways to do this. Here is a good tutorial for the setup and install process.
Step 5: Choose a WordPress Theme
Your WordPress theme is the backbone of your website, so it’s important to choose one that works for you. Ideally, a WordPress theme should be easily customizable and have built-in features that are ideal for your site. I can’t recommend enough the idea of going with a premium theme right off the bat. Yes, it’s an extra expense, but it will save you so many headaches and time in the long run!
Here are a few of my favorite places for the best WordPress themes:
Step 6: Install Plugins to Make Your Website Even More Functional
Your next step is setting up your site, adding pages, verifying all of your settings. Basically, making it all pretty and functional for visitors. Scroll down below to find the top WordPress plugins to install and start using for your new blog!
The Best WordPress Plugins:
1) Tasty Pins
I am a Pinterest Manager, after all, is it any surprise that my number one plugin is about Pinterest? The Tasty Pins plugin is a premium plugin, but it is so worth the price. Especially if you want to utilize Pinterest for growing your blog.
With Tasty Pins, you can easily add optimized Pinterest pin descriptions much more easily, and you can hide multiple pins in your blog posts. It costs $29 per year, which equals $2.42 per month.
2) Ad Inserter
When your blog has grown to a point where it has consistent traffic, and you want to monetize it with ads, the Ad Inserter plugin is invaluable. It allows you to easily insert ads wherever you want on your site or within your blog posts.
3) Convert Kit
Using Convert Kit for your email list and newsletters is made even easier with the Convert Kit WordPress plugin. It allows you to easily insert sign-ups with shortcodes, perfect for easily adding your opt-in freebies right into your blog posts.
4) Duplicate Page
I’m all for plugins that save time. The Duplicate Page WordPress plugin does exactly what it should do, it allows you to duplicate pages easily. A major plus if you have similar services pages that will have a similar design and setup.
Elementor has a bit of a steep learning curve with it, but it so much better to use versus the default WordPress editor. Play around with a little bit, and you’ll love it, too!
6) Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
I’m obsessed with analytics, and for anyone starting a blog, you want to be monitoring your traffic. The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin by MonsterInsights allows you to see your Google Analytics info right in your WordPress dashboard.
7) Open in New Window Plugin
Another time-saving plugin! The Open in New Window plugin will make it, so any external links to other websites are automatically opened in another window, no manually changing this on every link as you create a page or blog post.
I’ve tried many sharing plugins for social media, and Shareaholic is my favorite. It’s easy to set up, and the default look is beautiful. You definitely need a plugin so your visitors can more easily share your content on social media!
9) UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
You don’t want to worry about losing your site to a hacker or server error. You won’t have to worry about it when you use the UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore WordPress plugin. It automatically saves a backup copy to a Dropbox folder for me.
10) W3 Total Cache
Your website’s speed is important for search engines, and you want your website to load as quickly as possible. Not only for search engines but also for user experience. Have you ever visited a website that took too long to load, so you just closed the tab? Yeah, we don’t want your visitors to do that!
The W3 Total Cache plugin works to make your site run faster, and once it’s installed and setup, it works it’s magic in the background.
If you plan on offering any services or products for sale on your blog, the WooCommerce plugin is the most popular choice for that. For good reason, it’s an amazingly powerful plugin, but it’s easy to use, too.
12) WordPress Related Posts Thumbnails
Want to show an easy to set up related posts feed at the bottom of every blog post? The WordPress Related Posts Thumbnails plugin does just that.
I love WPForms, so much so that I paid for the premium version so that I could use it for my new client intake form process and allow my clients to upload their logo. The free version is just as powerful and will enable you to create beautiful contact forms easily.
14) Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is by far the most well-liked choice for a SEO WordPress plugin. It’s a pretty powerful plugin that is great for helping you make sure your blog posts are optimized for search engines. It’s not perfect, but for someone who isn’t familiar with all the aspects of SEO, it’s the easiest way to make sure your on-page optimization is on point.
Did I forget any WordPress plugins? Share in the comments if you have a favorite plugin that I missed!