10 Must Have Plugins to GROW Your Blog

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Day 3 of the Grow Academy, summer bootcamp turned out to be a fun and exciting day, journeying through WordPress and its plugins with South Africa’s Web Addict, Rafiq Philips. There is nothing more exciting than to experience the thrill of having your own self-hosted blog that you yourself have to maintain, play, learn and have fun with.

When exploring your self-hosted blog, the next question people tend ask is “What plugins do I use for my blog?”…The answer to that is it all depends on the blog you have since different plugins serve different needs. Since there are many plugins to choose from, below is a list of “must have” plugins to kickstart and grow your blog with:

Photo by yoppy http://www.flickr.com/photos/spilt-milk/164145237/
Photo by yoppy http://www.flickr.com/photos/spilt-milk/164145237/

10 Must have WordPress plugins to GROW your blog:

  1. Akismet: This is a default plugin that comes with your self-hosted blog and protects your blog from spam comments. Very useful plugin that could save you hours of checking spam mail.
  2.  Wordpress SEO by Yoast: Earn your way to the top of Google’s search ranking with a bit of SEO with a plugin such as WordPress SEO.
  3. Social: Social is a good tool to use for broadcasting posts to social networks by a click of a button.
  4. Digg Digg: If your content is good, people will want to share it. Digg Digg is a good plugin to add vertical/horizontal share buttons to your posts/pages.
  5. Google Analytics for WordPress: Part of the fun of having a self-hosted blog is being able to see who and where your blog is reaching. A perfect tool for it is Google Analytics for WordPress.
  6. No Self Pings: Internal backlinks on your blog results in trackback comments which could lead to being penalised by Google. The best way to avoid this is to install the No Self Pings plugin.
  7. BackWPup: After enjoying the fun of blogging, the worst thing that could happen to a blogger is for your blog to be hacked! Make sure your content is secured and backed-up with BackWPup.
  8. mxPressIf you want to increase your reach and also make your blog accessible to the mobile audience on MXit, then this would be the plugin to for you.
  9. LinkWithin: When stumbling upon a post on your site, the chances are most likely that a reader would more content related to the topic. Best way to do this is to install a plugin such as LinkWithin, showcasing related posts beneath your articles.
  10. W3 Total Cache: With the excitement of exploring and installing too many plugins, you could end up with a slow blog site. Increase the speed of your site with a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache.

For additional plugins, always remember to check the ratings, amount of downloads and what people are saying about it. Happy Blogging! :)

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  • http://www.antonkoekemoer.com/ Anton Koekemoer

    Good list of plugins that should be included with any WordPress site. Here’s a couple of others that I regularly use::

    Google XML Sitemaps
    Jetpack by WordPress (stats)
    Statpress (stats)

    • http://www.webaddict.co.za Rafiq Phillips

      Thanks Anton. I’m nto a fan of stats plugins due to the strain they sometimes places on the your blog’s server. Google Analytics FTW!

  • http://fortheloveofseo.com/ Tess Neale

    Good list of plugins! Thanks for putting this post together. :)

    I have a few additions:

    – Instead of Digg Digg, I warmly recommend ZillaSocial: http://www.themezilla.com/plugins/zillasocial/

    – Really useful plugin: Broken Link Checker: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/

    Cheers,
    Tess @fortheloveofseo

    • http://www.webaddict.co.za Rafiq Phillips

      Thanks Tess. Broken link checker works well. I personally prefer having my theme handle the social sharing elements rather than a plugin but it depends on your WordPress setup and if the various themes and plugins work well together.

  • Nathaniel Wagner

    Hi, thanks for the recommended additional plugins Anton and Tess. I have also written a post with a list of good on-page SEO plugins to use which includes the Broken Link Checker plugin. Here is the link http://nathanielwagner.co.za/on-page-seo-plugins-for-wordpress/

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