Assuming that you have successfully set up your blog and the theme, the next logical step for taking your blog to the next level is to use plugins that are absolutely essential for most WordPress sites.
I have gathered a list of most useful and essential plugins that you should start using right away on your WordPress blogs. Here’s the list:
W3 Total Cache:
Once the visitors come to your website, you want to make sure that the website stays fast and stays online. W3 Total Cache plugin will help you with that if you do not wish to spend extra money on server resources.
Even if you can spend more money on a server, it is still a good idea to use this plugin to get the most out of your current server. However, if you don’t want to fiddle with too many options and would like something that’s not only effective but easy to set up as well, you should try WP Super Cache.
This plugin will help keep your blog off-limit from hackers. WordFence is a free enterprise class security and performance plugin that makes your site faster and more secure.
Force Regenerate Thumbnails:
If you recently changed your WordPress theme, you need to have this plugin. This plugin will make sure that the featured images of your website are regenerated as per the requirements of the theme you have currently activated. It also removes the thumbnails that are no longer needed but were generated by previous themes.
Need to generate a sitemap for Google? Need an option to have different post heading and post title? This plugin is exactly what you need. Apart from giving you most of the SEO options that you need to rank higher in Google and Bing, Yoast’s SEO for WordPress also lets you insert open graph data into your blog posts so that sharing your posts on Facebook is easy and efficient.
With this plugin, you can easily backup your WordPress sites to Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, and FTP, RackSpace or your server. You can also set it up to email you the backup files on daily, weekly or monthly basis. If you plan on moving your blog to a new server, BackWPup will make the transition a lot smoother.
Most of the times, the images you upload to your blog can be optimized further for the web. However, it is a tedious job to do every time you uploads a new image. WP Smush.it will automatically optimize the images you upload and you also get an option to optimize all the previously uploaded images. This plugin will decrease the size of your images substantially while still maintaining the quality.
If you are into writing reviews and creating product review sites, you will especially love this plugin. It is our very own, easy-to-use Review plugin that can be used to turn any themes or website into a full-fledged review site.
I didn’t include 10s of plugins because more plugins do more harm than good. I included only the best and most essential plugins that you must have in order for your blog to function smoothly.
I hope that you like these plugins and they help you take your blog to new heights.