If you are a new blogger, chances are you are wondering what plugins should I install before I start blogging?
First, a word about Jetpack.
What is Jetpack? It is a “package” of Plugins. It is basically a set of plugins that are helpful for blogging and so they packaged them all together and pre-installed them on your blog. You then pick and choose which of the Plugins in the pack to activate and use (some are pre-activated).
Jetpack is renowned for slowing down a site. I used it for about 8 months and still had success. I deleted it when I got my Google Analytics working so I could track my stats.
Buuuut…I like Jetpack Stats SO MUCH, that I did some more searching and found that I am not alone. Someone made a Plugin called Jetpack Lite. It strips Jetpack down to Stats and Shortlinks, and deletes all the other stuff. YAY! So what you want to do is first have regular Jetpack activated, and then install the Jetpack Lite plugin, and activate it. Hooray!
If you do want to use regular Jetpack for some of the features, only activate the features you want (and deactivate any that you are not using if they were pre-activated).
Plugins to Install before you start Blogging (and why)
One of the 2014 updates of WordPress removed a lot of the backend image controls (like custom image sizing and adding a border to your image, etc), and this plugin will give you the control back.
This is to combat spam comments. I usually delete Askimet and install this. I never get spam. Never.
It seems dumb, but WordPress doesn’t come with a Contact Form. Get this plugin. Make a new blank Page called Contact Me. Then go to the Easy Contact Form settings. Click to Forms. It will already have a Simple Contact Form ready for you. Copy the “Form Short Code”. Then paste that right into the Contact Page you made. Then when you view the page, it won’t have wonky code, it will instead be a beautiful Contact form…Magic!
Again, you don’t get an easy way to add an image to your sidebar built-in to WordPress! Just install this and you will be able to add images and input a link so that the image is clickable. Great for your blogger friend’s buttons, or direct paid sponsors!
This is how I manage adding Adsense or other advertising html code to my blog. This plugin will show up in your left sidebar as XYZ Html. That is where you name and set up each ad. Then you go to your Widgets and use the “Insert HTML Snippet” and drag it to where you want to add your ad code, and you will be able to choose from a dropdown of ads you inputted into XYZ Html.
Blogs get hacked. Every day. This will limit the amount of times a hacker can guess your password before being locked out (5 is good). Install immediately!
If you need to tinker with design elements, you should never change the Stylesheet (style.css) directly (find your Stylesheet in Appearance/Editor). If you install this plugin, it will add a Custom CSS option under Appearance. Always make your changes here. Go into the Editor. Find what you want to change/tinker with, paste it to the Custom CSS page, and tinker away!
This is the plugin I prefer for adding Share buttons at the bottom of my blog. Try different ones…find one you like. Just get one.
This plugin seems a little intimidating at first. But just install it and it will show you a box under each post in the editor…it will tutor you in how to make your posts more SEO friendly.
These are my suggestions! But, see Katelyn’s list of 10 WordPress Plugins for new bloggers to see what she recommends.