Disclaimer: This post probably contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one.
WordPress plugins are add-ons that can be installed to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress website.
One of the primary advantages of using Self-Hosted WordPress is the ability to use plugins.
All of the WordPress plugins listed below are used right here on WahmCafe.com!
1. Social Warfare
Social Warfare is a popular social sharing plugin. It allows visitors to your website to easily share your content on various social media platforms and counts the number of shares as your social proof.
There are free and premium versions of the plugin. The free version is more than sufficient to get you started and will display the social share buttons in a variety of locations within the post and sidebar on your website.
One of the things I loved about changing to the Social Warfare plugin (and believe me, I’ve tried them all!), is that it recovers your share count! Changing over to this plugin won’t cause your social proof to start over again at 0. Bonus!!!
Obviously, the premium version comes with a lot more options within it, but for getting started, the free version is all you’ll need.
MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin there is! It’s an extremely easy setup and MonsterInsights walks you right through setting up your Google Analytics account. From there, you can easily see how your site is performing.
From your WordPress dashboard, you can quickly see the number of page views, your top posts and pages, and your top traffic sources. These statistics are all important for you to understand how your visitors are finding you and what they’re looking at.
By using MonsterInsights, you’ll be able to tell what types of content are the most popular, so you can create more of it! You can also see how people are finding your website so you can concentrate your marketing efforts on what’s working.
3. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a Search Engine Optimization plugin for pages and posts. It walks you through on-page SEO by helping you to optimize your pages content, titles, images, and meta descriptions.
Yoast SEO Free Features include:
- Focus keyword and content analysis
- Post titles and snippet editor
- Readability check
Yoast SEO also has a premium version that allows you to set up to 5 keywords, but for the beginner, it’s tough enough to focus on just 1, let alone 5 🙂
The readability check is amazing and you can highlight any problems that Yoast SEO finds in order to fix them to bring up your SEO score.
WordFence is an absolute MUST have in order to protect your website from being hacked. Wordfence provides you with a comprehensive firewall, and also blocks “Brute Force Attacks”.
A brute force attack is when a hacker tries to break into your wp-admin login. Wordfence protects you by monitoring failed login attempts and preventing users from gaining access to your username and password.
The firewall stops malicious attacks by before they can access your website. The firewall is constantly updated by the Threat Defence Feed and protects you from new threats.
As with other WordPress plugins, there is also a premium upgrade available.
WP-Optimize allows you to optimize your WordPress database with a click of a button. In the past, this task has required a lot of technical know-how and experience with phpMyAdmin.
With the WP-Optimize plugin, you can effectively clean your WordPress database of spam comments, post revisions, and other trash items. If you’re new to WordPress it’s important to understand that over time this clutter can eventually slow down your website.
You can also automate the process with the plugin’s built-in scheduler so you can set it and forget it. WP-Optimize will alert you to any potentially harmful operations by highlighting them in red. I personally don’t use the scheduler as I like to run a backup prior to optimizing my site, just to be on the safe side!
6. WP Smush
WP Smush is an image optimizing and compression plugin that “smushes” the image file size to allow your website to load faster.
Smush will scan every media upload and automatically optimize and compress the image for you, so you only have to run Smush right after installation. It’s also compatible with all of the most popular image gallery plugins!
7. Easy Adsense Ads
EAA – Easy Adsense Ads is one of the easiest plugins to add Google Adsense Ads to your website in just a few simple steps. It allows for multiple ad placements and various advertisement locations throughout your posts and pages.
Copy your Google Adsense code and paste it into the location that you choose to have it displayed, and display multiple ads per page if you choose. You can also disable advertisements on a per post and per page basis.
EAA also comes with sidebar widgets and ad rotations. It supports almost any advertisement code and can be used with other ad networks in addition to Google Adsense.
8. Review Disclaimer
Review Disclaimer allows you to easily disclose to your visitors that you may receive compensation for your review, or endorsement of a particular company, product, or service.
Insert your affiliate disclaimer through an easy to use shortcode wherever you’d like in your blog post or page. You can see the disclaimer in action at the top of this post!
UpdraftPlus makes it simple to backup your WordPress installation! Backups used to be time-consuming and complicated, but UpdraftPlus has been a game changer. Best of all, it’s very easy to use!
Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, Updraft Vault and email.
There’s also a premium version available that allows for even more backup options including Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.
No one wants to contemplate the idea of losing all their hard work, and UpdraftPlus will guarantee that you always have a way to restore your website if a catastrophe were to happen.
Akismet comes included with your WordPress installation. It is a comment spam filtering plugin that guards your website against spam comments, which unfortunately happen all too often. There is a 100% chance that your site will receive spam comments, and Akismet will separate those out so you don’t have to deal with them.
The Akismet plugin also protects your forms from comment spam as well!
After activating the plugin, you’ll need an API key to complete your setup, but this is very easy to do and Akismet walks you through it.
11. Pretty Links
Pretty Links enables you to shorten links using your own domain. This comes in handy when dealing with long links and especially for cloaking affiliate links!
Pretty Links will also track clicks on ever Pretty Link URL!
There is also a Pro upgrade that will allow you to create pretty links automatically, cloak links, replace keywords throughout your blog with pretty links and much more.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful! Are there any other plugins that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments and I may add them to the list 🙂
— Wahm Dianne