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The 21 Best WordPress Plugins for Bloggers in 2022

If you’re using WordPress for your blog, then you know how crucial finding the right plugins can be. WordPress plugin blog can do a huge variety of things, and some are definitely better than others.

This list will give you the best WordPress plugins for bloggers all in one place. (And most are free!).

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! You can read my full disclaimer here.

Finding the best WordPress plugins for bloggers, or better yet, the best FREE WordPress plugins for bloggers is a tall order.

But I’ve got you covered. This list has all the best plugins for bloggers. And these are WordPress plugins for beginners OR more advanced bloggers.

Let’s get started!

What is a Plugin?

First things first, what exactly is a plugin?

A WordPress plugin is essentially a bit of code that “plugs in” to your self-hosted WordPress site. In human terms, that means a WordPress plugin is something that adds new functionality to your WordPress site or extends existing functionality on your site.

Kinsta

Plugins can do a huge variety of things, like:

  • Improve your SEO
  • Allow people to share your post on social media
  • Create buttons that lead to your social media profiles
  • Secure your website
  • Improve your site speed
  • Backup your site
  • And many, many more…

But not all WordPress plugins are created equal, so you want to get the best plugins you can.

Can You Have Too Many Plugins?

Yes, definitely. Many plugins slow down your site, and site speed is super important both for your reader and for SEO. That doesn’t mean to stay away from all plugins, because some are really worth it, but don’t just add everyone you see.

If you’re having problems with site speed, consider getting rid of some of your plugins.

And if site speed is really a problem, I HIGHLY recommend Grayson Bell’s Site Speed Course.

How to Install and Use a WordPress Plugin

Before we get going, you need to know how to install a WordPress plugin. It’s not hard, so don’t worry, even if you’re not “techy.” We’ll get to that list of must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers soon, pinky swear.

First, go to the bar of settings on the lefthand side of your WordPress admin area and click on “Plugins.”

You’ll get a screen that looks like this, with a list of your already installed plugins.

How to use WordPress plugins and the best wordpress plugins for bloggers to install

Next, go to the top of that page and click “Add New.”

You’ll get a screen that looks like this:

How to use WordPress plugins and the best wordpress plugins for bloggers to install

From here, you can install new plugins in two ways.

First, you can use the search bar to search for the WordPress plugin you want, and the results will display on this page. Some plugins will come up this way, but not all of them will. If the one you want does come up, just click install and then activate.

If the plugin you want doesn’t come up that way, then try Googling it. You should be able to download it either from the WordPress webpage or from a third-party site that puts out the plugin. Download it as a zip file. And then click upload plugin. After that click install and then activate and you’re all set!

So now that you know how to install and activate a WordPress plugin, let’s talk about the best free WordPress plugins for bloggers.

Best Free WordPress Plugins for Blogs

Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin: Elementor

Elementor is my absolute all-time favorite page builder plugin for WordPress blogs. It lets you create each page on your site completely from scratch. And it’s super easy to use (no coding required).

Elementor offers both a free and a premium version for $49/year. I do recommend the premium version if you’re going to use it a lot, but you can always start out with the free version and see where it takes you.

Best Gutenberg Blocks Add-on WordPress Plugin: Stackable

There are lots of WordPress plugins for bloggers that add additional blocks into the “Gutenberg editor.” The Gutenberg editor consists of “blocks,” or:

[Gutenberg blogs] are great new tool for building engaging content. With blocks, you can insert, rearrange, and style multimedia content with very little technical knowledge. Instead of using custom code, you can add a block and focus on your content.

WordPress.org

Gutenberg already comes with some blocks. But if you really want to take things to the next level, I highly recommend the Stackable plugin.

Stackable adds a lot more blocks into the Gutenberg editor, and some of them are pretty cool. Such as:

Stackable offers both a free and a premium version of its WordPress plugin for bloggers (the premium version has more cool blocks).

Best Instagram Plugin for WordPress: SmashBalloon Instagram Feed

There are tons of Instagram plugins out there, but they often have a lot of bugs. The best one I’ve found is SmashBalloon Instagram Feed.

It’s one of the best WordPress plugins for bloggers out there…at least if you care about Instagram (shameless plug to follow me!).

This plugin allows you to customize the kind of Instagram feed you want to show (number of photos, numbers of columns, spacing, etc.). You can also have a call-to-action button asking people to follow you.

You can see it at work in the footer of this site:

Screenshot of website footer using Smashballoon Instagram Feed. The WordPress plugin blog.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress: Rank Math

Rank Math seems to be a bit of a hidden mystery in the blogging world. And I don’t know why.

Most people use Yoast as their SEO plugin, and I did too. For years. But then my SEO consultant turned me on to Rank Math and I’ve never looked back.

There are loads of features in this WordPress plugin (for beginners or advanced bloggers). But the one that really seals it for me is this:

Rank Math allows you to have an unlimited number of keywords, whereas Yoast only allows one (unless you upgrade).

Plus, Rank Math keywords display right on the side of the screen as you write, so they’re always top of mind. Yoast keywords appear at the very bottom of the post, so that’s lots of annoying scrolling.

Screenshot of Rank Math WordPress Plugin Blog for SEO.

Best free SEO plugin for WordPress:…still Rank Math

Rank Math does have a paid version (which I use), but they also have a free version that still has tons of great features.

Best Contact Form Plugin for Bloggers: Contact Form 7

If you want a contact form on your contact page, you’ll need to know how to use WordPress plugins to do it. Contact Form 7 is free, and easy to use. It’s all you need. It’s really one of the best plugins for bloggers.

Best Backup WordPress Plugin: Updraft Plus

Updraft Plus will backup your site for you. You always want to have a recent backup of your site on hand, because you never know when something weird will happen and crash your site. If this happens and you haven’t backed up, you could potentially lose all your work.

Always back up!

I always recommend this WordPress plugin for beginners making big edits to their site.

Best Social Follow Buttons Plugin: Simple Social Icons

Want to display social follow buttons (i.e., buttons that lead to your social profiles) in your sidebar or footer? Look no further than Simple Social Icons.

It’s a great WordPress plugin for beginners. It’s lightweight, won’t slow down your site, and looks great.

You can customize the colors and which networks you want to display. It gets a thumbs up from me.

Best Comment Plugin for WordPress: The native WordPress comment system

I tried my best to justify bringing in a comment WordPress plugin here, but honestly, you don’t need one. Some of them will slow down your site, some of them will lose you commenters because they make you log in.

Plus, the regular plain old commenting system that came with your theme has all the functionality you need and it won’t conflict with anything else.

Screenshot of WordPress comments section. WordPress plugin blog.

Best Coming Soon Page Plugin: Maintenance

Maintenance allows you to put up a “Coming Soon” page when you’re working on your website. If anyone comes to your blog, they’ll just see the Coming Soon page and won’t be able to access the rest of your site while it’s being worked on.

You can customize it with a photo background, whatever text you want, and whatever colors you want.

You won’t need this one all the time, but if you are working on your site, it’s a quick and easy way to accomplish the task.

Bonus: it’s one of the best free WordPress plugins for blogs.

Best WordPress Header/Footer Plugin: Header & Footer Scripts

This is a very simple plugin that simply allows you to easily insert code into the header or footer of your blog.

You’ll need to insert code like this when you’re installing Google Analytics or your Facebook Pixel, for example.

Without this plugin, you would need to go digging around in your theme files, and that can get real techy, real fast. This plugin avoids that.

It’s a great WordPress plugin for beginners.

Best Table of Contents Plugin: Lucky WP Table of Contents

Lucky WP Table of Contents pretty much does what it says it’s going to do. It inserts a table of contents for your blog post.

When you have a long post (like this one), you want to make it easy for people to jump to what they’re interested in. Someone landing on this post might want to read about every plugin I talk about, but they also might just be interested in an SEO plugin.

You can view it in action at the top of this blog post.

It’s one of the best free WordPress plugins for blogs.

Best Anti-Spam Plugin: Akismet

Akismet will stop spam comments on your posts. That’s it, but it’s really crucial because you wouldn’t believe how many spam comments can come in.

This is one of the best free plugins for blogs.

We’re going to talk in a minute about my all-time favorite site speed plugin, WP Rocket.

But if you’re looking for the best free WordPress plugins for site speed, my recommendation is WP Fastest Cache. It has a lot of great features and can really help your site speed improve.

As you may know, the GDPR is a new law in the European Union that states that people have to consent to the use of cookies on your website (it does a lot of other things too, but that’s beside the point here).

This plugin will allow you to create a customized cookie bar that informs visitors to your blog that you are using cookies and asks them to click Accept.

You can even customize the colors.

It’s a must-have WordPress plugin for bloggers to be legal right now.

If you’re using affiliate marketing on your blog, Pretty Links will save you a ton of headaches.

Pretty Links allows you to turn your long affiliate links filled with gibberish and numbers and convert them to something simple. For example, my ConvertKit affiliate link is beccaklein.co/convertkit. Easy to remember, easy to add to blog posts, easy to share.

I use Pretty Links for all my affiliate links and I highly recommend it.

It’s a great free WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates, too.

Best Paid WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

Best Block Plugin for WordPress: Kadence Blocks

Kadence Blocks (brought to you by the Kadence theme), allow you to have a huge amount of customizability within the Gutenberg editor.

This site is built using a Kadence child theme, and I use Kadence Blocks all the time. But even if you don’t have the Kadence theme, you can still use the blocks plugin.

Best Pinterest WordPress Plugin for Bloggers: Tasty Pins

Tasty Pins is a Pinterest plugin, and one of the best WordPress plugins for beginners.

Tasty Pins does a few things:

  • Sets Pinterest descriptions
  • Allows you to utilize alt text
  • Allows you to have hidden Pinterest images on your page
  • Allows you to disable pinning for images you don’t want pinned
  • Adds a hover button on all images
  • Adds a Pinterest banner on post images
  • …and more
Screenshot of Tasty Pins area under blog post. Best WordPress plugin for bloggers.

Best Site Speed Plugin for WordPress: WP Rocket

WP Rocket is hands down the best WordPress plugin for site speed.

While there are other WordPress caching plugins out there, including some free options, for those who want a solution that can be used to speed up a website with no technical knowledge and very little effort required, WP Rocket is definitely worth investing in. Simply activate WP Rocket on your site, and you should start seeing improved loading times.

winningwp.com

I won’t get into the nitty gritty here, because it’s pretty techy, but you can read all about WP Rocket’s features here.

WP Rocket is absolutely one of the best plugins for bloggers.

Best Image Compression Plugin for Your Blog: Short Pixel

Short Pixel is another one that I think everyone should have.

Site speed is crucially important for SEO, and having big images on your site slooooows things down.

Short Pixel will take all your images and compresses them to take up less space, without sacrificing the quality of the image.

And it’ll even do it retroactively, so you can start using it today and it will go back and compress all your previous images.

Pretty neat.

Be sure to install this WordPress plugin for the best SEO on your blog.


There are zillions of other WordPress blog plugins out there, but these are the ones that I would recommend to any blogger.

In my humble opinion, these are the best WordPress plugins for bloggers – whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

Do you have other WordPress plugins that you’re loving? Let me know in the comments!

More blog tips you’ll love:

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