Some of the links in the post below are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.
Several years ago when I started blogging I had absolutely NO idea what exactly I was doing. Heck, some days I think I still don't know, but I just keep chugging along.
If you're just starting out with blogging you're going to be overwhelmed with “must-haves” whether it's going with WordPress, Blogger, Wix, etc. One thing is for sure though, if you're going to select WordPress, you have to have the right WordPress Plug-ins to make sure your blog/website functions properly.
It's honestly a never-ending cycle with blogging or running a website.
There is always something new coming out or some type of guideline is going to change. For those of you who think this is just going to be a part-time casual thing. Great! For most of us bloggers, it's not. It's a full-time job just as demanding as being a parent.
Over the past few years, I've had my share of plug-in issues, WordPress plunders and several hours/days of downtime due to plug-ins that just weren't the best.
It helps keep those darn pesky trolls, spam, and computer bots from ruining your blog. It also lets you review spam comments as well. Definitely a must-have for many blogs.
- We all hate spam. It’s annoying. It hurts your site’s credibility. Filtering it manually is confusing and time-consuming. Time spent dealing with spam is time stolen from the business of your site.
- To date, Akismet has kept pieces of spam off the web, with an average of about 7.5 million per hour. That means they’re stopping almost twice as much spam as there are people in Los Angeles every single hour.
- A proud member of the WordPress community since 2005 their service is integrated into top WordPress plugins such as Jetpack and Contact Form 7. If you’re a developer, implementing Akismet through our API couldn’t be easier.
- They want to keep spam off of the web and you can help us do it. Their affordably priced personal and business options allow us to provide free spam protection for over 3 million users.
Great recipe plug-in that makes any recipe you post printable by readers. You'll want this because many readers don't want mumble jumble ads or extra stuff when printing out a recipe.
- The latest Recipe SEO standards handled for you – With so much competition, getting to the top of Google and other search engines is hard. If you’re not using the latest SEO standards for your recipes you’re making it even harder.
- Easy to use for you AND your visitors – They don’t want to get in the way when you’re writing your recipes. In WP Recipe Maker you can add recipes to regular posts and pages, so there’s no need to change your entire workflow.
- Optimized for Speed – No one likes waiting so Bootstrapped Ventures developed WP Recipe Maker with performance in mind. Technically, that means minified and combined assets and the ability to disable features you don’t need.
- The support that cares about you – Working with WordPress can be frustrating sometimes, especially when things go wrong. That’s why Bootstrapped Ventures try to offer the best support they can and be available to answer any question you might have every single day.
- Grow your Food Blog into a Business – Even when just starting out you should go with a recipe plugin that can grow with you and help you turn your food blog into a real business if that’s your goal.
Some may not think this is a bonus, but it really is! Yoast helps keep your website/blog with the best content for your readers while optimizing it for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The better your SEO, the more your website will flourish and succeed! They have recently upgraded it so that you can actually adjust photos for social media to the correct dimensions. If that's not awesome I don't know what is!
- Optimize every page for up to 5 keywords – In the Yoast SEO Premium plugin, you can pick up to 5 focus keywords. These are the keywords you’d like your post or page to rank for in the search results.
- Internal linking suggestions – (Premium only) Internal linking is extremely important because it helps search engines to understand your site structure. But adding links by hand is slow, tedious and downright annoying. With the internal linking feature in Yoast SEO Premium, that’s a thing of the past.
- Preview of your page in Google – Thanks to the snippet editor, you can see through the eyes of the Google user: what will your post or page look like in the search results? And on mobile screens? Would you click a link like that?
- Preview of your page in social media – (Premium only) Check what your page will look like if you share it on Facebook or Twitter. Do the title fit and the image match? Will it stand out? If you want people to click, your social media shares have to look the part.
Easy Google Fonts
A simple and easy way to add custom google fonts to any WordPress theme without coding. This plugin integrates with the WordPress Customizer so you can preview google fonts on your site in real-time. It’s compatible with any theme.
It also allows you to create custom theme specific font controls in the admin settings area to control particular CSS selectors. Once created, these custom font controls are instantly available in the customization with no coding required!
- Live Customization Preview: Preview google fonts without refreshing the page in real time right in the WordPress Customization.
- Over 600+ Google Fonts to choose from as well as a list of default system fonts.
- Works with any WordPress Theme. No coding required.
- Automatic Background Updates: Updates the google fonts list with the latest fonts automatically once.
- Translation Ready: MO and PO files are included.
- Seamless WordPress Integration: Uses the WordPress customization for the live preview and has a white label admin area that looks like it is a part of WordPress.
- Custom WordPress Customization Control: One of a kind control only available with this plugin.
Feedzy RSS Feeds Lite
FEEDZY RSS Feeds is a small and lightweight RSS aggregator plugin. Fast and very easy to use, it allows you to aggregate multiple RSS feeds into your WordPress site through fully customizable shortcodes & widgets.
Time-saving features available in the FULL version:
- Integration with Word-AI to avoid duplicate content
- Audio playback template
- Convert feed items to WordPress posts/pages/any
- Multiple templates for feed items
- Automatically build affiliate links
- Parse price from product feeds
- Blacklist specific keywords from feeds
- Priority email support from the developer of the plugin
- Support and updates for 12 months
- Choice of dismissal method – on click, on a scroll, or time
- Choice of dismissal element – either button or ‘x’ close
- Option to show the notification on the first page only – subsequent pages visited by the user will not display the message
- Option to exclude selected pages and posts from displaying the notification
- Choice of position – either top or bottom bar, or floating in one of the corners of the screen
- Translation support
- Customization options – including the ability to update styles from within the customizer
- Inherits your theme styles where possible
- The option to use an absolute or external URL to link to for further information
- Set the cookie duration
- Set the cookie version – updating a version will reset the cookie on all user sites
Google Analytics by Lara – Pro
Adds a full-width Google Analytics dashboard widget for WordPress admin interface, and inserts the latest Google Analytics tracking code to all your pages.
- Full Access to Sessions Analytics – includes the following: sessions, users, page-views, Bounce Rate, and more
- Easy & Fast Setup – With Express Setup, you’ll be up and running in no time
- Beautiful Graphs At Full Width – Full-width admin widget, with beautiful graphs
- Browsers used to view your website – This is an important piece of information when you want to make sure that your site works seamlessly on all browsers
- Pages visited in your site – The widget provides detailed figures about the number of times each page in your website is visited and its visiting percentage among other pages
Convert visitors into followers, subscribers, and customers! The MiloTree smart pop-up is the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective way to grow your social media followers and email list.
- Set up in under 2 minutes – MiloTree takes advantage of the traffic you've already built, and automatically converts it into new followers & subscribers. Fast configuration. No technical or design skills necessary. Snappy site installation with our WordPress plugin or one line of code.
- Grow your business faster – MiloTree saves you tons of time and hassle. Grow Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and your email list 24/7 from your one pop-up. Your visitors automatically see a different pop-up every time they come to your site.
- $9 per month forever – MiloTree is the most cost-effective solution out there. No need for expensive, bloated solutions with features you will never use. Lock in this price before it goes up.
Create totally readable, easily speak-able, and exceptionally memorable short links using your WordPress-based website and domain name with Pretty Links.
- Provides you with the tools you need to manage your social media links, redirects, affiliate links and about any other kind of link you want. These links will be easily accessible from your WordPress website’s admin interface and will use your domain name; this means you’ll have complete control over how your links look and redirect.
This plugin contains several tools in one package to significantly increase your control of the rel=”nofollow” tag on every link on your blog, on both an individual and categorical basis. It is designed to give you fine-grained control of linking for SEO purposes.
The plugin’s main features are:
- The addition of a nofollow checkbox when inserting links in posts
- Several nofollow shortcodes
- A nofollow option for individual blogroll links
- Or a nofollow for all blogroll links option
- Add or remove the nofollow tag from all links in comments
Imagify is the most advanced image compression tool, you can now use this power directly in WordPress. After enabling it all your images including thumbnails and retina images from WP Retina x2 will be automatically optimized on the fly when you will add it into WordPress.
Three level of compression are available:
- Normal, a lossless compression algorithm. The image quality won’t be altered at all.
- Aggressive, a lossy compression algorithm. Stronger compression with a tiny loss of quality most of the time this is not even noticeable at all.
- Ultra, our strongest compression method using a lossy algorithm.
The Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.
With the Facebook pixel, you can:
Reach the right people
Find new customers or people who have visited a specific page or taken the desired action on your website. Plus, create Lookalike Audiences to reach more people who are similar to your best customers. Learn more.
Drive more sales
Set up automatic bidding to target people who are more likely to take an action you care about, like making a purchase. See how to optimize your ad sets for conversions.
Measure the results of your ads
Understand how successful your ad is by seeing what happened as a direct result. You can view information like your conversions and sales. Find out what data you can see from your Facebook pixel page.
Divi (Theme) by Elegant Themes
Divi is an incredibly versatile WordPress Theme with a Drag & Drop Page Builder that makes it easier than ever to build beautiful WordPress websites. When you install Divi (or any of the other themes by Elegant Themes) make sure you also install the following plug-ins. They will make blogging/website building even easier.
- Divi is powered by the Divi Builder, an insanely fast and incredibly intuitive front-end editor like nothing you have seen before. It will change the way you build websites forever.
Real-Time Design When you make a change to your page, everything is updated instantly right before your eyes. Design instantly!
Customize Everything Each element is fully customizable. Adjust fonts, colors, sizing, and spacing and even apply custom CSS.
Just Click & Type No need to open up a settings panel to add text content. Just click onto your page and start typing!
Responsive Editing Enjoy live responsive previews and apply custom changes to specific mobile breakpoints.
Organize With Ease Add a new row, choose between various column types and everything fits together perfectly automatically.
Global Elements Sync global items across multiple pages. Update them once and they get updated everywhere. Great for footers!
46 Content Elements Divi comes with 46 different content elements. Mix, match and build just about anything you can imagine
Bloom gives you all the tools you need to turn your website's visitors into loyal followers and customers. Not only is Bloom going to convert extremely well, it's going to look great doing it.
- More Email Subscribers Email marketing is extremely powerful, in fact, we see 20X the engagement from emails than we do from posts to our social media profiles.
- Highly Targeted Content Bloom lets you target or exclude specific posts and pages and display unique forms with unique offers based on visitor location and interaction.
- Elegant Design Options We have built over 100 amazing templates, each of which can be completely customized using Bloom's extensive design settings.
Social Media is the lifeblood that keeps the internet glowing, and Social Sharing lets you harness that activity and use it as a positive force for your business.
- Over 20 Social Networks to Choose From Choose from over 20 social sharing networks to display on your website. Add and arrange any number of available networks to create a custom collection of sharing options for your visitors.
- Floating Sidebar A floating sidebar is a very common, effective, and sleek way to add social sharing icons to any page on your website. We've even included unique hover styles for the vertical and browser edge orientation of a social sidebar.
- Above & or Below Content Perfect for blog posts and content-heavy pages, Monarch allows you to place sharing buttons either above the content area, below the content area, or in both locations.
Hosting by SiteGround
If you're needing hosting, I strongly suggest SiteGround. I've had them for going on 2 years now and I have had NO problems at all!
The Plans above explained:
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves a WordPress and Joomla website speed
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration
- Fastest Setup – It takes just 3 clicks to set up a new site with us, and we even call to guide you through it.
- Easy Website Creation – With a simple drag and drop website builder you can create a beautiful website in no time.
- Website Migration – They can migrate your site. No hassle, no downtime, free on GrowBig and GoGeek.
- 99.9% Uptime – Unique approach to achieving the highest possible uptime leading to actual numbers of more than 99.99%. We also guarantee that if you ever experience more than 0.1% downtime on a yearly basis you will be compensated.
- Easy Contact 24/7 – Our support team can be reached 24/7 over phone, chat and ticketing system.
- No Waiting – No on-hold time on the phone and on live chat and an average 10 min. response to tickets!
- Real Help – They know a lot and we are always ready to use this knowledge to help you!
- and much much more
If you've thought about blogging, but don't know where to start, join my team today!
I'm a North-Central Ohio Lifestyle & Parenting Influencer located just south of Norwalk in a beautiful tiny rural town called New London. Married to the love of my life, raising 2 teen boys, and 2 chubby cats. I live for coffee, swear words, family & technology.