Essential WordPress Plugins (You don’t need that many plugins)

Some users have a habit of installing a lot of WordPress plugins in their site. You actually don’t need that many plugins for your WordPress blog. You can get away with a handful of essential WordPress plugins. This makes your ongoing site maintenance job easy and also keeps your site performance top notch.

Here is a list of Essential WordPress plugins that you probably should install on your WordPress powered site:

  • Akismet  – Best guard against comment spam for WordPress blog! This will definitely make your life easier.
  • WordPress Database Backup  – This plugin allows you to do on-demand backup of your WordPress database. You can also schedule a cron job so the database backup is sent to your at a regular interval. It will help you restore your site if anything unexpected happens to it.
  • Google XML Sitemaps  – An XML sitemap is good to have for your WordPress site. This helps with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This plugin generates an XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast  – You don’t need a ton of SEO plugins. Just one good SEO plugin is all you need since Google will favor you if you focus more on creating good cotent. I prefer to use Yoast’s all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress  – You probably want to know some in-depth statistics of your blog. Using Google Analytics is probably the best thing for that. This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics tracking to your WordPress blog.
  • W3 Total Cache  – A caching plugin helps with your site performance. If you have low traffic then it doesn’t really matter that much but when you start to get high traffic look into using the W3 Total Cache plugin. It is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin.

Some Other Useful Plugins

If you are just using your WordPress site for blogging then you most likely won’t need anything more than what is already listed above. However, if you are trying to monetize your site by using Adsense, selling products, selling memberships etc. then you will want to use some of the following plugins:

  • WP Simple Adsense Insertion – You can insert Google Adsense just by pasting the ad code directly in your theme’s template file but sometimes it helps if you use a simple plugin. The WP Simple Adsense Insertion plugin allows you to quickly and easily insert Google Adsense ad code to your posts, pages and sidebar by using a shortcode or a PHP function. I mainly like this plugin since it is lightweight.
  • WP Simple Shopping Cart – There are lots of good WordPress ecommerce plugins out there but if you need a lightweight and simple shopping cart plugin then use the WP Simple Shopping Cart plugin.
  • WP-Polls  – Sometimes you need to get feedbacks from your users. Using a polling plugin is the best way to collect feedback data. The WP Polls plugin adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog.

Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below.

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