7 plugins to install on every WordPress blog

At the time of writing there are over 25,000 WordPress plugins in the WordPress Plugin directory. Working out which ones to install can be tricky so we’ve put together 5 plugins that I generally install in every new WordPress site.

1. Swift Type Search

Swift Type

The default WordPress search is embarrassingly average. Luckily SwiftType seriously rocks. Not only will it drop down the best results as a user searches but you can also control what users see (so you can point them to the best pages). The free plan is great but the paid plan gives you better analytics and better ability to send users to specific pages.

Get swift type (free – scroll to the bottom of the page)

2. WordPress SEO (by YOAST)

YOAST SEO

WordPress is well known for it’s SEO strength. However there are some simple things that it doesn’t do out of the box that most sites need (decent management of titles, sitemaps, no-following pages etc). YOAST has become the go-to plugin for these things.

Get YOAST WordPress SEO (free)

3. Disqus

disqus

The default WordPress comments system is ugly and a spam hazard. I’ve seen a lot of commenting systems over the years and Disqus is by far the best. I rarely get spam with Disqus, you can reply via email, it’s looks great and it’s easy for the commenter. Generally sites with Disqus installed have a high quality level of comments.

Get Disqus (free)

4. Digg Digg

Digg Digg

There is no doubting the importance of social media and if you are actively blogging you will want people to share your posts. WordPress doesn’t put social sharing links in by default so a plugin is required to encourage users to share your posts. The main things I like about the Digg Digg plugin is the look of it (a lot of the others are ugly) as well as the fact that it’s on the left of the theme and doesn’t clutter up the rest of the page and scrolls so it’s always visible on the page.

Get Digg Digg share bar (free)

5. YOAST Google Analytics plugin

YOAST Google Analytics

Google Analytics has become the standard for web analytics. The YOAST Google Analytics plugin makes adding it to your WordPress site super easy. You can learn more about setting up Google Analytics in our getting started guide.

Get YOAST Google Analytics (free)

6. Post Snippets

snippets

Adding code into WordPress pages and posts can be problematic. Even if you add it on the ‘Text’ tab, often WordPress will strip out the code and it will break the site. On top of that I regularly find that there are certain bits of code that I want to use over and over again. Newsletter optin boxes are a good example. Both of these issues are solved by the Post Snippets plugin that allows you to set up a bit of code and insert it into any page or post.

Get  Post Snippets (free)

7. Widget Context

Widget context

Still after 10 years of existence you still can’t have a widget show up on one page and not another easily with WordPress. The easiest way I know of to do it is to use the Widget Context plugin which gives you some more advanced settings around when to display and when not to display widgets. There is also the widget logic plugin which might be better if you have some technical skills.

Get widget context (free)

What is your favorite?

What is your favourite WordPress plugin? Let me know in the comments below.

About

Dan Norris is a co-founder at WP Curve and a passionate entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing.

49 responses to “7 plugins to install on every WordPress blog”

  1. Tammy Bridenbeck says:

    gravity forms

  2. Dan Norris says:

    Thanks Tammy yeah I’ve played with it but we’ve always done our own forms, I guess having a developer helps. But definitely a great plugin if you don’t have a developer and you have a lot of forms. My main forms are email optin forms which are built by the email software and we just style manually with CSS.

  3. Dan Norris says:

    Thanks Tammy yeah I’ve played with it but we’ve always done our own forms, I guess having a developer helps. But definitely a great plugin if you don’t have a developer and you have a lot of forms. My main forms are email optin forms which are built by the email software and we just style manually with CSS.

  4. Scott Illingworth-Harrison says:

    Social by MailChimp is one of the best and easiest social broadcasting plugins I’ve found. Being from the good guys at MailChimp (and partners) it’s developed constantly.

  5. Scott Illingworth-Harrison says:

    Social by MailChimp is one of the best and easiest social broadcasting plugins I’ve found. Being from the good guys at MailChimp (and partners) it’s developed constantly.

  6. Dan Norris says:

    Hey Scott thanks mate looks cool I hadn’t seen that one.

  7. Dan Norris says:

    Hey Scott thanks mate looks cool I hadn’t seen that one.

  8. Very useful article. I have been using Disqus, and have just added WordPress Yoast SEO. A tool like Plus Post Snippets is what I have been looking for – this will be very helpful. Thanks

  9. Very useful article. I have been using Disqus, and have just added WordPress Yoast SEO. A tool like Plus Post Snippets is what I have been looking for – this will be very helpful. Thanks

  10. Dan Norris says:

    Awesome glad to hear Michelle! Thanks for the comment.

  11. Dan Norris says:

    Awesome glad to hear Michelle! Thanks for the comment.

  12. Robin Roelofsen says:

    Nice list.

    Widget Context might be a good one, but I have been using Display Widgets (http://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets/) for a few years now, which allows you to display/non-display down to page level. Great plugin.

    Lastly, I prefer using SEO Ultimate instead of Yoast’s plugin. I might explore Yoast’s later, but for now I am very happy with SEO Ultimate.

  13. Robin Roelofsen says:

    Nice list.

    Widget Context might be a good one, but I have been using Display Widgets (http://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets/) for a few years now, which allows you to display/non-display down to page level. Great plugin.

    Lastly, I prefer using SEO Ultimate instead of Yoast’s plugin. I might explore Yoast’s later, but for now I am very happy with SEO Ultimate.

  14. Dan Norris says:

    Hi Robin thanks for that, Display Widgets looks like a good one I’ll give that a go!

  15. Dan Norris says:

    Hi Robin thanks for that, Display Widgets looks like a good one I’ll give that a go!

  16. Damien Elsing says:

    If you are using WordPress default comment system, there is a free plugin called GASP that dramatically cuts down comment spam by putting a simple checkbox on the comment submission form that bamboozles spam bots. I was getting hundreds of spam comments each week and this cut it down to close to zero.

  17. If you are using WordPress default comment system, there is a free plugin called GASP that dramatically cuts down comment spam by putting a simple checkbox on the comment submission form that bamboozles spam bots. I was getting hundreds of spam comments each week and this cut it down to close to zero.

  18. Dan Norris says:

    Hey Damien yeah I’ve seen those. The main thing I like about disqus is just how it looks and how easy it is. The lack of spam is nice too but I just think the look and feel is much better than the normal wordpress comments. I did see someone running Google+ comments this week and they look cool. I think that’s a legit competitor to disqus because (a) a lot of people are already logged into Google, (b) it’s not ugly like the facebook ones and (b) you get the added benefit of discussions happening on Google+.

  19. Dan Norris says:

    Hey Damien yeah I’ve seen those. The main thing I like about disqus is just how it looks and how easy it is. The lack of spam is nice too but I just think the look and feel is much better than the normal wordpress comments. I did see someone running Google+ comments this week and they look cool. I think that’s a legit competitor to disqus because (a) a lot of people are already logged into Google, (b) it’s not ugly like the facebook ones and (b) you get the added benefit of discussions happening on Google+.

  20. Conrado Maggi says:

    The Widget Context is great.. I use to do that using php and filtering by the post ID. Thanks!

  21. Conrado Maggi says:

    The Widget Context is great.. I use to do that using php and filtering by the post ID. Thanks!

  22. Dan Norris says:

    Yeah that’s pretty painful! Thanks for the comment. I’d like to see WordPress improve this aspect. I’ve felt that for about 5 years and nothing!

  23. Dan Norris says:

    Yeah that’s pretty painful! Thanks for the comment. I’d like to see WordPress improve this aspect. I’ve felt that for about 5 years and nothing!

  24. Great post, there is lot of wordpress blog

  25. Great post, there is lot of wordpress blog

  26. Lucy Chen says:

    My favorite comment plugin is Livefyre. It automatically pulls in comments on my Facebook Page, as well as Twitter, and that’s really cool. I also use the Action Box and Magic Actin Box to create my opt-in forms.

    I’ll check out the Post Snippets plugin, thank you, Dan.

  27. Lucy Chen says:

    My favorite comment plugin is Livefyre. It automatically pulls in comments on my Facebook Page, as well as Twitter, and that’s really cool. I also use the Action Box and Magic Actin Box to create my opt-in forms.

    I’ll check out the Post Snippets plugin, thank you, Dan.

  28. Dan Norris says:

    Hi Lucy sounds good I’ve seen a few people using that.

  29. Dan Norris says:

    Hi Lucy sounds good I’ve seen a few people using that.

  30. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Dan Norris says:

    No worries mate thanks for checking it out

  32. Maria says:

    Hi Dan! Great article! Just a question about Disqus. How does Disqus work in terms of SEO? Does it bring traffic to the site or the default wordpress comments are better? Thanks!

  33. Dan Norris says:

    Hi Maria, I probably shouldn’t be giving SEO advice but I will haha. I think if you are trying to get high quality traffic based off the content in your comments then you are probably in trouble.

    Google doesn’t care about a whole bunch of random text on the page. We get great traffic from Google but it’s because we have useful content on the site.

    My personal opinion is Disqus elevates the quality of the comments on your site. That in itself is making the page more valuable and increasing social proof etc. Even if those comments aren’t indexed, if you are improving the quality of the page then you are helping SEO.

  34. Maria says:

    lol thanks for the SEO advice 😉 I’ve always focused on the content but when I read that some blogs that used Disqus didn’t show up in the SEO site audit as a nofollow backlink I decided to write you, just because you use Disqus on this blog. Comments are also important for SEO and if they are not in your server but in the Disqus server like Facebook does, it is not a good thing. So I have to think about it, I like Disqus!

  35. Dan Norris says:

    We could debate whether comments have any SEO value. CopyBlogger for example just turned comments off and more or less told people to discuss their content offsite. That will boost their backlinks and probably help their SEO much more than a bunch of unplanned words below their articles.

    As for comments on other blogs, I don’t think they’ve held much or any value for a long time.

  36. Asif Ali says:

    You can also Read Related below Post…

    How To Add Disqus Comment System In Blogger — Visit Below Post Link

    http://www.kingtricks.com/add-disqus-comment-system-blogger/

  37. JB says:

    Nice post. How do I get this type of comment layout for wordpress blog to display below each post without visitors having to click the link title to be taken to the Disqus comment box. I love the layout of your comment area.

  38. Dan Norris says:

    Not really sure what you mean? This is just standard Disqus?

  39. Makayla Oxley says:

    Nice publish. How do I get this kind of opinion structure for wordpress platforms weblog to show below each publish without guests having to follow the weblink headline to be taken to the Disqus opinion box. I really like the structure of your opinion area.

    Spybubble gratuit

  40. Nice Blog. Thanks for sharing such a grate post with us.

  41. Really, really appreciate your blogs, podcast and being a WP Curve customer. I was wondering if you still hold to the these recommendations. Disqus hasn’t been updated in 5 months (not for 4.x) and Digg Digg for 2 years.

  42. Scott Taylor says:

    Display Widgets is another super easy plugin (à la Widget Context). Easy enough that even I can use it.

  43. Disqus is my favorite plugin for wordpress.

  44. kachan64 says:

    Widget_context is good. I’ve been using it to filter out certain widget on certain pages & posts and where to display some widgets. Not to keen on Disqus, cuz won’t load sometimes. But I do recommend wpdiscuz which replaces default wordpress comment with cool features

  45. Alex Huffman says:

    My favorite plugin is Yoast SEO plugin and I use it in all of my websites. I heard about the Digg Digg and Swift Type search plugin for the first time. Will try them over my existing floating sharing and search plugins. Want to ask a question, is Disqus or Commentluv better for blog comments? Thanks! http://www.seotoronto.ca/

  46. Scott Taylor says:

    Alex, I put Swift Type on one of my sites. After running pre- and post-speed tests, Swift Type slowed the site load time by several seconds. That may, or many not, be an issue for your site. But I uninstalled and went back to the native search.

  47. kate sheren says:

    I am using many plugins which you have mentioned here. These all plugins are working best for my website.

  48. Dan I am so impressed by the content you guys give out. I am constantly learning the right things at the right time. You guys have thought about this a lot. Thank you for putting so much energy into this.

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