List of Must have WordPress Plugins for Beginners

List of Must have WordPress Plugins – Must Have

WordPress powers the highest number of websites on the world wide web. WordPress is a wonderful publishing framework which runs highest number of websites on the world wide web. There are tons of reasons why people use WordPress to create blogs and build websites which can be a simple blog or a web applications accepting payments to anything that you want. Before we get into the list of must have WordPress plugins, we should note that WordPress should be given the biggest credit to create so many bloggers around the world.

Suggested Reading – How to Start a Blog and make money – From the Scratch

What are WordPress Plugins / addons?

You can customise a WordPress website without modifying any of the core files by using plugins. WordPress plugins are the right way to customise WordPress installations. You can add new features, customise existing features or even remove some of the features that you do not want by using a great feature called hooks in WordPress.

Plugins at the WordPress Plugins Directory are free

You can find tons of plugins inside your Dashboard itself. Search for what you need, you will get at-least a few listed according to the rating. Every plugin found at the WordPress Plugin directory is free and open source. There may be plugins with pro features or pro version which you will have to buy from the vendor.

Downloading, Activating and Configuring a Plugin

You do not have to worry about anything technical to use a WordPress Plugin, these are installed, activated and configured without writing a single line of code. Anyone having some knowledge of using a content management can do it.

Genesis Theme Framework for WordPress

This blog is using the Genesis Theme Framework with child theme

Installing a plugin which is not listed in the WordPress Plugins Directory

You would need to use the upload plugin feature to upload a plugin and activate it.

Official Site of Free WordPress Plugins

Done with the basics of plugin, now to the list of must have wordpress plugins

Must Have WordPress Plugins for every blog – Beginners


Akismet would take care of your blog security. Protect from spammers and hackers to a limit blocking bad comments. You would need a WordPress API key, just register with WordPress for an account and get the API key. There are some paid packages too.

Yoast SEO – must have wordpress plugins for SEO

You don’t need too many plugins for SEO, Yoast is the best

Search Engine Optimisation is important or every website. WordPress needs to be customised search engine point of view and the customisation would depend on different factors. Yoast SEO is the most used SEO plugin on WordPress. If you are ready to spend for the pro version, then that would be good or the free version is good enough.

Pro version has additional features like

  1. Yoast Internal Linking
  2. Multiple Keywords targeting
  3. Content Insights
  4. Redirect your pages
  5. Focus Keywords
Yoast multiple keywords
You can target more than one keyword
Yoast Content Insights
Yoast Content Insights Helps to know if your article is focused

Jetpack – Plugin

This is a great plugin on all my blogs. This is developed and maintained by WordPress itself. You have multiple features which can be enabled or disabled according to your need. I use the below features

  1. Social Sharing options,
  2. Stats and other data
  3. Subscribers to comments
  4. Email Subscriptions
  5. Likes, Comment (Login with WordPress.Com Account)
  6. Contact Form (Feedback)
  7. Vaultpress backups
  8. Related Posts

You get connected to WordPress.Com features and services, common login Desktop App uses the WordPress.Com account and Jetpack features

SEO Smart Link – Best auto linking plugin

The best free plugin for auto linking keywords. This is a very simple version of Thirsty Affiliates. You do not have to worry much about complicated settings. All you need is to define your keywords and links. You can have multiple keywords for one link and multiple links as well. You can even have redirect URL defined for the target pages.

The plugin is free and it was a paid version. I have never used the paid version, but this free version is awesome.

Only issue I see is the developer is not updating the plugin, as the last update was about 3 years back. You do not have to worry, as of now it is working well with WordPress 4.8.

What should you have this plugin?

This plugin can do great work SEO point of view. On a long run, this plugin will connect all you pages with the right keywords or you will have to do manually.

smart linking plugin
SEO smart Links – Auto insert links for keywords

We consider this page which is all about “must have plugins” or “list of basic plugins”. I add these

Download Link

My Favourite Plugins other than those mentioned above

Amazon Associate Link Builder

If you are an amazon associate and using your blog to sell products on your website or blog, this is a very hand plugin from Amazon itself.

list of must have wordpress plugins

You should initially configure your amazon affiliate account with the keys and then you are ready to go. Customize the templates if needed. Inside the WordPress post editor, you have the option to add Amazon products in different formats like panel, carousels, links, etc

Check out the plugin

Thirsty Affiliates – Affiliate link management plugin

Affiliate marketing is incomplete if you have lots of contents, good traffic from search engines. Convert keywords to your affiliate links automatically. Get reports, track performance, cloak links and more.

There are many modules in the Pro Version of Thirsty Affiliates

  1. Amazon Integration
  2. Redirect using htaccess
  3. Geotagging
  4. URL Shortening
  5. Automatic Keyword Linking

Get Thirsty Affiliates Plugin

WP Forms – Create Online form drag and drop

Create unlimited online forms as per your need by just dragging and dropping the fields and labels. You can set condition for validation of data.

You do not have to be a programmer to create complex forms for your business to get user data.

Check this plugin

Table of Contents Plugin Plus

If you are having a WordPress Installation with lots of contents in a structured manner, then you should use a table of content plugin.

Using shortcode, you can add TOC to your blog posts or even you can enable auto TOC as per the default setting. I have used this plugin on my blog. You can do all types of customisation to suit your needs and style.

Download this Plugin

Bonus Tips

Before you buy a plugin

Always do some checks, read reviews about any new plugin that you are going to buy or use. Some plugin which are not from the WordPress Plugins directory could be harmful and break your site.

Do not use too many plugins

Use Plugins which are compatible with the latest version of WordPress

What to do if a plugin breaks your site?

You need ftp, rename the plugin folder which broke your site, this will bring your site back

Further – About this list of must have wordpress plugins for beginners

There are many other great plugins that I have not listed here. Must have plugins for a simple blogger would be different from a blogger selling e-books or someone who has a photography blog. List of must have wordpress plugins for a review site is different from a personal blog or a recipe site.

You can find solutions for most of your requirement from the WordPress Plugin directory or from a custom plugin developer.

The list about shows the list of must have plugins for basic needs.

Besides these plugins I would suggest Dreamhost for hosting, Genesis or Elegant themes for theme framework.

Suggested Readings

  1. Tools to Engage your Visitors to spend more time on your blog
  2. Adding a Last Updated date to your WordPress Post
  3. New Bootstrap with Genesis Framework Theme

2 thoughts on “List of Must have WordPress Plugins for Beginners”

  1. Amazing collection of plugins! All are pretty good to use.
    I want to suggest you to try one more WordPress plugin called Blog Designer. It’s a free WordPress plugin that helps to modify your blog and design. This plugin provides inbuilt 6 default templates and with the use of these templates, you can move to any blog design via a few clicks instead of “Activate Theme” simultaneously.


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