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14 WordPress plugins that power Budding Geek

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Published by Abhishek Raj

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One of the coolest things about WordPress is that you have access to its massive plugins repository. Plugins extend the functionality of your blog or website. They essentially help you create the desired user experience on your website without having you write or tweak even a single line of code. Whether you need to design a landing page, put up social share buttons, or need a guided SEO-optimized writing assistant – there is a plugin for almost anything. Curious to find out which plugins power my website? In this post today, I will share the complete list of 14 plugins that power Budding Geek.

The problem with too many WordPress plugins

As plugins enhance the capabilities of your WordPress site, it’s tempting to use more and more plugins. But then, every plugin installed on your WordPress website adds JavaScript and CSS codes in your website’s functions and theme file. These codes are loaded every time whether or not the plugins (which originally injected them) are requested by a webpage.

To summarize it: The more the number of plugins on your WordPress website, the higher will be the asset load (JavaScript and CSS files) that will be required to be loaded with that page. This means, there will be more unnecessary HTTP requests, and eventually your webpage will load slow.

How many plugins should you install on your WordPress website?

There is no thumb rule to this. But I would advise you to keep it to such a bare minimum number as essentially required to keep your site running smoothly.

One of the best ways to do this is to identify plugins that are capable of performing multiple tasks. For example, the plugin ‘Imagify’ not only compresses the images that you upload on your WordPress site but also, simultaneously converts them into ‘webp’ – a more optimized and SEO-friendly image format.

Identification of such plugins based on your own unique sets of needs will do the trick.

14 Plugins that power Budding Geek blog:

For ease of classification, I’ve grouped all the 14 plugins into 4 major categories – Monetization, Productivity, Design, and Performance. Click on the individual categories to find out the plugins that fit in.

  1. Ad-Inserter
  2. Pretty Links
  1. Antispam Bee
  2. Grow Social by Mediavine
  3. Yoast SEO
  4. WP Forms lite
  5. Redirection
  6. Lucky WP Table of Contents
  7. Sendinblue email widget
  1. Genesis Blocks
  2. Genesis Simple Edits
  1. WP Rocket
  2. Imagify
  3. Asset Cleanup

Now, I will briefly review each plugin and will try to justify why I choose it:

1) Ad-Inserter

As its name suggests, this plugin helps manage ads on your WordPress site. Ad-inserter provides a very convenient way to insert your Ad-codes in various places on your site. This works flawlessly with popular Ad-networks like Adsense and Media.net. You can also use it to display direct ads, or even opt-in forms, and tracking codes on any desired place on your website.

Some prominent places on a WordPress website where you can display ads/other JavaScript/CSS/HTML codes using Ad-inserter:

  • Before/After post
  • Before/After content
  • After/Before Image No. ____
  • Before/After Paragraph No.____
  • Between posts
  • Before/between comments
  • Footer
  • Before/After an HTML Element

2. Pretty Links

It’s a very popular plugin among affiliate marketers. I use it to convert long affiliate URLs into short, clean, and branded links. For example, if I am promoting a Canon camera using this affiliate URL: https://clickbank.com/productid=123/affid=123/campaign=blog, then I may use Pretty link to convert this long URL into a short and clean URL, like this: https://buddinggeek.com/refer/canon. This looks pretty? Haha. That’s why they are called Pretty Links 🙂

3. Antispam Bee

A very efficient anti-spam plugin that silently blocks all spam comments in the background. Unlike other anti-spam plugins to moderate comments, Antispam Bee works without captcha and without even sending personal information to third-party servers. It works really well with my default WordPress commenting system.

So far, it has blocked 10,396 spam comments on my blog! Imagine how difficult it would be to moderate such a huge number of comments manually. Phew…Antispam Bee is a lifesaver for WordPress bloggers.

4. Grow Social by Mediavine

Having social share buttons on your blog posts is important as your visitors often find them convenient for sharing articles they find interesting and useful. I use Grow Social plugin by Mediavine. It’s a very simple, clean, and light-weight social share plugin.

You get the options to display the social share buttons either inline the posts OR as a floating sidebar.

5. Yoast SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing a website’s visibility on the search engines. When we talk of SEO, Yoast is the most popular plugin for WordPress. It’s super helpful in shaping my on-page SEO efforts on this blog.

The most useful feature of Yoast SEO is the live SEO and Readability analysis tool. The three-color dots (red / orange / green) based on live analysis of your article prove to be very useful – as they help you write perfect articles optimized for search engines, as well as for your readers.

6. WP Forms lite

It is the most user-friendly and easiest form builder for WordPress. You need to put forms on your web pages when you want your visitors to get in touch with you – with the information you want! I use WP Forms on my Contact page and Advertisers’ page.

7. Redirection by John Godley

Whenever you change a link (URL) structure on your website, you need to put a redirect so that all the traffic hitting the old URLs is redirected to the new URLs. In such cases, a 301 permanent redirect is all what you need. You don’t even need a plugin to put a 301 redirect. These redirects can be made by editing your .htaccess file placed on your web server. But then why risk corrupting your website should you inadvertently change something undesirable? These server-side edits and tweaks can sometimes prove to be horrible, especially for beginners.

I have been using Redirection plugin by John Godley for the last 2 years. It’s a very simple and light plugin that helps me manage all 301 redirects on my blog effortlessly. It’s quick, direct, and saves a lot of time!

8. Lucky WP Table of Contents

Did you see a grey-colored Table of Contents in this post above? It has been created using Lucky WP Table of Contents plugin. Having a ‘Table of Contents’ is useful for a long article with lots of headings and sub-headings. It provides a birds-eye view of the overall article structure to your blog readers.

9. Sendinblue Email subscription plugin

I’m using SendinBlue as an email subscription service for my blog readers. It’s free and provides a very user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for creating beautiful newsletters. I’m therefore using its plugin to display the email subscription widget on my blog’s sidebar.

10. Genesis Blocks

The theme framework of my blog is powered by Genesis. It’s the most trustworthy and secure theme framework for WordPress. And now that with Gutenberg, WordPress has entered into a higher orbit of design, I, therefore, use Genesis blocks to take full advantage of Genesis and Gutenberg. Genesis blocks enable me to add the following useful design blocks on my blog:

  • Post and Page grids
  • Advanced columns
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Stylized notice text
  • Pricing tables
  • Testimonials &
  • A library of blocks, sections and page layouts

11. Genesis Simple Edits

This little plugin by StudioPress helps me edit the three most commonly modified areas in any Genesis theme: the post-info, the post-meta, and the footer area.

12. WP Rocket

WP Rocket (Paid plugin) is the only speed-booster for WordPress that is worth your investment. I have been using it since April 2020 and have never regretted even a single day.

Why should you invest in improving your website’s page speed?

Read my short review of WP Rocket on the post – How to fix a slow WordPress site in under 1 hour?

13. Imagify

Large image files uploaded on a webpage usually contribute a great deal to overall slow speeds and poor user experience. I, therefore, use Imagify as my preferred image optimization plugin for WordPress. Once activated on a WordPress site, it automatically compresses all the images that are uploaded in the WordPress media library.

Additionally, it lets you convert your images into next-gen image formats such as WebP – a lossless and SEO-friendly image format.

14. Asset Cleanup

This plugin helps my blog run efficiently by trimming down all unnecessary CSS and JavaScripts added by various themes and plugins. Coupled with WP Rocket, Asset Cleanup has been a great performance booster for my website.

What are your favourite WordPress plugins?

What plugins are you using on your WordPress site? How are they beneficial? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the author
Abhishek Raj is the founder of Budding Geek. He is an inveterate blogger with a decade of experience in the internet technology & online marketing industry. Abhishek takes pride on being featured in some of the top industry websites like Marketing Land, Social Media Today, LifeHacker & ProBlogger.

4 thoughts on “14 WordPress plugins that power Budding Geek”

  1. Each plugin looks like it performs a vital function on your blog Abhishek. This is most important. Make each plugin do something helpful for you and your readers to ensure the weight-load of each is worth it. Nice list.


  2. Thanks for sharing this list. I’m using almost 70-80% of these plugins on my website.
    I’m not using any Table of Content right now. What is the significance of having a Table of Contents?

    • Hi Adrian, there are many advantages of using a TOC:
      (i) It acts as an index for your readers. For long articles, this is very useful as it improves the UX.
      (ii) SEO benefits – Search engines such as Google may use your TOC links as jump links in search results.

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