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
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.
- Pretty Links
- Antispam Bee
- Grow Social by Mediavine
- Yoast SEO
- WP Forms lite
- Lucky WP Table of Contents
- Sendinblue email widget
- Genesis Blocks
- Genesis Simple Edits
- WP Rocket
- Asset Cleanup
Now, I will briefly review each plugin and will try to justify why I choose it:
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.
- Before/After post
- Before/After content
- After/Before Image No. ____
- Before/After Paragraph No.____
- Between posts
- Before/between comments
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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?
- It improves the overall user experience.
- It improves conversions.
- Your core web vitals score is now an official ranking factor.
Read my short review of WP Rocket on the post – How to fix a slow WordPress site in under 1 hour?
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
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.