Five wordpress plugins your blog shouldn’t be without

When I moved my blog to self-hosted recently, I was totally agog at the number of wordpress plugins available. Seriously, I didn’t know where to start. What plugins does wordpress even need??

After much muddling along, I’ve picked out my five favourites to get you started…

Five must have wordpress plugins

Spam protection

The very first thing I needed was a wordpress plugin to protect me from all the comments I was suddenly getting from kindly sex toy salespeople.

“I thanks a lot for sharing this excellent information. I always want as well as love reading quality items. Keep sharing. Best wishes for your own further efforts.”

Well that’s very kind of you Cash-for-Gold man, but no thank you.

To save your site from spam, get Askimet on the case.

Share and share alike

You’ve written an amazing post. Seriously, it’s the best thing you’ve ever written. It’s sure to be viral within minutes. If not seconds.


In that case you definitely need some sharing buttons to make it easy peasy for your readers to tell every single person they know right away.

Shareaholic is a great wordpress plugin for sharing, giving you easy to customise buttons from literally dozens of networks. Just pick the ones you want and it will do the rest. Shareaholic also helps to increase engagement by showing readers other related comment from across your blog.

Shareaholic wordpress plugin

Get social

You’d be amazed at how many blogs I visit who don’t link to their social media accounts. It is one of my top PR-friendly-blog fails.

There’s really no excuse when you can use something as simple as Tipsy Social Icons. Just pick the ones you want to feature, link them to your profiles, choose a style and bam, job done.

Tipsy Social Buttons wordpress plugin

Comment Luv

Now it might not be the cool thing to say, but one of the reasons a lot of people leave comments on other blogs is to attract new readers. This is fine. Get over yourself. If you are blogging because you want to build up a following and earn money from it there is no shame at all in putting yourself out there.

You can make it even easier for your fellow bloggers to share their content, and encourage comments, with Comment Luv, a plugin that allows bloggers to link to one of their recent posts as part of their comment. It’s interesting as a blogger too to get a little nudge from my readers about the kinds of things they are writing about.

Comment Luv wordpress plugin

Pimp my blog

I have to confess I’m not that hot on SEO. I remember to alt-tag my photos, but that is about it, so I recently downloaded Yoast (I liked it because it rhymes with toast) to try and give my SEO a bit of a kickstart.

Initially I was terrified by all the options, but at its most basic level it can help you write a meta-description and keywords, show you what your post will look like in a search engine and give you the option to customise social sharing descriptions. It also scores your post against your chosen keywords so you can easily see areas for improvement.

Yoast plugin

Ultimately a WordPress site without plugins is not running to its full potential, however getting the basics right first is crucial and that starts with a great design. I found really useful for this. You can send a brief to them and you get a bunch of designs back from different designers that you can choose from!

If you install any of these I would love to know how you get on! What are your favourite wordpress plugins?



  1. 8 May, 2013 / 3:33 pm

    Thanks, I am off to give Yoast a try – I really need to improve my SEO understanding. Will report back on how I get on.

  2. 8 May, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    Yoast is AMAZING! Don’t forget to use your google adwords tool to look up your keywords first!

  3. 8 May, 2013 / 4:27 pm

    I used Shareholic for awhile, and it was doing some strange things, so I’m trying flare for now. We’ll see.

    Or should I say:

    “Your blog is one of the most brilliant I have ever seen. I am going to tell all of my friends. Would you like to buy a kitten?”

    Oh how I heart Askimet.

    • 9 May, 2013 / 12:45 pm

      @Kerri we would love to “win” you back! We’ve released many an updates and are working hard on a huge brand new release. Please let me know if I can do anything to help with Shareaholic. – Jay (founder, Shareaholic –

  4. 8 May, 2013 / 7:01 pm

    Good recommendations. I am going to download Yoast to see if it helps me tempt in a few more readers.

  5. Myriam
    8 May, 2013 / 7:35 pm

    Great article, thanks!

    I’ll be trying out Yoast and Shareaholic!


  6. 9 May, 2013 / 10:41 am

    I love akismet… saves me so much time weeding through spam comments!

  7. 9 May, 2013 / 11:25 am

    I bow down to you. Am currently putting off the whole self hosting thing it scares me so much I have even been seen doing house work to avoid it.

  8. 9 May, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    oooh I didn’t know about the social ones, am going to try those.

  9. Lynda Appuhamy
    9 May, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    I had someone else recommend Yoast to me this morning. Looks like it is the SEO plugin to go for. Thx for some great suggestions. Going self-hosting was one of the best things I ever did.

  10. 9 May, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    A great post Jo! Like all of those you’ve mentioned but haven’t tried Tipsy Social Icons before, sounds like my kind of thing!

  11. Michelle
    9 May, 2013 / 8:04 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been trying to figure out which are the best plug-ins to have on my blog. I’ve already got Askimet (a life saver) and Yoast, but you’ve listed a couple here that I am now off to install. :-)

  12. 10 May, 2013 / 3:04 am

    I was using the built in Genesis SEO for the longest time but switched over to Yoast a month ago and am in love! And amazingly my traffic has increased too – I can’t recommend this one enough!

  13. 11 May, 2013 / 5:55 pm

    The interface of Yoast is good. It is easy to understand even for beginner bloggers.

  14. 13 May, 2013 / 8:07 pm

    Such a great list, thank you for sharing. I have just added shareaholic to my blog and I love it! Somehow it wasn’t working properly when I first installed it but it corrected on its own. Thank you! :) x

  15. 14 May, 2013 / 8:10 am

    Good post!! Going to try Yoast out but couldn’t get to grips with Shareaholic…it moved a few things around on my site that I’m not sure how to fix and didn’t link in any icons so gave up!


  16. 14 May, 2013 / 10:42 pm

    Thanks for your hints. I’m just setting up a new blog, self hosted on WordPress for the first time and the number of plug ins is scary. I’ve gone with a few of your suggestions and they are looking good xx

  17. 19 May, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    Hi I already have all the WordPress plugins you have mentioned so good to know I am on the right track.

    Another really helpful WordPress plugin I swear by is WP-Optimize.

    What it does is make your site faster (just as important as SEO as people are very impatient on the internet) and it does this by letting you manually tick a box to delete all spam comments which Askimet finds, clear the cache for all your drafts of posts you have done and also optimise your database. All of these things help your website to load faster :-). Using Google Analytics I was able to measure the success of this plugin and if I do it regularly it does help to keep the numbers of visitors on my website for longer when they visit.

  18. 3 June, 2013 / 9:58 pm

    Really helpful thank you honey. I do most now since going self-hosted but am going to look at getting comment Luv hopping across now thank you x

  19. 11 July, 2013 / 1:49 pm

    Recently downloaded the SEO by Yoast plugin, and was surprised on how much tips it gives. Will be looking at the other plugins you suggested, found your post helpful.


  20. 29 September, 2013 / 4:36 pm

    Really helpful post – thanks. I’ve just gone self-hosted so have newly discovered plug-in flexibility! Tips like this are making my life a lot easier. :)

  21. 10 December, 2013 / 11:28 pm

    I’m trying out Yoast and Comment Luv. Thanks for the tips :)

  22. 15 February, 2014 / 12:17 pm

    Yeah, I agree with your post. Using Google Analytics I was able to measure the success of this plugin and if I do it regularly it does help to keep the numbers of visitors on my website for longer when they visit. Thanks for sharing.

  23. 15 March, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    I would like to say to you for sharing this blog with us here. Actually, I created my blog on Word press and I want to know more information to make it popular among the people . The plugins are really important and it plays a major role in it. Thanks for this information 

  24. 21 March, 2014 / 8:00 am

    I have a blog on Word press and I love blogging through this site because earlier I was using blogger spot and to it adding plug-ins is not soft and waste my time too so I left that site and switched to Word press. But your blog is really helpful for me to gain more information about plug-ins. Thank you so much.

  25. Victoria Dyson
    30 March, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    This is great! Thanks very much for the tips. I’ve been toying with the idea of using WordPress and this has convinced me to take the leap of faith :-) Ta! x

  26. 19 April, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I am such a fan of Yoast SEO Plugin. I am not using comment luv right now instead I am using facebook comments plugin and it’s good

  27. 22 June, 2017 / 8:20 am

    This is great! Thanks very much for the tips. I love all the five plugins you mention.
    Great work by plugin developers.

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