5 Wordpress Plugins You Need Right Now

This article originally appeared on TheAdamOBrien.com

One of the scariest things about starting a WordPress blog, in my humble opinion, is the actual setup process. From picking the perfect domain name to selecting the ideal template, a lot of times the easiest part of the whole process is creating the actual content (go figure).

One of the biggest things I found out very quickly is that WordPress plug-ins can make or break your blog. To make things even more complex, the sheer amount of plug-ins available is enough to make anyone hang up their blogging shoes before the fun even begins.

This is the exact reason why I made sure to document the plugins that have become invaluable in my recent launch of my new WordPress site (theadamcobrien.com). Now, I can send my ‘best of the best’ list your way in hopes that you, too, can get up and running and on to what really matters… sharing your story with the world:

Yoast SEO by Team Yoast — $0: Do yourself a solid and install this plugin right now! This gem literally teaches you the ropes of SEO optimization and gets your posts set up with things like key word optimization, readability %, and full page analysis.

  • Plugin Setup: Easy, install-and-use
  • Big Takeaway: Get your posts SEO optimized in less than 2 minuets

WP Subscribe Pro by MyThemeShop — $39.99: It may feel weird, but pop up subscription boxes kill the subscription game. Easy integrations with MailChimp make this one a no-brainer and it may be one of the best $39.99 investments you can make in your blog.

  • Plugin Setup: Advanced, requires configuration of MailChimp API and additional settings in the WordPress plugin page
  • Big Takeaway: Easy MailChimp integration allows for easy to manage, customized mail lists

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by Alin Marcu- $0: Great plugin that lets you track your blogs stats in real time from the WordPress admin dashboard.

  • Plugin Setup: Advanced, requires setup of tracking code through Google and additional configuration within WordPress
  • Big Takeaway: Quickly monitor blog traffic, bounce rates, and popular posts from the WordPress dashboard

Reading Time WP by Jason YingLing — $0: One of the coolest things to pop up in the blogging world is the trend of letting your readers know exactly how much time they are going to need to invest to read your blog post. This plugin allows your readers to quickly see the expected read time before clicking into the article.

  • Plugin Setup: Easy, install-and-use
  • Big Takeaway: Instantly decrease bounce rate by letting your readers know what to expect

WP SpamShield Anti-Spam by Scott Allen — $0: Top rated anti-spam plugin for your blog. Scott Allen says SpamSheild ‘Eliminates comment spam, trackback spam, contact form spam & registration spam’ and I haven’t found a reason to not believe that statement yet!

  • Plugin Setup: Easy, install-and-use
  • Big Takeaway: Complete blog protection at a price no one can refuse

This list is more than enough to get you started on your blogging journey… or even add a new secret weapon to your already existing arsenal of WordPress plugins. I know that these plugins have helped me tremendously and hope that you will find the same value here too!