My 5 must-have WordPress Plugins

After every new WordPress blog I create there are some configurations that I do to make the fresh installation just the way I want it to be.

One of those first configurations is to install a specific set of plugins.

In case you are wondering, plugins are pieces of software that you can install on WordPress to extend and expand the functionality of your blog.

This is my 5 must-have WordPress Plugins list.


What you will learn

  • List of plugins I install on a fresh WordPress Install
  • What they do
  • Why you should use them
  • Where to get the plugins


Akismet plugin

The first one I set up is Akismet Anti-Spam, because it usually already comes preinstalled with WordPress and it’s completely free.

The only thing you need to do to configure it is to get your API key on the official Akismet site and insert it in the plugin settings.

Click here for a detailed configuration guide from Akismet.

Akismet saves me so much time moderating comments as it detects what comments are spam and puts them away in a specific spam tab in the comment section, so I only need to go there once in a while to check if there was any false positive.

From one of my blogs I can see that the accuracy of Akismet is about 97%. That is pretty damn good accuracy!


Limit login attempts plugin

After having Akismet working I install WP Limit Login Attempts. This plugin is very important as it will prevent hackers and bots from trying to get access to your WordPress control panel.

Some of the most important features are Captcha Verification, that will request the user to complete a simple captcha before logging in. This will prevent most bots from even trying to login. Limit Login Attempts will block a specific IP address after a certain amount of failed login tries.

This one is a set and forget plugin because once you install it you don’t have to worry about it ever again.


Google Analytics plugin

My next step is to install the Google Analytics plugin so I can easily incorporate my Google Analytics code to my blog.

Besides providing an easy way to install my tracking code it also provides a few cool features, such as not counting my own visits to the blog. This feature can be extended beside the administrator to moderators and editors, for example.

It also provides visitor statistics graphs and statistics right from the WordPress control panel, so you don’t need to visit the Google Analytics website all the time.


Pretty link plugin for wordpress

Pretty Link allows you to shrink links and track clicks. It allows you to do cool stuff like redirecting to

This is particularly interesting to keep track of your affiliate links. I use it in almost all the external links I post on this blog.


Updraft backup plugin for wordpress blogs

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup allows me to perform automatic daily backups of my blogs. The plugin gives you the option to upload the backups to a cloud service. All my backups get uploaded automatically to my Google Drive so they are secure in case my blog or server goes down.

These are all the plugins that I first install on a fresh WordPress installation. You don’t need to install all the plugins listed here, so choose the ones that you think will benefit you and your blog.

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