• Michael Linsin

12 Must-Have Wordpress Plugins: Part One

Clueless. That was me when I first started a blog, especially when it comes to choosing the right Wordpress plugins. There are thousands available, but if you load up on too many you risk slowing down your website - or even breaking it to pieces.

Truth is, there are only a few plugins you actually need.

So, like all the advice here at Renegade Blogger, we're going to give you the straight dope. We're going to reveal the exact Wordpress plugins we use and recommend, starting with six this week and followed by six the next.

Are you ready? Drum roll . . .

1. Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet is a free plugin that does exactly what it say; it rids your blog of spam comments. It's absolutely essential because it saves you the time of having to go through them yourself. Since I first started using it ten years ago, Akismet has blocked over 150,000 spam comments.

2. Google Analytics Dashboard

It places a statistical breakdown of your website traffic right in your Wordpress dashboard. Although personally I don't look at monthly or long-term visitor trends (that's Scott's department), I'm always curious about the previous day's traffic, which I can view as soon as I log in.

3. Limit Login Attempts

Another free plugin, LLA is a simple but effective safeguard against hackers. Once an IP address tries to access your site four times (or fewer if you like), it locks the address out - which protects you from bots trying millions of different passwords.

4. UpdraftPlus

This plugin automatically backs up your website every week - or more often if you wish. It sends a full, restorable copy to your email address or will even upload it to DropBox, Amazon S3, or Google Drive. Amazingly, it too is free.

5. Optimize Database

Optimize Database automatically deletes old revisions of each blog post. It also deletes spam comments, unused tags, and trashed posts, pages, and photos. It saves space. It cleans. It speeds up the back end of your website.

6. Classic Editor

A couple of years ago, Wordpress came out with an entirely new editor, which is really cool and has great options and flexibility. However, being renegades, we love the old editor. CE restores the classic edition with a click of a button.

There you have it. Six awesome Wordpress plugins we here at Renegade Blogger think you can't do without. The best thing is that every one of them is free and easy to use. You can have them all up and running in about five minutes.

Next week, we'll cover part two and review the final six must-have Wordpress plugins. Until then, keep sawing wood and carrying water.


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