The good thing about WordPress is that it has created an ecosystem that makes blogging very easy and fun. in the WordPress library there are thousands of useful plugins that provide functions for everything you will need to run a successful blog. there are plugins for email marketing, SEO,eCommerce, page building, security among many others. the huge problem is that as a new WordPress user finding what plugin suits your immediate needs is kinda tricky & installing many plugins only slows down your site and affects user experience and in turn SEO.from personal experience I have found a handful of plugins that are helpful for a beginner.
Akismet anti- spam
This plugin by Automattic is one of the top plugins on WordPress it has both a free and premium version. Akismet plugin locks out spam and bots out of your blog. if you have noticed after publishing a post you will find spammy comments that fill in the comment section promoting all weird kinds of stuff. while you might think this is harmless it actually is not. spam waters down your brand and affects user experience. avoid it by all means. Akismet prevents such comments from appearing in the comment section without your permission.
Google site kit
This is not a famous plugin like Akismet that has 5 mil+ downloads but I have found it to be very useful. this plugin as the name suggests is from google and combines major google web programs in one dashboard. from this plugin you can see Search console and see what posts are ranking and what keywords are working for your blog. you can also check Adsense and check on your RPMs and earnings. Google Analytics is also here and it is easier to check website traffic and sources where traffic is from. at the bottom, there are page speed insights that check on website loading speed among other metrics such as delays, & load times. while there are websites for all these programs by google Sitekit reduces the time it will take by going to each individually.I see it as more of a productivity plugin.
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I personally have used both the Rank math SEO plugin and the Yoast SEO plugin on my sites and I can honestly say they are all pretty much the same. in both instances, I didn’t use the premium version because the free version suited my needs. I however have come to learn that having an SEO plugin even if a premium version doesn’t guarantee that Google will rank your posts at no 1.SEO plugins provide an environment to ensure that your blog has all the necessary details that search engines check for when ranking. you can edit things like meta tags, appropriate headers, article length is observed, titles are optimized, snippets are there there’s interlinking among others. an SEO plugin is not a must if you know what you are doing but what is the need for struggling if there’s a tool that makes work easier.
Headers and footers
As you start your online journey you will need to also set up Google analytics, webmaster search console either on google, bing, or even Yandex. after submitting your site they ask you to add a line of code on your site to ensure that you are the true owner of the site. adding code directly to your theme can damage your site and that is why the headers and footers plugin is very necessary, they remove the hassle and give you an environment where you can add any custom code to your site seamlessly. when applying for monetization through Adsense just add the publisher code on the header section on this plugin and the site will be good to go.