Recommended WordPress Plugins For Any Serious Blogger

I get a lot of e-mails asking me about the plugins I use here. After trying many WordPress plugins, I have settled on a handful that I rely on.

I’d recommend these to any blogger, especially the beginners out there. If you start with these, it will help get more traffic, more comments, more retweets, and build your community.

Remember, you don’t want to have too many plugins running because it will slow down your site. So be picky about what you use.

Here are a list of my most asked about and favorite plugins.


This plugin has really helped me increase subscribers to my e-mail list. The reason is because it makes it easy to add sign up options almost anywhere on your blog.

One easy place is in the comments. After the reader has entered their name and email address for a comment, they can just click a box to get your ebook or sign up to your list. So they leave a comment and sign up to your list at the same time. Makes it easier.

Also if you see the end of my posts, there is an opt-in box was added with WpSubscribers. You can add an opt-in box within your posts, at the footer, as a pop-up, or in the sidebar,

That’s just a tip of the features it has. It’s too many to list. If you want to read more and purchase it, visit the website.

(This is an affiliate product, so I’ll make comission if you buy through this link. However, this is a product I use personally and would recommend.)

Tweet@ Anywhere Plus

This is the tweet box you see at the end of every post. If you want more people to share you post, you have to make it so simple for them. Don’t make them search for the retweet button. Show them how easy it is.

You can set up the wording of the tweet to whatever you want. Your readers can edit it as well before tweeting it.

It wasn’t easy to setup the box at first, but I had it setup up in minutes when I found a video made by my friend Adrienne Smith.

This is my most asked about plugin. Install it on your blog today and get more retweets.

Reply Me 

This is probably my personal favorite plugin. If you’ve ever left a comment here, you know how it works. When I reply to your comment, you get an e-mail with your comment and my reply.

The reason I love it is because you know that I replied to your comment. If not, you’ll have no idea if I followed up with a question, or liked a point you made. Doubtful you’ll come looking through an old post to see if I replied to your comment.

I like it when other bloggers use it. I leave a lot of comments on many different blogs and I hardly go back to the post to see if it got a reply. It just takes too much time and I can’t keep track where I did leave a comment.

If you’re looking to build relationships with people, continue the conversation, and let them know you appreciate their comments, this is a great plugin to do that.

Popular Posts

In the right sidebar, you can see a list of my most popular posts. This is a great plugin for first time readers that come to your blog. They’ll naturally want to know what are your popular posts here. Show them and have them stay on your blog longer.

You can set it for popular posts of all time, for the month, or for the week. It gets updated automatically.

Top Commenters

If you’re looking for a way to reward those who comment on your blog, this is a way to give them recognition. In the sidebar, you can see a list of the top commenters for this month. You can set this for all time, the month, or the week. You can show the number of comments or not.

I have it setup to show their gravatar picture, their blog, and how many comments they’ve left. By commenting often, it gets their picture and link featured. You get more comments and they get more exposure and a link back to their blog. It’s a win for both sides.

Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin

This is the plugin you need if you don’t want spam comments. It gets rid of 99% of the spam. After I’ve recommended this to friends, spam comments have cut down drastically.

How it gets rid of spam is when you leave a comment, you have to check a box that proves you are human. If you don’t check it, you can’t leave a comment. So simple but effective!

Sure you’ll get some humans who are paid to spam comment, but it’s so few that it’s not a problem.

For awhile I was using just GASP and not Askimet. Then I suddenly got hit with spam comments. It grew and grew to the point that it got annoying. Since then I’ve turned Askimet back on, it has reduced the amount of spam that gets through tremendously. So GASP + Askimet is a great combo for me.


Get more comments by rewarding those that leave one with a link to one of their most recent posts.

If you leave a comment here, you can link to your post and that shows up at the end of your comment. Others will see it and if interested by the headline, will click on it (another reason headlines are so important!)

This is a free version, but I believe there is a premium version now. Honestly, I don’t know much about it, but Ana at Traffic Generation Cafe has a write up about it if you’re interested in learning more about the premium version. Adrienne Smith also is using CommentLuv premium and could tell you more about it.

Backup Buddy

In August, I was on cloud nine with my iPhone app, Photo 365, being featured. What most didn’t know was it was also the most stressful time on my blog.

The reason was my blog was getting hacked multiple times a day!! It kept getting redirected to some bogus Russian domain.

I turned to online friend David Wang at to help me solve the issue. The frustrating part was that it would get fixed, and then hours later it be hacked again. This went on for four days if I remember correctly.

David was awesome in helping me out and staying really patient. He kept trying different things.

Finally on Sunday night, he did something to make my blog more secure from attacks. I prayed it would work because the following day, I was about to have my interview on Smart Passive Income published, and knew I was going to get a flood of traffic! The traffic came and my blog has been safe since then.

One thing he highly recommended, that I didn’t do before, was have constantly make a backup of my blog. I never thought I needed it. What if I lost all my content due to an attack?

He recommended Backup Buddy. It makes a backup of my blog, plugin, widgets, and themes. It’s easy to restore or migrate to a new domain.

It’s a paid plugin but it has given me peace of mind to know everything is safe in case on attack makes me lose everything. It’s worth the investment.

(This is an affiliate product, so I’ll make comission if you buy through my link. However, this is a product I use personally and would recommend.)

W3 Total Cache

Make your blog load faster. Don’t make your readers wait for your blog to load. Highly recommended for blogs of any level.


What’s your favorite plugin?

Would you suggest any new ones for me?



Like what you read?
If so, please join to get exclusive weekly inspirational emails, and get a FREE COPY of my eBook, Get a Life That Doesn't Suck. Just enter your name and email below:

Powered by WPSubscribers

74 responses to Recommended WordPress Plugins For Any Serious Blogger

  1. Great list Benny, I only have a few “nerdy” ones to add hehe.

    WP-Optimize: Cleans up your backend (spam comments, post revisions, etc.) in one click, improves page loads.

    Htaccess Secure Files + Webdefender WordPress Security: Although there are a lot more things you can do for WP security (read:, these two are a great start.

    Google XML Sitemaps & Video Sitemaps: People underestimate the video one, useful if you know how to use it.

    PS: Standard Theme 3 is lookin’ good, will have an updated “Popular Posts” plugin built right in and new sharing options, can’t wait to update!

    • Thanks for sharing some good ones Greg! I’ll have to try WP-Optimize. I’m all about improving page loads. I use Google XML, but will remember the video one if I use more videos this next year. Yes I read about Standard 3! Did it mention what other features would be added? I can’t wait for it. I know whatever they add will be great. Hope it’s easy to update.

  2. Funny you should post this Benny, I was going to ask you about one of your plugins this week, hah. I’ve been going through my semi-frequent internal debate about Disqus vs WordPress comments lately – just can’t decide.

    One plugin I’d add to the list is PrettyLink. I’m sure you know about it as a Pat Flynn fan, and it’s one of my favorites too.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Did you decide yet or are still debating? I know it’s a tough debate. I see Livefyre really growing too. I do use PrettyLink. It’s really helpful! Though I know there is a paid version, but not sure what the difference is. Great plugin for sure to make those links look much better. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great list. I have some problems with Akismet, gotta try the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. Here is what I would add to the list:

    – All in One SEO Pack
    – Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
    – Contact Form 7
    – Google XML Sitemaps
    – Easy Privacy Policy
    – Slick Social Share Buttons

    • Hey Steve,

      Definitely give GASP a try. You’ll definitely like it. It’s easy on the users too because all they have to do is click a box. Great list of plugins you shared there. I use a handful of those. Others I should try out for sure.

  4. Love it! Great share Benny.

    I have harassed you in the past about specific plugins you use and you have always graciously shared them. Thanks for putting this awesome list together. Just re-tweeted and plussed it.

    Very valuable stuff!

    I will add Simple Lightbox and WPtouch to your list.

    Simple Lightbox Makes the pictures in your posts pop up in a sexy lightbox window. All the cool kids are doing it these days. 🙂

    WPTouch Is a companion theme that automatically formats your website nicely when viewed from a mobile phone. It works in conjunction with the theme you are already using and only displays the alternate theme if the visitor is looking at your site from their mobile device.

    I have it on my website. Visit your site from your phone, then visit mine to see the difference. It’s quite compelling.

    Thanks again for this awesome share!

    • Hey Mark,

      I’m always happy to share the plugins I use. Simple Lightbox sounds really nice! But would that plugin be best for websites that feature photos? Thanks for suggesting WP Touch. When I read blogs on my iPhone I’ve seen blogs with it. I’m on the fence about it. I like that it makes it easier to read, but it takes away from the look of my blog. I think I read the premium theme I use will have an update with that feature built in. If so, it’d be an nice way to implement it.

      Thanks for sharing those two, even if it mean you were held in comment prison until I set you free. 🙂

      • Benny,

        I don’t have a website that features photos but when I do post a picture on my blog Lightbox makes it pop-up elegantly.

        Check out this post and click the picture under the heading Day 1 With Gyrowheel to see the effect.

        I don’t think it detracts at all but it’s up to you.

        Thanks for releasing me from comment purgatory. 🙂

  5. Thanks! i am totally novice in this field but i learned a lot today. I have no words how helpful this post has been to me. keep sharing and we shall stick with you.

  6. Wow, great list. I like the social element of the plugins you are using. I’m going to check these out for sure.

    I recently converted from the All In One SEO Pack to the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and I have been uber impressed. That is the first one that pops into my head.

  7. A topic I truly love too Benny.

    Thanks for sharing my video link on the Tweet @Anywhere Plus post. I thought that video would answer any questions people may have.

    I do agree that the CommentLuv Premium version is well worth the price because it has eight plug-ins included. We all know the more we have installed the slower your blog will load. They can read more about that at either Ana’s or my blog if anyone is interested in learning more.

    There are really too many great ones to mention here. I did share a post of my own with all the plug-ins I love and it was quite popular as well. People love learning which plug-in do what and why. I say pick and chose the ones you can’t live without.

    Thanks for sharing yours with us Benny! Great list.


  8. great list!!! please can i add the plugin PrettyLink to it, i love it

  9. I think reply me is also one of my favorites.

    I also like wp super cache and broken link checker.

    • Adam,

      Reply Me is awesome. One thing that scares me is that it hasn’t been updated in a couple years. I hope it stays compatible with future WP versions. Broken link checker sounds nice. Will check it out. Thanks!

  10. Hi Benny, thanks for the great list and reviews. W3 Total Cache is sweet. Any opinions on CommentLuv vs. LiveFyre? I’m still new to WordPress and its capabilities, but like how CommentLuv displays the last post you’ve written. I have LiveFyre installed on my blog but haven’t really gotten a chance to test drive it yet. Not sure how compatible it is with some of these other plugins you mentioned, like Reply Me.

    • Hey Tom,

      CommentLuv and LiveFyre are completely different. CommentLuv shows your latest post when you leave a comment. It only works for the WordPress commenting system. LF is just a commenting system. Those who use it like that it seems to create more conversation. You can also send a tweet to that person so they know you replied to their comment. I’m sure there are more features, but those come to mind.

      I think the only plugin on that list that won’t work with LiveFrye is ReplyMe. There might be a feature that sends an email to the user when there is a reply to their comment. I’m not sure though. Oh and CommentLuv as well will only work with the WP commenting system.

      It’s up to each individual what they want to use. If you want to know more about LiveFyre and the reasons maybe to use it, check out and you could ask Srini. He was using the WP system and went to LiveFyre. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  11. Thanks for the great list of plugins! I’m using some of them, but there’s some that I haven’t looked at that I really like…the “tweet” box is great!

    Not too long ago, several of my websites were hacked (the .htaccess file) and were forwarding to some Russian domain, so I completely understand how frustrated and stressed you were! I’ll definitely look at the Backup Buddy.


  12. CommentLuv is a very useful comment plugin.

  13. Benny these are some great plugins and thank you for sharing these. I was wondering what plugin are you using that is within Commentluv that asks people if they want to receive your free ebook? That’s a great plugin.

    • Hey Justice, I’m happy to share what I use. If it helps someone find a new plugin, then I’m happy. The plugin that you see at the end of the comment that has a check box and asks if they want my free ebook is WPsubscribers. It’s really cool. So it’s totally separate from CommentLuv. I think you’d like the features of WPsubscribers to get more people opting into your email list. Let me know if you have any more questions about it.

  14. Reply me is actually a great one that I’m not using yet. Il be adding that onto my sites today! 🙂

    Thanks again Benny!

    • Hi Benny,

      Thanks so much for sharing. It is always nice to get a new post from you. I hope your holiday season is going great!
      I am going to see if there is a way I can use these on my site. I am on blogger and not sure if there is a way to add plugins.
      Have a great week!


      • Hey Tammy,

        Thanks for sharing the post. Holiday is going well. Trying not to eat too much! Unfortunately I don’t think Blogger will let you add plugins. WP is much more flexible. Have you thought of moving to a self hosted WP blog? You can do much more with it and you control your blog. It would be a shame if Blogger decided to shut your blog down one day for some unknown reason! It might be easy to transfer from Blogger to WP, but I’m not sure. It might be something you should look into if you continue blogging.

        Hope you’ve been having a great weekend!

    • Thanks Ramy. Try it out and see what you think!

  15. Awesome, Benny! Thanks!

    Gonna try Backup Buddy. Just recently installed CommentLuv… don’t know what took me so long!

  16. Benny,
    This is a great list. Didn’t know how backup buddy would be so useful! I’m going to have to look into that because security is something I value as well. I love the wordpress plugins seo by yoast, all in one seo, google xml sitemap to send your sitemap to the search engines and Hypercache. These have all been really useful on my blog.

    • Hey Ryan,

      I agree I love the ones by Yoast as well. I do have All in one SEO and Google XML sitemap setup. Those are important to any blogger. Definitely checkout Backup Buddy if you’re looking for a way to backup your blog. You can do a full backup with one click and it also can save it in a cloud server like Amazon’s or Dropbox. Also if you want to migrate to another domain, Backup Buddy makes it easy. Here’s the link again if you want to check it out

      Thanks for sharing your plugins!

  17. Great post Benny – have you thought of adding images of each Plugin in use? It would add a lot more to it!

  18. Awesome plugin list! Will check these out. I have CommentLuv and enjoy using it on other blogs. I read from other bloggers that there may be a negative impact with Google with all the extra links to your blog. Still investigating. Thanks again for the list!

    • Hey Buck,

      That’d be interesting to find out. Let me know if you find anything negative about it. I do like seeing CL on other blogs cause I might catch a headline that I want to read. Plus when someone leaves a comment here, I get to see what they’ve written recently. Like yours, for example. Your first podcast? Awesome! Will go check it out right now. Thanks to CL. 🙂

  19. Wow, thanks so much for sharing the plug-ins you are using effectively, Benny! I love when other bloggers share what’s working for them.

    I am not currently using most of these plug-ins and you’ve given me some great tools to research further.

    Thanks again for sharing the love! Have a grateful day!


    • You’re welcome Chrysta! I figure since I get a lot of e-mails asking, it would be wise to write a post about it. Plus it helps people who get lost in the sea of WP plugins. So many out there, but you have to be selective cause you don’t want too many running on your blog. Have a great weekend!

  20. Hey Benny – great list. I use all but one of these (Top Commenters). I just bought the Commentluv Premium plugin, and I am very, very pleased. It also lets commenters include their Twitter ID, which is nice.

    • I might have to get CL premium as well. I’ll have to investigate more into it. I love the basic version so I’m sure the premium version is great as well.

  21. OOooh i love these types of posts. It’s like looking finding out someones secret recipe.

    I’m totally going to install the WPsubscribers plugin.
    Instead of Replyme i use Subscribe to commments plugin

    I also use WPgreetbox which shows up at the top of each of my posts and gives a different message depending on where the reader is from. It’s customizable and i use it to encourage people to sign up to my email list.

    I use commentluv and really like it. I don’t like the one where you have to sign up before you can leave a comment like some other comment plugins.

    • Annie!!! Hey my friend. Great to see you here. I don’t like having to register and then leaving a comment. I noticed you have that greet box. Looks really nice and it’s not too in your face. I like the new header you put up! Great pic of you. Hope you and your family are doing well! You should do an update on your blog so we all know what’s been going on!

      • Thanks Benny. I guess i should do an update shouldn’t I? LOL.

        Everyone is doing fine here in France. My eldest son already has a French Girlfriend. LOL.

        • Benny, i do have a quick question. How did you get your comments to show up as a different color. is it a plugin?

          • Annie,

            Not a plugin. I had to do some coding in the WordPress themes. I went to the support forums for my theme and asked. I think you’re using Woo themes right? Check the support forum there or ask a question there. Maybe one can help you out. If you want here is the code I used (I think cause it’s been so long). This is in my custom.css file. It might be all of the code. Might just be the last two parts. Try and see.

            .commentlist li.bypostauthor {
            padding: 5px;
            margin-bottom: 5px;
            border-radius: 10px;
            -moz-border-radius: 10px;
            -webkit-border-radius: 10px;

            background-color: #f5ab10;}

            border: 1px solid #000000;}

          • Hi Benny,
            I’m interested in adding more allure to my comment box as well. Where did you insert that code?

          • Hey Ryan,

            I added that code to my custom.css file in my WordPress theme. You should be able to find that if you clicked “Editor” in the sidebar under “Appearance”. Be sure to save a copy of the custom.css file in case anything goes wrong. What I usually do is just copy and paste everything in a text file while I do my customizing. Therefore if anything goes wrong, I can just go back to the original code. Hope that helps and let me know if you get it to work.

  22. Thanks Benny! Backup Buddy is exactly what I was looking for. I bought it through your link. I’ve had problems with 2 of my sites this year. One was an easy fix (server backup), the other has never quite been the same. Hopefully I won’t have to worry about that anymore. What a pain! I love the fact that it backs up everything! SWEET! 🙂

    • Thanks Richard! I like that Backup Buddy also can save your backup into a service like Dropbox. So you’ll never lose it. I really like that feature. Hope you won’t run into anymore problems in the future. Thanks again!

  23. I’m using all of these plug-ins, great list indeed.

    thanks for sharing.

  24. Benny great stuff. By the way I was wondering if you knew of the WordPress camps that they hold around the world. They just had one on 12-3-1 in Orlando and have another coming to Miami in Feb. By the way any future events you plan on going to. Have a great week.

  25. Aaah, Tweet@ Anywhere Plus! I was wondering what that was just the other day. Nice work with your plugins! I need to go through mine and make sure I have all the latest updates. Thanks for the reminder! -Sydney

    • Sydney, I love that plugin and I get a lot of emails asking about it! Yes make sure all your plugins are always updated. It’s important also for the security of your WP blog. I learned that the hard way!

  26. These are such worthwhile posts for me Benny. Blogging for a year and a half now has taught me there is ALWAYS something to be learned!

    WP total cache, just so happened to be that something today.

    Thanks Benny!

    • Thanks Chris! I’m always learning too. I don’t think we ever stop learning. WP total cache is great cause it helps your blog load faster.

  27. Hi Benny,

    Your blog was on a list compiled by Adrienne Smith. I decided to stop by and say hi! I am a new blogger, and am finding that there is so much for me to learn. Thanks for sharing your favorite plug ins. I will definitely be adding at least a couple to my blog. I look forward to reading future posts from you.

    • Hi Jamella! Welcome and great to have you come over. Yes there is a lot to learn, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Everyone had to start somewhere and everyone was a beginner at one point. These plugins would be a great foundation for you. I wish I knew about some of them when I first started out. Adrienne is a great blogger to learn from as well. She always has great tips over at her blog. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  28. I have heard or already use most of these, but WP subscribers I didn’t. I love posts like this because when I am visiting other blogs I always wonder what plugins they use to make their blog even more awesome. Thanks for sharing this list Benny!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I didn’t know much about WP subscribers, but read about it on a couple of my favorite blogs with huge audiences. They recommended it and since I trusted them, I bought it to help me out. I do like to hear about new plugins and what people use as well.

  29. Enjoyed your article on wordpress plugins. I am not into internet marketing; but, merely looking for ways to popularize my new site on anxiety attacks. You (and the posters) have provided me some very helpful tips on which plugins I should be using. Thank you 🙂


  30. Hi Benny,
    thank you for this list of useful plugins. As a beginner in WordPress I find your article really helpful.
    I have a question about your “Disaster Recovery System” Plugin, the Backup Buddy:
    What is the difference between that plugin the DB base & Files back up we can do through WordPress admin ?
    I am sorry if I bother you with questions…If you can help me on that I would be grateful.

    Thank you anyway for sharing this list

    • Hi Lenia!

      I’ve never used the DB base & file backup in WP. What Backup Buddy does is makes an exact copy of your blog. Everything. So if you’re moving to a new domain, you can take all your stuff and move it over. I had never thought about backing up my blog, but a friend recommended I should and suggested Backup Buddy. I haven’t had to use it to restore lost content (which is good!) but I’m glad to know it’s there.

      It’s like car insurance. We pay for it. Hope we never have to use it, but when we do, we’re glad we have it.

      I’m always happy to answer your questions. Anytime! Send me an email if you’d like or ask here.

  31. Thanks for these mate, exactly what I was looking for! 😉

  32. I wonder if how many WP Plug-ins are ideal or recommended for a blog. I got 20. Is that too many?

  33. Thanks for this Benny. It’s great to have technical information that’s presented in such a simple way. So much of the information can be really confusing for a technophobe like me and I get overwhelmed so this was fabulous.

    I now just need to find my teenage son to help me install them!!

  34. Benny what’s the plug-in for the social media bar over on the left-hand side of your posts that moves as I scroll down so it’s always visible?

  35. Thanks for the information. This reply me plugin hasn’t been updated in about 8 years now and I want to give it a try because it seems like a great idea to keep the conversation rolling on your website and great way to say thanks for popping in a comment to my visitors.

    Are you still using the plugin in 2016? I’m thinking I may run a back up of my website and install it. I’m a little concerned because WordPress is saying it only has 5000 active installs.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Most Popular Twitter Tweets of 2011 - December 28, 2011

    […] Slapped By Google Panda. Which was also a perfect example of how not to get a Google Panda slap.3. Nine Highly Recommended WordPress Plugins For Any Serious Blogger. – Some brilliant WordPress Plugins shared in this post. I would love to hear your opinion on […]