Top Five Must-Have WordPress Plugins

In the wonderful world of WordPress, bloggers must stray away from the default settings to improve the design and capabilities of their blogs. There are plugins made, both free and paid, for just about everything imaginable. But where to start? What can you do to improve your blog?

I think that the three most basic needs are:

  • Monetization
  • Optimization
  • Navigation

With this in mind, let’s cover all our bases and find the five best plugins to solve our three basic needs in any WordPress blog.

1. All In One SEO Pack

This plugin is my go-to SEO Optimization tool for WordPress. Besides the built-in “Permalink” service, this is a must-have for your website to fare well in Google (and other) search rankings. The All In One SEO Pack enables you to format the titles on every page, which I see as the most important feature for ranking well in searches. Notice how each page on displays “Article Info | The Net Fool”? You can format your blog like this with All In One!

This plugin goes far beyond merely changing titles. However, you can pretty much change anything with the meta descriptions of your postings, selected keywords that appear in search results, and even the ability to “nofollow” posts/pages of your choosing. To get your website search engine optimized, you need a tool like All In One SEO… and this one’s FREE 😀

2. OIO Publisher


I recently discovered this amazing WordPress plugin that “as” a whole new functionality to your WordPress blog. Of course, I am talking about OIO Publisher, which allows you to run your ad service where people can purchase ad slots on your page, pay through PayPal, and see their ads appear automatically! This one will run you a $37 one-time fee, but it is well worth it. It’s been called the “ultimate sales platform” for your blog, and it is a lot cheaper than the alternatives, which can cost over $100.

Gone are the days when you need to pay other services a percentage of your sales to allow them to run your ad service. OIO Publisher is a winner in my eyes. The user interface is straightforward to understand, and they have an entire marketplace set up that you gain access to once you pay for the plugin. This will allow you to run everything from inline and banner ads to sponsored posts and text links. If you have a digital item to sell, you can also use OIO to handle the processing. If you are serious about monetizing your blog, buy this plugin.

3. Akismet

There is a reason that this spam assassin comes with every WordPress installation. Before using Akismet, I had a a comment moderation setting so that I needed to approve everything that came my way. Gone are the days when this is required. Akismet is free to use if you aren’t a major company and is an entire spam network that builds on itself. Whenever spam is recognized in your comments, it is added to the Akismet database and will never bother you again. It has caught over 150 messages since I started using it and is a must-have for any serious blogger.

I had the unfortunate experience of being labeled as spam in the past. With this installed, you don’t have to worry about your comments being out of line again! This definitely does not happen to more than 5% of commenters, but as soon as I emailed the moderators at Akismet, they cleared it up for me, and I haven’t had any problems since :).

4. Related Posts

There are several “related post” plugins available for free through WordPress. In my opinion, the best is the WASABI Related Entries plugin. This is a must-have option for your blogs. Not only does it look great and encourage your readers to stay on your website, but it also acts as a great SEO tool by linking your website together for easier indexing! Again, tons of clones claim to be the original and the best. I don’t know enough to say which was the first, but I think the WASABI version is the most functional, so I encourage you to check it out first!

This one’s a winner! Having the option of a related post is a nice addition to any blog site. If you don’t already have one up and running, I suggest getting on and sticking it either underneath your content (and above comments) or somewhere on your sidebar.

5. Subscribe Remind

Don’t fall for the over-hyped paid plugins that claim to boost your subscriptions like crazy; all you need is this hidden gem: Subscribe Remind. You’ve probably seen this implemented on other popular blogs. This does attach a “If you like this post, subscribe to my RSS feed!” text link around all your blog posts and above your comments. This may seem like a no-brainer, and really, it should be. This small and simple plugin is one of the best ways to increase subscribers to your blog site.

Following the tactic that is basically “I’m going to annoy the heck out of you until you subscribe,” Subscribe Remind does work. With more and more people on the internet subscribing to RSS news feeds, you must have an easily accessible option for readers to subscribe to your blog feed. Overall, I find it hidden and a top-notch method to increase your subscriber count :D!

Using these plugins guarantees a boost in traffic and subscribers to your blog. Installing and using All In One SEO Pack, OIO Publisher, Akismet, and Related Posts will encourage users to subscribe, comment, and purchase ads. Not only this, but you will even see better results from search engines! Sure, these tools aren’t an end-all cure for a terrible website, but as long as you are an active blogger with an interesting focus… you should be well on your way!


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.