The Minimalist Guide To Wordpess Plugins

With one of my Google Luv Course students, Namzola, making the move to WordPress, I figured I’d put together this guide to get her started and share it here for those who make the move too.


If you haven’t come across Namzola’s blog yet, you definitely should drop by the Fire Horse. She’s is one wicked witty mom blogger sharing tales of raising kids here in NYC and I fell in love with her writing after just a few posts.


I also love that she sends me emails like this:


“Okay – no more stressing, you’ve given me focus. Muchas gracias. Thanks for everything. I can’t tell you how excited I am about moving forward and it’s all thanks to you and to Maureen for introducing me.”


She’s pretty darn sweet. So for Namzola and all the other mom bloggers packing their boxes and heading over to WordPress self hosted, this post is for you. I hope it makes setting up your new home super easy.




Though I’m a bloody plugin freak and have many many plugins installed, there are really only a few that you NEED.  Whatever else you install on your blog is going to be based on personal preference and I’ll share a few of my favorites with you too. Keep in mind, if you do not have a CDN as I do, you’ll not want to blog your wp blog down with too many plugins.


So here’s a list of the plugins you need to keep your blog running smoothly and you can find them all in the free plugins panel on your wordpress dashboard..


1. WP Database Optimizer | By Matthew Price

Even when you empty the posts and spam trash or delete a plugin, crap is still left behind in the database. This can slow down your blog. An easy way to clear out the crap is to install this plugin and click the Optimize button whenever you delete a lot of stuff. You can also set it to optimize your database automatically once per day.


2. WP Super Cache | By Donncha O Caoimh

Caching your pages keeps the blog from going through the whole building process every time you have a visitor. But don’t worry! You won’t be serving your visitors stale content. You can configure the plugin to cache all files every time a new page or post is published. It can also clear the page cache when someone comments (this way they won’t wonder where their comment is). I won’t lie, it’s a pain in the ass to configure, but this post will walk you through configuration. Just scroll down and begin at STEP 3 and disregard the info on setting up the cdn, unless of course you have a CDN.


3. ReplyMe | By Neekey

A reader drops by and leaves a comment. You respond. Why not make it easy on your readers and hopefully keep the convo going on your blog by having wordpress automatically email them your response? Too simple. One of the reasons I don’t respond again to bloggers is because I didn’t know they responded to my comment and really didn’t have the time/remember to check.


4. Jetpack by

I’ve had an on and off love/hate relationship with theis plugin. Right now, I’m loving it. It’s working smoothly. Jetpack will add all kinds of functionality to your blog, track your visitors and email subscribers your latest post. I can’t do it justice here so check it out for yourself on Keep in mind you’ll need to sign up for a free account and connect it to your blog to make it all work.


5. A Social Sharing plugin.

There are so many and really they’re all based on personal preference. But be sure to have one that’s easy to use, offers the major platforms and maybe a call to action. I use Socialize and it allows for a box where I can remind readers to do ANYTHING like sign up for my RSS feed.


6. A Recent/Related Posts plugin

It’s important to offer readers a list of your recent posts AND place it where they can easily find it after reading your post. I use nrelate and they offer several different versions of the plugin. One for recent posts, one for related posts, etc. I’ve installed both and they are conveniently listed together in their own panel on my dashboard.


7. WP Complete Backup

This awesome free plugin creates a backup of your database and the complete file system. You can easily delete old backups and restore with one click from a backup. Please note this does not back up your posts, media and pages. Go to Tools > Export for that downloadable backup. Monthly I run this backup. This way if I have to move to a new host I can install the database settings before importing the posts.


And that’s it y’all.

Yes I didn’t include SEO plugins. Frankly, they’re not a NEED for your blog. You’ll WANT to add seo plugins if you want Google to love your blog, but you really don’t NEED them.

Have any social sharing or related/recent posts you could recommend? Please share in the comments section. I always prefer to use plugins friends recommend.

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– Posted in: WordPress Tips

15 Comments… add one

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Vidya Sury September 19, 2012, 1:42 pm

Keep tempting me! :D Hmm. I love it! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Men At WorkMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 19, 2012, 2:42 pm

lmao. one of these days sistah!

PragmaticMom September 19, 2012, 2:27 pm

Thanks, adding these right now!
PragmaticMom recently posted…Reading Challenge: 7th Grade Boy Who Hates Reading But Loves SkateboardingMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 19, 2012, 2:44 pm

lol, don’t add all. i think you have a plugin for optimizing and backups.

Jan Bierens September 19, 2012, 5:07 pm

Great post on the subject of plugins you can’t do whithout. When you start bloging using WordPress it’s tempting to install every plugin that seems good and you end up with tons and tons of them. When you are updating plugin A there’s always a possibility that a newer version of A does not work with an older version on plugin B. That way you end up with a caseof the ‘squeezing the buttocks’ every time you need to update.
I’m down to 12 now and undecided (yet) if I can loose another 2. SEO all in one is one I really like!
Jan Bierens recently posted…Google Funnies – And more.My Profile

Vanita Cyril September 19, 2012, 11:23 pm

i think i’ve got 35 installed at the moment Jan. 35! and they’re all active! and not one is all in one seo.
Vanita Cyril recently posted…When Mom Needs Meditating (not medicating)My Profile

Alison September 19, 2012, 9:09 pm

Awesome guide! I have to have Akismet, CommentLuv, Broken Link Checker, What Would Seth Godin Do, Wordpress Editorial Calendar and WPTouch.

I used to have Pretty Pinterest Pins and an Instagram one (can’t remember what it’s called) because I didn’t have follow buttons for those. Now that I do, I did away with them. Though I did like them!
Alison recently posted…Great ExpectationsMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 19, 2012, 11:25 pm

there’s an instagram plugin? you’re shitting me. i’ve got to look that up!
i’ve got commentluv premium that comes with it’s own spam filter which i found works better than akismet, but since my plugin is paid and akismet comes preinstalled, i didn’t mention it. lol
Vanita Cyril recently posted…Bomb In My Baby’s BellyMy Profile

Artchoo! September 19, 2012, 11:16 pm

I’m always so curious about what plugins people use. I just switched to Official Statcounter plugin from Jetpack. I think I’m happier with this one; we’ll see. I also just switched from Shareaholic to Social Sharing Toolkit- it’s more streamlined. I wish Reply Me worked on my site- I think it must have issues with my Hybrid theme, and I can’t seem to fin a reply to comments plugin that works. Definitely the WP Editorial Calendar, though. Couldn’t live without it.
Artchoo! recently posted…Yarn BombingMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 19, 2012, 11:28 pm

i actually have both statcounter and jetpack installed as jetpack is good for a quick look but statcounter is better for real analytics. and never uses the term – Other Search Terms. gawd i hate that. i didn’t mention statcounter since i have the plain version and can’t remember if the free one was any good. lol. i’ve got to look into this WP Editorial Calendar. especially since I’m trying to blog every bloody day. :-D
Vanita Cyril recently posted…The Minimalist Guide To Wordpess PluginsMy Profile

Maureen September 21, 2012, 9:33 am

Thanks for listing this, Vanita! :D
Maureen recently posted…On Hanging Up Her Dating ShoesMy Profile

Jessica September 24, 2012, 8:53 pm

Great post! Thanks so much for sharing! I have most of these plugins, but need to add some of the others.
Jessica recently posted…The happiest mother doesn’t have it allMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 25, 2012, 12:17 am

it is my pleasure

Jon Bishop September 25, 2012, 9:43 am

Socialize looks great on your site. I like when people take the time to play with the display settings to make it work with their site. I think that’s one of the plugins perks. Glad you like it!
Jon Bishop recently posted…Creating Presentations With Custom Post TypesMy Profile

Vanita Cyril September 25, 2012, 9:51 am

Jon! thanks for stopping by. my bloggy friend at has it installed and sometimes when we try to use the +1 button on her site (and another blog, can’t remember which) we get giberish in the share box. any ideas?
Vanita Cyril recently posted…Here’s How To Rank In Google For HalloweenMy Profile

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