Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Plugins are an essential element of any blog. For any blog, the turn-key ability to literally plug something in and have it function immediately is one of the best features about wordpress. Plugins provide the ability to add to your site features that you cannot add on your own.

With over 260,000 plugins to choose from, finding just the right ones can be the hardest part of having plugins. Adding to many plugins will tremendously slow down your site, but adding in the right plugins will greatly enhance your site.

These are the 5 plugins that I install immediately on every wordpress site I have:

1. Akismet


Developed by the founders of wordpess themselves, Akismet works like a watch dog against all the spam that seems to find any site. This great, free plugin, allows you to not have to worry about any spam making it on to your site in the form of a comment. This plugin is a great timesaver and will allow you to focus on the real comments of your readers.

Get Akismet here

2. Jetpack by WordPress


Jetpack by wordpress is a plugin that features tons of plugins. This powerful plugin is a jetpack for your content. Allowing you to choose from several different options, jetpack is an amazing free plugin that is well worth adding to your site. This site features several jetpack settings (mobile view, stats, sharing options). This is a no brainer plugin to have for your site.

Get jetpack by wordpress here

3. WordPress Firewall

Let’s talk about security. If Akismet blocks against the comments, then WordPress Firewall blocks against any malicious attacks against your site. This easy to install and use plugin will give you some great security to protect your site against any malicious injections to your code. You might have seen or been the victim of malware. Malware is software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. And when google sees your site has malware, you get the red screen of death. This essential plugin will be your protector against the malware attacks of hackers.

Get WordPress Firewall here

4. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is all about performance. What cache gives you is the ability to duplicate the original content of your site and store it elsewhere on a computer. In leymans terms, it speeds up your site. Have you ever ran a speed test on the loading time of your site? (test your site here) Depending on how many images, plugins, and social components, your sites load time can be upwards of 3-5 seconds. W3 Total Cache helps you get that load time down by allowing you to create a cached version stored on the users computer that will help the site load images, sidebar info, and other elements that do not change on a regular basis. This plugin will dramatically help in the performance and speed of your site.

Get W3 Total Cache here

5. WP Smush.it

Keeping on the subject line of performance. WP Smush.it allows you to speed up your sites load time by reducing image file sizes to improve performance. This will not allow your images to be the hog of your sites load time and allow them to load in no time. Uploading all your images through this easy to use plugin is a must.

Get WP Smush.it here

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • brianfalexander

    Have you had any issues with WP Firewall? See image.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      I have not had that problem at all. I see that is the warning you get. But it still works great for me. I get regular updates from them telling me my site was protected from an attack.

      • brianfalexander

        I’ll have to look into it. That was my only concern.

  • kekoanichols

    I’m working on a blog I started a while back that I was not to active on. I keep receiving these spam comments so I’m going to use Askimet, thanks for sharing.