WordPress Plugins That Helped My Blog + Free Themes

Hi everyone. One of the perks that comes with using self-hosted WordPress is the unlimited numbers of plugins you can download to make your blog better. However, I try to limit the amount of plugins I have to just under 20 as it will eat up your disk space and I only keep active ones aka the ones that are needed to power up my blog.

I didn’t encounter much problems when I migrated from Blogger so these are some basic plugins you might need for the usual migration process. You don’t need all of them, of course, but I used them for my blog and I’m so happy with how it’s looking right now.

wordpress plugins

Admin Color Schemes: Activating this plugin will give you extra 8 colour schemes for your dashboard admin toolbar. You obviously don’t need this plugin but I get bored of the colour schemes provided so having an extra 8 is awesome.

Akismet: Allegedly the best way to protect my blog from spam. So far I’ve never had any spam comments coming through so I guess that’s good.

Annual Archive: The foolproof plugin to display all your posts in a page just by using shortcode. I just wish I can customise it and make it center, though.

Custom Post Limits: For some reason I can’t change the number of posts displayed on my homepage so I asked Kotryna to fix it and she installed this plugin. If I had known I wouldn’t have asked for her help. Soz.

Disqus Comment System: I thanked god I didn’t use Disqus back on Blogger ’cause I didn’t encounter any problems regarding transferring Blogger comments to WordPress so installing Disqus on my new blog was a breeze.

Easy Google Fonts: This is a terrific plugin if you want to use any fonts from Google Fonts. I did download it once, however, it didn’t really work on my theme as I have two separate coding for blog post font so I change my font manually.

Generate Post Thumbnails: A godsend plugin recommended by Kotryna. When I migrated, I have trouble with featured image not showing on my blog so Kotryna suggested this plugin and voila my featured image was automatically set!

Jetpack by WordPress.com: Possibly my most favourite plugin. You can do a lot of stuff with it but my absolute favourite are blog stats, blocking malicious login attempts, and image performance (Photon).

Official StatCounter Plugin: I hate Google Analytics and I’ve been using StatCounter for years and it’s just easy to use.

Shortcodes Ultimate: A godsend for a better post editor. The feature I use the most is their column layout but obviously you can do so much more with that plugin.

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin: A good plugin to backup your WordPress database. It syncs automatically to my Dropbox so I can access it everywhere even if I’m not with my laptop.

W3 Total Cache: Improving the speed and site performance by caching to reduce download times. There’s a lot of setting for this plugin but I only use what I absolutely need.

Yoast SEO: Anyone who makes a post about WordPress plugin they’re using will include Yoast in their list. Basically a plugin that will guide you into writing better SEO contents.


Now for the free themes! If you’ve been wanting to migrate for some time but don’t want to spend a whole lot of money right away for themes, you can check out these free themes! I had them in my hard drive because I initially planned to migrate first and buy blog design later and just use one of these free themes but the theme that I’m currently using was on sale so I took the plunge and bought it while it was on half price.

Brookside by Pish and Posh Designs — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Adelle by Bluchic — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Estelle by Bluchic — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Felice (landing page) by Bluchic — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Fashion Notebook by Kotryna Bass Design — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Enamored by Beautiful Dawn Designs — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Mary Kate by Angie Makes — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

Ingrid by Nose Graze — LIVE PREVIEW / DOWNLOAD

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what other plugins you’re using for your blog!

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  • Caroline

    Very useful post, thanks! I use Askimet too, it is a winner!
    x from Copenhagen, Caroline
    http://www.silverstories.dk

  • I am using Blog2social, can cross post to insta and pinterest o! I think you will like that one

  • Wow the free themes look so pretty!
    I only install the necessary plugins only, nothing different from u to share

    XX Atheera | http://atheeradayana.com XX

    • they are! I love Brookside the most xx

  • Zura

    Finally able to use wordpress now…but… I skip some steps. XD.. refollowed you on bloglovin 🙂

  • Siqah Hussin

    Erin buat siqah nak tukar wordpress. Macam menarik nampaknya plugins di sana ^_^

    • Mari WP family!

    • haah macam macam plugins ada. but siqah fikir betul betul k. nak migrate ni bukannya main main macam blogger tau. siqah punya pageviews per day dah banyak, tukar wordpress nanti semua reset balik. nak betulkan broken links lagi. kalau siqah rasa takde features lain yang siqah nak from blogger, then ok je kalau guna blogger pun 🙂

  • These plugins all sound really useful! I’m on blogger, but the stats one looks really good 🙂 xx

    Velvet Blush

    • the stats one can be used on blogger/tumblr/other platforms 🙂

  • Hi erin, dah lama x singgah sini..

    One things I hate about disqus is it takes longer time to load especially on phone.. I refresh 3 times just to comment on your post erin,, 🙂

    spitoutkata.blogspot.com

    • hi zety! laaah yeke? erin tak pernah pulak ada masalah nak load disqus tapi tu lah kalau guna phone memang slow sikit. tapi disqus ni senang, blogger ke wordpress ke, senang nak leave comment tak perlu nak isi nama, email, website everytime nak leave comment 🙂

  • haha kalau claudy jarang update blog, erin tak recommend tau. sebab nanti tak worth it bayar hosting semua.

    • I know! claudy tgh tunggu dapat laptop je, then i’ll change from domain to wordpress! nak aktif skg malas, sebab malas lah nak update. (sebab ada orang baca blog claudy. yknow what i mean?xD)

  • All the themes are so gorgeous!!

  • Samileen

    This is such a great post, I have been thinking of switching from blogger to wordpress. Don’t know if thats a good of an idea. But if I do this will come handy. definitely book marking this post. Thank you.

    P.S. : I read you did switch up from blogger to WordPress – I want to know is it a good decision?

    Saman || Beautydetour

  • Ooo I’m going to try Statcounter! I’m not a huge fan of Monsterinsights so it’s good to hear an alternative! I also migrated from Blogger. Had a few hiccups, but I think I’m getting on the right track now haha x

    Katina Lindaa | http://www.katinalindaa.com

    • Statcounter is not as detailed as Google Analytics but if you wanna see basic stats + your visitors ip address and whatnot, then it’s really good! 🙂 x

  • I didn’t realise how many free themes there were for wordpress! I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for a while but reading yours I’ve already found so many new plugins that I want! x

    • there are many free themes but of course the paid ones are much better in terms of functionality. glad that you found some gems here! x

  • Thank you so much for this post! Great tips!

    x Annabelle
    travelsandtea.com