This is a post that has been in my drafts folder for ages. I just kept running out of time to write it! But, if you’ve ever self-hosted your blog, you might have discovered a wonderful new world of plugins. Basically, godsent tools to help improve your life. If you’re like me and got people overwhelmed by the prospects, don’t worry! I’ve put together a list of nine plugins for self-hosted blogs I personally use and highly recommend.
But Nicole, why nine? Because I wanted to use the column blocks and nine fit better than ten. 😅
Disclaimer: I am not a representative of any of the following companies, nor was I paid to write this post. I simply wanted to share a resource I thought might be helpful for other bloggers!
For me personally, going self-hosted was a trip. I haven’t written about my experience (yet). And I’m not sure if I ever will, because honestly, there are guides that other bloggers have done that will guide you better than anything I could put together. If you’re considering going self-hosted, I’d recommend these resources:
- Kal @ Reader Voracious has a series about going self-hosted
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane books also has a wonderful guide
- Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat shares her experiences with going self-hosted, too
But, for me, I wanted to go self-hosted for a few reasons. A main one? Having access to plugins that would allow me to do cool shit with my website. I hope, if you’re already self-hosted, this might help you find tools you could also use! If not, perhaps this can help give some guidance on what you’ll access to, if you take the plunge. (Though, I recognize that the ability to go and maintain a self-hosted blog is a privledge not everyone has access to!)
Must Have Plugins for Self-Hosted Blogs
Accessibility and Discoverability
One thing I noticed on other bloggers’ websites who were self-hosted was the UserWay Accessibility widget. I knew I wanted my website to be more accessible. Honestly, it’s one of the main reasons I went self-hosted, after I realized I couldn’t implement this plugin without doing so.
Honestly, I didn’t know what SEO really was until I went self-hosted. And, despite using this plugin to help boost my SEO, I haven’t seen a huge jump in numbers/engagement. But, I think it’s a great starting point and has encouraged me to (eventually) starting learning more about SEO!
As a complement to Yoast, I also installed Site Kit by Google! To be honest, it’s not something I’ve used/delved into as much. But, it is something I’d like to learn more how to utilize, as obviously, I’d love it if my posts ranked when searched. Perhaps that way, my posts can grow more organically?
I think if you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you’ve experienced spam. Not having to deal with it constantly is such a lifesaver. Highly recommend.
100% recommend the Jetpack plugins for self-hosted blogs. Between malware scans, spam protection, optional site backups and more (especially on paid), it’s a great tool. It also has stat features!
I can’t imagine just…losing my blog. The thought is legitimately terrifying. So, having a free option to backup my site is such a peace of mind! Though, I do need to remember to actually back it up more…
Leveling Up Your Formatting
This is my favorite plugin I’ve downloaded, hands down. It gives me so much access to fun formatting features. All compatible to the block editor on WordPress! I wouldn’t have my Table of Contents, tabbed lists, content toggles or dropdown menus without it.
When Kal introduced me to FileBird, it was a fucking game changer. It allows you to have folders to organize your media into. FOLDERS!! Having all my featured blog images and book covers in their own respective places?! We worship.
I thrive off templates. As you can probably notice, most of my posts have a pretty standard format. Using this plugin to create a base template that lives in my drafts and then duplicates it so I can just plug in materials and post? Yes please.
I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet guide to must have plugins for self-hosted blogs! Must have is loose, of course, as these are just my recommendations, as plugins I have use for! I’d love to hear what plugins are your favorite. Or, what plugins you wish existed.
And if this post was helpful, you can tip me on Ko-Fi! I’m currently trying to pay down about 5K in medical debt, so anything helps. 🖤