If you're blogging on a self-hosted Platform using WordPress software, it's time to customize your blog with plug-ins — software that can be "plugged in" to your existing WordPress blog software. Plug-ins allow you to do everything from feature slideshows in your blog posts to connect social media to your site. Here are five useful plug-ins to get you started.


All in One SEO Pack

The All in One SEO Pack provides automatic search engine optimization for your WordPress blog. The basic level of this plug-in is free and premium versions begin at $39 with an additional monthly fee of $10.


Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 allows users to manage multiple contact forms. This free plug-in also allows users to implement spam filters such as Akismet and CAPTCHA.



The Akismet plug-in helps bloggers keep spam out of their blog comments. By checking comments left on your blog against the Akismet web service, this free plug-in decides whether comments should appear on your blog or be placed in a spam folder.


NextGEN Gallery

The NextGEN Gallery plug-in allows WordPress bloggers to create galleries of images. This is the most popular of all WordPress gallery plug-ins and provides a long range of features, even at the free level of service.



WooCommerce allows WordPress users to add an eCommerce feature to their sites. With a laundry list of features, this free plug-in especially prides itself on providing an attractive eCommerce platform to sites.