One of the reasons why I prefer WordPress over any blogging platform is because it’s highly flexible and customizable. It’s an Open Source software, which means, you can easily write program codes to expand your website’s functionality and make it your own.
You’re not a programmer? No problem!
WordPress also works with literally thousands of plugins built by a community of users and developers, and are free for download. In layman’s terms, plugins are what you install in your website to extend its features and customize it according to your style and specific needs (like a portfolio, or an online store) without knowing a single line of code. Awesome, right?
Here, I am sharing to you eight essential plugins I use myself. Hope you find something helpful.
This plugin monitors and checks links in your posts, pages and comments to identify missing images and links (of course) that do not work. It gives you a list that you can filter and edit directly without manually updating each of the post. It’s important to correct those broken links because it can have bad impact on your blog’s SEO or your search engine ranking.
Disqus (pronounced as “discuss”) is my favorite tool for web comments. Seriously, how many times have you skipped a blog because it asks you too many information every time you want to comment (I’m not a robot, okay). Having to enter all these fields whenever your reader wants to comment is often the reason why they don’t. It’s not really helpful especially when you’re using a mobile device.
In Disqus, your readers will only need to login to their account once and they can pretty much comment to all blogs and websites using the plugin. It’s really neatbecause it makes it easier even for commenters to interact with each other. The users can also upload a photo of themselves so you know who you’re actually chatting with and not a bunch of randomly generated robots or patterns.
If you’re using Pinterest, then this is the tool that makes the images in your blog easier to pin. It adds a “Pin It” button whenever your reader hovers their mouse on the images in your blog. You can customize your own button (like I did) to identify with your blog’s aesthetic.
There’s a Pinterest extension for internet browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc) as well. But if the user doesn’t install it, then they won’t be able to ‘pin’ from your website.
As the name suggests, it’s an ultimate collection of shortcodes that will help you easily create tabs, boxes, sliders, responsive videos, tables, or dividers in your posts without actually writing CSS or HTML. It’s very handy. Just like formatting in Microsoft Word!
#5 UPDRAFT PLUS
Blogging, whether as a profession or hobby, is no easy feat. It involves hard work and a lot of time writing content, editing images and setting up your website and other stuff. Ideally, you don’t want to lose everything in a crash.
Updraft Plus plugin allows you to back-up your blog in your specified location like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or any other online storage. You can do the backup manually or set it up to run on a regular basis such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
This plugin is designed to improve your blog’s performance and page speed. Basically, it stores cache information of your website so it loads faster every time your reader visits. You won’t need to do anything again after install.
This simple Editorial Calendar plugin makes it easy to see an overview of the entire month’s posts and manage them accordingly. You can drag and drop your posts and change the “published” dates as well.
This will help you stay consistent in writing without having to remind yourself if it’s already time to write a post or not. I usually plot my posts, spend the weekend writing and schedule them for the following week.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, the thing that we all scratch our heads to understand.
Thankfully, this plugin guides you through on how you can make each of your blog post SEO-friendly. In your editor, there’s a Snippet Preview section where you can easily enter things like the meta description, keywords, whether your images have alt tags or if your blog post title is too log or too short. SEO can be intimidating but it is essential to bringing more traffic to your blog.
This plugin makes sure that your blog is the type of content search engines will love!
Reminder: Though, there are really a lot of great plugins out there, it is recommended to have less than 20 plugins installed. Installing too many in your website can also affect it’s loading performance. The lesser, the better.
I know that this post contains some technical terms, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. :)
What’s your favorite plugin? Do you have anything to add in the list?