WordPress plugins and widgets make a bloggers life just a bit easier. For those of you who use WordPress platform for blogging, there are an array of plugins available to enhance your blog. Your audience will also appreciate you incorporating some of these plugins too.
Since there are so many WordPress plugins, I have narrowed down the choices to the most promising ones. These nifty tools will help attract a sizeable audience and keep your online content secure.
MonsterInsights Google Analytics for WP
Analytic tools are essential to create and maintain a reliable internet presence. To be most effective and to see what works well for your audience, implementing analytic tools on all your online content outlets is necessary.
Your WordPress blog is no different in this regard. With MonsterInsights Google Analytics, you will have access to all the pertinent user data. There is no need to wait until the next day to see the user metrics. Real-time stats will be shown to you on the WordPress admin dashboard.
With over 15 million downloads, MonsterInights Google Analytics tool is the most popular analytics plugin for WordPress. So many users have been attracted by this plugin – it’s a must-have tool for any serious blogger out there.
Jetpack WordPress plugin is the Swiss army knife of plugins. It has almost anything you can want to make your blogging experience that much better.
This plugin allows you to track user traffic – where they’re going and from where they’re coming from, makes it easy to share your content, creates a more secure blogging environment and much more.
Jetpack honestly has too many tools to list here. Here is a much more extensive summary of what this plugin can do for you. All the essentials are free for you to use, although there are few options that you will have to pay for.
W3 Total Cache
Website performance is one of the key “ingredients” that plays a big part in search engine optimization (SEO). To attract user traffic, you must consider SEO and you will need to enhance the performance of your blog – W3 Total Cache will help you do just that.
Aside from helping your SEO efforts, W3 Total Cache will also reduce the bandwidth requirements to run the pages. Page loading times will be much more manageable, increasing reader retention not to mention blog performance will be sustained during peak traffic times.
To some of you, this may sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but in reality this plugin is there to benefit not only you but your audience too. This makes your pages more attractive to search engines while at the same time making the user experience much more pleasant.
Yoast is another SEO plugin for your WordPress blog. When creating content, you want to be sure that you cross the “t’s” and dot the “i’s” in order to be seen by search engines. Yoast is there to point you in the right SEO direction as you write your content.
Implementing Yoast on your WordPress can give you a much needed edge for your SEO. Not only can you select the keywords you want to be ranked for, but will also analyze keyword saturation of your text.
Anything pertaining to SEO for the content you write, will be listed on the bottom of your writing dashboard. As you write, Yoast will rank your content and help evaluate your SEO performance even before you publish anything.
Just like the trash man comes on a weekly basis, WP-Optimize is the cleanup plugin for your WordPress. While trying to maintain a solid blog, some unnecessary data can pile up within. This can hamper the overall performance of your blog.
Spam comments that bots may post, trackbacks and other data can put a strain on your blog. WP-Optimize clears it all out for you quickly and without a hassle. You may even optimize this to your specifications – select which data to keep and how often you want the cleanup to be done.
It’s an easy to use plugin that creates a better performing blog that you and your readers can appreciate.
BJ Lazy Load
This is a relatively simple and straightforward WordPress plugin. If any of your posts contain images, BJ Easy Load simply replaces the images with a placeholder. As the reader scrolls down closer to the image, the image appears as if nothing had happened.
Using this plugin reduces the bandwidth required to load your page and increases the sites performance.
Some of us may be easily distracted, even without venturing away from our WordPress page. As some of you may know, a typical writing dashboard on WordPress does contain quite a few buttons and links that can be more of a nuisance than a benefit.
Just Writing plugin eliminates the distractions on your screen and only shows what’s important to you. It does come with a spell-check – since not everyone is perfect, and the ability to customize your writing dashboard.
Something to take note before downloading this plugin, Just Writing hasn’t been updated in a while. This may not work as well with your WordPress if you have it updated it to the latest version.
Broken Link Checker
Including links within your text is great for your SEO efforts while also directing the reader to more relevant information. Great links within the text allows the audience to gather additional info about the topics you have written about.
The websites you link to overtime can change and get altered or just stop functioning. When readers encounter broken links, they may get thrown off by your content and perceive it as untrustworthy and it also damages your SEO.
To enhance the reader experience, you need to make sure all your links are functioning. Broken Links Checker will inform you of any links that need to be looked at on any of your WordPress posts. This way you will always be aware of any link adjustments that need to be made.
Comments from users are just something that you may encounter on your blog. More-so if you gather a large amount of readers. Many of them will want to post comments and share their thoughts and opinions of what you had written.
While comments are a great way to get useful feedback and new ideas, they can also be malicious and spammy. Some of them may be posted by bots, or may contains links to suspicious websites. Akismet is a trustworthy front line defense for any unsavory spam comments or harmful links.
With Akismet you will be able to see the comment history, filter out spam, and be notified of any misleading links within the comments.
Many users visit a website, and never return again. This is even worse for blogs since there are so many of them out there on the web. What if there was a way to be a bit more persistent while at the same time entice users to pay closer attention to you?
OptinMonster allows you to include popups within your blog that aren’t annoying, opt-in forms, slide-ins and more. This is a great way to create more user engagement and increase the likelihood of the reader to come back for more.
Implementing OptinMonster within your blog is guaranteed to boost your conversion rates. In some cases, it managed to boost the conversion rate by more than 700%. Try it out and evaluate your results.
Online security is a big deal and should be taken seriously. If you don’t take the right precautions, your information may be compromised online. This of course also applies to your WordPress profile and blog.
WordFence is one of those plugins for your WordPress that will help mitigate a lot of the security threats, and keep all your content safe. Not only does it bolster your security, but also helps track traffic, and notify you if and when any hacking attempts were made.
The plugin is constantly being updated and is available at no cost to you. Never hurts to stay prepared, WordFence may be the plugin that will save your content from internet vandals.
WordPress Landing Pages
It doesn’t hurt to add a bit of customization and flare to your blog. It can help you stand out from the pack and create a more appealing visual experience for your blog visitors.
Not all landing pages perform the same – as some of you may already know. Incorporating WordPress Landing Pages plugin will help you implement the best landing pages and analyze their performance. A/B test your landing pages and track conversion rates too.
From a casual blogger, to a business content marketing blog, this plugin works for all. Simple to use and offers great benefits.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin
WordPress offers a great platform for anyone who wants to share their thoughts, ideas and information. Those who take up blogging and content development don’t just produce 1 or 2 posts and move on. Your WordPress may have myriad of posts for people to browse through.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP) is a plugin that can aid your audience in reaching other content within your blog. As the name suggests, any post that’s related to what the audience is currently reading will be displayed.
Your audience won’t be visiting to only read one post – this plugin will make them explore more of what you have to offer.
Many of us encounter popups on a daily basis. Some of them are trying to get you to do something, and others are just informing you of various promotions. Popups can be annoying if not implemented right but they can also be incredibly effective.
WordPress PopUp allows you to create any popups you’d like and customize them to your specifications. It’s a great tool that lets you make the popups that are not annoying and increase user engagement.
This plugin gives you the ability to be as creative with popups as you want. See what works for you and run with it.
Google XML Sitemaps
Maps help people find various locations that they’re not familiar with. Sitemaps do the same for search engine bots that index the site – in other words, it’s great for SEO.
Adding Google XLM Sitemaps plugin onto your WordPress is beneficial for your SEO efforts. Search engine ‘crawlers’ will have a much easier time evaluating the structure of your blog and the contents within. Anytime you publish new content, this plugin will notify the search engines of the existence of the new content.
This is a simple and easy way to boost your SEO performance without much effort. With better SEO comes better visibility and increase traffic to your blog.
Some WordPress users may not want comments at all on their page. That’s understandable and there is a solution for you.
Disable Comments plugin for WordPress universally removes any ability to post comments on your blog. Any dashboard settings associated with comments also get eliminated.
Fancier Author Box
Depending on the type of content one publishes on their WordPress, it may not always be written by the same individual. Authors must be acknowledged – give credit where credit is due.
Fancier Authors Box plugin allows the audience to familiarize themselves with the writer. With the use of this plugin, at the end of each post you can embed a small box with the authors details. A short bio, picture, social media, etc can be placed within the box allowing the audience to follow the author or find out more about them.
It’s a great tool for any WordPress user that has guest posts or multiple authors working on content creation and publishing.
Content calendars or editorial calendars as some may know, are a great way to prioritize content and create publishing schedules. To do the same on WordPress – it may be a tad inconvenient.
Of course, when there is an app for that, there is also a plugin for that too. Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress makes the creation of publishing schedule a bit more intuitive. Create your content in advance, and use this plugin to select the date of publishing.
Social Media Flying Icons
People love sharing the things they come across on the web with their friends on social media. If anyone encounters content that resonates with them, the individual may have an urge to share. You must provide them with an easy way to do that.
Add this plugin to your WordPress. After reading the content you publish, your audience may want to spread the word – these floating buttons will help them do just that. It’s a great way to let readers express themselves and attract more attention to the content you produce.