As WordPress user with a domain name, WordPress Plugins are a great asset you should endeavor to have on your site to make it more appealing as well as making your blog stand out.
When I first moved to my own domain, I kept on downloading any plugin I perceive another blogger is using. I did not even bother to ask, I’m quite good with making my own research (all thanks to google) except when I am too lazy to.
Once I figure out a particular plugin, I just download it and activate for my blog. I kept on downloading numerous plugins, and soon my site began to suffer. Some plugins will clash and I’d experience a slow site or down time. My host provider contact will always tell me to reduce the number of plugins I own but I always feel he doesn’t know what he’s saying. When it was me who was confused on which plugin I was willing to let go.
If you’ve followed my blog from day 1, you must have noticed this. I had several share buttons, subscribe forms, comment boxes here and there. My blog was a mess. I wanted to own everything and it made my blog a bit untidy.
Until I sat down to read about WordPress plugins. According to Wikipedia, a plugin is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program, it enables customization to an existing program.
I realized I do not even need too many plugins to have a beautiful functional blog. The current theme I use have most of its own customized plugins so all I needed was a few important ones.
I’d share these with you and why I use them.
Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Have
1. Click to Tweet
I have seen this feature on so many blogs but I had no idea what it is called, hence I could not download it. Until a discussion came up on The Bloggers Advocate Support Group and someone mentioned it. Immediately, I race to download it. We all know that tweets never disappear. As long as someone likes or retweet a tweet, it becomes relevant again. And twitter is one of the great sources to generate organic traffic for a blog.
This plugin is essential as it helps your reader to easily tweet catchy and interesting quotes you must have included in your blog post as I have done below.Read why you should download the Click to Tweet WordPress Plugin for your blog. Click To Tweet
2. Google Analytics
Most of the things I know now about blogging, I owe it to The Bloggers Advocate Support Group and you can join on Whatsapp here. I never knew the importance of this plugin until I was contacted by a brand who wanted to run an Ad on my blog. The brand demanded to see my Google Analytics and I remembered I started to set it up one time but I was not sure if I completed the process or not. And then I learnt it is a plugin on its own. I set it up within 30 minutes and now I can monitor my site real time stats. I know where my readers are coming from, the average time a user spends on my blog, how fast or slow my blogs loads among other things.
Have you read: WhatsApp Stories and 5 Reasons Why You Should Use It?
3. Mail Chimp
I spoke extensively about Mail Chimp in a recent post here. It is an important plugin as it helps you to collect email of your readers. A lot of people will visit your blog from a search and with a newsletter opt in option, you can always have them visit again and again. And you can always reach out to them about products and services you offer.
4. Pinterest Pin It
My current theme support Pin It but I still love the Pinterest Pin It Plugin because of how easy it is for readers to use. It gives your readers a direct action to pin your graphics to their various Pinterest boards. And knowing fully well that Pinterest is one of the Apps where a blog get organic traffic, you should not overlook this amazing feature.
5. Yoast SEO
When I started using Yoast SEO, I had no idea what it is meant to do for my blog or how to use it. The hype about it was too much and I kept hearing, ‘You need it for your posts to rank on google’. As a result, for every blog post I write, I try to make sure I tick green but it was a lot of trial and error. But with google by my side, I have mastered the art of using Yoast SEO to a good extent.
Like I said, this plugin is a core essential to blogging as it guides you on how to make your posts rank on google.Would you like for me to write an extensive post on Yoast SEO? Click To Tweet
If you are a WordPress User and you don’t have Jetpack plugin on your blog, please stop reading this and download it right away. Jetpack on WordPress blogs is like an internet connection to a phone. Jetpack has a whole lot of features which includes design features, marketing tool, security services, and expert support. Read more about it here. Of all the wordpress plugins, it is very essential you have this.
This is an essential plugin to protect your site from spam comments. The plugin automatically checks comments against the Akismet Web service and such comments are flagged as spam.
8. Google XML Sitemaps
The same way I do not know that Google Analytics is a plugin, I had similar challenge with this.
This plugin will automatically generate an XML sitemap for your site. XML sitemap is important as it helps search engine index your blog. Web crawlers can easily see the structure of your site with this plugin and be able to retrieve the result.
In addition, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will also be notified every time you create a post about a new content.
9. iThemes Security
Is your site properly backed up? Are you worried that if anything happens to your site, you would loose all your content? Then you should have this plugin. iThemes Security works to identify and protect common holes in your WordPress site from potential automated attacks. It has a Pro package that is even more encompassing and beneficial to your blog. I use the Gold Plan.
How To Download WordPress Plugins For Your Site
To download any of these plugins, go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins and then add new. Enter the name of the plugins you are searching for and download. Afterwards, activate. If there are any challenge, send me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you also need someone to help you set your blog up and running with all the plugins active, I am always an email away.
Which of these WordPress plugins do you use? Which would you add or remove? Join the conversation.
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