WordPress is one of the most popular website builders. Its straightforward design makes it easy for people with limited computer skills to create and run a site. But one important consideration for any blog-type sites is plugins.
Downloading plugins is easy on a WordPress site, and there are hundreds to choose from. It’s a bit tricky to decide which plugins you should use. Below is a list of some popular plugins to consider.
Akismet or StopSpammers
I really love getting spam comments said no one ever before.
We don’t like spam emails or spam mail to begin with, and spam comments are even more annoying. Fortunately, there are plenty of plugins to address this issue. One of the top rated is Akismet. This plugin destroys those comments automatically so you don’t ever see them. The only catch to the plugin is you need to sign up and pay for one of their protection plans.
If you’re looking for a free alternative, try StopSpammers. It blocks spammers and if you ever happen to get suspicious comments, you can report it, and it’ll be blocked in the future.
Google XML Sitemaps or any other Google plugin
Google XML Sitemaps. Google Analytics. These are examples of some great plugins for your site. Especially if you already use their suite of services.
What Google XML Sitemaps does is exactly what it says on the box: it builds a sitemap for you. Why do you need this? Having a sitemap is one key component to boosting your SEO page rank. It’s not typically the first thing you’d do out the door, but having it early never hurts. A sitemap is basically a way for Google to crawl and read through your site faster and easier.
Google Analytics goes without saying. The plugin has a smooth integration with the platform and it’s definitely more convenient to get your stats on your site rather than jumping to another site.
A situational plugin, but still a valuable one nonetheless. WooCommerce is a plugin built specifically for eCommerce sites. That said, bloggers can still benefit from having an ecommerce store. It’s a good place to promote services, merchandise, ebooks and more if you prefer a one-stop convenient location for customers.
If you do decide to get this plugin, you’ll find that many other plugins also support WooCommerce. So if you intend to build out a store, you’ll find a lot of plugins being able to enhance the experience.
Being able to block spam comments is one thing, but you need more protection against larger threats. No, that doesn’t mean you need more passwords. This plugin is more than enough to protect you. Even the free version works.
This plugin is does a lot of the legwork for you; it blocks malicious networks, scans for site vulnerabilities, monitors various metrics and more. It’s a must have for solid protection.
If you’re running a blog, you need content. And if you have content, you want good SEO so people will notice it. There are many SEO tools to choose from, but one of the best is Yoast SEO. The free version is fantastic and provides plenty of pointers on improving your writing, all the while ensuring it meets SEO standards.
In short, Yoast SEO tells you what you are doing right and what you’re doing wrong. This tool also gives you tips and resources to improve, removing the guesswork of whether your content is SEO-ready or not.
As a side note, Yoast SEO has also an integration feature which creates a sitemap for you. This means you can skip Google XML Sitemap if you install this plugin first.
WP Super Cache
Website speed is everything once you have some good content and a solid sitemap. Many bloggers understand this and that’s why many hop onto plugins that allow them to cache their site.
Out of the numerous plugins available, WP Super Cache is a good option as it’s easy to activate and doesn’t require a lot of steps to configure and be ready to work.
BJ Lazy Load
On the note of website speed, another plugin that helps with speed is BJ Lazy Load. Despite the name suggesting it doesn’t boost speed, it actually does some work. In short, the plugin communicates to the site to load text and images as needed. To the visitor, they’ll see nothing different, but in the background, the site is loading only what is necessary for the viewer to see.
How does this increase speed? Well if you have a large site, typically the entire site loads up. This plugin tells your site to only load a fraction of it as the visitor doesn’t need to see the entire page yet.
All 404 redirect to homepage
It does exactly as the title indicates, and can be very helpful for larger sites. Why are redirects important? It helps in the event that users enter a bad url or click a link to a post that you have deleted.
This saves a lot of headache for people who make a habit of deleting older posts. And is especially important if you’re someone who has several hundred posts. On top of that, broken linked pages can be harmful for SEO, and it’s suggested to remove them. Having this plugin removes that issue as the user will get redirected to the homepage.
No blog is complete without a comments section. And while WordPress has its own built in space, wpDiscuz is helpful in a few other ways. For one, it will allow you to enable or disable comments in certain sections, allow people to comment anonymously, or commenters are asked to log into their social media account, confirming they are real people.
Easy Social Sharing
The final plugin is another necessary addition, and that’s social sharing. Your posts won’t gain traction if people love your posts, but are unable to share your posts with friends.
This plugin clearly makes social sharing easier, as it’s connected to 18 different social media networks. With a responsive design, Easy Social Sharing will also work well on any device, so you won’t have to worry about it getting in the way. It even accommodates for longer posts by giving you the option to place buttons at the top and bottom of your page.
At the end of the day, you need some solid plugins to make your blog work and help you get to where you want your business to go. Consider these plugins for the power they can bring.