9 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Successful Bloggers
Setting up a WordPress site is a feat in itself, but then you have to choose from thousands of plugins. How do you know which ones you need? Which ones will help and which will be too complicated to understand? Worry not, my friend! I’ve put together a list of the Top 9 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for your blog.
Yoast SEO is an essential plugin for ensuring that your blog posts rank well in, you guessed it, SEO. It includes on page analysis, which is amazing not just for keyword density tracking but also the readability of your article. If you’re writing in the passive voice, Yoast will tell you about it. Yoast SEO also creates an XML sitemap for your page, which is essential if you’re not well versed in code. You’ll find a section at the end of each post where you can designate a keyword, input a meta description, and even update the title. Best of all? Yoast scores your posts’ SEO on a traffic light system: green means go, yellow needs work, and red should never be posted.
OMG, spam. It’s here, it’s real, and the more popular your site becomes, the more you will get. This plugin not only clean removes the most offensive of the spam messages, but it flags others and puts them in a spam folder for you to review. There’s nothing worse than a, “I’ve been on your page and noticed you have some duplicate content. . . ” message showing up on your site 97 times (or worse, something inappropriate that goes up during the night). Make sure your site is protected.
Speaking of protected, that brings me to WordPress. The first website I ever built was my baby. It was a labor of love and I took so much pride in it. Then I woke up one morning, tried to login, and received an error message. When I contacted my host, they informed me that the site had been hacked and that all my work was gone. I had to start over. So do yourself a favor: first, back up your site somehow. Second, get Wordfence. It protects your site from dummy login attempts, brute force attacks, and even lets you block IP addresses manually. I would never build a website without it.
MWW Disclaimer Buttons
This is a great plugin written by an SEO and marketing expert named Jennifer Moss. I use it on my beauty blog because it allows you designate an article as being sponsored, containing affiliate content, or including the receipt of a PR sample with just the click of a button. Since the FTC requires that those details be disclosed, this plugin provides a clean way to include that in the post by having a small badge at the top.
Pinterest Pin It Button On Image Hover And After Post And Page Content
You all know I’m obsessed with Pinterest, right? Now that that’s out of the way, yaaaas, the Pinterest Pin It button is a must have. The button allows your readers to simply click and pin without having to go through the trouble of copying and pasting your website URL to enter into Pinterest themselves (and to be honest, how many people are going to do that?). Of course, you should have a Pinterest optimized image in every blog post as well, so your images are super Pinterest ready.
Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails
I installed this plugin on the advice of an SEO coach that I hired, and I’m so glad I did. There were no recent posts on my homepage at that point, so when people accessed it, there was no place else for them to go. The plugin cleanly displays a thumbnail as well as a bit of text from the post (and author’s name and date, if you choose).
Better Click to Tweet
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that you want people sharing your blog posts on social media. The best way to get them to do that is to make it easy on them. With Better Click to Tweet, you can pick sentences from your post that users can simply, that’s right, click on to Tweet. Or you could put a bunch of Tweetable quotes at the end of your article. Whatever the case may be, keep in mind that making things easy on your readers only increases the odds of your content being spread far and wide!
WP Instagram Widget
If you’re on Insta, this plugin needs to be on your webpage. It displays your last few posts (I believe you can designate how many you want displayed). I chose nine photos, but it’s totally up to you. Because it simply displays the posts, the tone of your IG will carry over onto your blog – this is really important if you are a heavy Instagram user. And if your reader clicks on it, then they can explore your Instagram page and follow you.
Sassy Social Share
You know those social buttons that run down the side of a blog post on the left or at the bottom? You can thank Sassy Social Share for that. With more than 100 social apps to choose from including Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, this is one is a do-not-miss. Oh, and you can tailor the look of the buttons to suit your page, playing with color, shape, and size. Again, it’s all about making your content shareable!
Hope these nine plugins get you going on your WordPress site! Do you have a favorite plugin that I’ve left off the list? Let me know!
Oh, and don’t forget to join the Blog Boss Babes Facebook Group!