Whether you’re a new blogger or a seasoned vet, you’ve heard about WordPress (or WP).
WordPress is notoriously known for powering 28% of the internet. That’s huge.
This platform is incredibly customizable with themes and plugins. Themes are the main look of your website on WP but we’ll visit that in another post. Let’s talk about plugins.
Plugins are one of your BFFs as a blogger as they help elevate not only the user experience across your blog but also the functionality of it. There are plugins to help protect your site from being hacked, plugins to use emojis, and plugins to help your visitors share your posts on social media (to name a small few).
There are SO many plugins – pages upon pages – you can use with your WordPress site so I’ve rounded my favorite 10 to give you a jumping off point.
1. Anti-Spam by Clean Talk
When you install WP, it comes with Akismet which helps monitor blog comments from Spam. While there are inherently no issues with it, I prefer this plugin by Clean Talk because, read my lips, there’s no CAPTCHA. It still monitors your comments but it makes it that much easier for your visitors to connect with you. Can I see a raise of hands of people who actually enjoy having to answer the CAPTCHA? That’s what I thought…
2. TinyMCE Advanced
This plugin is for those who want to easily customize their blog posts without having to learn HTML. While I recommend everyone learn HTML basics to just have the knowledge, this plugin allows you to create beautiful, professionally formatted posts without the effort. It enables you to add more style options on to the visual editor that is already available within WP.
3. WordFence Security
This plugin scans and protects your site using anti-virus, firewall, and malware scans. It also features blocking, login security, and live traffic monitoring.
4. Yoast SEO
SEO (or, search engine optimization) is crucial if you want your site to be seen by people when they search Google, Bing, etc. With this plugin, you can enter a key phrase you’d like a specific blog post or page to show up for in the search engines and Yoast will tell you how to tweak it in order to rank well for that phrase. It also has Google XML sitemaps which will help index your website in searches.
5. Google XML Sitemaps
If you’re not using Yoast, I suggest this plugin to help search engines index your page the way you’d like (AKA how it shows up in a search).
This plugin gives your visitors a little incentive to comment on your blog posts by rewarding them with a link back to their blog or newest blog post.
7. WP Smush
Fast load times are important to retaining visitors on your blog because, let’s face it, no one wants to wait 5 minutes to view your latest cookie recipe (sorry). This plugin compresses image files without compromising quality and allows them to load much faster!
8. WP Super Cache
This plugin also optimizes your site’s load time by caching the data on your webpages. Fast load time = happy audience!
9. WP Meta and Date Remover
I like this plugin because it removes the date and other metadata from blog posts. I think it just lends to the aesthetic of your site and makes it look cleaner.
10. Instagram Slider Widget
Display your Instagram feed directly on your website with this plugin! This widget is responsive and displays the images from either your specified username or a hashtag. This is a great way to connect with your audience.
What about you, what are your favorite WordPress plugins? Comment below!