Useful WordPress Plugins
It’s Sarah again – back with a round up of some useful WordPress Plugins. If your blog is self hosted via WordPress.org then you’ll have the ability to install plugins to your site. Plugins can help to increase the functionality, and offer extra options which might not be available through your theme.
We’ve done a little round-up here of our favourites, but we’re always happy to know more so if you’ve got a must-have that isn’t on our list let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out :)
They’re pretty easy to install, but if this is your first time or you need a refresher then don’t worry as we’ll be doing a guide soon :)
This is the daddy of all plugins – if you take nothing else away from this post then at least install this and give it a whirl :) Offered as the wordpress.com account options for wordpress.org installs, Jetpack gives you access to a lot of fun and useful options for your blog like galleries, social network publicizing and wp.me shortlinks to name but a few. It’s updated often and always with something useful.
Hayley was the one who first turned me on to this, so thanks Hayles! Carousel, Tiled Galleries and Publicize are my favourite widgets within this one.
If you schedule blog posts ahead of time then this is the plugin for you. (If you want to learn more about scheduling posts then check out this guide). Instead of working out if the 14th is a Thursday when you’re scheduling a post, you can view your posts on a monthly calendar with Editorial Calendar.
You can also drag posts around to reschedule, and create new posts directly from the calendar view. Very, very useful, especially for people who write recurring weekly posts :) Create a month’s worth of drafts at a time without having to faff with your iCal :) Another plugin that Hayley turned me onto (apparently that girl knows her stuff).
3. Scroll Up
This plugin is tiny, but useful if you have a few posts per page on your blog. It adds a little arrow for people to use as a ‘return to top’ button, allowing them to easily scroll straight back to your header (where most of your useful links will be!). Handy, customisable, free. Everything we love in a plugin!
SEO is a big deal if you want to make sure your content is being seen by the right people. it can be a bit daunting at first, but luckily there are a few different SEO plugins available to help make it easier.
SEO by Yoast is my favourite – It gives you handy indicator straight away of whether or not your post will be found by the keywords you’re trying to aim it at, and also offers tips on how to improve your visibility. (Check out the ‘what is SEO?‘ post if you have no idea what I’m babbling about! :) )
An oldie but a goodie. Spam comments are still going strong so you’ll need something to combat it if you don’t want to spend your time manually deleting them all (and who wants to do that?) Enter Akismet – you can get it for free for personal sites or on a sliding scale for commercial sites and it’s definitely the best spam blocker we’ve found.
If you host ads on your blog then Ad-Rotate is a great plugin to install to help you manage them. You can set renewal dates, click through monitoring, and have various different sizes and positions around your blog using sidebar widgets. Plus, it’s free – yay!
Lastly, we really like this free plugin from Theme Trust, which adds good looking, simple social icons to anywhere you can add a widget to. Helpful.
Phew, that’s it! Some helpful plugins to help you get the most from your WordPress.org installs :) Who’s ready to give them a try?
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