My Favorite WordPress Plugins
If you were to ask just about any WordPress user what the best thing about WordPress is I am quite certain their response would be plugins. Plugins allow your site to expand on its functionality and to add new features to your site, basically with no knowledge of coding needed. If you can think of a function you’d like, there is a strong possibility that a plugin exists already. When I switched over to WordPress I was looking forward to trying new plugins. Today I am going to share my favorite WordPress plugins with you.
I have to be honest; one of the plugins that I had heard the most about while I was still on Blogger was CoSchedule. The thought of being able to schedule my social media promotions while writing my post seemed like a huge timesaver. I quickly signed up for the free trial and once the trial ended, I purchased the plugin (it’s the only paid plugin I use). You can read more about my thoughts on CoSchedule here.
I love the Disqus comment system and I’m a huge proponent of it. I love that anyone can strike up a conversation and join in on ongoing ones. Disqus, in my opinion, seems to have a better interface and looks better than the standard WordPress commenting system.
The Related Posts plugin by Zemanta is a great way to keep readers engaged on your site. Instead of having your readers leave your site after reading your post, why not point them in the direction of similar posts? Setting up this plugin is easy and you can customize it to your liking.
When I was on Blogger I gave no thought whatsoever to SEO. I had no clue really what it was or what it could do for your blog. Once I switched to WordPress and added the WordPress SEO plugin that changed completely. Using this plugin makes SEO a breeze. It tells you when you have good SEO and what you need to do to improve your SEO. It’s as simple as making a little circle go from red to yellow to green (great SEO).
WP Smush is the plugin I use to reduce the file size of my images so that my site will load faster. It works with Jpegs, PNG files and GIFs. I had to go back and smush all of my images after the fact which took a bit of time, but now all of my images I add are automatically smushed. Keep in mind, a slow loading site frustrates your readers so anything you can do to speed load time will help you and your blog.
Something I also never gave much thought to when I was on Blogger was security. Now that I am on WordPress keeping my site secure is a must. Wordfence Security has been a lifesaver. I am able to limit login attempts and it lets me know when someone has been blocked out after too many attempts. This plugin has definitely given me peace of mind.
Genesis 404 Plugin/ Content Views
The Genesis 404 and Content Views plugins are new to me. Earlier in this post I mentioned keeping your readers on your site. One way to do this is to create a custom 404 page. I followed this awesome tutorial and was able to create a 404 page that has the potential to keep readers on my blog instead of sending them off. Engaging your readers at every opportunity only helps you and your blog. Want to see what I mean? Click here.
What plugins would you recommend? Leave them in the comments so I can check them out!