Welcome to my monthly Blog Geek Tips feature where I share some blogging tips from both myself and some fellow bloggers. This month is all about plugins and the ones that I love.
I tend to think of plugins a bit like apps. If there is something you want your site to be able to do, there’s a plugin for it.
Before installing a plugin I always consider:
- Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress?
- The number of users. This can be a good indication as to whether it is any good.
- How many stars does it have?
- When was it last updated? If it hasn’t been updated for a long time it might be neglected and not have support available if you need it.
My Top 10 WordPress Plugins
1 Yoast SEO
One of my blogging goals this year is to learn more about SEO and to try and understand it better. Yoast really helps with this, and if you don’t already have this plugin you need it in your life. The simple traffic light system tells you whether each post is search engine optimised, and if it isn’t, what you can do about it.
2 Broken Link Checker
Broken links make a site look unprofessional and unloved! This plugin drops you an e-mail with any broken links so that you can get them sorted.
3 Duplicate Post
I love this plugin because it’s a time saver. It gives you the ability to clone a post, so if you have a series or a linky that you write regularly you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
4 Evergreen Post Tweeter
This is a love it or hate it kind of plugin. Basically it re-tweets your old posts from categories you set at times you specify. Some people don’t like it because tweeting links can look spammy. For me, I’m a blogger, I want people to see what I write, and this plugin drives traffic to my site, which is why I recommend it.
5 Simple Follow Me Social Buttons Widget
There are a lot of plugins out there that will give you follow buttons for your social media channels. I love this one because you can choose the colour and the size of the buttons to tie in with your site design.
6 Mail Poet
This is a brilliant subscriber and newsletter plugin. I could actually write a whole post about what it can do for you. In a nutshell you can add subscribe buttons in a widget or in your posts.
You can set multiple subscribe settings, a newsletter, a linky list etc. The newsletters are very easy to create and schedule. And you get stats on how many people have opened your newsletter.
7 Smart Slider
I have tried a lot of slider plugins, and found most of them don’t run very smoothly, make your site run very slowly, or stop working for no apparent reason! I haven’t been using Smart Slider for long, but so far I am impressed. It’s not necessarily as straight forward to use as some of the other plugins so I would recommend watching the tutorial video. It does however work! You can add sliders as widgets or in your posts, just like this…
8 Tiny MCE Colour Grid
This for me is another time saver. It adds a text colour box to your editing toolbar where you can add custom colours. No need to keep typing the colour reference for your colour scheme every time!
9 Comment Reply Notification
I love getting comments on my blog and I read them all. Mostly I try to reply to most comments, but sometimes I can get lapse with this when time is running away from me. I think the main reason for this is I know when I comment on other people blogs, I don’t often go back and see the reply, quite frankly none of us have time for that. Comment Reply Notification plugin e-mails my reply to the person commenting. That way I know they can see my reply, it might keep people engaged, and if nothing else it’s friendly. I would love more bloggers to use this so I can see their replies to my comments!
It’s rare to see a site without this plugin, but it is a great way to make your posts easy to share, and it’s customisable too to suit your design. There is so much you can do with this plugin. As well as sharing posts, you can encourage users to read more related content on your site. Please see my link below to You Baby Me Mummy for how to get the best out of it.
Keep your plugins up to date and delete any that you are not using to keep your site running smoothly.
Some Useful Posts From Some Brilliant Bloggers.
- Yoast: Get the most from your plugins – Live Love Blog
- The best plugins For your wordpress site – What Katy Said
- Blog Fix Friday – Shareaholic – You Baby Me Mummy (scrool down to the video for the tops)
- Best wordpress plugins: 15 essentials every blog needs – The Blog Maven
I hope you find this post useful. Please feel free to share your favourite plugins in the comments section. Let me know if there is a blog geek subject you would like some tips on.
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