WordPress is a whole new world. Compared to my previous platform, Weebly, WordPress was a huge learning experience but over the months I have come to learn the ins and outs and all the must haves of working with WordPress. The transition from Weebly to WordPress has been long. I was able to transfer my blog over but did loose all of the photos in my posts in the process along with my website’s theme. It was a good switch though and wish I had done it sooner. To be honest, I wish I had started with WordPress to begin with.
It has been about 8 months now since I made the switch and you may still find a few posts here and there that aren’t fully updated again so I apologize. Note to you… Start with WordPress from the very beginning. Don’t hesitate. You won’t regret sticking with WordPress. Here are a few of the plugins that I currently use and highly recommend to others.
To read on how to get started with WordPress and self-hosting click here.
10 Must Have Plugins
- Yoast SEO – This plug-in helps me get a good SEO on each and every one of my posts, pages, and even my website. It will continue monitoring my pages and let’s me know which blog posts need SEO or needs the SEO improved in. It also helps me write a good and well-rounded blog post by detecting run on sentences, tone of the post, and other readability issues.
- Akismet – This is by far the best plug-in for comment spam protection. When I first started with WordPress I had no idea how many spammers were on here looking to comment on every post. Comments are good but not when it’s filled with spam, ads, and other unrelated things. Comments are a section in the post where you can engage with your audience. Don’t let spammers spook them away.
- Jetpack – Best if using a self-hosted website. It helps you get all of the features you need that WordPress.com uses get including the stats for your website.
- Easy Facebook Likebox – Best and most easiest way to get a new likes and followers to your Facebook page.
- Add Any Extension To Pages – I love this plug-in because I have a shop that I run on BigCartel. You can also have a shop on WordPress but haven’t looked to into the specifics of it. You can easily click on “SHOP” and it will redirect you to my shop’s website.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – I love using Google Analytics to learn specific stats about my website. Having the plugin makes this much easier to retrieve.
- Simple Social Icons – These are the share icons that you can find at the bottom of every blog post. This makes it easy for your readers to share your post with their friends or to save it on Pinterest.
- WordPress Popular Posts – These are the “Featured Posts” that you see on my sidebar. It will share some of your top posts for the category you choose or for your entire blog section. You can adjust this according to what suits your business best.
- Pinterest Widget – I swear by Pinterest. Pinterest is like my best friend in the blogging world. The majority of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest. Having the Pinterest widget will show your audience what things you like to pin about. It will also make it easier for them to follow you.
- Instagram Slider Widget – Instagram is a great tool in the influencing and blogging world as well. I love sharing photos of my trips. Not everyone uses Instagram though. It is a lot of work on a daily basis but it is definitely worth having on your sidebar. This gives your audience a chance to follow you on a more personal level and even interact with you daily through DM’s, storied, comments, and more.
Update – More Plugins I recommend! (12/24/2018)
After doing a recent blogging course I have decided to try out a few more plugins the last few weeks. After some trial time I have decided to update this post with some more information about the plugins I have been using and how they will benefit your blog. Here we go!
- Smush – This plugin helps smush the file size of your photos so it can load faster. The faster your website runs the better it is for SEO. I had a few posts that had large file sized photos so now I am having to go back and reload those photos using the plugin. So far I am very impressed with how it works and how much easier it makes my blogging life.
- GrandWPGallery – I have been on and off with this plugin. This is best for travel bloggers and photographers who want to showcase a gallery on their post. It gives you various gallery options to put in to your post. So far I like it but I would definitely use it with the Smush plugin installed.
- Instagram Feed – Since the recent WordPress update, the Instagram Slider Widget plugin I was using didn’t update so I had to switch to a new one. I am now using Instagram Feed and have no complaints so far. Works perfectly and if not better than the other one.
- Pretty Links – This is one I am still playing around with but it is helping a lot so far. I was using some very ugly links such as www.avantlink.com/affiliate/affiliatenumberandmorejumbobumbo and these links were ugly especially when pinning it to my Pinterest. Their logo will pop up on my pins and it looked very spammy. I have decided to use this instead and now I have pretty links that also look more attractive to buyers and pinners looking at my content.
- Beaver Page Builder – This plugin helps you build your pages with a drag drop layout. I absolutely love using this cause it makes it easier for me to layout my pages more professionally by adding images, columns, and even separations. I just updated my “About” page using this plugin. Related Article: How To Write An “About Me” Page For Your Blog
- WP Maintenance Mode – I love this plugin. It helps me update my website without having a chaos when my audience comes to visit. It leaves my website looking the same while I update it and finally publish the new design, layout, theme, or whatever it is that you may be updating. I highly recommend this plugin.
I hope this helps you keep your WordPress running smoothly. If you have a WordPress.com website, what plugins do you like to use and why? I would love to hear more about the plugins others use.
You can view more of my blogging tips here.
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