Starting a blog can be relatively easy, but maintaining a blog is a whole other story. And if you want to take your blogging to the next level and build a reputable website, you’ll need to find ways to work smarter, faster and more productively. But what will help you get there?!
Fortunately, there’s a number of impressive plugins that can make life as a blogger a whole lot easier. They will improve your blog’s functionality and appearance, and generally ensure that everything is as it should be – which is perfect for the technophobes out there.
To find out what must-have plugins you need this year, keep reading.
Here are the 15 best blogging plugins for WordPresss!
Sick of all the spam comments? Anti-Spam is the answer! This handy WordPress plugin will filter through all your site’s comments, making sure that none of the crap gets through. This, in turn, will save you heaps of time filtering through the genuine comments and those that aren’t beneficial for your blog. And if a decent comment happens to end up in the rubbish pile, you can easily convert it to a regular one if needed.
2. Contact Form 7
If you want a good contact form on your page to engage with readers but aren’t up to scratch on your coding, make way for Contact Form 7. This easy-to-use plugin allows you to create different forms at the simple click of a button. It then integrates into a post or page with the use of shortcodes, forming a readable contact page or box.
3. WP Super Cache
Every online entrepreneur knows that the speed your pages load at is extremely important. If it’s too slow, your subscribers will move to a competitor without even thinking twice. And by caching your site with WP Super Cache, you can ensure that your site is fast and reliable.
4. All 404 Redirect to Homepage
Before you continue reading, you should probably download All 404 Redirect to Homepage now! The simple plugin does what it says on the can: it redirects any deleted posts or incorrect URL searches to your homepage, instantly making your website user-friendly and ensuring you aren’t losing any traffic.
5. Simple Social Share
In today’s digital age, every blogger needs to be socially active, whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. You must ensure you have a digital footprint that goes beyond your eCommerce site or blog. To help you add social and sharing buttons to your blog in a few simple steps, download Simple Social Share.
The importance of backing up your site is core to your blog’s success. Let’s say someone manages to break through your two-factor authentication and encrypted passwords (which can happen) or if you happen to accidentally click on something and delete important pages, you’ll need a backup to restore to the latest saved version. Therefore, gaining a secure system is a small price to pay to keep your blog safe – and VaultPress is the perfect plugin for that.
Price: from $39 (£30) / year
7. Title Experiments Free
In most media offices, content writers tend to talk through their ideas, gaining another perspective on their work. But if you happen to be a blogger flying solo, you only have your opinions to rely on – and we all know that we sometimes (okay – frequently) make bad decisions. To help you identify the title that will generate the most clicks, use Title Experiments Free, which will give you the option to test different titles before your post goes live.
CoSchedule can easily become your new best friend! It’s an ideal tool for collaborating with other authors and for scheduling everything on your blog, including social feeds and blogs posts through an easy-to-use calendar. If you’re super organised and keen on planning, you’ll be thanking us later down the line!
Price: from $20 (£15) / month
If you really want to increase the number of subscribers on your site, you should consider investing in Pippity. This plugin allows you to control the timing and location of pop-ups so that they only appear once your reader gets to the bottom of a post, without annoying the reader before they even had a chance to read anything. And if they select the ‘no’ button, you can set an amount of time before it appears again, ensuring you don’t drive any traffic away.
Price: from $49 (£38) / year
10. Google XML Sitemaps
By creating an XML sitemap with Google’s easy-to-use WordPress plugin, your blog will be much easier for Google to crawl which, in turn, increases your site ranking. So, even if you’re following all the marketing trends and strategies, your site itself may be the cause of the problem that’s stopping it from ranking high.
11. BJ Lazy Load
Slow sites are the bane of everyone’s existence – you should know; you’ve probably clicked on a site, waited for ages for it to load, so you went back to the search engine results and found an alternative, instantly forgetting about the first one. To avoid such situations, BJ Lazy Loader will replace all your post images, thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder that loads the content as it gets close to entering the browser screen, making your site load faster.
12. Constant Contact Forms
Constant Contact Forms allows you to build an email list and then sends your newsletter out to all your subscribers. You can even choose a pre-existing template and alter the colours, text and images to cater to your audience. Once you’ve done that, you can then track the performance and reach of your emails.
Price: from $20 (£15) / month
13. Beaver Builder
Not the coding wizard? No need to fret! With the Beaver Builder plugin, you can redesign your landing page with an easy drag-and-drop interface. Meaning that while you’re building it, you’ll see what the consumer will see instead of a bunch of numbers and symbols that you won’t understand.
Price: from $99 (£76) (one-off payment)
14. Sucuri Security
Security is extremely important in the online world, but you shouldn’t install just any old software. Sucuri Security has become ever popular with blogging beginners, protecting their sites against malware, hackers and other attacks.
Price: from $9.99 (£7.70) / month
If you’re using a lot of images on your site, you’ll need to ensure the file size is kept to a minimum without jeopardising its quality. Imagify will do just that; it also allows you to convert your images to JPG, GIF and PNG.
Price: from $4.99 (£3.80) / month
Now you’re equipped with all the right plugins to make a killer website, you can begin growing your site and monetising your blog.
Are there any other WordPress plugins that you swear by? Join the conversation down below and let us know!