Checklist for Best WordPress Plugins for Modern Blogs
July 19, 2017
Modern day blogging significantly differs from the blogging we had like 10 or even 5 years ago. It not only changed in terms of the technology and tools we use to run a blog,but also in terms of how people interact with them now.
Blogs that we have today are so much more than only a place to share thoughts and ideas. It’s now a place to communicate about a wide range of topics in a variety of ways, be it simple blog post ,a video tutorial, an infographic or as slideshow. Bloggers use their blogs to make personal connections with the targeted audience, market services and products, create and drive sales, etc.
Although setting up a blog got a lot easier with WordPress,there are other things you have to consider to have a blog up and running. Blog security, navigation, readability, SEO and other stuff matters a lot, and this is where you can get along using plugins. In this post I want to get your attention on some essential plugins that perform important tasks and are widely used on almost all types of modern blogs. They cover a wide range of aspects , so I’m going to suggest a plugin from every category. Let’s go.
Contact forms are absolutely essential on blogs, as they make it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you or make an inquiry. With WordPress Form Maker plugin you can easily create forms for just any purpose and place them anywhere on your blog.There are embedded, popup, topbar, scrollbox form display options available. It comes with an advanced visual editor which allows you to create registration, application, survey and questionnaire forms, with personal style and design. There is a number of form field options you can add to the forms such as text input, multiple or single choice fields, custom and country select, survey tools, custom CSS, Google Recaptcha, and more. The plugin provides a range of customizable form themes that you can apply to your forms.
Sliders do a great job in highlighting content, and also enhance your site design and add value to it. That’s why sliders are considered a major trend in web design, and can be found on almost all kinds of websites. Slider WD is a good pick for bloggers who want to have responsive and fully customizable sliders on their homepage or any other page or post. The plugin allows you to have both images and videos on the slides and apply over 26 transition effects. You can apply various image, text, video, hotspot or share buttons, layers to the slides, and embed media from Instagram, Flickr, Youtube and Dailymotion. Slider WD supports filmstrip display,carousel and parallax technologies. You can fully change and customize design and style of the slides, and add custom CSS for additional styling features.
Analytics are used on almost all types of blogs and websites. They provide valuable data about overall site performance and help to make stat-based decisions. If you want to access your blog stats directly from your dashboard Google Analytics WD is a great option to consider. It gives you detailed reports in charts on every aspect of your blog, from audience, traffic sources, browsers to devices used on your site, and more. Moreover, it also gives AdSense and AdWords and Ecommerce sales reports. Apart from the built-in reports the plugin allows you to set custom reports for the metrics and dimensions you’re most interested in. Also, you can set and manage various goals and track targeted activities your visitors accomplish on your blog. The reports are easy to comprehend and are possible to download and send to multiple recipients via email.
Introducing your blog visitors to other relevant content on your site is a good way to increase pageviews and user retention time. Yet Another Related Posts plugin does just that. It displays relevant posts, pages and custom post types to your visitors. The plugin identifies relevant content by using an advanced algorithm which takes into account the post content, titles, used keywords,tags and categories. You can choose to display the relevant content in thumbnail or list view. The plugin is very user-friendly and is easy to setup and customize.
Site optimization is now crucial as never before. If you want your blog to get in front of potential readers you need to take proper care of its optimization. No worries if you’re not tech savvy, as Yoast SEO is here to do that for you. It’s the most widely used SEO plugin out there, which makes it easy to write a better content with proper usage of keywords, meta descriptions, alt tags, titles, etc. The plugin is extremely easy to use and comes with a snippet preview option, which shows how your posts and pages will look like in search results on Google.
Sucuri is a fully-featured security plugin that would take a proper care of all the security matters on your site.It comes with a myriad of features including activity audit logging, malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, and more. The plugin features many security notifications to let you know when something goes wrong on your website. Sucuri includes an advanced security firewall to protect your blog from a variety of website attacks and security events.
Backups are absolutely crucial for blogs, no matter the size and its focus. UpdraftPlus makes backups easy and quick, and lets you store your data in various services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vaul, etc. It allows you to have automated or manual backups, and lets you choose which of your site files to backup and which of them to restore. Also, you can split large backups into multiple archives and have separate backup schedules for files and database. The plugin allows you to remotely control backups on all of your sites from a single dashboard.
Jetpack is one of those plugins which performs not one, not even two, but a bunch of advanced tasks to help you keep your blog fast and secure. It comes with a number of tools to better your site SEO and traffic,and helps you increase blog engagement along the way. With Jetpack you can track your blog performance, advertise, promote your content, and keep your audience engaged. It also takes care of your blog security by protecting it from brute force attacks, malicious script and unauthorized login attempts.
When it comes to spam monitoring and protection Akismet is the best option to go with. You have it already pre-installed on your website, so just activate it and get rid of the worst spammy content you have on your site. It monitors your site’s comments section and form submissions and blocks out the malicious content right away. All the comments left on your site have a status history, and you can see which comments have been marked as spam and been cleared. Also, you can see the number of approved comments for each user, and spam/unspam any of the comments manually.
Social sharing is the best way to enhance your reach and get your content in front of thousands of readers. Social Warfare is a fast solution to have your content shared across different platforms in the way that you want. It allows you to add fully customizable share buttons to any of your post and page and enable your site visitors to easily share them on social media. The plugin supports all the top social platforms, and comes with a number of button styles,location options and customizable features. It supports share counts, which also shows the famous Tweeter shares.
So here you have them, 10 WordPress plugins that you’ll need to have running on your site if you want to have a fast, secure, and functional blog.