Since I got back into blogging over the last 18 months, I’ve really enjoyed reading others posts on must have WordPress plugins. I went self hosted pretty quickly after setting up my blog almost three years ago, but didn’t really properly commit to it or start investing in it until about 18 months ago when I finally found my passion. Since then I’ve really surprised myself at how much I enjoy and am interested in the back end technical stuff, and some of my favourite evenings are those that I get to tinker around with plugins and design aspects of my blog.
I’ve never really felt like I’ve had enough authority or experience in blogging to write blog tips and how to posts like these which is really silly as there are always going to be other bloggers and aspiring bloggers out there that will be looking for posts like these. Knowledge is most definitely power as far as blogging goes, and some of the best discoveries I have made have been through other bloggers posts like these.
Over the last few months I’ve had a few other bloggers asking me for advice and information on some of the plugins that I’ve been using which almost made me fall off my chair. I’ve never felt like I was one of those people that other bloggers ask for advice, but it made me realise that maybe I do know a thing or two. After writing my last post on how to host a blog giveaway I also realised that I do have a fair bit that I’d like to share on what I know, so here’s my list of must have WordPress plugins.
Better Delete Revision
Better Delete Revision is one of those plugins that works a little bit of magic in the background. Until I came across this plugin, I had no idea that my blog was saving each and every draft revision of a post. Literally every. single. one. Which actually takes up space, potentially slowing down the loading time of your blog for visitors. This plug-in therefore deletes all post revisions which helps create and save space. Magic!
Broken Link Checker
We all know how annoying it is to be browsing a website or blog and hit on a link or page only to discover that it is broken and doesn’t go anywhere. This fab little plugin alerts you to any broken links on your blog so that you can fix or remove them as needed. This is not only important for keeping your readers happy, but is also good for your SEO.
CommentLuv is one of the must have WordPress plugins, up there with the likes of Jetpack (more on Jetpack below) as one of the ones you just need to have. It enables commenting on your blog, and whilst there are a fair few commenting plugins out there, this is one of the ones that I find the most user and aesthetically friendly.
Draft For Friends
Draft for friends is one of my all time favourite WordPress plugins as it allows you to share draft and scheduled posts with others before they have gone live on your blog. This is particularly useful if you want to share a post with a PR person or another blogger as I often do. For example, I run a weekly linky (Marvellous Mondays) with the lovely Kaye from Hello Archie and this lovely little plugin allows me to share my weekly post for the linky with her really quickly and easily.
Duplicate posts does exactly what it says on the tin, which is to duplicate posts that you have previously written. This is particularly useful if you have any posts that you frequently write, for example a linky post, update posts or monthly favourite posts and need to replicate the format, tags and images which it does all at the click of a button saving a whole heap of time and effort that can be spent elsewhere.
At some point, like me you’ll probably get bored with the standard fonts that your template offers you and want a little more variety on your blog which is where Google Fonts comes in. This plugin gives you access to a whole host of pretty Google fonts for free. I’ve only recently added this to my plug-in collection and am still exploring it, but so far its pretty impressive in terms of the range of fonts (a ridiculous amount) and the flexibility (spacing, colours, size, placement) of using it across my blog.
Jetpack is like an all singing, all dancing one man band. Its one of those WordPress plugins that you should just have if you have a self hosted WordPress blog. When you move to a self hosted blog from WordPress it will look very different unless you have this plugin which replicates the look and feel of a WordPress blog. Both in terms of templates and back end functionality and navigation. It’s a must have.
Revive Old Posts
Revive Old Posts is another one of my favourite WordPress plugins. I have a tendency to promote my most recent posts. Recent being from that day, week, sometimes possibly the prior week which is a real waste of content and opportunity. However this plugin helps me to regularly promote older posts at a set frequency without ever having to think about it. I can choose how far back/recent I want it to pull from the archives, which categories I want to include and how frequent I want it to share a post on twitter. This plugin is definitely up there in my list of recommendations.
Ultimate No Follow
The Ultimate No Follow plugin allows you to really easily follow the google follow/no follow rule. If you’re still confused about this rule and what it means for you then Katy from What Katy Said has written a great post explaining this which is well worth a read. However I’d really recommend this plugin if you don’t have it already.
When you have a blog security is absolutely paramount. Imagine waking up one day and finding that your blog has been compromised and everything on it has disappeared. As a blogger I don’t think I can imagine anything worse so its important to make sure that you have something like updraft regularly backing up your blog. Again its one of those plugins that does that hard work for you once you’ve set it all up.
I have a basic understanding of SEO (note to self to learn more) which is why Yoast SEO is a great plugin to have. It does a lot of the hard work for you, guiding you on what specific things you need to do to each post and page to ensure it is SEO friendly. It’s really simple and easy to use and follow and I’d really recommend it.
So there you have it. My list of my favourite and must have WordPress plugins. What are yours?