WordPress is very popular among bloggers. Why? Because the platform allows you to create a fully functioning website in a quick and simple way. The installation takes no more than 10 minutes and it doesn’t require any technical knowledge. The tool offers a wide range of functions that enable you to begin blogging the minute after you have logged into the admin panel. What’s more, the WordPress community shares lots of plugins that expand the basic CMS options, making it easier to run your blog.
Today, I’ll show you 13 plugins that will make your blogging easier in the contexts of: planning, creating, optimizing, publishing, communicating with readers, and monetizing the obtained traffic.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Nothing pleases an author more than the possibility to show how many readers and website visits he has. The first step to monitor your page traffic is to install a special plugin. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights is one of the most popular plugins that allow you to install the most frequently used analytics tool.
After installing and configuring (you need to have a Google Analytics account for this) the plugin, you’ll get access to your blog statistics and valuable insights about your clients. Remember to turn on the tracking browsers and demographic data features, if you want to receive information of better quality.
If you want your web service to become popular, systematic publication of content is the key to success. Editorial Calendar makes managing your posts easier by displaying your planned posts in the form of a calendar. It allows you to easily switch dates and the time of publication, and will automatically publish your article even if you’re offline.
A view of the plugin’s homepage in the wordpress repository
Social Media Auto Publish
If you’re active on social media besides blogging, you’ll definitely find Social Media Auto Publish useful. As its name indicates, the plugin allows you to automatically publish sneak peaks of your articles on chosen social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Naturally, the plugin enables you to customize the forms of the content you publish.
If you share links to your blog on social media channels, don’t forget about OpenGraph tags. Thanks to them, you’ll be able to add meta tags (information about your page not visible to other users) that will help social media platforms to display your link in a professional way: with your custom image and description.
Yoast SEO is a great plugin for e-commerce that allows you to configure OpenGraph. It also makes it possible to edit the published content meta tags, which are analyzed by the plugin from the perspective of their compatibility with search engine guidelines. The better adjustment of meta tags, the higher your blog will be displayed in the browser’s results.
Source: Google search engine
Yoast SEO allows you to describe the meta descriptions visible in the search results
All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEOPack is a tool for those who are more experienced in SEO. It has been downloaded over 45 million times and is currently used by over 2 million website around the world. The major advantage of this plugin is that it automatically notifies search engines about new content from your blog.
AddToAny Share Buttons
With this plugin, you can add special buttons, which allow you to share blog posts, to your website. Even the most demanding bloggers will be satisfied with the wide possibilities of customizing the button’s appearance.
Akismet Anti-Spam (pre-installed along with the system)
If you want to communicate with your readers, give them the possibility to add comments to your posts. The best way to do this is to use the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin that gets automatically installed together with the WordPress system. This clever mechanism will prevent adding spam comments (believe me, there are more than you think). Naturally, you’ll be able to decide which comments are valuable and which deserve to be published.
Disqus Comment System
However, if you don’t want to use the pre-installed WordPress function, you can choose between two external plugins. The first is the Disqus Comment System – a comment system connected to the Disqus platform. Thanks to it, from one user account, you can allow adding comments to all blogs based on WordPress. An interesting function of this plugin is that you can view how the readers comment in real-time. What’s more, you’ll receive automatic notifications about comments that have been recently added.
WpDevArt Facebook comments
The second plugin you can install is WpDevArt Facebook comments. It connects the blog’s API (Application Programming Interface) with Facebook. Thanks to the connection with Facebook user accounts, nobody will be anonymous, so you’ll see who stands behind each comment. The Pro version of the plugin allows you to stylize the comment forms, so that it’s possible to place them on on your blog wherever you want.
Contact Form 7
If a reader wants to contact you directly, add Contact Form 7. This simple editor allows you to gather contacts, cooperate with guests wanting to publish articles on your blog, or receive ad propositions. After the Contact Form gets filled in, the plugin will automatically send an email containing the data left by the user. You can also automatically send emails with thank you notes after a reader decides to contact you.
A view of the contact form code when configuring the plugin
Affiliate Links Lite
If you enjoy popularity and your blog is frequently visited (what I wish you), think about monetizing the website traffic. You can join affiliate programs that offer financial rewards in exchange for redirections from your blog. If your reader purchases something from the affiliate company’s website, the company will pay you a commission on sales. In order to effectively manage referral links and to monitor the amount of redirections, I advise you to use Affiliate Links Lite. With this plugin, you can put links directly into your articles, set the proper types of redirections, and monitor their amount.
Broken Link Checker
The moment your blog becomes a large web service and the amount of links increases, some of the links can cease to work. Broken Link Checker will check if your links are active and will automatically notify you about any problems. It’s worth mentioning that broken links weaken the position of your blog in the Google search engine results. Broken Link Checker will prevent this from happening.
W3 Total Cache
With W3 Total Cache, you can increase the speed with which your website loads. If you configure the plugin properly, you can decrease the number of server requests and the amount of received data. Consequently, you’ll improve the positioning of your blog and the readers’ satisfaction
Remember that the plugins I have mentioned about are only basic expansions, with which you’ll make blogging easier. I hope this article inspires you to create your own service, or if you already have a WordPress website – to install plugins that will improve its functioning.