Now your blog is up and running, you can enhance its capabilities with some plugins. These are small programs that will add features to your site or to the control panel behind the scenes, thereby giving you more control over your content.
There are some plugins that are essential and others that can help a great deal when it comes to getting your site on the fast-track to success. Here are some that.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
you should consider installing: WordPress SEO from Yoast is your one-stop-shop for search optimization and makes the process very easy. It’s the one recommended by the most users and lets you control things like the title of the post as seen by spiders as well as checking your keyword density and more.
We’ll talk a little more about SEO in future but for now, this is a good start to get a little more love from Google.
W3 Total Cache:
W3 Total Cache can speed up your website by using caching. This means that certain images and other elements won’t need to be loaded from scratch each time a visitor lands on your page. It’s a useful strategy and might help to reduce your bounce rate by appeasing impatient viewers.
LinkWithin will place related posts at the bottom of each of your articles that way giving your readers an easy way to find more of your content.
This is a great way to keep people on your site because they’ll want to keep on reading and won’t come to a ‘dead end’ after they finish the post they’re on.
One of the few downsides of WordPress is the way it can attract spam comments, which can in some cases make your life a constant process of deleting nonsense posts.
Akismet is the best plugin out there for reducing that spam count and can make every blogger and site owner’s life considerably easier as a result.
XML Sitemap is a great plugin that can help you to generate a sitemap for your blog with a single click. In turn this will help Google to index your site and any new posts so it’s definitely worth an install.
Jetpack is not just one plugin but actually several that all come from WordPress.com themselves. This includes site stats (for those without Analytics), email subscriptions, social networking tools and more. It comes pre-installed and it’s more than worth the couple of seconds of setup.
If you want to monetize your blog with AdSense but don’t want to get too fiddly with it, then AdSense Explosion is an ideal choice giving you just enough control while keeping things simple.
It has had a few problems, but the support is good enough to make it the go-to AdSense plugin for many a blogger. Again, we’ll talk about this more in future but for now, you can install this, add your own AdSense code if you have it and start profiting right away!
All in One Favicon
All in One Favicon is the simplest way to add a Favicon to your site – that being the small image that comes up next to the title in the browser. This will make your site look more professional and increase your brand awareness in moments.
While Jetpack gives you some webstats, they pale in comparison to the in-depth nature of Google Analytics that will really allow you to see how your site is performing and hone it to perfection. This plugin means your site will be Analytics ready with no hassle adding code to your pages manually.
If you go with a pre-made WordPress theme, you’re still going to want to edit it to make the design yours. Changing the typography is one important way to do this, and this plugin makes that simple.
Go back and look at those top blogs in your niche again that I told you to note down. You’ll notice that all of them have a very nice, crisp font that is easy to read. That’s important because it’s going to make people want to spend time on those sites!
Styles allows you to easily change many more aspects of your WordPress theme right from the WordPress Customizer.
Disqus is the best comments system for many reasons and will improve the look of your comments section as well as making it incredibly easy for users to post and for you to manage. This also creates a new way for people to discover your site – through the Disqus community itself.
Optimize Database will help to keep your database clean, thereby keeping your site sprightly and avoiding errors.
Woo Commerce is one of the best and easiest ways for businesses to sell products directly from their site and thus monetize their blog. More on this later again. The plugin is free, but payment gateway extensions will cost you a little ($25-$75).
Formerly known as ‘Better WP Security’, this is a plugin that provides numerous ways to further improve the security of your blog – an important consideration for any business.
Bottom of Every Post
This is a plugin that allows you to add a section of code at the bottom of every post. Pretty simple! It’s great because it’s going to let us add our opt-in form later on, the way that people sign up to our mailing list.
This is one of several plugins that will allow your visitors to quickly and easily share your content on their social media pages. It’s a quick way to get more likes on Facebook and Tweets on Twitter, which in turn brings more visitors to your site.
Instagram Widget by WPZOOM
This is going to place a feed with your Instagram pictures right into a widget, ideally on your homepage. This will allow people to see that you are active on Instagram and get a taste for the kind of content you share.
That means more followers and it means your site will look much more active and interesting.
Twiget Twitter Widget
In a similar vein, Twiget allows you to show your Twitter feed. This is great because it means people can see that you are active on social media and get a taste for the kind of content you create. In turn, that will mean that you can gain a lot more followers on there a lot more quickly!
YouTube Channel from Aleksandar Urosevic is a very powerful tool that will embed your YouTube videos into your sidebar – either your latest video or a random one. In a moment we’re going to discuss in depth why YouTube is such an important part of your business plan!