5 essential plugins every blogger needs
This is the second post in the “Owning your blog” series. If you missed the first post on “How to start a blog”, don’t worry, you can catch up here.
Let’s talk about plugins and their importance in the blogosphere. What are plugins? They are basically bits of software or add-ons that expand the functionality of your site. They enable customization of new or existing features as well as adding extra functions to your site. In other words, plugins make your blogging work & life 10x easier.
They’re located on the left hand of your WordPress Admin panel, just below “Appearance”.
JetPack for WordPress:
This is the ultimate plugin for all bloggers, beginners or not. JetPack is a single plugin that consists of mini-plugins with numerous features. It consists of a main dashboard which shows an overview of your site statistics and analytics, i.e source of your site’s traffic, overall number of site views, total number of comments, etc..
It also has features which can enhance your media such as tiled galleries, photon and a carousel. I particularly love this plugin because the free option/package offers so many benefits.
Yoast SEO assists with optimizing your blog’s content so they’re easily findable by search engines like Google. It simplifies all the steps that need to be completed in order for your content to be fully optimized. It lets you set a focus keyword, which is the keyword you’d like your post to be ranked for, or found by in search results. It then runs a content analysis on your post/page to ensure that keyword appears often enough and in the right places for your post to rank higher and better.
Coupled with other features like readability check (i.e how easy is the post to read, lengths of sentences & paragraphs, transition words, etc) and meta description (customizing what your post would look like on Google), etc..Yoast SEO provides a lot of benefits to content creators. For more on this, read here
This is a spam fighting service that protects your site from spam comments. This is because there’s nothing more annoying than having to filter through spam comments just to get through to genuine ones. Akismet comes pre-installed in your WordPress but it has to be activated to perform.
Essential for keeping tabs (literally) on your site’s performance. Shows analytics broken down into different categories such as Demographics, Country, Page Views, etc…Check here for a step-by-step guide on how to install on your website.
Social Media Widget:
It’s one thing to create content and another to promote the content. Social media shares are very essential in this day and age to getting your content noticed by people all over the world. There are tons of social media widgets out there, for TAC, I use the pre-installed feature on the Jetpack plugin. I love how easily customizable it is to fit my website’s theme/layout.
I’m throwing this in as a bonus. It’s optional for beginners as you might not be sending out newsletters right away but as you grow, collecting subscriber emails for newsletters will become essential in building and maintaining a solid readership. There are tons of newsletter plugins but some popular ones are MailChimp, Newsletter & SumoMe.
For more options, check out this article. You can find plugins in the your admin directory or download them from an external source in a zip file.
If you have any questions, please leave below and I’ll get to it as soon as possible!
Till next time,