I am a self confessed WordPress fan. I’m a digital marketer by day, and have built many a WordPress site in my time. So when it came to creating my own blog there was only one choice for me!
I love it. It’s so very versatile – there are so many different themes (free and paid) which you can install to create a great looking blog. A lot of the themes are really easy to customise, and even if they’re not, it’s not too tricky to play around and figure it out.
But one of the best things about WordPress is all the plugins that you can download. These make customising and managing your blog a total breeze. They extend the functionality of your site, help improve the running and speed of it, and help make it look just the way you want.
So what do I think the best WordPress plugins for bloggers are?
Advanced Recent Posts Widget: If you want to change the way your recent posts are presented in your sidebar then this is great. I like to have a nice full size image, rather than a tiny thumbnail, so this lets me have full control over how it looks.
Akismet: This is a MUST for all WordPress bloggers. It filters any spam comments so you don’t even need to know you had them in the first place. No one wants to waste time putting comments from “Best fake rolex” in the trash. Akismet will do it for you.
Better WP Security: This protects your site from getting hacked. The chances of being hacked are pretty slim (especially if you use a decent, hard to crack password), but even so, adding this plugin will add an extra layer of security for your site.
Contact Form 7: Your WordPress theme may have come with a snazzy contact form design, but if you want a form will different fields, then this is the plugin for you. It’s the most popular contact form plugin available – mainly because it’s simple to use and does the job.
Disqus Comment System: I’ve just recently changed to Disqus to manage my comments. I like the way it looks and it’s a popular commenting tool amongt bloggers (hey, if it’s good enough for The Londoner, it’s good enough for me!).
Google Analytics: This is a simple little plugin that makes it easy to add your Google Analytics code to all your pages.
Limit Login Attempts: This is another great little plugin which will help prevent your site against hackers. If someone is trying to access your site, you’ll be notified after a set number of failed attempts (and they’ll be blocked from trying again for 30 mins or whatever you set it to be).
WordPress Backup to Dropbox: We always hope it won’t happen, but disasters sometimes do. By installing this plugin, if your site is lost or down or hacked, then you’ve got a recent backup, ready to reinstall. Imagine losing years worth of blog content just because you hadn’t backed it up recently. Oh it’s the stuff of nightmares!
WordPress Editorial Calendar: This is a nice looking calendar that shows you all your past and future posts. Nice and handy if you like to schedule things in advance.
WordPress Related Posts: This is how I get my ‘related posts’ at the bottom of each post. It’s a great way of encouraging people to stay and browse on your site. You can control exactly what gets shown here as well as how it looks.
WordPress SEO: A fantastic plugin from Yoast. These guys have made one of the best SEO plugins available. Optimising each and every post for the keywords you want is an absolute dream with this handy tool. You can also easily set title tags on all pages and control what pages the search engines crawl (or don’t crawl if that’s the case), as well as a host of other search engine friendly tricks.
So those are what I think are the best WordPress plugins for bloggers. Do you have any others you like to use? Let me know if I’m missing any great ones in the comments below.
Also, since I’m an online marketer by day, I was thinking of doing more posts like this – posts that will help you improve your blog in terms of search engine optimisation, design or promotion. Is that something you’d be interested in? Let me know below!