If you’re blogging with WordPress, then you know there are an infinite number of resources available for you to tweak to your liking. I personally use WordPress for all of my websites, including MSC (WooCommerce for the win!) so I know how versatile the system can be. But with so many options, it can be incredibly overwhelming on which plugins are the best for you to use, especially all of the free ones available. Here are the 5 best WordPress plugins I’ve come across and use them in each WordPress site I run.
I’ve only recently started using Jetpack for WordPress and holy crap, I wish I had played around with it sooner. It is an incredible plugin that streamlines your site and gets rid of the need to multiple plugins. Jetpack runs 36 different apps seamlessly and under one control panel (which to me is such a God send. How many times have you tried to figure out where the settings are for a certain plugin? Settings? Tools? It’s own link? ARGH).
Do you need a related posts plugin? Jetpack can do that. What about an infinite scroll, which can help your Google rankings? Jetpack can do that. Website speed, social media sharing, contact forms, seriously…Jetpack is like a multi-talented WordPress virtual assistant.
If you’re not using Askimet then you’re missing out on powerful spam software. Askimet has been around for years and is usually a default plugin, though it does require you to register (for free) to receive the activation code. Askimet handles spam comments so quickly and easily, you’ll never have to know about them.
The Google Analyticator is a pretty self-explanatory plugin. If you’re nervous about messing around with CSS and coding, this plugin will add your Google Analytics tracking ID without you having to lift the hood of your WordPress files. It can also display your Google Analytics results right in your dashboard, saving you the need to open more tabs on your browser.
This is my all-time favorite FAVORITE FAVORITE plugin. If you’re like me, and your blogging energy comes in spurts rather than consistently throughout the week, this plugin helps you to schedule posts as far into the future as you need. It’s drag and drop scheduling make life so easy. All you have to do is save each post as a draft, open the calendar, drop the posts into the dates you want them to post, edit the time, and change the status to “scheduled.” It’s so easy, it’s one of the plugins I hope never goes away.
5. SEO by Yoast
This plugin handles your SEO and helps you determine how to improve your search engine rankings. I won’t say it’s easy, because using this plugin means that you’re going to have a lot of extra work ahead of you until SEO becomes second nature (and if you’re already that person, can we be friends?) but the benefits of improving your SEO can only help your blog stand out.