The Top 10 WordPress Plugins To Have On Your Blog

Aug 31, 2011, Blogging

Shares Facebook Twitter Pinterest If you’ve spent even a short amount of time writing and building your own blog, then you’ve likely heard of a number of different plugins to use on your blog.  There are 1000’s of them available to install on your blog. And, if you’re new to blogging, you may be wondering […]

If you’ve spent even a short amount of time writing and building your own blog, then you’ve likely heard of a number of different plugins to use on your blog.  There are 1000’s of them available to install on your blog. And, if you’re new to blogging, you may be wondering what the heck a plug-in even is!

What Are Plug-Ins?

WordPress is most likely the blogging platform your blog runs on.  It’s like the windows operating system of your computer; it’s what runs everything and makes it all look pretty and easy to use.  And plug-ins act just like the various software programs work on your computer.  Windows can do the basics without any programs installed, but it’s the programs that let you do specific tasks, make things work better or look better, and so on.

Likewise, plug-ins, when installed into your WordPress blog back office, allow you to tweak your blog, adding certain features you’re looking for.  They’re both paid and free.  You can go to WordPress.org to find a complete directory of all the ones they have listed (and there are thousands!).

If you’ve ever checked out someone’s blog and asked yourself, “Huh, I wonder how they made the cool thingy show up there”, or you wondered “How did that whosy-whatsit pop up over there?”, I’ll tell you that most likely it was a plug-in that did it. Plug-ins can make things run smoother on your blog, make your blog show up to more people, make it look cooler and sweeter to the eye, and give you all sorts of features to enhance your visitors’ time on your site.

Today, I want to help you save some major research time, running around figuring out the best plug-ins to use.  I’m going to tell you THE TOP 10 plug-ins to have on your blog right now.  Now, you don’t need a lot of them, because too many actually can slow down how fast your blog loads on peoples’ computers.

Let’s cover The Top 10 most important to have plug-ins that I have on my blogs.

1. Yoast SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of optimizing various parts of your blog to get your site to show up higher in search engine results for people searching on topics related to what you blog about.  After all, there’s no sense doing all that work building your blog if nobody is going to find it! But for many bloggers, maybe yourself included, the thought of learning all that technical stuff is overwhelming.

Yoast SEO takes away all that worry for you.  Every time you write a new post, fill in a few lines of information and this plug in does the rest behind the scenes to make sure your blog gets the attention of the search engines.

2. Google XML Sitemap

Another item on a website that helps to get some more search engine love is a sitemap.  This is a special file the search engines can read and helps their computer crawlers easily index what your website is all about.  Google XML Sitemap does all the work for you; every time you add new posts or pages and such, it automatically updates that sitemap file, alerting the search engines of new items on your page whenever they crawl your site.

3. Pretty Link

If you have ever tried to promote someone’s product through an affiliate offer, so you could earn your commission, you know how long and ugly those affiliate links can look.  You want a link you can give out to your visitors that is easy to read, easy to remember, and easy to retype.

PrettyLink lets you do that, making that long ugly link look like it’s part of your website.  Instead of a link to Ryan Lee’s FREEDYM looking like:

https://freedym.com/?idev_id=203&utm_source=203

Pretty Link will let you make a link on your site that redirects to that link, so you can create one on your site like:

www.BrentWehmeyer.com/freedym

4. Sharebar

This is the bar to the left here on my website containing a Facebook Like button, Tweet button, and Google + button so anyone visiting my site and reading my posts can share them out on the web.  That includes YOU, if you like this post be sure to Like it, Tweet it, or + it!!!

If you create a great piece of content on your site, it just takes a few people sharing it through social media to really get you some huge amounts of traffic! Sharebar makes it super easy for anyone to just click and help spread the word, so you just need to worry about making great posts!

5. TubePress

TubePress brings your YouTube channel, that’s full of great videos I’m sure, to your blog.  If you click videos at the top of my site, it will take you to a page filled with my videos.  Well, TubePress made that whole page for me, not me inserting video after video, tediously.  You just input a few settings and then anytime you add videos to your YouTube channel, it updates on your website as well.  Pretty cool, huh?!

6. W3 Total Cache

As you grow your blog over time, you’ll have more posts, and more images and such that take more time for your page to load on visitors’ websites. W3 Total Cache, put as simply as possible, saves a pre-loaded version of your site in a cache on the server your website is hosted on.  Anytime someone visits your site, it saves the server time fetching your site from its server and sending it to their computer, because it’s already loaded up.

This is crucial because a site that takes too long to load gets penalized by the search engines. So, if your site is slow to load, you’ll find your site slipping down lower in the rankings for the keywords you want to rank highly for.

7. Yet Another Related Post

At the end of each article on your site, YARP adds a list of other related posts on your site.  So when your reader is done with that post, you can keep them on your site longer by promoting another article to them related to what they just read…without any extra work on your part!

8. PopUp Domination

Now, this is a paid plug-in I get really excited about.  I don’t use it on all my sites, you just have to test it and see how well it works for your specific niche.  Pop Up Domination causes a window to pop up offering something to your visitors in return for their name and email.  You can set it to show up every time, or just a certain number of times for each visitor as to not annoy them every time they return.

On one site, I went from having an email list opt-in form on the right sidebar of my site, to having PopUp Domination show up, offering the same free report as before, but it put it front and center for the reader to see.  And in just a month’s time I saw over 300% increase in leads coming in on that site!

9. Facebook Comments

Comments are what make a blog a lively, interactive community.  Facebook Comments, which shows up at the bottom of every post or page, allows readers to comment just like they already can on WordPress, but instead of logging in or creating a user profile through WordPress, they are likely already logged in to Facebook, and they will be able to leave a comment with ease.

10. Google Analyticator

It’s important to keep track of statistics regarding visitors to your website: how they got there, what they searched for to find your site, how long they spent on your site, and many other important factors.  You can learn so much and that’s how I improve what I cover on my site, by seeing what people are searching for before they jump onto my blog.  In my opinion, the best analytics program out there is a free one, offered by Google…called Google Analytics.  It’s available for every website, but the Google Analyticator plug in allows you to easily integrate Google’s tracking code into your site, so it can monitor all these important factors going on in your blog.

That’s my Top 10, must have plug ins, but there are tons more, so feel free to search around for others, but now you’ve got the basics to get your blog started with. I hope it helps!

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