So you started your blog. You’re plugging away, having a swell time, and so far you’ve been doing okay.
Way to go, you.
But running a blog is hard work and at some point you’re not going to be able to juggle at the balls in the air. You could use some help.
One option is to hire a bunch of people to work for you. The best part about this is that you can make them call you “Boss” or “Your Majesty”.
The worst part is, it can get expensive to hire people.
This is where plugins come in handy. The best WordPress plugins out there will make change your life FOREVER!
A plugin is software that can plug in (AHA…see what they did there?) to an existing computer program and do a job that the existing program doesn’t already do.
Plugins are awesome tools that can save you massive time and money, and probably more than a few headaches.
Keep in mind, though, that too many cooks in the kitchen will make your blog miserable. AN overabundance of plugins will slow your site down and make the user experience pretty frustrating.
Stick to ten plugins, absolutely maximum, and you’ll be good to go.
“But hang on,” (you may be thinking), “There are literally hundreds of plugins out there. I know this…I just Googled it. How do I know which ones are worth using?!”
Excellent question, and one I am more than happy to help you with! I’ve played around with a ton of different WordPress plugins, and I’ve narrowed my list of must-haves down to four.
These are my four top WordPress plugins and are great at what they do. They will save you time, money, and stress and make your whole job easier.
One helps you out with SEO, one gives you spam protection, one helps you create pop-ups and builds your email list, and one keeps your publishing schedule and social media organized.
And the best part? They’re all super affordable. (And by affordable I mean practically, or actually, free. What’s. Up.)
Ya ready to hear about them? Great.
Helps with: SEO optimization
Price: Free for the basic version (premium starts at $69/year)
Yoast SEO is one of the most well-known SEO plugins out there, and with good reason (this is my favorite on the list of the best WordPress plugins). It’s awesome. Yoast is a great tool for automating all that technical white hat SEO things so you don’t have to worry about it. Talk about a load off your plate.
When you download the plugin, it will show up on the existing sidebar of your WordPress navigation page as “SEO”.
The free version (which is really all you need right now) comes with some awesome features, like these:
- Post titles and meta descriptions: This feature lets you set a template for for your titles and meta description on search engines.
- Ordinarily, you wouldn’t have any control over how the title appears in search engines. With Yoast you do, which will help with your click-through rate.
- Sitemap: Sitemaps are a super important element of good SEO. Sitemaps help search engines index your site. You can enable the sitemap with the swift click of a button, and grab the link in a jiffy. Awesome.
- There are a ton of other built-in tools in the Yoast plugin, which you can read about on the plugin page.
Helps with: Spam protection
Price: Name your own price (which can be free)
Nobody, least of all you, has time for stupid spammy comments on your posts. No, thank you. Akismet is the ultimate in spam protection for your blog. It automatically catches spam and makes it disappear before you even see it.
There are a few different plans to choose from, but my favorite (and the one that will do just fine for your blog) is the basic plan, which allows you to set your own monthly price. You can download it for free, but why not donate a dollar or two to help them out? After the basic plan, the premium plans start at $5, and go up to $50.
Helps with: Growing your site’s traffic
Price: Free (for the basic version)
SumoMe is one of my all time favorite plugins. Mostly because they have really amusing marketing emails. But also because the plugin is awesome.
Once you install the plugin, you can download apps like the List Builder (lets your create a fancy lightbox pop-up to capture email addresses), Scroll Box (an email collection box that pops up whenever you tell it to), Heat Maps (helps you see where people are clicking on your site), and Smart Bar (among plenty others).
Personally, I love the Scroll Box app. It’s a polite way to ask for a reader’s email address once they’ve popped around your site for a bit. You can choose at what point on the page you want the box to appear, how often you want it to pop up, and what you want it to say.
The only downside to the free version is that it is plastered with the SumoMe logo. The only way to get rid of that is to upgrade to the Starter version (which is $10/mo, or you can get the Pro version for $100/mo). I don’t think it’s a deal breaker, but it is something you’ll have to deal with if you use the plugin.
Helps with: Content marketing and social media
CoSchedule connects your WordPress blog to your social media sites with a freaking cool drag-and-drop editorial calendar that makes scheduling your posts (across all your platforms) a breeze.
CoSchedule allows you to plan ahead and publish your awesome content, consistently. It gets rid of the headache of remembering when to publish, and also remembering to update all your social media platforms.
Never again will you have to spend hours posting the same information to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and your blog.
Literally so annoying.
You can easily move blog posts around and plan/edit your posting schedule. Then it automatically adjusts the rest of your social media to those changes. Freaking legit.
Go Forth and Use These Top WordPress Plugins to Improve Your Blog
So there you go. These plugins are four of the best WordPress plugins out there, and I’m pumped to share them with you! They will absolutely make your life easier and help your blog be the best it can be.
I’d love to hear about what plugins have worked for you, whether or not they are on this list. Really, I want to hear all about your blog in general!
Shoot me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about plugins, or anything else. Can’t wait to connect with you.
John and the BlogSheriff team
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