Essential WordPress Plugins For Every Blog

WordPress is the go to software for starting blogs, with almost 75 million websites using it – that’s 20% of every website in the world! This week we look into the best plugins around to make your blog the best in class. Whether you have just started blogging, are thinking about launching a blog or have been blogging for years, everyone could benefit from one or more of these plugins, so take a look and see which ones might work for you…

Here are the best plugins for:

Getting more email addresses – Optinmonster

Collecting emails are crucial for blogging to ensure your readers keep coming back to your blog, they will also become your most loyal fans over time. Optinmonster is a market leader and offers a full suite of sign up methods including after post sign ups, pop ups, exit intent pop ups, sidebars and more. It’s really simple to set up but very customisable if you want to get the perfect pop up.

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Getting more organic traffic – WordPress SEO by Yoast

The go to SEO plugin for WordPress – with over 1 million installs across the World Wide Web. It offers a full range of options to optimise your posts for search engines, to drive additional traffic to your blog and includes a great analysis feature so you can see how your article rates for your chosen keywords.

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Learning about your readers – Google Analytics by Yoast

Yoast make great plugins and the Google Analytics plugin allows easy integration for you to get statistics on your traffic. With this plugin you can see everything you need to know from where your readers are from, what time of day they read your posts, your most popular posts and even how many people are on your site right now! By setting up additional settings within the plugin you can access even more statistics including where people click on your site, your readers’ interests & demography, track downloads and where people exit your site so you can start tailoring your blog to your readers.

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Stopping the spam – Akismet

This plugin is so crucial it comes with WordPress by default and protects your blog from spammy comments that litter the blogging world. Simply install and set up the plugin and it will work away in the background so you will never need to worry about reviewing your comments ever again.

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Building something incredible – Visual Composer

Visual composer lets you build blog posts & pages in a block by block format, you can add galleries, text, images, timelines, tabbed boxes – there is almost an endless array of options. You can produce some amazing content that engages your readers even more than your regular posts by adding in animations as they scroll down the page or some parallax effect on your images. It takes some getting used to, but once you have tried it out a few times there will be no stopping you!

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Keeping readers on your site – Yet Another Related Post Plugin

What do you want your readers to do once they get to the end of your post? Stay on your site and read more of course! A great way to keep readers on your site is to add YARPP, some themes have it built into the theme settings but if not this is an essential plugin. It simply adds in some similar posts to the one the visitor is reading to entice them to read more and its quick & easy to set up with additional paid bonus options if you are looking for more.

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Getting more shares & emails – Sumo

This is a jack of all trades plugin which masters them all too. Sumo offers a variety of options from list building through pop ups to smart bar & scroll boxes. It’s one of the best social sharing plugins out there too, offering a large range of social sharing options for both desktop & mobile – including SMS & Whatsapp, the image sharer allows easy pinning of your images too. Other great features are heat maps, to see where people are clicking on your site or the highlighter to make your text easy to tweet and a simple contact form. Sumome is beautifully easy to set up and run & you can pick which elements you use, with paid options available to take each element to the next level.

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Adding some speed – W3 Total Cache

A quick & easy set up & go plugin that speeds up your site to improve the experience for your readers, W3 works by creating a cache of your pages so they load quicker for the visitors and best of all – it’s free!

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Entertaining your readers – Viral Quiz Builder

Who doesn’t love taking quizzes online? They are a great source of traffic & shares – and can be really engaging. Just look at Buzzfeed – they get hundreds & thousands of shares and visitors to their quizzes and that can be you too! This paid plugin is easy to set up and can be customised for a variety of different quiz types.

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What WordPress plugins can your blog not function without?

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