Finding the right plugins for your blog can be tricky. There over 26 thousand in the free WordPress database, and that’s before you look at any of the premium WordPress plugins that we’ll go over today.
Blogging is fantastic as it is so easy to test the waters to see if it is the right thing for you, you can write & publish for free on multiple different platforms. But what about when you are ready to take it seriously?
Premium WordPress plugins need not be expensive, often they are around $20 for lifetime updates, and some are pricier but are often worth the money you pay for them if you use them to their full potential.
Let’s dive into some of the best on the market…
WP Rocket – $39
Keeping your website as fast as possible is great for both your readers as well as for SEO, and in an industry as image focused as interior design is, every little helps when it comes to site speed. WP Rocket allows you cache your site, which saves a pre-rendered version of the page onto the server so that browsers can display it quicker when someone visits your blog.
WP Rocket keeps things simple, unlike a lot of other caching plugins which have too many options and take a lot of time to learn what everything means to make sure you set it up correctly. You pretty much just have to install the plugin, activate it and it’s pretty much ready to go. A time saver both to you and to your readers.
One of the cheapest premium WordPress plugins on the market and also one of the most powerful. It’s packed with hundreds (if not thousands) of potential styles and colours of sharing buttons to fit seamlessly into your blog’s design.
You can choose exactly what buttons you show from a list of hundreds (p.s. make sure you show Facebook & Pinterest as an absolute minimum), a great feature for the interior design market is it can automatically overlay your images with a ‘Pin It’ button to increase their chances of being shared on Pinterest.
It also features the ability to optimise your social sharing buttons on mobile and also has detailed analytics to help you optimise what buttons to show. An underused feature is the ability to split test different social sharing locations to maximise the shares of your blog posts.
Visual Composer – $34
The #1 best-selling plugin on CodeCanyon (the largest seller of premium WordPress plugins) tells the story of Visual Composer already. The plugin allows you to add new levels of structure to your blog posts and pages, with columns, rows, spacing, and more within an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.
There are over 40 different content elements packed within the plugin (and there are also many bonus plugins which add even more) including text boxes, social media buttons, video players, charts, and much more.
The end result is much more creative freedom to build your blog posts, with parallax effects on images, background colours on certain blocks, full width and narrow options. A fully responsive design means that your blog posts will look perfect on any computer, tablet or smartphone too.
It will take some time getting used to, but after a few hours, you will wonder how you ever lived without this plugin.
Gravity Forms – $39
Often described by WordPress pros as the single most important plugin they have ever purchased, Gravity Forms has an almost endless amount of customisation available for your contact forms.
Whilst a lot of free options suffice to start, they are often complicated and require a lot of additional coding to make them look in line with your site and adhere to the high standards that bloggers often have.
Additional features include multi-page forms, auto-responders, conditional logic, pricing fields, payment options, reCaptcha and much more.
And the best thing, everything can be configured through a simple drag-and-drop interface making it easy to use for beginners & non-coders.
Thrive Leads – $67
We talk a lot about growing your email list on the IBA blog, if you aren’t already doing it, you need to!
Thrive Leads is one of the easiest to use tools to grow your email list, featuring a seamless drag-and-drop opt in form builder which multiple different forms available from the traditional pop up, the slide up, the ribbon and the welcome mat.
It’s packed full of templates that are easily customisable for your blog’s colour schemes, styles, fonts, etc. and will get you growing your email list rapidly in no time.
It also features additional cool features such as AB testing, different triggers and multi-step sign-up form to squeeze even more people onto your email list.
BackUpBuddy – $80
If you have ever had the misfortune of losing some data on your site, whether some blog posts have become corrupted or lost during a WordPress update or other means, you will know the pain it is to either try and get it back, or worse have to recreate it on your site.
Maintaining regular backups of your site is essential for any website owner. If something goes wrong or your site gets hacked, having a backup at hand is the quickest way to get up and running again.
BackupBuddy is one of the best and most popular solutions for this as it can save and restore your site’s files and database at the touch of a button.
It can also perform backups at regular intervals and send copies to external services such as Dropbox or Google Drive for extra peace of mind.
CoSchedule – $30/month
Some quotes we’ve heard from bloggers who started using CoSchedule have been “it’s an absolute lifesaver” and “I don’t know how I managed to blog before using CoSchedule” which sums up how valuable this tool is.
Not the cheapest tool for bloggers, but rest assured the value it provides saves you a lot more time than the cost of it!
It helps with planning, writing, publishing, sharing, promoting and pretty much every part of your blog post writing schedule. It integrates with WordPress helping you plan your content with a fully-functional editorial calendar, it can then automatically share your blog post when it goes live across your social channels.
Go check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Whilst you don’t need to go crazy and buy a lot of premium plugins as the chances are you won’t get the most out of them all, if you need a better solution to solve a problem you are having, premium WordPress plugins are often the best way to go.