Plugins really save my sanity. There is a lot that can be accomplished with using plugins. And if you are looking for your blog to be more functional and effective, I have come up with a short list of my favorite eight plugins for WordPress. Random number, but I use all of these, so I wanted to share!
1. WordPress Editorial Calendar
This WordPress Editorial Calendar is an AMAZING plugin that I think every blogger on WordPress should use. It is a plugin that provides a calendar for your posts. You can drag your posts to new dates, click and drag drafts, and see what your future post schedule looks like. This is a great plugin for scheduling out your post ideas and topics. Its more of an overall month glance than a list of posts. Its great for organizing and seeing all you’ve got.
2. Yoast SEO
The Yoast SEO plugin is great for those bloggers new to SEO or those who want more of a checklist of SEO tasks for each post. It gives you a prompt at the bottom of your new post window that asks for your post keyword, SEO title, meta description, and also analyzes your entire blogpost and gives you a list of recomended changes. Its seriously wonderful! For a list maker like me, its great to have something that I can just check off each item to optimize your post.
Instapress is a plugin that will display your Instagram pictures in your sidebar. You can change the settings to display however many pictures you like, randomize the photos or display recent, and change the size of the displayed photos. Its a great feed and updates very quickly so your most recent photos will be right there!
4. Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Hover Button
You can find this Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Hover Button on Melissa Esplin’s blog. Her husband developed it. It allows the reader to hover their mouse over your image on your blog, a little “P” will show in the corner, and when clicked, will prompt the reader to pin it to a Pinterest board! I love this plugin because it is so easy to install and use and for SEO reasons, it is a great way to further expose your blog to the world!
5. Pinterest RSS
The Pinterest RSS plugin allows you to show your most recent pins in your sidebar, much like the Instagram widget, with images and a small description. With a little CSS, you can also make this plugin look really pretty! I have a friend who made her pins look like little Polaroid photos in her sidebar. :) This is good so that your readers can see what you’re pinning and give further insight into what you like and what your interests are.
6. Simple Social Icons
Simple Social Icons allow blog users to easily incorporate social media buttons on their blog. It also has a great feature that makes your buttons have a separate hover color effect. I am currently using this plugin if you’d like to test the hover effect out! Its great because the colors are fully customizable, and you can have a TON of buttons! There is an area to link to many different social media sites.
This is a spam blocker. I love it! Akismet will block spam comments & trackbacks from your blog. Occasionally one will slip, but you can easily tag it as a spam comment in your comment area. It really helps for those blogs who get slammed with spam comments. I get a lot, so its nice to have something that snags them before they hit your site.
Wordfence is a plugin that will scan your entire blog and find security concern areas. It will also show you how many times (and what IPs) your block has had login attempts. I had a designer friend say that she had 450 login attempts in 20 minutes! Luckily with Wordfence, she could block their IPs and also change settings so that upon failed attempts, they would be locked out. Believe me, there is nothing worse for a blogger than to be hacked, so the security plugins are very necessary.
What are some of your “must have” plugins? Have you used any I’ve listed here?