WordPress is a much-loved platform that has helped many a blogger achieve web superstardom. What’s even more endearing, besides its user-friendliness, is the fact that there are oodles of WordPress plugins that exist to give you a wealth of feature-rich convenience. Let’s take a look at 18 of the best plugins you should install.
Jetpack may be a single plugin you can install on WordPress, but it brings with it a wealth of features. It handles email subscriptions for your blog posts and comments, contact form and even act as your spelling and grammar guide so you won’t have to be at the mercy of your grammar nazi friends anymore!
2. WordPress SEO by Yoast
Who says bloggers don’t need SEO? With the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, you basically get an SEO assistant that helps you manage (and automate!) post titles and meta descriptions, change permalinks and more. The user-friendly interface won’t repel even the newbie-st users. There are so many SEO features and so many things you can achieve with this one singular plugin that you can get rid of other plugins!
3. Disqus WordPress
Many serious bloggers swear by this attractive comment management system. Companies like POP Paddle Boards are turning to Disqus to help them manage a lively conversation on their blogs and to keep commenters happy. Comments are reflected in real time, which is a pretty big deal for those who don’t want to refresh the page every minute to follow conversations in the comments area.
4. Just Writing
Want to blog but keep getting distracted? There’s a plugin for that. Download the Just Writing plugin and distraction-free writing days will no longer be a thing of the past. You’ll also get other convenient features thrown in, such as spell checker and the ability to edit paragraph styles.
ThirstyAffiliates is the ideal tool for a blogger who wants to, or is already making money via affiliate marketing. This plugin manages your links, gives you a good-looking URL via the shortening function AND reports back to you and tells you how many times your links have been clicked.
6. Easy Image Gallery
The default WordPress gallery underwent transformations throughout the years and now boasts a pretty good-looking UI but some users may want something more. Enter Easy Image Gallery, a nifty plugin that presents features like drag-and-drop reordering, giving you the ability to add galleries to your content via convenient shortcodes.
Flare brings social sharing to a heightened level altogether. It draws attention to your content and immediately makes it irresistible, prompting all who viewed it to share. I like the Follow Me widget – it’s a blogger’s BFF that’s guaranteed to net you more followers.
Bloggers have to earn their keep, right? e-Commerce is one of the best ways to earn money from your blog, and WooCommerce (yes, they’re the cool dudes behind WooThemes) presents you with smart dashboard widgets and a visually appealing storefront. Free themes are included but any serious blogger/online store owner should check out their premium solutions.
9. Love It
Love Facebook’s ‘Like’ feature? Then you’ll love the Love It Plugin for WordPress that works just about the same as the iconic thumbs-up from one of the Internet’s most-loved social media networking sites (wow, that’s a lot of love in one sentence). Visitors get to click “Love It” on your content and you can instantly see which are your most-loved posts or pages. A pro version can also be downloaded for $6.
10. Juiz Last Tweet Widget
Bloggers who want to bring over their Twitter followers to their blog need only install this plugin. It shows a stream containing your most recent tweets, where visitors can immediately interact with it (Reply, Retweet, make Favorite).
11. WP Smush.it
Want to optimize your blog’s loading time? WP Smush.it will do the job of compressing your blog’s images into smaller sizes, a handy function if your blog is an image-heavy site.
12. Editorial Assistant by Zemanta
This plugin eliminates tedious work when it comes to searching for creative commons images, definitely a time-saving move that lets you blog effortlessly without worrying whether or not you’ll find pictures to accompany your posts.
13. WordPress Backup to Dropbox
Dropbox is indispensable to many bloggers these days, so why not use it to backup your blog’s media and database for peace of mind? Just authorize Dropbox and grant it access, and before long it’ll easily backup your blog without much effort on your end.
Ever wondered how tables are created on WordPress? Wonder no more and let TablePress deck out beautiful comparison tables on your blog in a blink of an eye, without ever needing to dabble with HTML.
15. Digg Digg
This plugin conjures up a beautiful floating bar that comes equipped with all the right share buttons to provide your blog with more followers. You can even customize its look and feel, in case you’re wondering.
16. Soliloquy Lite
Touted as the most responsive WordPress slide, this plugin lets just about anyone create stunning sliders showcasing your best images. Check out the pro version if you want to embed videos in the sliders, on top of other premium features.
17. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Besides its memorable name, this plugin delivers stupendously by allowing your blog visitors to see relevant posts after reading your current content. The latest version features thumbnail display – it’s worth checking out and is a no-brainer to install and use.
18. WP Google Fonts
Want your blog to stand out in the best possible way but don’t want to spend a ton on premium themes? You could try wooing your visitors with rich typography via the WP Google Fonts plugin. The number of fonts in Google’s database is astounding, so you may as well take advantage of it.