WordPress is the premiere platform for bloggers, partly because of its broad selection of plugins to help customize each site. Knowing which add-ons are useful, and of those useful ones which actually work, is the only way to effectively filter through the options.
Triberr connects bloggers to others who share the same interests, allowing users to share each other’s posts on social media. When a post goes up on WordPress, it’s automatically submitted to Triberr, along with an image. Articles can be approved right from the WordPress dashboard, too.
2. WordPress SEO by Yoast
SEO is key to having an optimized blog. Search engines need to know what articles are about so that people can find content. The WordPress SEO plugin monitors one specific keyword and then a rating system shows how well a post is optimized for that word. The tool checks for keyword density, image optimization and readability score, among other areas. The basic meta description can be changed for when posts go on Facebook and Google Plus.
3. Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker is a great plugin to use when moving a blog from one host (like Blogger) to WordPress. Whenever the WordPress dashboard is open, the plugin scans for broken links.
By visiting “Settings,” then “Link Checker” and clicking the “General” tab, a blogger can see how many broken links were found. A broken link has to be manually replaced with the original link, but just once, because duplicate links are automatically updated.
4. Affiliate Link Cloaking
Affiliate marketing is one of the primary ways to make money from a blog. One thing that stands in a blogger’s way, though, is that the links can turn people off. Affiliate Link Cloaking shortens the link and uses the blog’s domain name so that people won’t shy away from clicking it.
6. nRelate Related Content
Visitors need to stay put on a blog for some time in order to reduce bounce rates. One way to encourage visitors to stay a while is to display specific posts (recent, featured or popular) in the sidebar. With nRelate Related Content, bloggers can choose a template for the sidebar display and then make visual modifications within the template.
7. WP Google Fonts
The standard fonts that come with most WordPress themes can get boring and it’s hard to customize a blog with limited font options. With the WP Google Fonts plugin, bloggers can access Google’s directory of over 500 fonts. Once a font is chosen, you can select where to use it on the blog.
8. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache helps improve browser caching for people who have already visited a blog in the past. Images and scripts are saved so that visitors don’t have to load them every time they visit the site. For tech-savvy bloggers, there are plenty of customization options, but the default selections work well, too.
Note: If both CloudFlare and W3 Total Cache are being used, make sure to enable the option in the W3 Total Cache’s settings labeled “Network Performance and Security Powered by CloudFlare.”
9. Advanced Recent Posts Widget
The Advanced Recent Posts Widgets lets bloggers decide how to display recent posts. Recent blog posts can be displayed with small excerpts, by comment count, as thumbnails or just by their titles. For bloggers who are familiar with CSS, style changes can be made.