One of the reasons I decided to migrate to WordPress.org is the fact that it allows users to install plugins. What are WordPress plugins, you ask? DailyBloggingTips.com defines plugins as:
Pieces of code created with the purpose of expanding the functionality of a software, in this case of WordPress. There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins already created, solving a wide range of problems and needs.
Last time I checked, WordPress.com does not offer plugin installation and Blogger’s gadget choices are limited. So when I was still blogging from Blogger, I often had to hard code customizations I want on my design. When I transferred my blog to WordPress.org, I was given a break from coding with all the plugins available! Most of them are free and the paid ones are not that heavy on the pocket. Awesomesauce!
Note: You need your own hosting account to be able to install WordPress.org. Check out my Bloggy Mommy post about self-hosting here.
Anyway, I have about 30 plugins installed on Mom On Duty, but I’d like to share 8 favorites that can help you start when you do decide to migrate to WordPress.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Your Blog
1. BackUpWordpress | This is extremely important because it backs up your entire site – yep, all databases and files – on a schedule you set. It comes in handy when you need to restore your site after you made (accidental) changes. Believe me, you NEED this.
2. Google Analytics | If you haven’t set up a Google Analytics account for your blog (it doesn’t matter if you’re using free hosting or a paid one), then you’re missing out on A LOT of valuable information that can help you improve your blog. Are you wondering what keywords are leading readers to your blog? How about which social media platforms or blogs are referring to people to your blog? It’s very easy to set up a new account at Google Analytics–and linking it to your blog is made much easier by using a plugin!
3. Social Warfare | In my eight years of blogging, I have to say that this is THE best social sharing plugin I have ever tried. At just $24 per year (they’re having a price hike very soon so click on the link to lock in the current price!), you get access to customizable social media sharing buttons and analytics.
Prior to using Social Warfare, I used a combination of plugins for my social sharing needs. It was a bit frustrating because not all these plugins allow users to customize per social network. Plus, I was tired of not having control over how my social shares look outside of my blog.
Enter Social Warfare. What makes it stand out from the rest:
- Design choices
- Various display options
- ‘Click to tweet’ feature
- Analytics tracking (super handy!)
- Control social shares display
- Bitly support
- And more!!!
I’ll stop right here before I write a whole blog on why I love Social Warfare. If you want to take control of your blog’s social sharing system, get Social Warfare today!
4. Contact Form 7 | Of all the contact forms I’ve tried on MomOnDuty.com, this is by far my most favorite. Aside from serving its purpose of allowing its users to easily create and embed forms, what I really love about this form is its Mailchimp integration. What this does is that it adds whoever uses your contact form to a designated Mailchimp list (with their consent, of course)! This is uber important if you’re working on growing your e-mail list. Cool, yeah?
5. Comment Reply Notification | Keep discussions going on your blog by installing this plugin. This notifies commenters about new replies to their comments, giving them an easy way to keep track of the conversation.
6. Jetpack | This plugin has soooo many features. But what I like most about it is that it connects my blog to a WordPress.com account, enabling me to use features that are available for WordPress.com users only. Jetpack also enables blog owners to automatically share blogs they publish on social media. I’m all about automation so this is pretty awesome!
7. Yoast SEO | Although I won’t argue that content is king, I believe that your content needs a little push to get it out there. Aside from sharing your blogs on social platforms, one way to get organic traffic to your blog is through SEO. I love Yoast SEO because it makes optimizing posts as simple as 1, 2, 3. Just pick a keyword then it gives you suggestions on how to better optimize your post so it’ll show up in search engines.
Thanks to SEO, I get over 10,000 users per month to MomOnDuty.com through online searches!
8. Broken Link Checker | Hate getting 404 pages while browsing? When I encounter dead pages in a website, I usually find myself just leaving the blog. To help you prevent losing readers because of broken links, Broken Link Checker scans your whole website for broken links and notifies you if any are found. If there are broken links, all you need to do is go to the Broken Link Checker page in your WordPress.org dashboard and edit the broken links from there. It’s that easy! No need to edit your post from the editor!
There you go! 8 WordPress plugins for your blog! Are you blogging on WordPress.org too? What are your favorite plugins?
Bloggy Mommy is a section dedicated to tips and tricks that will help fellow bloggers improve and maximize their blogs. And since I am just a mom blogger who likes to DIY things on the blog, all Bloggy Mommy posts are written in a language that not-so-techy bloggers will (hopefully) understand. If you think I’m talking gibberish, please let me know. :D
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