If you had asked me about WordPress plugins when I started blogging, I would have looked at you with a blank stare. At the time, I was using wordpress.com, meaning plugins weren’t available to me. Plugins were just a mystery to me. Now, they are literally a daily part of my life. They control most of what happens on this blog, besides the basic structure. I’ve loved discovering new WordPress plugins and the reality that I can do just about anything on this blog with the help of a plugin. Since they’ve become such an important part of how I run my blog, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite WordPress plugins.
This is definitely one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there. SEO is so important to a blog, and this plugin makes it easy to optimize my posts to make sure search engines are finding them. I make sure the focus keyword, SEO title, and meta description for each post, and I don’t publish a post until Yoast has given me the green light that it’s well-optimized.
This plugin is the source of the social sharing buttons you see below my post title, as well as along the left side of each post. I love this plugin! Having those buttons right there makes it super easy for anyone to share my blog post and their favorite social media channel.
Revive Old Post
Instead of spending tons of time scheduling out old blog posts on Twitter, I use this plugin! Every four hours, this plugin shares a post from my archives on my twitter page. It allows me to be “active” on Twitter all the time without actually having to spend that much time on the site.
jQuery Pin It Button
See the “Pin It” button in the corner of each image on my blog? That’s all thanks to this plugin. Since Pinterest is my #1 source of blog traffic, I want to make it as easy as possible for readers to share my content.
While I’m mentioning it, why not scroll up to the image above and share this post on Pinterest!
This is the plugin I use to manage comments on my blog. I love that it’s easy for anyone to leave a comment and since it’s such a popular plugin, most people are familiar with it.
One of the things that makes me most nervous about having a self-hosted blog is the possibility of losing all of my content. To ensure this doesn’t happen, I use this plugin to schedule a regular backup of my site meaning if the worst happened and I did lose my content, I would have a recent backed-up version to go back to. We work dang hard on these blogs, so we need to make sure we’re protecting them!
Jetpack is an all-inclusive plugin that can do a ton for your blog! I only use certain features available, the most important being Protect. This protects my blog from brute force attacks. Seriously, I just looked at my Jetpack and saw that it has protected my blog from over thousands of malicious login attempts. How scary is that? There are plenty of plugins that offer this protection, but Jetpack is great because it has dozens of other available features such as social sharing, stats, displaying related posts, etc.
I use a lot of affiliate links on this site and, as other bloggers can testify to, affiliate links provided by companies typically aren’t very pretty. Each time I get a new affiliate link, I plug that into Pretty Link and create a new affiliate link that is connected to my blog. For example, say I wanted to create a link for Pretty Link itself. My link pretty link would end up being veryerin.com/prettylink – much better, right?
These are some of my favorite WordPress plugins, but they definitely aren’t the only plugins I use to help me run the blog behind the scenes!