If you had asked me about WordPress plugins a year ago, 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. I was still fairly new to blogging, and started looking into expanding my blog. 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. Here’s what the plugin looks like below my post:
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 without having to sign into an account. It also allows my readers to leave a post of their own with their comment, allowing everyone to check out other blogs!
Akismet helps me by blocking spam comments on my blog. I wouldn’t have originally thought the plugin was so necessary, but I get a LOT of spam comments!
This plugin has been a huge help in growing my email list. I have my popup set as an “exit intent” popup, meaning it doesn’t pop up until it’s clear you’re planning to leave the site. It also doesn’t show up each time someone uses my site, meaning I’m not asking you to subscribe each and every time you visit (because that can be super annoying)!
This plugin has made it super easy for me to share my content upgrades with you, such as the printable wedding planning checklist or the printable meal planner. It connects easily with my email list, allowing me to grow my email list while offering you all awesome free content!
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 3,000 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.
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!