If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, you’ve heard WordPress come up in the discussions or search results. If you’re a veteran blogger you’re most likely on the WordPress platform. One of the most enticing things about WordPress is that there’s literally hundreds of plugins available to add functionality to your site. Now with soo many options out there, how do you drill down to what’s needed, what’s junk? Well I’m gonna share with you plugins you should have if you’re using the WordPress platform.
SEO is critical, because what good is having a blog with content or a website nobody sees? Yoast SEO helps analyze your content (posts, pages, etc) to help improve their ranking in search engines. Down to the readability of your content. Sometimes it’s not a fan of my conversational tone but it does help with making sure my descriptions and keyword usage are up to par, always.
Google Analytics by Monster Insights
In the blogging, brand partnership game metrics matter. If you have a press kit, or do any type of work or plan to with brands they want to know your website metrics. Enter (well install lol) Google Analytics by Monster Insights. Installing this plugin helps get those metrics, let’s you know the traffic posts are getting, how visitors are accessing your site ( mobile or desktop), even where your visitors are geographically. It’ll even tell you how long people stay on the site and also if it notices problems on your site. It’s really easy to configure too!
Protect your site!!
Now we have two I recommend for this task. Now clearly you have to log into your WordPress site to make changes, but because there are so many plugins offered by third parties, there is a greater chance for vulnerabilities..ways hackers or malicious code can get into your site.
Ignore the strong “r” that you’re trying to use to pronounce it lol.. The Sucuri plugin helps secure your site through :
- File integrity monitoring (scanning wordpress installation files for changes, added files.
- Remote malware scanning for malicious code
- Audits events (logging of events, and possible suspicious ones)
- Website firewall, extra layer of security for your site
- Security hardening ( bolster security options already implemented along with additional settings)
Another good security plugin is Wordfence Security. It tracks logins and events within your wordpress installation. Can enable two factor authentication for your site. Captcha for you login page to prevent bot login attempts. Malware scanner, ability to blacklist IPs, checks site for suspicious content, and then some. It’s also free for unlimited sites. They also offer a premium version.
In this age of ever evolving technology it’s a basic thing that you should have implemented on your site.
Shortcodes are WordPress specific codes that allow you to do things or add style/functionality with just a little bit of work and a tiny bit of code. Now I’ve had this plugin before the modernized Gutenberg editor. It enables me to add lists, fancy quotes, buttons, and more inside my blog posts. I like to break things up, jazz up my articles, because sometimes a straight up and down page of reading is well…boring. ShortCodes Ultimate has 50 shortcodes to help with that, and it works with the new Gutenberg editor.
Advanced Gutenberg is also another plug-in that’ll give you expanded features to make your posts more engaging. Because sometimes it’s not just the content but how it’s presented.
Looking to add an additional page to your site?
Now clearly nobody is expecting you to use CSS or any other form of code to design another page, but you also don’t just want a blank page with just text. So my favorite page builder for WordPress is Elementor. It let’s you visually build a page, so you can see the elements being added and adjust. It’s drag and drop, which is easy for most people to use.
Need help with getting your terms and conditions setup?
If you’re looking for a plugin that simply adds the cookie banner to your site for free, Cookie Notice is a good one.
So at the very least I hope you install the security plug-ins, and if you’ve come across any great new plugins drop them below? Have questions about a plugin, let me know!