3 Plugins You Can’t Live Without
Do you feel bombarded with the amount of plugins available and really don’t know where to start with your new blog? Whilst there are many fantastic ones that you can add, there are 3 main plugins that will be beneficial for every blog and in every niche.
What is a plugin?
In simple terms, a plugin is a tool or piece of software that can be added to your blog. Each plugin carries a specific purpose and will give you added functionality. Most plugins are available as free downloads, and to install you simply visit the developer, download the plugin and upload via your blog dashboard.
Whilst it sounds like a great idea to have lots of different plugins to serve different purposes, choosing them should be a selective process. It is not a great idea to have too many on your blog because this can severely slow down the site speed. It is recommended that you really asses what you would like and why and ensure that you download only the ones that you need.
These are however 3 plugins are a MUST HAVE on your blog and it is those that we are going to look at today!
As soon as you start receiving blog comments, you will start to receive spam! Under no circumstances do you want spam to appear on your blog, it serves no purpose, other than to the spammer! Most spam comments are there as a way of getting a link published. Some people even hire people to spread spam around to ensure search engine’s see more links pointing to their site, in an attempt to gain new readers from those links.
It is a good idea to monitor comments before you publish them to control the types of links that are going to be attached to your blog. However the more popular your blog becomes, the more comments you are going to receive and you really don’t want to waste your time sorting through spam comments. Hence the first essential plugin for your site!
A great free anti-spam plugin for your blog is Akismet. This will segregate your comments so that you don’t have to. Sounds worthwhile don’t you think?
We have already touched on how important SEO is for your blog. It is therefore a great idea to have an SEO plugin to help put you on the right track, especially when you are starting out. Some examples of SEO plugins are “All in one SEO” and “Yoast”, but there are certainly many more.
When you write your post, the plugin will have an SEO area which will control what the search engines will pick up from your SEO efforts. Yoast for example will highlight targeted areas for SEO keywords and colour code it to make it incredibly clear where you need to improve. If you can optimise your post effectively, your blog will benefit from it.
Social Media Plugins
There is no point in having a blog if you are not on social media. Social media is absolutely crucial for any online success, and the wider you can build your networks, the greater benefit you will see. In order to build your social media profiles from your blog, you need to show readers where you are.
Social media plugins increase both engagement and sharing of your blog content. The easier you make this for people, the higher the shares you will get. Let’s take a moment to think about this. Attached to this post you will see our sharing buttons. If you are thinking about sharing this post on Facebook or Google+ for example, has it been made easy for you to simply click the button right in front of you? Would you consider sharing it, if you had to sign into your social media profile, copy and paste the link and then share? Probably not! It is for that very reason you MUST have sharing buttons easily located on your blog.
Secondly, you will also be aiming at increasing your following’s on all social media profiles. You therefore also need to have buttons easily located for people to click and follow you. Basically, the easier you make it for people to follow you and share your content, the more it will happen!
You certainly don’t need to have any technical knowledge to install plugins onto your blog and they can easily be downloaded from your dashboard. You will find plugins that are both free and ones you pay for, but the free plugins will be good enough to get you started. Plugins are also aimed at saving you time and effort, so they are well worth downloading.
Do you have these three basic plugins uploaded into your blog? Are there any other plugins you feel you couldn’t live without? Please share with us below.