WordPress is one of the greatest inventions of all time; right up there with sliced bread and gummy bears. It’s the most user-friendly software platform for creating a blog or any other kind of website, and one of the coolest things about WordPress is the huge variety of plugins available. One of the most important aspects of this blogging platform is represented by WordPress plugins.
If you’re new to blogging and aren’t sure what plugins are, they’re basically like apps for your smartphone. WordPress plugins add all kinds of neat features to your blog, and it’s worth your time to experiment and try out several of them to see if they’re a good fit for you.
All of the plugins in this article are available for free, but some of them do have upgrades available for a small price.
Top 5 Most Useful WordPress Plugins To Consider
- Easy AdSense.
- Editorial Calendar.
The first couple of WordPress plugins listed here are likely to be of interest to all bloggers – especially beginners who are just trying to have a little fun with their blogs – while the last three are geared more toward experienced bloggers and those who are trying to make money with their blogs.
The Jetpack plugin for WordPress is a powerful all-in-one plugin with tons of customizable options, and it’s a fantastic choice for beginning bloggers who want lots of great features without having to constantly manage and update a whole bunch of different WordPress plugins that were created by different programmers.
Also, Jetpack is made by the folks at WordPress themselves, so you’re unlikely to experience any compatibility issues or lack of updates.
Here are just some of the things Jetpack can do for you:
- Track your traffic stats and analytics.
- Insert social media sharing buttons on posts and pages.
- Add custom contact form into any page or blog post.
- Add clickable image widgets to your sidebar and footer.
- Automatically manage blog subscribers.
Most bloggers love interacting with their readers through comments on their blog posts, but at some point fairly early in your blogging journey, you’re going to start getting comments from spammers who are just trying to get links to their products. Try not to take it personally, but don’t let those spam comments take the fun out of blogging for you.
Every blogger is going to receive spam comments on a daily basis, and Akismet is known for offering the best spam filters out there. Akismet is the leader in spam comment management, and it is one of the most popular WordPress plugins in the blogging world. Best of all, this plugin is free for most personal blogs.
3. Easy AdSense
Many bloggers are completely happy to just blog away and meet new blogging buddies, and that’s totally fine. But if you’re hoping to make some money from your blog, at some point you’ll probably want to experiment with some different methods for monetizing your blog.
Google ads are the easiest and most popular method of making money with a blog. But when you’re starting out, most bloggers don’t know how to write code. That’s why they’ll need some help with their ad layouts.
If that’s you, then you’ll probably want to have a way to help you quickly and painlessly drop the ads into your blog posts and sidebar, and Easy AdSense is one of the best WordPress plugins for monetizing your blog with Google ads. You’ll need to get an AdSense account with Google, but once you have that, this plugin makes monetization very easy and user-friendly.
The popular WordPress plugins above are great for those of you who just want to write blog posts and interact with your audience. However, if you’re planning on selling actual products through your website, then you’ll need to set up your site for e-commerce. WordPress makes this easy.
The WooCommerce plugin is a very popular way to sell products through your blog. You can include photos and descriptions of the products with different categories and layouts. Your visitors can set up a shopping cart and pay securely with their PayPal or credit card too. It really does a great job of streamlining the entire process, making product sales through your blog quick and painless.
5. Editorial Calendar
If you really get serious about blogging, you’ll eventually want to settle into a regular publishing schedule, and you might even bring some other people on board to help you run your blog. This is where the Editorial Calendar plugin makes your life so much easier.
This plugin takes all your pre-scheduled posts. It lays them out in calendar format. This makes it easy to see if there are any content gaps that you need to fill. To move items around, you can just drag and drop them into the days where you want them. Then, the plugin will automatically update the new publishing dates. This way, you don’t have to go back into each post manually to do it.
And of course, you can add other users, so that you’re all working on the same calendar.
So now that you’re blogging adventure is well on its way, the time has come to start experimenting with some plugins to take your blog to the next level. Hopefully, some of these five free WordPress plugins will be of use to you.
Have you used any of these plugins on your blog already? What do you think of them? Do you need any help figuring them out? Feel free to share your questions and experiences in the comments section below. And if you see any questions down there from other readers that you already know the answers to, please share your tips to help out our community.