Over the years, there have been several plugins I’ve fallen in love with, and I use them on all my blogs (I still have other affiliate blogs out there that I use to make money!) I thought I’d share a few of them with you today, in case one of them solves a problem for you that you didn’t even know you had. 😉
Jetpack has its pros and cons, but I like it. Some people say it slows down their site, but that has not been my experience at all. I suggest you try it, and if you find that it really slows down your site, then you can make an informed decision of your own. I like that Jetpack includes a whole bunch of different things that I can use, so I don’t have to download OTHER plugins. I’m using Jetpack for things like:
– Share Buttons – They’re simple to use and look good. They show up where people expect to see them and do what they expect them to do.
– Related Posts – I really like how the Jetpack related posts features show up on my posts (at the bottom!). They aren’t as customizable as other related posts plugins I’ve tried, but they look awesome and work well.
– Mobile Theme – Does anyone remember “Mobilegeddon”? This was just a couple of months ago, when Google changed their algorithm to prefer sites that were “mobile friendly” over sites that were not. Activating the “Mobile Theme” in JetPack is the easiest way I found to guarantee my site was mobile ready, and it’s been working just fine!
2. Advanced Image Styles
In order to slim down the size of its platform, WordPress has removed some functions over time as they decide that they’re less integral to the blogging experience.
So on one hand, yay, for improving the platform, but man, it sucks if you were one of the people who was using that function! The good news is that there’s always someone who will come along and create a plugin to replace those missing functions – and that’s exactly what’s happened with Advanced Image Styles.
Back in the day, you could add borders and spacing to your images – like the borders on the images in this post – right from the WordPress image editor, but WordPress removed that function in an update last year. Fortunately, we have the Advanced Image Styles plugin to fill the void. Super easy to use, and adds that functionality right back in to your image editor.
3. What Would Seth Godin Do
It’s a funny little name for an awesome little plug-in! Seth Godin once said “One opportunity that’s underused is the idea of using cookies to treat returning visitors differently than newbies.” The WWSGD plugin allows you to do just that by creating a little welcome message that will only be shown to new visitors. The first few times you came to my blog, you likely saw this at the top of a post –
You can personalize the message and have it show as many times as you like; mine shows the first 3 times you visit. It’s a great way to personalize your message!
4. Ultimate Nofollow
If you’re anything like me, you add in quite a few affiliate links in your blog posts. You should know by now that affiliate links should have a “nofollow” attribute added – you can read here to find out why nofollow is important. Rather than having to write it into your code every time, the Ultimate NoFollow plugin changes your “Insert/edit link” dialog box so that you simply have to check the box to add the nofollow attribute.
5. TinyMCE Advanced
TinyMCE Advanced is one of my all-time most favorite plugins EVER! It allows you to customize your WordPress post editor with a whole bunch of features like font size and family, Insert tables, extra options when making lists and just a whole bunch more. I love it! You pick the features you want to use in the settings, and just drag ‘n drop to your toolbar. Mine looks a lot like this –
6. WP Smush
We all know that a fast loading site is a happy site – it makes readers happy, and it makes Google happy. That’s why I’m happy to do anything I can to speed up my blog and make it load faster. That’s exactly what WP Smush does – it “smushes” your image file sizes to make them more manageable and faster loading. Hooray!
7. WP Hide Post
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you don’t want a post to show on your homepage. That’s where WP Hide Post comes in – it installs a simple to use check box that let’s you decide how visible your post is.
For me, because I do the Pretty Pinterest Linky Party on Fridays, I could end up with quite a few of them showing on my home page since I only do one or two other posts a week, and that would look bad. So I simply check the box that says “Hide on the front page” when the party is over – and I get to keep all my more evergreen posts on the front longer.
So, there you have it. Seven plugins that, while they aren’t essential to blogging, absolutely make my blogging life easier! I found every one of them because I had a problem – I needed to do something on my blog, and didn’t know how to do it. When I searched, I found out “There’s a plugin for that!”
When you need to make something happen with your blog, one of the first things you should do is check to see if there’s a plugin that solves your problem – after all, that’s one of the biggest advantages of using WordPress.
Tell me – what’s your favorite non-essential plugin?