(This is a guest post by Theodore Nwangene. Read more about him in the author bio below the post.)
WordPress is one of the best Content Management System on the internet today because of its user friendliness. I mean you can do just about anything with WordPress, thanks to the plethora of plugins that can be found in the WordPress plugin directory.
Literally speaking, for each and everything there is a plugin available. For example, if you want to create a community or a forum around your business, there is the BBPress which turns your blog into a community in no time.
I bet you that WordPress is the best platform on the internet and one that provides you with different learning curves – though to learn and master the learning curves doesn’t take days but a matter of hours depending on how serious you are.
Blogging can be difficult and easy sometimes but, once you have the necessary tools and plugins needed to run a successful blog, it makes everything much easier and less stressful for you.
So that I won’t digress into teaching you what I taught my new students yesterday “Introduction to WordPress”, I will just delve straight into the topic – Top 7 Must Have WordPress Plugins, and I am sure they will indeed transform your blog into a rockstar.
Top 7 Must Have WordPress Plugins
It is one of the first plugins I usually install on my sites, including the ones that belong to my clients. That’s to tell you how I love this plugin.The first time I came across Andy Bailey’s CommentLuv Plugin was in 2013 when I launched fully into doing blogging for business, and I have never looked back since then.
Commentluv plugin fosters community and if like me, you love getting feedbacks and have a community of people that conglomerates around your blog, then installing this nifty plugin will be your best bet.Let’s face it. You can’t pay back the people who visit your website in any currency of the world but what you can pay them is showing a link to their recent blog post if they are a blogger.
See what I mean:
Side Effects of Installing CommentLuv Plugin
• Your blog will attract plenty of comments
• Your blog will attract annoying spammers
• Your blog will attract traffic that may cause you to upgrade your hosting server
• Your blog will attract more broken links.
There are of course so many other side effects, but these are what comes to mind right now. But you can always count the odds.If you’d love to install this plugin on your site, there are two ways in which you can do so.
The first one is to visit the WordPress directory and use their search box to search for “Commentluv”, and it will load the plugin out for you. Then you can click to download it to your computer or PC. After this, you can login to your website’s dashboard – hover your mouse to the plugin and click “Add New” and upload the plugin and install & activate it.
Now, that’s the long process of installing a plugin. I like the second option which is to simply search from within your dashboard whatever plugin you are looking for – hover your mouse to plugin, then Add New, type “CommentLuv” into the search box, then click install & activate.
That’s all. You now have Andy’s powerful CommentLuv plugin installed.
Click here to download the plugin.
Have you ever visited a site and saw that people commented using their Facebook profiles? Did you get likes, but how is this possible?
Well, that’s the power of Facebook Comment Plugin.This comment is one of the many plugins I have installed on my website, and I can tell you that I love and appreciate the fact that I had it installed on my blog. See there are days when the default WordPress comment will disappoint me when it does not accept comments from my readers who have keenly read my articles and are eager to leave me their feedbacks since they know I appreciate their comments than I do my post.
But you know what never fails?
Facebook Comment Plugin!
It never fails because all your readers who need to post their comments on your blog is to be online on Facebook with the same browser in which they are using to surf your blog.The screenshots below will explain what I mean.
As you can see, the screenshot shows a blog using this plugin. I haven’t installed it on my main blog, but I’m using on some of my blogs and love it.
This plugin will also help to boost your social traffic beyond your imagination once installed.
Like to have it installed on your website? Follow the same process as highlighted above or download it here.
#3. WP Smush
I like to think that using an image in the body of a text is some sort of mini-exegesis and that it is pretty important if you want to awe the minds of your readers actually.
Don’t people connect more with images?Of course yes! I love quotes, and I love this one that reads something like “Images speak a thousand words.”And this is true because I’ve had to limit the time spent in writing and explaining why I did A to get C to my clients by merely sending them screenshots. It saves both of us what is considered the most precious of God’s gifts – time!
Though we’ve here established the fact that it’s important to use images in our blog posts, I should also tell you that uploading images have a way of slowing down your blog, which may turn out to hurt your blog’s loading speed and ultimately lead to scarcity of blog users.
This is where WP Smush comes into play in that it trims down megabytes to kilobytes and still keeps the image quality intact and untampered.
When you do a one-time installation of WP Smush and enable it to smush down images in the options settings automatically, you will find out that every image you upload from them will be automatically smushed and still retain their qualities and hence, have a fast loading website.
Click here to download WP Smush
#4. Contact Form 7:
Have you ever visited a website and liked what they shared that you thought of writing the blogger a mail to thank them for writing that helpful guide and were unable to contact them because they don’t have the option to communicate with them?
Trust me; I am disappointed most times when I visit blogs that don’t have the option to contact them 1) because I feel it is unprofessional and 2) because I feel it’s the best way to foster a reader-to-author relationship. I hate it when I don’t get that user-friendliness.Now, bloggers who are into Google Adsense will attest to the fact that one of the many criterions Google use in approving your website for Adsense is having a “Contact” page. Am I right?
I mean there are many reasons why you might want to consider creating a contact page and one of them is what I shared above, reader-to-author relationship. Another one will be to allow people to contact you in case they want to make an inquiry on how to work with you on a project and what have you.
Knowing how important creating a simple contact form page is, you will want to install & activate the Contact Form 7 Plugin which will automatically generate you a code, which you can then copy and paste into your visual editor where you have your contact page.
That’s easy, right?
Well, I nod yes.
You can get this plugin here.
#5. Broken Link Checker:
I hate broken links! I hate them because they have this way of rendering you unprofessional in the eyes of your readers, plus the fact that too many broken links hurt your site’s overall SEO.There is a lot of talk on this one, and I will not like to go deep into it but you know it’s bad and may get you penalised if Google’s bot finds too many of it on your site.
The best way to get this fixed is installing this nifty plugin which will scan deep into your website’s content and locate all of the broken links and also seek to either delete, unlink or fix them – depending on the action you allow it perform.
I bet you’ve heard again and again the mantra, “There is money on the list.”Yes, there is money in the list and one way to build a responsive list will be to deploy the use of SumoMe which to the best of my knowledge is the best email building plugin out there.
I’ve used a lot of list building plugins on my website, but I can tell you categorically that SumoMe has been the most converting on the list and closely following it would be PlugMatter Feature Box Plugin.There are a plethora of options to choose from SumoMe, some of which you will see in the screenshot below.
As you can see from the image, you can apply any of the options from the SumoMe suit on your blog and begin to see a rippling effect take place on your blog from getting more email subscribers to getting your content shared on social networking sites.
You can also decide to use SumoMe’s contact form in place of Contact Form 7. Use their Google Analytics Plugin to track the number of pages views your site is getting, which of your content people are engaging with and the likes.
Copy pasters are also forced to share your contents on social media. You also get the chance of your images getting shared. How about a “BUY” button option?
I believe you know and have agreed with me on the imperativeness of Sumome to your blog’s growth and sudden transformation.
#7. W3 Total Cache:
This article will be incomplete if I fail to mention this plugin.
W3 Total Cache is a life saver, and I can tell you it singlehandedly transformed my blog into a rockstar when I installed it a couple of weeks ago.I got complaints from three of my loyal readers about how slow my blog has become, and I immediately sorted out ways in which I can quickly and easily optimise my blog since I can pride myself as one who has a hang on the technical aspect of blogging.
Well, you can trust Google. I got redirected to some cool websites who had painstakingly written about ways in which blogs can be optimised for speed.Oh just before I delve into my findings and a brief talk on this well-designed plugin, I will advise that you visit Google’s PageInsight or GTMetrix to check your blog’s current load speed.
So let’s talk about W3 Total Cache.
Immediately I installed W3 Total Cache; I noticed a spike in my blog’s traffic. Obviously, people have started getting quick access to my blog compared to the difficult condition it was in a week before.Merely installing the plugin is sure to cause some changes in your blog’s load speed but going above that to configure it will further create the magic you are sure to experience.
This is one of the most important plugins every marketer should not be taken as a joke.
I believe you already understand how vulnerable a blog can be at times. You might actually think your blog is highly secured, and no hacker can break in, but that may not be the case forever. My blog was hacked some years ago even when I had all the necessary security plugins installed.To be honest, I almost lost my blog if not for the fact that I have some backup of my database. It is, therefore, advisable that you have a way of backing up your blogs database in case of any uncertainty.
However, with a plugin like BackupWordpress, you don’t have to worry. This plugin will back up your entire site including your database and all your files on a schedule that suits you.
You can decide for it to be emailing your database to you periodically, depending on what you want.
These are the all-important seven must have WordPress plugin that will indeed transform your blog into a rockstar. I am sure you find it resourceful and as well as helpful plugin additions.
You can decide to install 1, 3, or all of this plugins. In any case, I am sure it will help turn your blog into a powerhouse in no time.
A fast blog is the one where more people read and make comments.
An engaging blog is one where customers contact you to do some kind of business.
To your blogging success.
Image courtesy:Screenshots from corresponding Plugin websites
Theodore Nwangene is a Freelance Writer and on a journey to help bloggers and entrepreneurs build a better and profitable blog, increase visibility and boost their online authority. He is currently writing a kindle book titled “21 Writing Hacks”, a cheat sheet for writing compelling articles that will open doors and let you get more Clients. Join His Waiting List Here and get the book free once it’s ready