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If you’re a WordPress user, you’ve most likely heard of plugins! But what are they?
Essentially, a plugin is a piece of software with a group of functions that can be added to your site to extend functionality. Plugins make it simple for users to add new features without knowing anything about code. For example, just by using a plugin, you can add e-commerce to your site, track stats with Google Analytics, or add a newsletter signup optin on your blog.
Now, it’s important to note that plugins work a little bit differently for WordPress.com and WordPress.org users. If you’re a .com user, you’re limited to the number of plugins that WordPress.com offers. However, .org users can use any plugin offered by independent developers and companies. So, just keep this in mind!
Here at Bloguettes, we have quite a bit of experience with plugins. There are a ton of options out there, but there are definitely a handful that we think anyone who has a blog on WordPress should know about! Here they are:
Wanna boost your blog’s SEO and get your content found organically? Yoast is the plugin for you!
Once installed, the Yoast plugin will give you a preview of what your post will look like in Google search results, and it will analyze your content and give suggestions for ways to improve your SEO. So how does this work?
Yoast gives you SEO recommendations based on two factors: your focus keyword and meta description. Your focus keyword is what you want your page to rank for, so essentially, it’s a super short summary of what your article is about. Think of it this way–when people search for that specific term in Google, you want your page to be as close to the top as possible in search results! Yoast will encourage you to include this term in your post title, headlines, alt image tags, slug, and throughout your content. The plugin will then analyze your meta description, which is a short, 160 character or less summary of the blog post in which you include your keyword!
Once you’ve put together a post in WordPress, Yoast will give you an overall SEO rating (this is indicated by a red, green, or yellow light). It will then give you a list of specific ways to improve your SEO for that particular article, like so:
Another key feature of Yoast is that it gives you the option to customize the Facebook image that pulls when you share your post! You can also modify the title and descriptions that appear when you share the post on Facebook or Twitter, so you have maximum control over the way your post appears across a variety of platforms! However, keep in mind that this feature (among several others) is only available by purchasing Yoast Premium. So how much does this cost? Here’s the price breakdown:
Another popular plugin on the market is Jetpack! Jetpack is a single plugin that gives you the most powerful WordPress.com features by hooking your self-hosted WordPress.org site to WordPress.com’s infrastructure. This allows you to benefit from traffic and SEO tools, security and backup services, access to 165 professional themes (for free!), easy social sharing, and more. (To learn about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, click here).
With Jetpack, you can install over two dozen plugins with just one click! You can also interact with millions of WordPress.com users and boost your site’s performance by freeing up your servers. Plus, you can receive regular updates, enhancements, and troubleshooting from WordPress.com’s support team. In sum, Jetpack is ideal for anyone who built their site with WordPress.org but wants to connect it to WordPress.com to receive all of these benefits!
Did you build your site on WordPress.com? These features are already bundled into your site, so you won’t need Jetpack!
So how much does Jetpack cost? Jetpack is completely free to install and use, however, there is a paid plan that offers some additional features:
Now, before we jump in and start talking about this plugin, keep in mind that Jetpack already has the related posts feature built in! However, if you’re not a Jetpack user, installing and activating this plugin will do the trick!
When someone lands on your site, you want them to stay as long as possible, right? This is where the Related Posts plugin comes in. By downloading it, you can populate related posts to the footer of your content, which can increase your internal traffic by up to 10%!
So how exactly can this plugin boost your internal traffic? Say someone lands on your article about “5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Summer.” After reading the post, they scroll to the bottom and see a “Related Posts” feed in their footer, where an article about “The Best Green Smoothie” appears. They click on the post, read it, and end up purchasing your recipe e-book!
This is a perfect example of where the Related Posts plugin can come in handy. By increasing the time your readers spend on your site, not only will they read more of your content, but you’re more likely to convert and make a sale! It’s that simple.
The best part about this plugin? It’s FREE!
Here’s an example of what a related posts footer can look like:
The Gravity plugin, or Gravity Forms, is the easiest tool to create advanced forms for your WordPress powered site. It integrates with WordPress with ease and can be used for contact forms, WordPress post creation, calculators, employment applications and more.
Having a plugin like Gravity is so important, because you need to give your readers as many ways as possible to contact you! Even if you share your email address, we also recommend having a contact form on your blog because it’s user-friendly, looks professional, and is convenient! Plus, it can save you from the spam that you might receive by just placing your email address on a contact page.
Now, it’s important to note that Gravity Forms does come with a price tag. However, if you’re planning to create a wide variety of forms on your site, it might be worth the investment. If you’re looking to just create a quick contact form, though, try a plugin like WPForms!
Did you know that 70% of website visitors who leave your site will never return? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could convert these visitors into subscribers or even customers? This is where a plugin like OptinMonster can help!
OptinMonster comes with an easy-to-use form builder that allows you to create on-brand, high converting optin forms to grow your email list and gain subscribers. With this plugin, you can create many different types of optins including WordPress popup forms, floating header and footer bars, slide-ins, sidebar forms, after post forms, in-line forms, mobile-specific forms, welcome gates, and more! The possibilities are truly endless.
Pinterest “Pin It” Button
Pinterest is so much more than just a place to share recipes and pretty photos. With over 70 million users, it’s proven to be a huge traffic driver for blogs! If you’re looking to take advantage of the power of Pinterest, this plugin is a must!
By installing the Pinterest “Pin It” Button plugin, you can add a “Pin it” button to your posts in a breeze. This saves you all of the time you would need to spend copying and pasting code throughout your site! Plus, your site visitors can pin your articles with a click of a button, bringing you more exposure!
Overall, this plugin is a great way to increase social engagement, save time (by not having to update as many photos on your site), display your content your way, and keep your site looking fresh! Plus, you might gain a follower or two! Here’s an example of how you can display your Instagram feed on your blog using this plugin:
Last but not least, we recommend that all bloggers install the YouTube Embed plugin! This plugin will ensure that every video you embed on your site will adjust to the appropriate screen size. This functionality does not come with a majority of WordPress themes, so it’s very important to use a plugin like this to make the embedding process a breeze!
On the hunt for the perfect WordPress theme? We have the theme just for you! Introducing Lena–a gorgeous, minimal WordPress.org theme designed with the blogger and entrepreneur in mind. Check it out and view the live demo here!
What are some of your favorite WordPress plugins? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re at it, be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our latest posts!