Starting a blog isn’t easy, whether it’s for your own personal use or for delivering more useful content to your audience or customer base. While WordPress is a robust blogging service just on its own, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of WordPress plugins for blogs.
These plugins transform your blog and your workflow, adding things like embedded video, image galleries, affiliate links, social media feeds, and even speeding up your entire site.
Take a look at these plugins that could transform how you blog.
1. Easy Affiliate Links
If you’re unfamiliar, affiliate links are an interesting and sometimes effective way to make a little extra cash on your blog. An affiliate link is a link to a product where you will receive a portion of the proceeds if someone comes from your site to the product page in question. Obviously, the amount of money you can make depends on the size of your audience, their purchasing proclivities, and your own relation to the products in question.
Easy Affiliate Links is a WordPress plugin that simplifies the process and gets you making money faster.
As you can see from the image, the plugin adds a small link icon to the normal blog editor for adding affiliate links. The plugin is free, but the premium versions ($29 for a single site or $119 for multisite) add access to more robust analytics.
2. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is practically a must-have WordPress plugin for blogs. Essentially, it’s a plugin designed to speed up your website and to make it load faster. It does this by serving static HTML pages to visitors instead of the dynamic PHP pages that, while useful, tend to be extremely resource-intensive.
Users who are logged in to your site and interacting with it on more than a surface level are still served the PHP pages, but WP Super Cache makes sure you’re not wasting bandwidth on window shoppers, while still making your site perfectly accessible to newbies.
3. Yoast SEO
No list of helpful WordPress plugins for blogs is complete without Yoast SEO. Yoast is so ubiquitous that it almost goes without mentioning. The primary purpose of this tool is to guide your SEO efforts, ensuring that your posts will have a leg-up in the fight for recognition on Google and other search engines.
The Yoast SEO plugin creates a series of fields at the end of the drafting area of your blog post, and it dynamically rates your blog post against current SEO best practices. It will let you know if you didn’t use the focus keyword enough, or if you didn’t include it in subheadings. It will judge the length of your blog post, the quality of the slug, and even the general density and readability of the text.
4. Google XML Sitemaps
Like Yoast SEO, the primary purpose of the Google XML Sitemap is to improve your SEO. However, instead of offering you tips on writing and keywords, Google XML Sitemap creates a map of your site to make it easier for search engines to index, thus improving the discoverability of your blog.
In addition to providing a neat XML sitemap for Google’s spiders, it also sends an update to search engines when you create a new page, blog, or add additional content to your website.
5. Fancier Author Box
Fancier Author Box is a fun WordPress plugin for blogs. Essentially, it’s a plugin that alters the standard, ho-hum author byline area and turns it into a miniature contact page. As you can see by the example below, Fancier Author Box allows you to add all of your social media apps as small icons under your photo, as well as creates a tab that allows readers to find your latest posts quickly.
You can also include links to a home page, links to a company, and even a title or job position listed under your name fairly easily. The best part is that this fancier author box will appear on every single blog page, turning every blog into a contact page.
6. All-in-One WP Migration
Even if you’re not looking to move your site to a different host just yet, it’s good to know you always have the option. But that’s not the only reason All-in-One WP Migration is a useful WordPress plugin. It also comes with a robust host of backup features, which can ensure that your blog or website can survive an accidental crash or malicious attack.
This backup of your site can go to your own server, or All-in-One can pair with popular cloud services like Amazon S3, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.
7. Ninja Forms
Ninja Forms is a free WordPress plugin for blogs that allows hosts and developers to create unique contact forms for their website. Whether you’re collecting donations, customer info, uploaded files, engaging customer surveys, volunteer information, fan letters, reader questions and polls, or any form of contact information you can think of, Ninja Forms can help.