Plugins offer endless opportunities to improve your site. But with more than 40,000 to choose from, it can be difficult sorting the good, the bad and the ugly.
So here’s a supply of free and premium must-haves. I use them personally and they can take your site from good to great.
Yoast SEO – This is the plugin that helps people find you in Google and all other search engines. It may look hard, difficult and complicated, but if you spend 30 minutes to learn the simple steps to use it, you will find it easy, simple and incredibly rewarding.
Monarch – This plugin helps you get tons of traffic via social shares. While people are reading your articles or watching your videos, you want to make it super easy for them to share it along with your friends. This tool is part of a package that allows you to share all your social media information and get tons of social media interaction. It’s $89 a year, but it includes so many tools you already use, that it is actually savings. And it looks so professional and sexy!
Smush It – A simple plugin that automatically takes all your uploaded photos (and the ones you will upload in the future) and compresses them for optimum performance. There are so many great websites out there that take forever to upload, and we all know how hard it is to wait more than 4 seconds for a website to upload! Install it, improve your page speeds, and upload good looking images with no stress.
WP Super Cache – This is another automatic plugin that is so necessary and so easy to use. You just install the plug in and off you go. It helps with your page speeds and keeps your pages fresh.
Co-Schedule – For those of us that have different social media profiles and want to keep them organize. This plug-in helps you plan wisely as you upload new content on your site. You work the calendar so that your post gets posted across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc. in different days, at different times and even more than once. This is a must for all serious bloggers.
Bloom – The most important thing for your growth and continuity is your email list. Those who sign up for your newsletter are your most loyal fans and followers. They will buy your product, read your new material, share it with their friends. So you want to prioritize capturing people and adding them to your list. And Bloom does it beautifully. This is a sister plugin with Monarch, it’s part of their $89 a year package, and honestly it’s so good, that it helps attract new subscribers just because how professional it looks and feels.
JetPack: This is suggested from the beginning. It ties in your wordpress.org blog to a wordpress.com account while giving you access to more than 27 free tools that are super helpful and super essential for you blog. Take a few minutes to look through it and make sure you activate then one you need.
Akismet: Deals with spam. Sign up and let them do it. Easy.
Start with these eight plugins and try different ones that add to your style. But remember not to overdo adding plugins because this can affect your site’s performance and integrity.