So, you’ve read our article on starting a succesful blog, you have your spanking new (.ME) domain and are starting a WordPress blog. Well, what you need now are some plugins. They are an essential part of creating a customized experience for both your self and your readers and they make blog maintenance and managing so much easier.
A word of advice: do not get carried away! There are many great plugins and a typical rookie mistake is installing everything and anything that meet your fancy, but thet will only slow your blog down and make it overcrowded. Chose the ones you really need and install those that will make your blog experience better for you and your readers.
Yoast WordPress SEO
This is definitely one of the more popular free plugins. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and what it does is tell you how „searchable“ your blog post is and how to make it better so you get more readers via search engines. WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great tool for that.
Star Ratings WordPress plugin
You want to now how much your readers enjoy your posts, don’t you? Star Ratings WordPress plugin lets them rate your posts with up to 5 stars. You can also get thee ‘Top Rated’ widget that will show you the top rated posts, pages and comments in the sidebar.
JetPack Social Sharing
Sharing is caring, all blog readers know that and they want to share their favorite content with friends. This is one of the things JetPack allows you to do- you can easily add icon or text social sharing links to your posts so your visitors can share the love (and the content)
Contact Form 7
You also want your readers to be able to contact you, because blogging is a two way street, believe it or not, and visitor feedback is essential. Contact Form 7 makes straightforward contact forms with fields like name, subject, and message and you can enable email confirmations.
Really Simple CAPTCHA
Now, if you are installing a contact form (and you should!), also install a plugin like Really Simple Captcha to keep all the spam out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, spam is everywhere, but it is easily prevented.
YARPP stands for yet another related posts plugin, but it should be called „one of the most popular related posts plugins“ on WordPress.org. This plugin is a great way to add thumbnails for related posts, pages and custom post types that will keep the readers on your site and let them discover more and more great content. Provided that you supply the content, right?
Lightbox Gallery does exactly what the name implies- it adds the lightbox functionality to your galleries and your can choose a Highslide JS display option. It is pretty, cool and simple to navigate, which is pretty much all you need to know about it.
HTML5 Jquery Audio Player
Does your blog need a good musical background? HTML5 Jquery Audio Player is the way to jazz (or rock, r’n’b, country, blues) things up a bit. It is a trendy looking audio player plugin which works on all modern browsers and lets you upload single tracks or whole playlists. Just don’t be that person who blasts Christmas song s in November.
If you have some suggestions, feel free to contribute and if you have some questions, don’t hesitate to ask!