My Current Favorite WordPress Plugins
These are the Plugins I Cannot Do Without
Now that I’ve shared the importance of consistently blogging, I thought I would take a few moments to quickly post my favorite WordPress plugins. I use the free versions of the plugins featured here. (Yay!)
I use plenty of good plugins that are not mentioned here. This post includes only the plugins I rely on the most to keep this blog interesting and useful to you.
My Current Favorite WordPress Plugins
1. Akismet Anti-spam
There’s nothing worse than publishing a blog post on Monday evening, and waking up Tuesday morning to a bunch of spam comments. Akismet all but eliminates that problem by placing a firewall between your blog (and some comment forms) and spammers (otherwise known as the pond scum of the Internet).
If I could only get one plugin for my blog, it would be this one.
2. Better Click to Tweet
The Better Click to Tweet plugin (not to be confused with Click to Tweet plugin) makes it easy for readers to share your content on Twitter. All you do is paste the content you want people to Tweet into a text block inside the Better Click to Tweet block located inside the body of your blog post.
You can add whatever text you’d like into the block, including desired text, more links, and your Twitter handle. Your reader can edit the Tweet before posting. Try it below.
When a reader clicks that block of text, a Tweet from their account (they’ll need to log into Twitter if they are not already) opens up in a new window. The Tweet contains everything you pre-loaded and automatically adds link back to your blog post.The Better Click to Tweet plugin makes it easy for my blog readers to quickly and easily share my blog posts on Twitter. Check out more of my favorite WordPress plugins at this link Click To Tweet
3. Instagram Feed
Instagram Feeds allows you to extend the color of your Instagram feed to your website. It’s a great way to add beauty to your site without you having to do anything extra. A click on any of the images will take your reader to your Instagram feed where they can engage with you there.One of my favorite WordPress plugins is Instagram feed. It adds color and pizzazz to the bottom of each page at my site without being distracting. Click To Tweet
While you can display the feed anywhere you’d like, I display it at the bottom of my pages so as not to distract from my main content. I want it to look nice, but not be so noticeable that it causes people to click away from my website prematurely.
The one thing I dislike about the blogging process is having to optimize images so they do not slow down my site load times. Thankfully, Smush easily re-sizes images to the perfect size, preserving your load times. Every second counts when you are trying to maintain the attention of your readers!
5. Genesis Simple Share
Genesis Simple Share is a simple and easy to use social sharing plugin for Genesis child themes. You can see how mine look at the bottom of this post. I love the functionality of the share icons, but I don’t love how they look in the native from. I hired someone to customize mine to match my branding and design, and you may wish to do the same.
To see how the icons work (regardless of how they are styled), you can share this post by clicking the icon representing the social media outlet of your choice at the bottom of this post. Doing so will open a window to that social media outlet, and you’ll see how easy it is to share this post. (Please and thank you?!)
6. Duplicate Posts
With Duplicate Posts, whenever I want to publish a blog post using a format I have previously used, I simply log into the published post, click the “copy to a new draft” button, and a duplicate of the post is created and saved as a new draft. I can then quickly edit the template with new content.
As a Lifestyle CEO, my time is my most valuable asset and the one I aim to protect and maximize the most. One of the ways I do this is by using templates, and with this plugin, I never have to take the time to format a new post from scratch. Instead, I find an old one with the format I want to use, click “copy to a new draft,” and start writing.
7. Blubrry PowerPress
I use Blubrry PowerPress for Indie Business Podcast. (I will also use it when I launch the Lifestyle CEO Podcast … coming soon!)
With this plugin, I just paste the MP3 audio file code into the appropriate plugin area on the back end of the blog post where the podcast will be published. Blubrry PowerPress does the rest by creating a podcast play arrow. All my listeners have to do is click the play arrow at my blog post to play the podcast on the go.
Blubrry PowerPress also embeds links to my podcast at all of the major podcast players, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher. You can listen and subscribe to Indie Business Podcast on your favorite podcast app.
Get Blubrry PowerPress here. The plugin is free, but you may need to hire a consultant to help you learn how to use it. There is also a charge if you want Blubrry to host your podcast.
8. Pretty Links
This is the only paid plugin included in this article. Currently, I am only using it at Indie Business Blog. I don’t use it at this site (yet.)
Pretty Links is similar to a traditional link shortener like tinyURL or bit.LY, but better. With the Pretty Links Pro, I can replace a link using my own domain name. So, if the title to a post is especially long, I can shorten it to just a few characters that are easy for people to remember.
For example, the longer permalink for one of my podcast episodes is https://indiebusinessnetwork.com/episode-60-sierra-zamarripa-lovewild-podcast/. I shortened that to https://indiebusinessnetwork.com/60. If someone asks for the link verbally (or on Instagram where you cannot embed a link in a feed post), I can simply tell them to go to my usual website URL, “slash 60.” It’s far easier for someone to remember and spell than a group of words and dashes.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Yoast SEO plugin, which helps you optimize your blog posts for maximum search engine relevance. You can check things like keyword usage, readability, and more. The reason I’m not listing it is because as great as it is, I don’t use it because it adds too much time to the blogging process.
If blogging is not fun and efficient, I won’t do it. Call me lazy, but when you blog as much as I do, checking all of the SEO details on every post is frankly too time consuming. Maybe one day, I’ll ask a virtual assistant to do it for me, but for now, I have the plugin installed for those rare occasions when I have the time (and the inclination) to fiddle with it.
What plugins do you use most, and why?
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