I only moved my site to self hosted back in October so I’m a relative newbie to the world of plugins but I have to say they are so handy in terms of automating things and general time saving tips and tricks. Here are some of my favourites plugins to date that I think any blogger, novice of experienced will find useful.
Calendar – if I ever become super organised and have posts written ages in advance I know this will be extremely handy. It makes it really easy to populate a calendar so you can see what is scheduled when.
AddToAny Share Buttons – these so handy and so many features to play around with. I have them in my sidebar and at the bottom of each post. I played around with floating share buttons and having them at the bottom of posts on each page but it got a bit overloaded so I cut it down to just a few different positions. I find this handy for myself if I happen to be looking at an old post I’ll tweet the link with an informative description.
Akismet – stops spam and it does it well. I took a day or two to install this properly when I moved over to selfhosted and the amount of stupid comments I got in the those few days just goes to show this works.
Evergreen Post Tweeter – this is probably the best plugin I have. This tweets links to my blog posts as often I want it to. It’s brilliant for firstly keeping up appearances on Twitter and it’s also great for drawing people into old posts. I choose to have the blog post and the url to go out in the tweet and that’s working well so far – if I could include some hashtags that would be great but it’s not that advanced.
TinyMCE Advanced – I’m a stickler for nice fonts and a good layout in my posts. I used to have to go into the html and edit the font type and size etc but this plugin lets you play around with formats and fonts much more easily that editing code. Very handy.
Yoast SEO – this is brilliant for giving advice on whether your post will by optimized for search engines. After a while you automatically do what it suggests anyway, it’s choosing the keyword that I find the hardest. I especially like that you can edit the meta description which looks good on Google.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – I’m trying to bring down the bounce rate (see Google Analytics for details on yours) and so I played around with a few different related posts plugins but I liked this one the best. It gave me the greatest flexibility for choosing the tags and categories I wanted to relate and gave me lots of options for the appearance. I only have two related posts show up as this looks the best on a mobile view which is where most of my traffic comes from (thanks Google Analytics!).
Broken Link Checker – this is invaluable. Broken links hanging around your website are a big no no when it comes to SEO. I also changed the format of my url’s recently which then backdated and changed every other url on the blog so the broken link checker was really useful for letting me change every url in a blog post that didn’t work anymore. Otherwise I would have had to edit each blog post individually and change the links in there, laborious wouldn’t even begin to describe it then!
So there is my list of favourite plugins, I’m relatively new to the self hosted world so I’m sure as I grow as a blogger so will the list of plugins I like! What are your favourite plugins?