Before we get to the plugins let’s make one thing clear. What’s a well-built blog? Or what makes a blog a well-built one? There can be various alternative answers to this question, however, when I say a well-built blog, I mean it’s fast, easy to navigate around, user-friendly and is equipped with all the bells and whistles its visitors and readers will need. Although depending on the blog type and targeted audience the functionality of a blog may differ, there are certain features that all types of blogs will surely need no matter what topic, niche or purpose they target.
Below you’ll find a short list of 10 WordPress plugins that every blogger needs from the get go to run a professional and well-built blog. They cover 10 different categories and target different parts of your blog. Here you have the checklist.
Google Analytics WD
Analytics are crucial for every blog no matter what, that’s why Google Analytics WD comes first in the list. It’s the most feature-packed WordPress Google Analytics plugin that provides all of your blog reports directly to your WordPress dashboard. It allows you to compare reports from different periods with each other, and export them to CSV and PDF formats. Apart from the built in report types, you can also set custom reports, track custom dimensions, and create and manage goals for measuring specific activities. The plugin is equipped with advanced data filtering functionality, alerts and Pushover notifications, and has a very organized and straightforward interface, which lets you easily access, manage and analyze your stats.
WordPress Google Maps
Google Maps is another essential functionality that a blog needs. Google Maps WD is a user-friendly tool that will help you create, edit and add unlimited responsive maps to your blog. The WordPress Google Maps plugin has a very intuitive interface with live preview functionality, which makes it easy to create and customize the maps. You can add unlimited markers to the maps, add various shapes, overlays, and use any of the available unique map skins and themes. You can create custom marker icons with its built-in icon builder, and equip the maps with store locator and get directions functionalities. Maps are fully customizable and look great on any device and screen.
With the WordPress form builder you can create responsive forms for contact, application, registration, surveys, questionnaires, etc, and fully customize them according to your needs. The plugin comes with a myriad of form field options, which allows you to create forms for pretty much any purpose. There are 41 customizable themes for different form designs, and the plugin’s CSS is open for custom editing. It’s an essential addition to every blog that will help you stay in touch with your visitors and make your blog more functional.
Floating Social Bar
Social media is one of the most important means to enhancing your blog’s outreach, so sharing buttons are must haves for modern blogs. If your blog doesn’t feature sharing buttons, I suggest you look at the Floating Social Bar plugin. It’s an extremely feature rich plugin which adds highly customizable and floating buttons to your blog, that follow your readers as they scroll up and down your blog. They make sharing easier and are sure to enhance your social media reach. The buttons are fully customizable, in terms of color, size and position.
Without proper security your blog and all of its content are at risk. WordFence Security plugin will take care of your blog’s safety and stop it from being hacked. It comes with a set of powerful security monitoring features that do a great job in protecting your blog from malicious traffic, attackers, aggressive scrollers, threats, etc. Some of its features include firewall, login security, security scanning, real-time traffic view, and many more to make sure your blog is safe out there.
A well-built blog is also the one that search engines love. Yoast SEO will take care of the full optimization of your blog, and make sure search engines love it. It helps you to write a better keyword-rich content and reminds you to make some technical adjustments for a better optimization. It checks you post titles and meta descriptions for lengths, makes sure you enable pretty permalinks, checks your post readability, etc. Also, it features an advanced snippet preview to let you instantly see how your posts and pages will look in search results.
Akismet is a powerful spam monitoring tool for all kinds of blogs. It checks your comments sections for spam and filters out or blocks the ones that look like spam right away. It provides a status history for each comment, where you can see all the comments marked as spam or blocked. Also, it shows the number of approved comments for every commenter, and allows you to manually unspam or or block users.
Max Mega Menu
Max Mega Menu is a user friendly menu management plugin, which gives you full control to build accessible and touch ready menus for your blog. The plugin makes it easy to build and style your menus with its drag and drop menu builder and advanced theme editor. It supports multiple menu locations and allows you to set individual configurations for each of them. You can add icons to menus and assign various transitions. The plugin is also retina-ready and is build with quality and usability in mind.
With UpdraftPlus you can ensure the backups of your blog’s files and database and quickly restore them at any time. The best thing about the plugin is that it supports multiple cloud storage options, including Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, etc, and allows you to have manual or scheduled backups. You can split large backups into multiple archives and remotely control all of them from a single WordPress dashboard.
CoSchedule will contribute a great deal to your social media and content marketing strategies, and help you stay connected with your team. It’s an all in one editorial calendar that gives you powerful tools to control your content shares and marketing efforts. You can add various content to the calendar, and also share tasks and upload recourses for your whole team to see.It allows you to schedule you social shares and monitore how often it has been shared. With its help you and your team will stay organized and never miss a deadline.
These 10 WordPress plugins and WordPress tips will be a great addition to any blog and will bring a lot of functionality to it. They will equip your blog with the right set of features which you and your readers will greatly appreciate. Check them out!