After picking and choosing plugins over the last 2 years, I’ve come to like I few. Here are some plugins that I find particularly useful.
I really like this plugin because it offers so much. It’s basically a plugin bundle. Some examples of the plugins it comes it include:
- Comment subscription
- Blog subscription
- Publicize – a plugin to auto-share your new posts on social media
- Notifications -sends you an email if your site is down
- Social share options below your posts
- Related posts to show under your articles
- Site maps
- Site verification for Google search, Pinterest and Bing
- Protection from hackers, and more.
Yes, you read correctly. More.
2. Naked Social Share
This plugin adds some social buttons under your posts for sharing. You can choose where to display them on by type of post. i.e., pages, posts, etc. I recommend this option if you’re willing to do some work with CSS to get it looking like your site buttons. If not, the one in Jetpack is pretty good.
3. Child Theme Configurator
If you install any theme that you didn’t build yourself, please use a child theme to make changes.
This plugin let’s you create a child theme, and copy over the files you want to edit. By editing the child theme, if the theme developer decides to update the theme, it won’t rewrite your changes.
Jetpack brings a style sheet editor if you’re only interesting in editing your CSS. However, WordPress 4.7 plans to bring CSS editing in the customiser. This is scheduled to launch in December 2016.
4. Expanding Archives
This plugin adds an accordion styled widget to display your blog archives. Notice on my sidebar it shows my archive for each year and month and gives you the number of posts in the month. This is a simple plugin but I prefer it over the standard one that comes built-in.
5. WordPress Editorial Calendar
This is a great plugin you want to plan ahead. You can see all your posts in a calendar format. You can quickly add a draft post of a day of your choice, edit it and schedule it. Simple, easy and very useful.
6. Easy Google Fonts
If all you’re interested in is changing your website’s fonts, this is a pretty good option. It let’s you use Google Fonts anywhere on your site. All you need to figure out is the CSS selector. You can edit a bunch of different selectors at one time by creating a group, add selectors separated by commas and then edit in your customiser where you can preview the changes beforehand. You can also change the font weight, size and transform to uppercase or capitalise.
To tell the CSS selector, right-click on the area of your website and choose inspect element. This will show you the html tag, classes and id’s of the selected element, along with the existing element.
7. Shortcodes Ultimate
This one is a real ultimate tool. It has tons of short codes. What I like about it is that some of the short codes simply add html code that you can edit to the way you want but it saves time on writing all that code from scratch.
Some examples of short codes it has built-in are:
- Drop caps
- Expandable areas
- and more.
8. The SEO Framework
SEO helps drive up your website on search engines by making it more appealing for search engines to read. There are certain things that search engines look for in your site, like new content, a certain amount of words in a posts, etc, to determine if users will care about your post or page.
The plugin let’s you customise what is displayed on a search engine’s page when your site is display in results. You can edit this information per post / page. By default it pulls information but you’d probably want to customise it so that it’s more useful to readers. For example the post description cuts off at a certain point and just adds three dots, so the information is incomplete. You can edit it and make the description shorter while still making it relevant.