When you first start with WordPress there are SO many different options to choose from when it comes to Plugins that it can be overwhelming. Through trial and error I have found some amazing free Plugins and today I am going to share my favourite WordPress plugins. Hopefully it will be helpful if you are trying to decide which ones to choose for your website.
SEO by Yoast
This is a fantastic one for helping you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) statistics and from all that I have tried this is the simplest one that I have found. The screenshot below is what it shows as you are writing your post. It gives you tips below the above on what you need to improve on your post in order to improve the SEO level for your post as well as letting you easily update your Meta Description. It takes the mystery out of SEO for me. You should aim for green at the end of every post and by following the tips provided it is possible. If you are new to SEO it is a good place to start.
This one helps against Spam comments. Since I installed it the number of Spam comments that actually filter through are next to none which is fantastic. With any spam filter it is important to keep an eye on the spam folder to ensure that no true comments are being sent to spam.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
I am a big Google Analytics fan. I find it to be accurate and also informative. You can get so many different statistics at the click of a button for your website and this dashboard is all linked in so the data on our blog analytics dashboard should match what you see when you log into your full Google Analytics account.
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Michael from Educated Machine installed this for me and he was right on the money when he said it was an amazing Plugin. This is good for sharing your content on Social Media – I mainly use it for Twitter and each time a new post is published it automatically tweets the link. They also have a related content to show below each post for people to click into another post. It does ALOT and is certainly worth exploring in greater detail.
Broken Link Checker by Janis Elsts, Vladimir Prelovac
This really is invaluable. I have mine set to run every 72 hours and it checks through the full website for broken links and images. Having broken links etc. will damage your SEO and also how annoying for someone to click onto a link that you have recommended and then for it to not work – they may not come back! Before this I was going post by post about once a month to check my links and it was ever so slightly painful – this is much easier and so far no issues with it.
Instagram Feed By Smash Balloon
This does exactly what it says on the tin and shows your up to date Instagram feed on your blog. I have mine situated at the bottom of my site as I think that it leaves a pretty end to the page. It has taken me a while to find this one and so far no issues.
I have not had issues of the website crashing etc. with these Plugins but you never know what will happen on your own site so always be wary and ensure that you are backing your site up regularly. What are your go to Plugins?