If you’re running a WordPress-powered website or blog, then you’re always searching for a way to innovate and make your site easier to use – both for you and your visitors. This is one reason why WordPress plugins are so unbelievably awesome, because they seem like quick little cheats and hacks that take little-to-no time to learn, install, and use.
One of the most important parts of the plugins I’ve chosen is that all ten of them can help just about any blog in some way. Also, we wanted high functionality, low cost, ease of use, popularity, and simple installation. To make the cut, they basically have to be foolproof and downright powerful.
Here are top 10 WordPress Plugins you should consider using in 2014.
With over 7 million downloads to date, this is one of the #1 WordPress plugins for its power, ease-of-use, and functionality for optimising your posts for search engines. Basically, the plugin works the way it sounds: simply download it, install the plugin, and it goes to work getting your blog or website search engine optimised. According to the raving customer reviews, this plugin is not to be overlooked.
#2: WP Google Drive
Don’t get caught in a sticky situation. Backing up the files from your WordPress site is just as essential, as it is easy with this plugin, called WP Google Drive. Backup plugins for WordPress are a dime-a-dozen; however, the fact that this backs up to Google Drive makes it unbelievably simple and convenient.
Ebyline is an industry leader in connecting freelance writers and clients who need content creation. Thus it makes sense that they would develop a plugin that allows clients to pay freelance writers directly from their WordPress dashboard.
If you need to track your traffic, but don’t want to navigate away from your WordPress dashboard, then you can do it with this plugin: Google Analytics Dashboard. The convenience of this plugin is monumental, giving you a realtime picture of what your traffic is doing, directly from inside WordPress.
If you want one of the best plugins in the history of blogging, you’ll need to download Shareaholic. It’s basically a platform from which you can get your blog posts noticed, via social networking media. Not only will this work with Facebook, but you can also use it with LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Google+. Also, it will provide the usual Facebook buttons, just so you can increase your blog post’s ‘shareability’. In addition, its sleek design cuts down on the clutter, helping your blog get noticed and stand out. Few plugins are this powerful.
#6: Thank Me Later
Have you ever posted a comment on a blog, or provided your email to a site – then received an email mere seconds from doing so? You automatically think, “Well either that’s the most obsessive blog admin on the web, or this is an auto-generated email”. Well with Thank Me Later, you can make your ‘Thank you’ emails far more personal through the ability to customise certain fields, and the best part… you can schedule it to send hours after the signup. The beauty of this is the fact that it provides a much more personal touch to the emails that are programmed to be sent to new commenters and visitors.
Of course, not all comments are generated without ulterior motives. Having to deal with spam and those annoying ad comments is synonymous with the success of a blog… until now.
Askimet is a WordPress plugin that will filter junk comments and sift through the real ones and the spam. Simply set it and forget it, but you can moderate all comments if you wish. Also, your use of Askimet will send reports and help improve the plugin to provide better filtering.
#8: Contact Form 7
Basically, Contact Form 7 is a WP plugin that provides one of the most functional, simplest, and easiest contact forms for blogs. If you’ve recently filled out a contact form on a blog, then there’s a good chance it was one powered by Contact Form 7. Also, do you remember how we talked about those annoying spammers in #7? Well, CF7 even works with Askimet, so that you can rest assured – those spammers aren’t going to abuse your contact form.
If you run any kind of a research-based blog or write about anything concerning current events, then it is important to be able to quote your sources. However, quoted sources are often overlooked by readers. One great way to keep people reading (even your quotes) is to make the quote ‘stick out’.
Simple Pull Quote is a plugin that simply adds a button to your post dashboard, which allows you to highlight the text that was pulled from another source. The visitor then sees a clear, concise quote that sticks out. Simple.
#10: JM Twitter Cards
Twitter Cards were only announced in 2013 and enable you to tweet with media included. They allow you to insert images and video from the blog post into your Tweets that link to your content. When you click on a tweet, it’ll show more information about that tweet such as its title, a short summary, image, Twitter account and source link. This can turn your Twitter stream into something more like Facebook or Google+.
This is a relatively new plugin (with great reviews and over 25,000 downloads to date). But if you would like to insert pictures and video directly into your Twitter stream than this plugin is it!
Your WordPress blog is only as good as the plugins you use. Plugins basically make life simple and your blogging effective. In addition, the ability to utilise entire SEO packages and work directly with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ are fantastic assets. Some of the most prevalent bloggers in the industry swear by plugins – so learn from the best, and be sure not to overlook these fantastic WP plugins in 2014.
What about you?
What WordPress plugins have you found useful? Which ones couldn’t you do without? Look forward to hearing about them in the comments below.
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