Some of My Favorite Plugins for WordPress

Essential WordPress PluginsOne of the biggest things emphasized in my latest WordPress class is to have as few WordPress plugins as possible, and to do as much as you can without having to use a plugin for it. However, that’s not always practical, and there’s a few plugins that you can’t necessarily do on your own. So here are some of my favorites that I use (or plan to use in the redesign of my current blog):

 

Askimet

A pretty essential plugin that comes pre-installed on WordPress that serves as a spam blocker for comments. You do need to register (it requests you give a small donation, but you can enter $0) and then it works its magic, sending your spam comments to a spam folder instead of showing up on your blog. As someone who gets hundreds of spam comments in the span of a few days, it’s an absolute necessity for my blog.

 

Disqus Comment System

A pretty popular commenting system used by a lot of media sites that allows users to use social media websites to log on and leave comments.

 

Members

One of the most annoying parts about WordPress is that contributors cannot upload media to posts and to the media gallery in general. This plugin allows you to add features to what pre-existing user roles can do on WordPress as well as create new roles with different capabilities. As someone running a site with multiple users (who I’d rather not give full access to my site) this makes my life ten times easier, because my contributors can just add their own photos.

 

Social Stickers

Simple and easy, this plugin allows you to easily add a widget area that adds a wide variety of buttons that link to your social media websites. I currently have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram set up. It even allows you to create your own custom buttons and gives you a few options as to what the buttons will look like.

 

Under Construction

Working on your live site but don’t want the world (or your readers) to see your site while your tweaking things? This allows you to put up a basic page (including the option to put in your own html for a page) with a personalized message that your readers will get when you readers try to reach your site. However, as a logged-in user, you’ll still be able to see all the changes you make as you edit.  I’ll be using this when I finally go to implement future changes in my blog.

 

Polldaddy Polls & Ratings

I loved creating polls on my WordPress.com blog. This allows you to access the same poll creating system that was available on there.

 

Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner

This one came recommended to me from my WordPress instructor. Although Sucuri offers a lot of paid security options, this plugin comes free. What’s even better is that Sucuri will help free your site of Malware (for a fee) even if you weren’t previously subscribed and paying them a fee.

 

WordPress SEO

AKA Yoast SEO plugin. My SEO class and my WordPress instructors both recommended this, as it makes SEO super easy for WordPress and even automatically generates XML maps. I’ve never had anyone recommend an SEO plugin besides this one.

 

Google Analytics for WordPress

From the Yoast team, this allows you to quickly add the code for Google Analytics to track your site if you’re not otherwise familiar with code. 

 

WordPress Importer

Simple, easy and straightforward. Allows you to import previous blog content (whether it be from another WordPress blog or another platform) and have it on your current site.

 

Wp-Insert

Another plug-in that’s great if you’re not too familiar with code. This allows you to add ads in all different sections of your site, including before a post, in the middle of the post, at the end of the post, as well as in standard widget areas.

What WordPress plug-ins do you use? What function do you wish would be available via plugin?

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

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