Plugins are the bread and butter of WordPress. It’s what makes a website unique, functional and creative. Part of it is down to the theme but part of it is down to the Plugins you install to make the website fit for your purpose.
Whether it’s a personal blog, an author website or a company, each website needs to be as functional as possible. Since becoming familiar with WordPress, I’ve worked on a variety of different websites, including those that belong to The Hampshire Writers’ Society, P&G Wells Bookshop at the University of Winchester and Weeke Community Centre. And let’s not forget this one right here. If you look at each website individually you will notice the differences, the different layouts, different styles, different purposes, yet they’re all functional thanks to plugins.
Today I’m going to share 10 plugins that I love, and have installed on this website right here.
This is a must for any website or blog that has a lot of pages. If you’ve been running your website for a few years then I would highly recommend this plugin. It basically checks and indexes every URL associated with your website and informs you if there’s something amiss.
This is pretty standard and chances are, you already have something installed but if you’re looking to track analytics with Google then you’re going to need this plugin as somewhere for you to put the tag.
I am a big Instagrammer. It’s my favourite platform by far and I love it. So for me, it was a no brainer about displaying my hard-worked feeds in the place where I display all of my work. The Instagram Feed plugin does exactly what it says on the tin and displays your feed in an easy-to-manage way. It also allows you to create a little widget for your sidebar too. Why not take a look at my Bookstagram and Travelgram feeds.
This is a relatively new concept for me and admittedly not one that I use very often – mainly due to the neglect of this website as a whole over the last few months – but for those that are regular users, I would highly recommend. PushCrew is an application where visitors to your site can receive pop-up, in-browser notifications when you have something new to share with them. It’s less personal than an email and in some instances more likely to get a response as it can’t unceremoniously be sent to the spam fodler.
I don’t know where I would be without this tool. There are so many great ways to keep on top of your social media accounts, and a lot of those services are paid for, but for me. I’m really into automation because quite frankly, I’m just way too damn busy all the time! Okay, yes slap on the wrist for me, but for some automation is just a helping hand to keep on top of your game (of course it will never be as good as non-automation). So basically, you put in a few of your preferences and this handy little tool will re-share blog posts as and when you’ve told it to. Neat, right?
An oldie but goodie. Most people have probably heard of SumoMe and let’s face it, most people probably already use it. Bravo if that includes you. I’ve tried some alternative options like Hello Bar, Leadsius and Leadin but each time, I found myself coming back to SumoMe for the simple fact that you get more from it – and for those of you who aren’t familiar with this plugin, it’s the best way to encourage newsletter signups, image sharing on social media and popup landing pages too.
This plugin is only going to be relevant for a handful of people reading this. But for those of you who have clients or customers, it’s an essential tool and one that I’m afraid does come at a cost, albeit not a very high one. I spent quit e along time trying to find the best testimonial plugin that I could customise and would display my testimonials in a way that I was happy with, this was the one I liked the most.
Okay so technically this is two but only because you can either have one or the other. I’m a Yoast fan, always have been and always will be. It does everything SEO wise that you could possibly want, however it’s not compatible with every WordPress theme and this is the problem I had. So a suggested alternative is All in One SEO. It’s much better than some of the other SEO plugins out there and still fairly easy to use.
There we have it. My 8 favourite plugins. Do you have a plugin you’d like to add to the list? Drop a comment below telling me why it’s so great and I may just include it!