Depending on the type of your blog, there are various features and functionalities you might need. If you run a photography blog the chances are high you’ll need a good gallery plugin. Large news websites often use post widgets, social sharing and related content plugins to maximize the reach of the information they provide. Business websites or corporate blogs will most probably need performance optimization tools to handle the high traffic periods and to better serve their customers.
However, there are some types of plugins that fit almost all kinds of blogs and websites, and are likely to be found on every blog you check out. They are the “must-haves’ of modern blogs, and come equipped with all the necessary functionalities one will need to blog. So, here you have them. 10 must-have WordPress plugins that bloggers need to use.
Google Analytics WD
As an official member of Google Analytics Technology Partners Program, Google Analytics WD allows you to access all of your website stats right from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard. The WordPress Google Analytics plugin provides detailed reports on your website audience, traffic and performance, and is able to provide reports on your AdSense and AdWords accounts as well. It will help you get detailed custom reports on metrics and dimensions most crucial for your blog, and enable you to set and manage various goals for tracking targeted activities. It also allows you to track custom dimensions for logged in users, specific post types and categories, authors, etc. One of its outstanding features include data comparing based on the periods that will enable you to see the difference in your blog’s performance. Also, you can export the reports to CSV and PDF formats, and email to multiple recipients if needed. The plugin comes with an advanced data filtering functionality, alerts and Pushover notifications, front-end reports and lots of other cool features you’ll like.
Disqus Comment System
If your blog has an impressive number of active visitors Disqus comment system will be a great addition to it. It replaces the default WordPress commenting system with a more advanced service, which makes it easy to comment and hold discussions on your blog.The plugin uses the threaded comment and reply types and allows for social mentions. The best part of it is that the comments are indexable by search engines and undergo spam filtering. The plugin connects a large community of Disqus users and results in increased exposure and readership.
Forms are widely used on blogs. With WordPress Form Maker plugin you’ll be able to create any kind of form for your blog and obtain any information from your visitors. You can create registration, application, questionnaire, survey, and simple contact forms with custom design and style, and edit them at any point. The forms may include multiple choice questions, password protected fields, custom selection fields, text and number input, Captcha/recaptcha protection, hidden fields, and many other input fields that you can think of. The WordPress form builder comes with the pre-built 41 editable themes and allows you to make adjustment to the form layouts. Form Maker has a searchable submissions sections, which also gives you simple statistical data on choice based answers in the forms.
Photo Gallery is one of the most popular gallery plugins on WordPress. It allows you to create responsive photo galleries and albums. It comes with multiple options for adding photos, and also features a gallery widget that you can display everywhere on your website. You can add unlimited number of images to the galleries and give detailed descriptions, tags, captions to them. The WordPress gallery plugin features an advanced lightbox where you can display the images in a slideshow with 15 transition effects. Photo Gallery is famous for its outstanding view options, which include Thumbnails, Masonry, Mosaic, Slideshow and Image Browser for galleries, and Compact Album, Masonry, Extended and Blog Style views for albums. It also comes with editable themes for different view designs and allows you to make additional changes with CSS. The plugin supports Instagram integration and enables your visitors comment on the images with captcha protection.
OptinMonster will help you grow your email list and get more subscribers. It comes with a form builder and lets you create various types of forms that are proven to convert, such as popup forms, floating header and footer bars, slide-ins , sidebar forms, welcome gates and more. OptinMonster features the most advanced exit-intent technology and page-level targeting functionalities, which help you to reach out to every single visitor at the right time. Also it comes with a powerful A/B testing feature to figure out which of your form headings, texts and content covert best on your website.
Yoast SEO is the best option you can go with to take your website’s optimization to the next level. It helps you to fully optimize your blog and make it one of a kind search engines love. So, what it basically does is helping you to write a keyword rich content. It makes you identify a keyword and use it throughout your content, headlines, image tags and descriptions. Also it checks for the length of your headlines and reminds you to enable permalinks. You can make the adjustments using the snippet preview option, which shows you how your posts and pages will look like in search results.
WordPress Google Maps
Google Maps WD is the most user-friendly and powerful plugin for adding responsive Google maps to your blog. It features an intuitive interface which allows you to create, edit and customize the maps with live preview functionality. You can add as many maps as you want, and spice them up with unlimited custom markers, layers, overlays, themes and map skins. The WordPress Google maps comes with a store locator and get directions functionalities to help your blog visitors find the nearest locations around them. The plugin supports road, traffic, satellite, terrain and hybrid map styles and comes with circle, rectangle, polygon and polyline layers.
Widgets on Pages
Widgets are great content display tools and even greater space savers. There is one default area that you can use widgets in WordPress, but Widgets on Pages plugin allows you to add widgets or sidebars to any of your posts and pages using shortcodes or template tags. It basically allows you to have unlimited sidebars on your website, where you can display blog posts, image galleries, categories, and more.
Simple Share Buttons Adder
This Simple Share Button Adder plugin is pretty popular on blogs and websites of all kinds, and comes with 11 different button sets that scale perfectly for every device. It enables you to add social sharing buttons to your posts and pages, or anywhere else using shortcodes. The style and design of the buttons are highly customizable, allowing you to upload custom button images, choose colors and icon styles, etc. All the share clicks are trackable and provide information about the user GeoIP.
UpdraftPlus plugin makes the backup and restoration of your blog’s files and database easy as never before. It supports manual or scheduled backups and allows you to store your files in different cloud services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault, etc. You can remotely control multiple backups on different websites from a single dashboard,and restore or migrate backups from other plugins as well. The plugin makes sure your backups are properly done by automatically resuming the failed backups.
These WordPress plugins are absolute must-haves on modern blogs. They equip your website with the right functionality needed to function at its best and stand out from the crowd. Depending on your blog type and audience you can surely find a couple of great picks from the list.