I have no aspirations of becoming a web designer, nor do I consider myself an HTML code expert. This post isn’t necessarily for the tech-loving types (although they may benefit). Ever wonder what plugins are worth installing on your WordPress website or blog? Many plugins exist and are publicized; however, you may get stuck in the blur of knowing which ones will be most helpful for your website, in order to create more web traffic, content sharing, and to boost your SEO. If that is you, I feel your pain.
At the end of the day, I’m not a fan of increasing web traffic to only make more money or make someone look popular. We should increase traffic by using some of the most helpful WordPress plugins so that we can increase our impact by sharing our message with more people. If you provide a service, use your website to get the word out and provide it well. If you have a message (i.e. writers, speakers, church leaders, church consultants, etc), you should use your message to serve and communicate but use WordPress plugins to optimize your site and connect with more people. Below I have created a list of the 13 most helpful WordPress plugins for you to consider when creating, updating, or revamping your WordPress site.
13 Most Helpful WordPress Plugins
1. Better Click to Tweet
This plugin allows you to embed a “Click to Tweet” option within your blog post. Providing this to your readers, gives them a quick and easy way to help promote helpful content, share impacting quotes, and help get your information to a broader audience. If you can make it easy for your readers, they are more likely to share it.
Here’s an actual example for you to see how it works:Looking for the 13 Most Helpful #Wordpress #Plugins? Check them out here: Click To Tweet
Adding Jetpack as a WordPress plugin is a no brainer in my opinion. When you have a self-hosted WordPress site, Jetpack allows you to utilize the infrastructure and benefits of WordPress.com data — including stats, comments, social sharing capabilities, etc.
Need the capability to backup and save your website content for security, storage, and safety? BackupBuddy allows you to easily transition or migrate your information when you find yourself switching to a different domain, host, or theme.
4. Pinterest Pin It Button on Image Hover and After Post & Page Content
Want to get your information shared on Pinterest? This plugin creates a “Pin It” icon over your image when you hover over it. With a simple click, your readers can add your image and website link to their Pinterest board — exposing your content to their audience and followers.
5. Social Sharing Toolkit
The Social Sharing Toolkit provides links to different social sharing sites at the top of your blogposts. If someone wants to post your link to Twitter, FB, Buffer, LinkedIn, etc, they can simply click the icon at the top of your page to quickly share with others.
Everyone hates spam infiltrating their websites. Akismet helps filter through spam that comes into your comments and contact forms. Another great benefit is that it helps keep those spam comments from hurting your SEO rankings and scores.
7. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO allows beginning to advanced bloggers to improve their search engine optimization. It provides a helpful tool to analyze various parts of each blog post (ie – keyword, metadata) without needing prior knowledge of how to oversee SEO.
8. WP User Avatar
Who wants a comment thread that is boring? This plugin allows you to easily upload an image for your profile, so that the image beside your comments is customized with whatever picture you would like to keep your brand and image consistent. (WordPress doesn’t naturally allow this personalization as an option.)
Everyone hates pop-ups, right? Actually, that’s not entirely true. We may not all be particularly fond of them, but for whatever reason they do achieve their objective of gathering contact information so you can stay in touch with those people that visit your site. Opt-IN Monster has various pre-created pop-ups that you can easily input your information into and deploy in a matter of minutes.
With varying levels, you can cater the plugin to your needs. Many people also use Sumo.me. It can be one of the most helpful wordpress plugins you’ve ever used as it will allow you to stay in touch with your audience.
10. Insert Headers and Footers
When customizing your website very few people have expert web design or coding knowledge. The average person should never update the core files associated with their WordPress theme or website, because anytime their theme is updated they will lose all customization. (The main exception to this is when your theme comes pre-packaged with a “child theme” which allows you to edit the “child” without making any changes to the main/parent theme.)
If your theme doesn’t come with a “child theme” you either have to redo all your customizations every time your parent theme is updated or hire a web designer to do the work for you. If neither of those is a good option, this plugin will allow you to make minor changes to the header and footer of your site that remain in effect even when your theme is updated.
11. Google Analytics by Yoast
Google analytics give you data on who is visiting, where they are visiting from plus a lot more helpful information. I don’t recommend having a website that you don’t evaluate. Google analytics provides much of the data necessary to do so.
12. Favicon by RealFaviconGenerator
In the top of your browser you have a URL listed (http://www.bradbridges.net – for example). Next to this URL (the unique address of your website) you will find an icon. Rather than having a generic default globe or plain icon, you can upload an image that aligns with your brand or website. Make yet another thing easily branded for your audience.
13. MailChimp for WordPress Lite
Whether you are trying to grow the number of subscribers to your blog and/or would like to have your website automatically email out your blog posts, this MailChimp plugin is a helpful tool to create a seamless integration. This plugin allows you to create sign-up forms automatically within WordPress that add people to your MailChimp list(s) and account. There are different options for your needs (multiple websites, etc). It also integrates very easily with other email Opt-In plugins, such as Opt-In Monster.
Hope you find these helpful as you add to your website. Another good resource for further developing your website and connecting with your network is Platform by Michael Hyatt. You don’t have to be involved in church consulting or even consider yourself a church leader to believe you need to start blogging. If you believe your message matters, it should matter enough to share it.'If you believe your message matters, it should matter enough to share it.' -- @bradbridges #leadership #churchcomm Click To Tweet
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