Anyone who knows me at all would know I am a big WordPress guy, if it needs CMS – WordPress is my number 1, 2, 3 & 4 options. For many reasons that I wouldn’t bore you with, WordPress seems the best content management system because of support, maintenance and continuity.
So today we want to learn about WordPress Plugins, specifically 5 plugins that I have come to love as a rule of thumb over the years with my own marketing and on-page SEO. Some of these plugins are set and forget, while others may require a little more attention. If you weren’t already using any of these, starting to use them now will definitely take your on-page optimization game to another level!
1. WordPress SEO
This plugin here is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins out there, rightfully so – only rivaled by All In One SEO which I have never needed or bothered to use because Yoast’s plugin meets all my needs and some! You will be able to optimize all your pages, single posts, categories, tags and URL’s using this easy to set up plugin. I like to avoid using it to handle my Sitemap though as I feel there are better options in that regard. If you would like to learn all about WordPress SEO by Yoast and how to set it up, please go here…
2. Google XML Sitemaps
Like I said above, I like to avoid using the previous plugin for my Sitemap because I truly believe this plugin by Arne Brachhold is significantly better at that task. Set up will take less than 5 minutes usually if you are not a noob – you can maybe read up on how it is used and how to work the plugin here so you don’t make any mistakes.
Another beautiful part of this plugin is how it auto updates your Sitemap (duh) and then pings major search engines once your content is updated – giving for faster indexing. It really doesn’t get better than Google XML Sitemaps for now.
Akismet doing it for hip-hop!
100% protection, so protective atimes you will find your friends comments in the spam folder!
Everybody knows how annoying comment spam is, we all know how we hate seeing all those drug related spam comments and payday loans related link back spam comments… If you run a fairly popular blog/website running on WordPress, you must agree that having to deal with all spam manually is nothing short of madness — thousands daily, tens of thousands even. Which is where Akismet comes in!
Relatively easy and quick to set up, you can set Akismet up to auto-delete the worst kind of spam without you even seeing it and the rest of the spam will be moved to a spam section (Where you can basically empty all spam with one click).
It is also free – sort of – larger businesses processing millions of page-views daily may need to work with a business plan of some kind but for all your basic run of the mill spammers, you can simply use a free basic version of the plugin.
Some other time we will talk about how you can use CDN like Cloudflare or MaxCDN to take care of spammers and prevent them from even accessing your site. But that would be in another blog post for more advanced SEO enthusiasts!
4. Easy Social Share
I first came across this plugin when I was wasting nights trying to replicate the Mashable style sharing buttons (Silly Me!). Needless to say I did manage to replicate it… only to turn around and decide I didn’t like it anymore. This was many years ago of course – 4 years now if I recall correctly. The plugin costs only $19 on codecanyon and it gives you a variety of options as to how you can display your sharing buttons.
You can see a floating set of share buttons to the left of your screen (except you are on a mobile phone – for the sake of user experience)– achieved with Easy Social Share. Makes it much easier to share your content and we all know people only find your material because someone shared. If you came in here through a Google search, that only happened because Google was nice enough to share (I’m so funny).
Truth be told, you can make your sharing plugins look almost anyhow you like and behave in whatever manner you want with this plugin. Every website is different and so is every blog – so maybe my method wont work on your blog because you have a crowded left hand side. Well, you can make it float from the top or fly in from the bottom after we read a specific amount of your content if you wish too… It’s all massively “customizable”. Never be afraid to be creative – if you would like to read about how to setup the plugin or test it on demo sites, you can go here and try that out.
5. w3 Total Cache
Me and this guy have had a love and hate relationship over the years, infact, I have never been hacked before – save for one time 4 years ago when my first weblog was hacked because of a vulnerability in this plugin. And I am not talking about hacking and taking the site from me, the hacker simply gained access and inserted links to his spammy payday loans site on the top of every page on my website.
If I had known better at the time, maybe I would have had a security plugin like sucuri running on a permanent basis or maybe I wouldn’t have had W3TC running at all. But the bitter truth was I was heavily dependent on shared hosting at the time (being a noob and a student who thought there were better ways to spend money than pay for a dedicated server) and I desperately needed to cache because that tiny weblog was in the top 500 websites in Nigeria at the time (According to Alexa).
Either ways, it does not get better than W3TC when you need very good caching — but as you have already read, you have to be careful with this one. Beyond the security flaws which have since been fixed, I do believe it has compatibility issues with many other plugins. Like in one vivid case I remember the plugin did not run well with Jetpack (both plugins are very memory hungry so I am not surprised). But again, these were all because I needed to cut corners back in the day and save money on more suitable hosting plans. I haven’t used the plugin for any site that belongs to me in a while but I still have to deal with it on some client sites on a day to day basis.
It works great if you know what you are doing and could absolutely ruin your site if you don’t. That said, you should go here and read up on how to set up the plugin and make it do your bidding.
These here are just a few plugin’s I thought I would share with you guys, if you would like to see a longer list of great plugins that would help you improve your website, make more money and generate more leads, you should go read this blog post by Neil Patel. He did not leave anything out.
Till Next Time…