Everyone has their own methods, their own madness, and their own resources. Do a search for “blogging plugins I can’t live without” is going to net you nearly 48 million results.
So why am I even going to bother adding to the cacophony? Because I’ve been at this for over 18 years now, and I think I know what I’m talking about. I also love sharing. I also get asked this question about a million times a month. Plus I love putting random things together, so you also get a link at the bottom I think you’ll enjoy. :)
So here it is, my Top 5 in no particular order:
Yup, the standard comment anti-spam plugin that comes with your WordPress install. Sure, it seems like a pain to set up, what with Jetpack being able to connect you to WordPress.com so easily, that Akisment makes you go through the trouble of hunting down your Akismet API key (hint: You can get it here). But the truth is, unlike it’s much more useless default install plugin (ahem, yes, I’m talking about you, Dolly), this one’s the cat’s pajamas.
The spam filter works by consolidating information about spam captured on all participating blogs (hence the need for the API Key, my dearies), and then using those spam rules to block future spam.
There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not having an Editorial Calendar is still a good idea. Some say that being “too structured” in your blogging isn’t a good thing. Others say that not being structured enough is bad.
To be perfectly honest, I have a problem with both trains of thought, because while I’m certainly not a daily blogger (as much as I long to be), I do feel that it’s important to plan, have ideas organized, and this plugin is the one that will do it for you. It’s got a really great drag-and-drop interface that allows you to move posts around, set them as drafts or published and schedule your upcoming posts all right within WordPress.
Hopefully you haven’t already experienced a situation where you wished you had this plugin, but I’m telling you now, it’s probably going to happen. And you definitely should be heavily armed with this little baby right here.
I really can’t say enough that regular backups (ie. the more frequently you post, the more frequently you need to back up your site) are super duper important. Just do it. You’ll thank me when there’s a hit to your hosting company.
Did you know that Google now uses page speed to bump sites around the results pages? Yep, a slow site gets bumped down, and a fast one will bump up.
Which will get your site more visitors.
Which will make the visitors happy because your site isn’t taking a decade to load.
Which will make them come back.
Which will make them not have to load your site from scratch all over again, and thus it will be even faster.
Do you believe me now? Go get it!
So, instead of going to Elance (or worse, Fiverr) to try to find someone to do an SEO analysis on each post of your site, put a little faith in this baby by Yoast. It’s wonderful, thorough, and pretty darn self-explanatory for even the non-SEO gurus out there can use it. I mean, SEO gurus use it, so why don’t you? For realz, yo.
You know what? I have a much longer list than just this. I’ll post those another time, but what are some of your indespensible WordPress plugins?
Bonus: Here’s the chocolate bonbon recipe I love the most. No, I wasn’t paid to put it there. It’s a 100% authentic opinion of mine.