I use a lot of WordPress plugins on this site, and some of them I wouldn’t be without. Having mentioned a couple in online blogging groups recently, I’ve realised that some of my favourites aren’t ones that everyone knows about. So, I thought I’d do a quick run through of my favourite top WordPress plugins.
WP Fastest Cache
The speed of your site can make a real difference to your reader’s experience and to whether or not they want to make a return visit. There are different things you can do to speed your site up, but for me the WP fastest cache plugin is the thing that makes the biggest difference.
I use google’s Pagespeed Insights website to test my site’s speed. I often use it just before and then after adding a new plugin to my site, to make sure the plugin isn’t causing speed issues.
For a long time I didn’t back up my site, but the larger in size my blog got the more I worried about losing all my posts and having to start from scratch. A lot of web hosts will back up your site for you if you have that option as part of your hosting package. However, it’s a good idea to back up your site yourself, so that you can easily access the files.
Also, if your host had an issue it’s a back-up plan that you’ll be glad you have in place. I use UpdraftPlus which is really easy to use, backs my site up daily and handily sends the back-up to my Dropbox account.
I moderate all comments that get placed on my site, not as in I change things according to whether people agree with my opinion, ha but just that I manually accept whether a comment appears on my site. This avoids spam and comments of an adult nature appearing on my family friendly site.
This would take me a really long time if it wasn’t for the help of the Akismet plugin. It filters my comments for me so that in the majority of cases the spam comments go to my spam area without me having to manually send it there. When you get 100s of spam comments a week, this is such a time saver.
Better Delete Revision
This plugin is another one for speeding up and cleaning up your site. Every time you write a blog post, WordPress is in the background saving your ‘revisions’ of your post, so that if you had issues you should be able to recover the revision version of your draft. However, if you take a long time to write a post, or if you save several draft versions, then your database will be getting filled with revision versions of your post and taking up space.
The Better Delete Revision plugin will at your request delete all revision posts, without affecting your most recent draft or your published posts. It’s a genius plugin in my opinion.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
This plugin does exactly as it says, it compresses the images on your blog without losing the quality of the images. By doing this you make your images quicker to load, and therefore your site faster.
The only tiny downside to this plugin is that with the free version you can only compress 500 images a month, so if you’re adding it to a bigger site for the first time it can take a while to gradually with 500 a month work your way through your site. It’s easy to use and works very well, though.
This plugin is brilliant – at times when they update it goes a bit haywire for a while, but they always sort out the glitches ad I’ve learnt not to update for a couple of days after an update goes live and wait to see how it works for others first – sneaky.
This is the plugin, that lets you change what text shows up when you share a post, so instead of a bit chunk at the beginning of your post appearing when you share a post, whatever description you choose to type in appears. It just looks a lot more professional and is better for SEO – search engine optimisation.
SEO Yoast also has a traffic light system so that you can see how well your post will perform from an SEO perspective. SEO Yoast also helps you with webmaster tools and helps you set up your open graph meta data for social media. This is what helps to show your images along with your posts when you share them on social media.
It also helps with sitemaps and all sorts of other bits and pieces I won’t list individually, as you can investigate yourself if and when you download it.
WP Drafts For Friends
This one is for bloggers who either want to allow a friend to read a blog post they are writing before they publish it, its sometimes handy to have a second pair of eyes read through for you – or for letting a PR see your post before it goes live.
For any non-bloggers who are reading this, that doesn’t mean they check review post before they are published and get us to make changes, it’s actually just that some like to make sure we’ve used the correct links to their site and haven’t used any images from sources that we shouldn’t etc.
Anyway, bloggers this plugin lets you share a url link to your draft post for as long as you set it to be available, to be viewable by someone clicking on the link. No more copy and pasting whole posts to Word or elsewhere.
It is a sad fact that there are a huge amount of hackers and spammers out there and you need to protect your site from them. I have been hacked in the past and it really is not a nice experience.
I managed to fix it myself as I am pretty good at the tech side of things on WordPress, but often people have to pay a fortune to have someone else fix their site. It really is time-consuming and stressful.
The best plugin by far that I have found to protect my site – I wish I was using it before the hack, it may well have prevented it. You can set Wordfence up to automatically scan your site so that if anyone does manage to add malicious files or make changes without your knowledge, then you can hopefully get rid of them before any real damage is done.
It will prevent certain file changes from happening, block those it can definitely tell have malicious intentions and best of all, in my opinion is being able to view Live Traffic. With Live Traffic you can see who has visited your site and lets you block those who you can tell were up to no good. Such as people trying to log in.
Wordfence has blocked several hack attacks on my blog already and I would not be without it now.
That’s it, my favourite plugins that I use. There are a few other more boring ones, but these are the ones I really do find the most helpful. I hope you find them good as well!
Stevie x**To comment on this blog you do not need to leave your name, email address or website if you don't wish to. Any information entered will remain private and will not be shared with anyone other than the site owner.