One of the many advantages to having a self-hosted WordPress.org site is that you have the freedom to customize your plugin selection. At the same time, it can be daunting because there are over 50,000 plugins available. I could have easily included every plugin I have in my own personal dashboard. To keep things simple, I’d like to share five WordPress plugins that I think are worth checking out and adding to your own dashboard if you haven’t already done so.
This is the most recently installed plugin I’ve been using. Now there is the route of creating a new post, then copying and pasting the text. However, you end up repeating some of the work from your last post such as re-entering the meta description, tags, and categories. It doesn’t take that long, but if you could save time on it then why not? Enter in the duplicate post plugin where it essentially makes a direct of your post or page. You just saved yourself several steps. I like to think of it as being similar to the duplicate tab option.
I found this to be very useful especially if you’re a small business owner and want to tweak your landing pages or services page, but you still want to keep the existing pages so you can compare and preview the various versions. I’ve only used this plugin once but I will definitely be using it more in the future. A new feature is that you can copy multiple posts and pages in one shot by selecting the clone option in the Bulk Actions section.
Earlier this year, I was excited to see a huge spike in my site traffic. Unfortunately, that huge spike ended up being spam traffic caused by spam bots. Not wanting to have my Google Analytics data further corrupted, I uploaded this plugin to my dashboard. The GM Block Bots plugin has quite the extensive list of bots it currently blocks. The great thing about this plugin is that once it’s installed, you can forget it because it runs automatically. Together with creating several spam filters in my Google Analytics account, I have not recently seen any suspicious activity. Of course, everyone wants traffic to their site and a lot of it, but what good is it if your traffic is from a suspicious, spammy source?
As far I know, Google has yet to solve the spam traffic issue. While we wait for the solution, be sure to add this plugin to your toolbelt and check your stats every so often.
I’m not totally against pop-ups to help build your email list because I have them on my site in several locations (in the bottom right-hand corner and in the middle of the screen). What I’m not a big fan of are the ones that cover the ENTIRE site, so you can’t see it. Basically, the site owner wants you to sign up for something they’re offering before you’ve even had a chance to check out their site. It’s like screaming SIGN UP NOW. BUY MY STUFF NOW.
If you’re completely against pop-ups entirely or if you’re looking to another opt-in form (they should be in various sections of your site), then there’s a less intrusive way to get people to sign up for your email list or perform another call-to-action. Enter the WP Notification bars plugin. One of my favourite features about the plugin is you can customize the look of the notification bar with your brand colours. Since implementing this particular plugin, I noticed a small sudden increase to my slowly growing email list. It had been stagnant for quite some time prior to installing this plugin.
There’s nothing more annoying that clicking on a link and realizing that the source doesn’t exist anymore. You may have deleted a post because it was irrelevant or the information was old. However you may have linked to that particular post in more recent blog posts, but you can’t remember which ones or how many of them were there. Not only that, if you have linked to external sites, it’s beyond your control if those links become broken. The Broken Link Checker searches for broken links and notifies you.
Having a site with many broken links doesn’t fare well with Google either (and we all want to stay on Google’s good site to avoid being penalized) and can affect your rankings. So be a good site owner and fix those links.
Another factor that can affect the user experience is your site’s loading time. These days, nobody has the patience to wait for a site that takes forever to load. This could mean the loss of potential customers and potential sales because they didn’t want to wait around. As the owner of a business that has an online presence, you would want your users to have the best experience possible. There are many things you can do to reduce your site’s loading time. One of them is to install a cache plugin that caches (stores data) the latest version of your pages and displays it to viewers, rather than having your browser dynamically generate it every single time.
What Other WordPress Plugins Would You Highly Recommend?