WordPress Plugins

11 Plugins Every WordPress Blog Should Have - 2018 Edition

11 Plugins Every WordPress Blog Should Have – 2018 Edition

WordPress is one of world’s most popular content management platforms. With easy to use free blog tools and self-hosted sites, WordPress has a lot to offer. From amateur site-runners/owners to seasoned industry veterans, everyone is in love with WordPress and none can deny the fact that not only is it easy to use, cool, and chic, but also extremely robust, and thanks to its thousands of plugins, a complete solution for website management.

 

WordPress maintains a repository of many powerful plugins which developers and site owners appoint to give their websites a complete feel. While the utilities of these plugins vary, many among the plug-in bank exist to serve a single purpose. So choosing a couple among them, gets quite confusing.  And to further add to the confusion, not all of these apps are free to use. Some of them are Premium, but most of them are freemium(Plugins which offer basic functionality for free but require you to purchase them if you need to add additional features).

 

Now because there are so many plugins in the WordPress Plugin directory, it is not possible to rate each one of them and tell you which ones you should have and which ones you shouldn't. So instead, we have created a list of some must-have plugins for your WordPress websites.

 

So let’s jump in!

  1. WP Smush- image optimization

A picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, and especially nowadays. An image can be used to pass on a plethora of information which will reduce the amount of content you would have had to write instead just to explain the same thing. Also, images bring a lot of visual appeal to your website as well.

 

But while they are incredible tools, images take up a lot of storage space and take too long to be uploaded and downloaded. This problem intensifies for slow speed networks. This can be disastrous.

 

So to reduce the size and loading time of these images, plugins like WP Smush exist in the WordPress plugin repository. What this tool does is compress your image using advanced compression techniques and makes sure that the quality of your image remains intact.

 

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Yoast SEO

It doesn’t matter how beautiful or useful your website is; if it can’t be reached, then it is of no use, to you or your users. Search engines are a major source of website traffic. Most users will be able to use your website only if a search engine can index it in search results. Thus you need to make sure that search engine crawlers can get to your site.

 

Search Engine Optimization is just as vital for you as having a website in the first place. It makes sure that your site has been designed in a way in which search engines can get to it.

 

For WordPress sites, a plugin called Yoast SEO is there to do all of that. It helps you in creating more SEO friendly content which will compel search engines to list your website higher in the search results. The key to SEO is to provide users with relevant information and not to catfish them onto your sites for the sake of views. Latest algorithms followed by search engines these days are extra cautious of such trickery, and so, you need to prove it to these bots that your website has relevant content.

 

From choosing proper keywords and writing your articles in a way which makes the most of these keywords, to tell you how to format your article to increase its visual appeal, Yoast SEO does it all.

 

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Jetpack

Jetpack is a plugin which has been developed by the creators of the WordPress itself. It is a powerful tool which is jam-packed with many functionalities which will help your website in ranking higher in search results. Jetpack looks after Security, traffic growth, image optimization, and many other such things. It contains an upgraded distribution function which automatically shares your content with other third-party tools like search engines and helps in increasing your site traffic.

It is a free plugin.

  1. Akismet

Developed also by the good people at WordPress, Akismet is one of the top anti-spam plugins in the WordPress plugin repository. It goes over all the comments on your website and provides users a history after flagging the spam content. It is basically a one-stop tool for you to make sure that your website remains free of any sort of spam. It is a default plugin which comes along with every WordPress core installation.

 

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. W3 Total Cache

Among the most significant setbacks your website can suffer from, one is a longer loading period. If your website has a lot of CSS work and if the images on your site take too long to load, then users will get frustrated and exit your site. The solution to this problem is caching.

 

Caching is the process of storing temporary data in small memory segments called caches. There are many caching plugins in the WordPress plugin repository. What they do is they save temporary HTML files in users’ cache, so that the next time they load your site, it will not take as long as before. This will increase the traffic on your site and your SEO quotient too.

 

W3 Total Cache in one of the most popular caching tool on WordPress. It allows you to cache web pages, databases, browsers, etc. Because of the reduced loading time, you will get higher rankings in search results, and that will lead to higher site traffic.

 

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Security Plugins

We can’t overstate the necessity of having security. Countless malicious bots are roaming the spectrum which will latch on to your site and make it collapse in a matter of seconds. So you need to have armor against these cancerous troublemakers. There are many plugins in the WordPress plugin repository which will enhance the security of your website. Some of them are:

 

  • All in One Security
  • Wordfence
  • BulletProof Security
  • Sucuri
  • iTheme security

 

There is no clear winner and no clear loser among these tools; all of them are high-end plugins which are very good at their jobs. So you can pick anyone you like for your website.

  1. Everest Forms- Easy Contact Form and Form Builder

One of the key pages every website needs to have is an excellent looking contact page. It needs to be visually fetching and at the same time, needs to give users just the right amount of information. Furthermore, contact pages these days allow users to contact you directly, without them having to send you an email. It enables users to type in some information about themselves and then jump straight to their query, complaint or question.

 

To create such contact forms for your WordPress site, plugins like Everest forms exist. One of the biggest advantages of Everest is its incredibly easy to use drag and drop interface. It lets you create your contact form by merely picking up elements from the side of the interface and dropping them anywhere you like on your workspace. And not only does it let you create fundamental forms, but also advance ones with Google reCaptcha support, redirect page options, etc.

 

It is a free plugin.

  1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Studying your traffic and knowing more about it will help you in creating a better site and increase the user traffic. There are many insight tools for WordPress websites which help you in obtaining vital stats for your website. The best among them by leaps is Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights.

 

This plugin will allow you to monitor various real-time statistics for your website and will create multiple demographics and interest reports to better your knowledge about your site traffic.

 

It will also allow you to keep an eye out on your product popularity and because it comes integrated with Google Adsense, the stats related to your ads will also be made available to you as well.

 

It is a free plugin.

  1. MailChimp for WordPress

It is very crucial that you keep in touch with your users. And to that, nothing is more effective than a properly created marketing mail which you can send to all your users in one single click and then track the results in bulk. Plugins like MailChimp are excellent email marketing tools for every site owner to have. It allows you to create beautiful subscription forms in your blog and can also be integrated with any other forms on your site like- Contact forms, checkout forms, etc.

 

It is a freemium tool.

  1. Google XML Sitemaps

It is another SEO tool which your website needs to have. Google XML Sitemaps creates a sitemap for your website which makes it easier for search engine bots to browse through your website. This in return will help search engines in getting a better idea of your site structure and index it higher in search results.

 

It is a free plugin.

 

  1. WordPress Amp

WordPress Amp is a plugin which can add AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages) to your website. With just a few clicks, this tool can make your site mobile ready. AMP HTML is an open source solution by Google which lets you turn your websites into mobile-optimized content which can then be loaded anywhere you like. WordPress Amp brings a lot of other things to the table as well. It boosts up your site SEO, brings more traffic from Google, improves user experience, and using Adsense and Woocommerce, it allows you to earn extra money by selling goods.

 

It is a premium plugin.

Conclusion

Using the above plugins, you can manage your website and juice out the maximum profit from it. They give you a complete control over your website and make sure that you get your money’s worth out of it. Apart from these, there are many other useful plugins which you will find in the WordPress plugin repository. But be sure you go over all of them and compare them against each other before you buy them though. And if you are not that technically inclined, then you can hire a website development firm for a robust process and flexibility to develop paramount solutions.

 

 

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All in One SEO Vs Yoast Which is the Best SEO Plugin for WordPress

All in One SEO Vs Yoast Which is the Best SEO Plugin for WordPress

Are you also confused about which plugin to choose for your WordPress site? Are you looking for the right plugin to ease your job? You have come to the right place.

WordPress has a variety of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins for boosting the efficiency of your WordPress site. Two SEO solutions are rated best among all other plugins for WordPress namely- ‘All in One SEO Pack’ and ‘Yoast SEO’ (previously known as ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’). To aggrandize your website, it is crucial to carefully study their features and choose the perfect one for your site.

Plugins enhance User Interface

Both All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO plugins have an excellent user interface which makes them the most likable. The All in One SEO Pack is being used by over 1 million active users and is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time. It is one of the original SEO plugins for WordPress. On the other hand, Yoast SEO sets itself apart from All in One SEO Pack through some striking features. After much research, we present to you our comprehensive study comparing both of these popular plugins.

To chalk out the study, we list the following features which would be compared in both the plugins:

1.    Installing and configuring

2.    Content and performance analysis

3.    Social media

Let us analyze each feature for your understanding.

1.    Installing and configuring:

It requires patience to understand the concepts of SEO and apply them to practice in your website. Hence, it is essential for SEO plugins to be tyro-friendly. A beginner should be able to set up the plugin without requiring specialized knowledge. Let us compare both the plugins on this aspect:

a)    All in One SEO Pack: Upon installing and activating this SEO plugin, it displays all its settings on a single page. Different sections on the settings page help you to deal with different settings like title settings, display settings, homepage settings, etc. The help icon adjacent to each setting pops up a pellucid description. After going through the settings, one is ready to use All in One SEO Pack.

b)    Yoast SEO: After installing and activating Yoast SEO, one can open the Dashboard to launch the configuration wizard under the General tab. A step-wise setup process makes it smooth for beginners. The settings section is bifurcated into pages allocated for different settings. The help center button can be accessed in case of assistance.

2.    Content and Performing Analysis:

It is necessary for a WordPress site owner to edit and preview content. Also, tools like readability and keyword density enhance the performance of the website. Each new post on your website has an SEO score. You can optimize your content for search engines with the help of plugins.

a)    All in One SEO Pack: A meta box below the post editor helps to edit SEO settings. In this plugin, this meta box is straightforward. It also delivers advanced tools for each post to monitor following by search engines and indexing. One can even turn off All-in-One SEO for a specific post or page.

b)    Yoast SEO: One can optimize every post on your website by using content analysis tool. Below the post editor, snippet preview of Yoast SEO meta box, content analysis, and focus keyword field are present. The snippet preview helps to view your site title and description just like in search engines. Content analysis guides you on how to increase SEO score. The meta box in Yoast SEO has two more sections.

3. Social Media:

Useful social media features allow you to handle your website socializing easily. You can edit the content appearing on your social media platforms through separate tabs for separate accounts.

a)    All in One SEO Pack: Social Media feature can be activated or deactivated according to your choice. Social Meta module can be started by going to Feature Manager. A Social Meta menu item gets displayed in which your social media settings are configured. All in One SEO plugin has a vast range of social contexts in comparison to Yoast SEO. Every setting has a description which is conducive to configuring your website. An unlimited number of social media accounts can be linked.

b)    Yoast SEO: You can switch between tabs to integrate your website with four favorite social tools namely- Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Cards, Pinterest Open Graph, and Google+ Publisher verification. Social media features can be located in the content analysis meta box below the WordPress, text editor.

SEO WordPress PluginsBoth SEO as well as Yoast have their own perks and negatives. It is totally dependent on the business for which they are supposed to be utilized. Pick the one suiting your needs and providing you the ease of utility.

Author Bio:- James Tredwell is a Technical SEO and Content Developer with Hopinfirst.com, one of the top iOS app development company. James is passionate about SEO, Technology and management and blogs frequently on the topics.

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Top 5 free Plugins for WordPress Image Optimization

Everyone wants their website to perform at its best without any compromise. This greatly affects the business and increases the customer trust. Image optimization plugins can be very helpful and can increase the overall performance of a site by decreasing its loading time. You can use them to optimize images and other files you upload to your site by making them smaller in size with minimal decrease in quality.

Here we have outlined some of the best Image optimization plugins which are also free to use.

 

#1. WP Smush Image Optimizing and compressing software

Image OptimizationSmush is among the most popular plugin for WordPress image optimization. It is available in both free and paid or premium formats. This plugin compresses your images without really affecting its quality.

The plugin feature automatic optimization of any image you upload to your WordPress site. It also has a bulk optimization option enabling you to tackle the number of tasks at once. This plugin is just perfect for you if you're looking for compressing your images backlog. It uses a lossless optimization technology for compressing images which results in minimal loss of quality along with decreased size which makes it a perfect choice.

#2. EWWW Image Optimizer

Eww Image OptimizerEWWW is another amazing and feature loaded plugin for WordPress. Installing and setting it up is quite easy. It automatically optimizes any images you upload to WordPress as long as it is of GIF, PNG and JPG file format.

EWWW does not use any third party service but the process of optimization takes place on your own server which is an advantage of this plugin. This decreases the time taken in compressing images and it only takes a few seconds to compress images below 1 MB size.

The plugin also offers cloud optimization feature which generally takes a bit longer but can be useful for those people who are facing difficulties in the setup process. By default, EWWW uses lossless optimization but for an even bigger reduction in the size, you can apply loss reduction.

#3. Optimus Image Optimizer

Optimus Image OptimizerIt is quite effective and one of the favorite choices of millions of people when it comes to image optimization and compression for a WordPress site.

The Optimus plugin can optimize image up to 70% resulting in quick loading of your site while also saving bandwidth. The software uses Optimus server for file compression. It sends the image to its server as soon as you upload them and provides you the optimized version of the image simultaneously in no time.

The quality of the image is never going to alter without your permission. Like other plugins, it also features automatic optimization with an option to stop it whenever you wish to.

#4. Kraken WordPress Optimizer

Kraken Image OptimizerKraken is a powerful WordPress image optimizer plugin which reduces image size to approx 80%. You also need not worry about the quality of your image as it assures you the least possible reduction in quality. Therefore you don't have to compromise quality wise for the sake of decreased image or file size.

The process of optimization is carried out by powerful Krakens server in blazingly fast speed and you need not to utilize your servers in the process. This, in turn, results in saving your operating cost and makes your site loading faster.

It helps in dramatically increasing the load times of your sites in mobile and tablet devices also because more and more of users are nowadays using these devices for accessing the sites. Kraken is ultra fast and robust software which uses best in the class algorithm. You can trust and rely on its capabilities worry free.

#5. Short pixel

Short Pixel Image OptimizerShort pixel is one of the most widely used image optimizer plugins for WordPress. The setup process of the smart pixel is also very easy. You just need to visit their visit and sign up there after that you will get your ID and password on your registered email.

The plan ranges free to premium paid version so one can choose accordingly. They offer the optimization of images via an API. You will get an option to choose the level of compression which ranges from lossy to loosless and glossy. It allows you to compress up to 50 files at once with a really fast compressing speed. You can use Smart pixel plugin to optimize all you WordPress images with just a click of a button.

These above-mentioned plugins are free and best for WordPress image optimization. You can use any of the above for decreasing the load time and increase search rank of websites so that it can get a lot of visits. But if you are short of time or have less knowledge about plugins then you can take help of an SEO Company.

Author Bio. :- James Tredwell is a Technical SEO at Hopinfirst.com who works with unique problems and advanced search situations. He helps clients improve organic traffic through a deep understanding of Google’s algorithm and Web technology.

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