5 Best WordPress Plugins to enhance your blog that are free.
I am constantly reading lists of bloggers’ favorite plugins. Plugins can add so much to your blog, but they can also slow it down. It seems many bloggers really like the same plugins for the same reasons.
Many SEO experts suggest keeping plug-ins to a minimum. I have heard several numbers. Keep it under 15, keep in under 30, and another top expert says under 40 as long as they are not heavy plug-ins.
I have two sites. One site I have had for years and it has close to 30. I would like to reduce the amount but not sure why I even have some. Some are part of my theme and came with it. One of my newer sites has just under 10. I would prefer to keep my site under 20 if possible and even lower if I can.
5 Best WordPress PlugIns
Akismet – This plugin stops most spammers from getting through to your comments. Make sure you keep this plugin updated. When you go to your dashboard you will see how many were stopped and if there are any questions on some, you can manually allow or trash.
Broken Link Checker – This is an awesome plugin that lets you see what links have been broken over time. It randomly checks all your links and sends you an email daily when it finds them. This plugin does take up a lot of resources. You may need to use it monthly and then disable in between if you have more plugins than you should.
Yoast SEO I have been using YOAST for 6 years and I find it has many perks to it. I like that it has analytics, it also helps with keywords and many other benefits. The other option would be WordPress SEO, but after using both, I prefer YOAST. You should probably have one or the other. Here is a tutorial to set up this plugin.
WP Recipe Maker – This is a free plugin, you can upgrade and pay for the extras they provide also, but WP Recipe Maker allows you to add links into your recipe and also lets you choose the image you like to use with the recipe print page. I think it is well worth it. Make sure you are filling out all of the fill-ins as this is important for SEO. I use the paid version for the Nutrition Facts.
Updraft Plus for Backups– You can set up your blog to back up daily, weekly or monthly and send it to dropbox, google drive, email, and about 6 other locations. A Backup plugin is a must-have.
Best Practices for WordPress Plugins
Every month check to see that your plugins are still being updated by the developer. If a plugin hasn’t been updated in a few months there is a chance that a hacker could get through and destroy your site.
I update my plugins in my dashboard every day when I go into the site.
If you have a glitch after a plugin update, you may have to use trial and error to figure out which one it is. You might have to delete the ones that were updated and then add them back one by one manually to see which is causing the conflict.
Bonus Extensions & Plugins
Social Warfare This is a great customizable sharing tool, that lets you choose which image to share and also hide long pins. This is a paid plug-in. I do use this plugin and it makes sharing for Pinterest very easy. It also has a click to tweet feature, as an added bonus.
Grammarly This is a free version extension for Chrome. I can’t believe how many mistakes I had before. Not in spelling per se, but in extra spaces, or missing or extra commas. It is a must-have for any blogger.
Short Pixel Image Optimizer – This is a free and paid plugin. For $20 you can get over 10,000 images compressed. It will save you a lot of space.
If you have any plugins that you can’t live without, share them in the comments. I would love to see them.
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