Wondering which are the best plugins for blog success in WordPress? I will share you how they helped my website became so successful (with links so you can get them too) and the reasons why to install each. Some are free and some are paid, but they are at affordable prices and they surely are worth the investment.
WordPress blog plugins are all over the web and it is hard to know which one is right for you. Most articles mention Yoast and other obvious plugins, but my article will be filled with special, less known but totally amazing ones. This is why I thought to share my secrets. I have to mention that this is not a sponsored article and all plugins are used by me.
BEST PLUGINS FOR BLOG SUCCESS IN WORDPRESS
These tips will work for any blog (in WordPress and with your own domain), it doesn’t matter what niche you are writing about. I want to help you stop wasting countless hours on plugin websites.
BEST WORDPRESS PLUGIN FOR LINKS
- THAT HELPED ME NOT GET PENALISED BY GOOGLE: There are several equally important aspects in making a blog popular and one of them is getting found in search engines. But this is not enough to rank higher, you will also need to be aware of external links.
In order to not get penalised by Google, you have to manage external links and be selective of who you add ”dofollow” or ”nofollow” to. This means that when an external link is ”nofollow” you do not give it link juice. Letting it be with ”dofollow” means you give it. It is a bit like recommending. Remember that too many ”dofollow” links will be viewed as spam and will harm your website’s rank. As a simple and free solution, I use ”Nofollow for external links” plugin.
As you can view from my screen capture above, it lets me easily include domains I want to let with ”dofollow”, all other external links will be automatically with ”nofollow”, making it very easy to write new posts and it also applies to all your previous posts too, so it will save a lot of time.
2. BEST WORDPRESS: THE THEME THAT LOOKS GORGEOUS AND DOESN’T RUIN MY SEO (UNLIKE PREVIOUS)
Another major aspect and a big blog secret is using a great WordPress theme. You might say: ”Ok, what is the big deal with that? There are tons of themes that claim to be good”. Well, that is exactly the issue: they just claim. I have personally been in an unpleasant situation myself so I can talk about this from my own experience. At the start of my blog, I thought (as many people do) that pretty themes that claim to also be SEO built are keeping their promise. So after buying a gorgeous theme from a popular designer (I will not name her to not harm) I started seeing a drop in my search engine ranking, visitors and errors appeared in the code when I was checking my website, even if visually all seemed fine. I emailed the designer and asked about why there are 11 h1 and h2 tags (those are pieces of code that need to be just ONCE) and she had no idea!!! I was absolutely disappointed, got a refund and started searching for a REAL gorgeous and SEO friendly theme.
The solution: Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you more.
Since I installed it, my visitors from search engines have increased, my rankings are back higher and all is working fab now. I would highly recommend getting the custom theme as it can be customized in so many ways (over 200 combinations) and you will have the pace of mind of having a good code too. It is terrible to write good articles and having a silly theme holding you back, so this is a crucial investment.
3. THE PLUGIN THAT BETTER PROTECTS MY ARTICLES FROM BEING COPIED WITHOUT PERMISSION
Another important aspect is protecting both your writing and your images. While there is no 100 percent guaranteed method to prevent people from copying your articles, it does help to have a plugin that disables right clicking. This does not however stop sharing and pinning (which you want on), just people copying the text or saving the images in their computer. I choose to use a free plugin called Right click disable or ban, which is very easy to install. I have these settings on:
Since I installed it, I didn’t have issues with other websites copying my articles. I recommend installing it.
4. THE PLUGIN THAT HELPED ME DRAMATICALLY INCREASE MY FOLLOWERS
This is a tip not many bloggers know but followers plugins will be a big trend in the near future. This is because a plugin such as Arqam followers counter makes social media engaging very easy and chic. At just 16 dollars (one time payment, not monthly like other similar plugins), it has the advantage of updating itself, you just need to install each network and then it automatically refreshes with the number of followers for each. Soooo important because, let’s face it, you would rather subscribe or follow a person if you saw 100 or 3000 followers opposed to just an icon with no numbers. Numbers encourage people to join, it tells them right away that others appreciate you too, that there is a community there. So be smart and get this now, as these will get more and more popular I predict their prices to go up.
Below are just a few examples from other blogs, you can see how I customized mine in the sidebar. I am quite fascinated with this plugin, it is so nice to open my blog and check the new lovely followers, it gives a nice feeling to know that people support your passion.
Arqam will also looks modern and professional in your sidebar and it is a great branding asset. It is like your mini media kit, telling brands in a glance what social networks you have and how many followers. This ease will greatly increase your chances of getting collaborations, as brand PRs are very busy and they surely do not want to click on each icon to check numbers. The easier you make it for them, the better it is for your blog.
It will also help you when pitching for sponsors, because you will not have to manually add the links and check followers count to each network in your emails, you just nicely point out to the recipient to check your sidebar.
5. THE PLUGIN THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR READERS TO REPIN
Since Pinterest is a major source of blog traffic, I recommend making it as easy as possible for your readers to repin. I am using a free plugin called Pinterest master. Here are my settings below:
This plugin adds a ”Pin it” button when a reader hovers over one of your blog images, encouraging
him/her to repin. In the same time, thanks to the hover effect, the button doesn’t disturb the aesthetic of the photos as it only appears when scrolling over.
6. HOW AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER GREW MY BLOG TRAFFIC
Back in the day, I didn’t really know and understand why popular blogs where so excited in asking subscribers for their email address. I thought it was just a fad, when there are so many social networks they could get the message across. Oh, I was so wrong! The email list is a major part of an intelligent blog because social media channels have their rules, they can change the algorithm at any time. You have heard or even seen how Facebook posts get a 5 percent audience reach, so if you have 1000 followers, just 50 people see your update. Instagram is also dropping its reach and other social networks too.
The most reliable is the email list, the one your blog readers subscribe to. It is in your control and has the higher audience reach of all methods.
But how do you collect it? First of all, stop using the WordPress subscribe, as that only sends new posts to your readers and you cannot compose your own emails or export the emails to a custom newsletter service. Instead, you have to add a special subscription form in your blog and connect it to your newsletter plugin.
I am using Mailster newsletter plugin to collect, store emails from my subscribers and create unique newsletters for them with my blog articles. I see people stressing themselves out because popular services like Mailchimp put pricey fees based on the subscribers numbers, with Mailster you do not have to worry, as there is just the one time 40 dollars payment and you can have unlimited subscribers.
This newsletter plugin is the best because you do not need to pay monthly fees (Bye expensive Mailchimp), 40 dollars and that’s it, as I mentioned above! Here are just a few of its features that convinced me to buy it:
- it tracks how many people opened your newsletter
- how many clicked inside the email
- it personalizes each email with the recipient’s name if you want
- how many people are subscribed
- it connects with Arqam to display the subscribers count in the sidebar
- it has an auto-responder which helps you in greeting new followers or send them a download freebie, meaning no need to buy expensive landing pages
- campaign scheduling
- live preview newsletter builder for an easy design
- unlimited number of subscribers and no extra fees
Here is an example from a popular blog of how much information this plugin has, being a great asset in understanding what your readers like to click/view and what not.
I am impressed how smart Mailster newsletter plugin is for the price!
7. THE PLUGIN THAT PUT AN END TO TIME-CONSUMING IMAGE ALIGNMENT AND RESIZING
I am sure that we all have been at the annoying point where we needed to make an article and create a gallery, but WordPress doesn’t have fancy options so we were left with resizing, fitting and sorting the images to fit best.
This is highly time consuming. So much effort and your readers will have no idea how much time it took you to make those 5 images align right. And guess what? on mobile they align differently. So what is the solution?
After being stubborn and denying that I need a paid plugin, I tested countless free image gallery plugins. Some had errors, some were extremely hard to learn to use, some were just plain ugly. After admitting that I was wasting my time, I finally made the right decision and purchased The Grid. My oh my, why didn’t I buy it sooner??? It makes customizing galleries so easy, I can move the images, adjust sizes for different screens and it automatically resizes all images. If I change my mind, I can go back and it resize again, no need to re-upload. It saves A TON of time!
See how easy is to resize any image as in the screen capture below, using just sliders:
Above is a screen capture of how pretty my home page looks using it (click here to actually see it live), all images are aligned perfectly. It looks really professional. Can you image how much time it would take to manually measure and align all those images?? Plus, this plugin adds the option of putting a link to each image inside a gallery, without it being impossible to do that in WordPress (WordPress normally lets you put a custom link only to a singular posted image, not to a gallery). And adding such customs links inside galleries is a thing you will most face in writing articles.
It has different gallery layouts that solve the issue of the images having to have the same sizes, it is smart to align them no matter the size! Now, when I make an article, I just choose the images, name a new gallery and that’s pretty much it, I do not worry about them aligning as this plugin does it all for me. So, if images are an important part of your blog, get this, you will not regret it.
It is very easy to learn to use The grid, you simply:
- create a new gallery,
- choose a source
- choose a layout design
- add the theme
8. HOW TO GET THE COOL INSTAGRAM FOOTER SLIDER
I am sure that you admired beautiful blogs featuring an Instagram slider at the footer. I have too. I was also wondering which plugin is best for this and so far, I am happy with using the free version of Instagram Slider Widget.
Below is a screen capture from my blog, live it looks larger as it is across the entire template.
It is easy to install thanks to my clever Soledad blog theme (not all themes support an Insta feed in the footer). It updates itself after I post new pics to Instagram, it resizes automatically and looks really cool. You can see it live in my blog’s footer, isn’t it pretty?
9. THE PLUGIN THAT MAKES SHARING SO EASY FOR MY READERS:
Apart from people finding your blog in search engines, it is crucial to have a well written article in the first place. Content is king and how well you write will encourage the visitor to became your fan or share the article and possibly make it viral. For this to happen, you have to make your articles very easy to share.
This is why I am using Easy Social Share Buttons, it was quick to install and requires no coding knowledge. I like how it has all important networks and you can choose its placing inside each article. You can also set your own colors for each button. Plus, it can show the total shares number if you want, this encourages sharing even more and shows your visitors that others appreciate your content too.
Here are just a few of the button templates, there are 22 in total, so you really have a lot of design options to choose from:
You might wonder why I didn’t choose a free one. It is because all free plugins I tested were making my blog terribly slow so for me it was worth paying just 19 dollars and have a light, easy to use WordPress plugin. You get updates for life, without extra costs.
I love how I can customise the look of each sharing button, I can match it to my theme, make a gradient effect or a simple one tone minimalist design, without having to code. It is very easy and this plugin indeed deserves its name. Since installing it, I didn’t notice any slowing down so it is indeed made well and light-weight. The previous free plugin was pretty but it was coded heavily so it made my blog crash once every ten minutes, loosing visitors. For me, a free plugin was not worth it.
I hope my article helps you in bringing more visitors to your blog and also looking more professional. Investing in your blog is a sign that you are not an amateur, that you respect and want the best for your brand and audience. Combining free and paid plugins, you enhance your website and bring new, exciting features to it. Plugins are a great way to add features to your WordPress based website/blog.
These plugins are all used and tested by myself, they really made my blog grow, enhance my audience and collaborations numbers. I wasn’t disappointed in purchasing any of theme, I am very happy to continue using them. It is also great that I paid just one payment for each and any future updates are free of charge.
Here are all the links again, to shop or view more details, simply click on its name:
- Nofollow external links plugin (necessary to not get penalized by Google, here <<click)
- Custom theme (gorgeous and coded very well, best theme, 99 dollars: message the shop in the fields above)
- Right click disable or ban plugin (helps better protect your articles, here <<click)
- Arqam (Followers count plugin, crucial for audience and brand growth, 16 dollars: buy here <<click)
- Pinterest Master plugin (makes it easy for your readers to pin, here <<click)
- Mailster (The best email newsletter plugin, 40 dollars: buy here <<click)
- The Grid (pro image gallery plugin that makes aligning a breeze on all screens, 25 dollars: buy here <<click)
- Instagram Slider Widget (gives readers a preview of your Insta feed, looks cool, here << click)
- Easy Social Share Buttons plugin (light, fast and pretty looking, 19 dollars: buy here <<click)
Another of my secrets is the exclusive course in growing your blog using Pinterest, see how I reached an audience of 1 million per month at http://www.thedailyfashioninspiration.com/pinterest-marketing-grow/
Any questions, please comment below