Starting a blog is easier said than done.Although it seems fairly easy to have a blog up and running with the modern technologies, starting a blog is only half of the work. In order to have a compelling and competitive blog one should keep it fresh and up to date. And by up to date I mean both its content and functionality.
While it’s believed that content is king (and I would totally agree with it) functionality also matters a lot. A blog which lacks necessary features to provide easy interaction for its visitors is bound to a failure. The good news is that, you’re the owner of your blog and you’re free to equip it with the features and functionalities you think your readers will most benefit from. If your blog runs on WordPress the things are even better. Without any coding knowledge and skills you can quickly bring the right functionality to it. All you need is to check the list of the plugins I’ve put together,which provide the most advanced, widely used and efficient functionality needed for the modern blogs. Let’s check them out.
Analytics provide reliable data on your website performance and is a great tool to help you make your site even better. Google Analytics WD will help you do that by giving you detailed and valid reports on every aspect of your website. It gives you reports on your site audience and performance, and allows you to compare reports on two different periods. You can set and get custom reports on metrics and dimensions that Google Analytics does not automatically track,as well as track targeted activities that you’re most interested in.The plugin also provides sales reports on your Adsense, AdWords and ecommerce accounts, and lets you track custom dimensions based on logged in users, certain post types and categories, etc. Google Analytics WD comes with data exclusion and data filtering options to help you exclude any unnecessary info from your reports.
If you’ve been blogging for a while you probably know how important email listings are. So,if you want to easily collect subscribers and grow your email lists, Mailchimp WD is the right tool for you. It seamlessly integrates with Mailchimp and lets you create stunning email subscription forms in minutes.You can fully customize the forms from header to bottom, and let your visitors choose themselves whether they want to subscribe or unsubscribe to/from a specific list. The plugin supports a number of custom fields, such as Paypal integration, custom select, file upload, survey tools, etc, each coming with its own set of customizable settings. It allows you to display or hide form fields based on the specific selections your visitors make,which is a great option to avoid filling in unnecessary fields. Mailchimp WD comes with topbar, scrollbox,popup and embedded form display options.
If your blog is not using social sharing buttons, it’s missing out on some great portion of exposure. With Social Welfare you can add beautiful, fully customizable, and super fast sharing buttons to your site and let your readers share your content the way you want it to be shared. It’s absolutely up to you to choose the social networks you want your content to get shared,and choose the locations where you want the buttons to show up. The plugin supports displaying share counts and comes with a popular posts widget, which shows your most popular posts based on the shares it gets. Social Welfare is analytics integrated and comes with link button-click tracking and shortening features.
Akismet is a great tool to fight spam on your blog. It automatically checks your blog comments and contact form submissions against spam and protects your site against malicious content. Site moderators can see the number of the approved comments and check the comment status history, where all the caught spam, number of the approved or spammed comments is displayed. Akismet comes with an advanced discard feature, which blocks the worst spam and saves you a lot of disk space.
This plugin generates special XML sitemap for your website and helps major search engines better see its structure and better index it. It supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs, and instantly notifies search engines once you add new post to your site.
If you do not use forms on your blog, you’re basically hindering a good portion of feedback to get to you. But the thing is that forms are not used merely for feedback, there is a variety of ways forms can be useful. So make sure your blog features one.WordPress Form Maker is a feature-packed and highly customizable form generating plugin that you can use to add various kinds of forms to your website. It comes with a myriad of form field options that allow you to create any kind of registration, survey, application, contact and questionnaire forms.The plugin features 41 editable form themes,and allows you to edit form CSS for custom form designs. It comes with three types of captcha protections and has a searchable submissions section.
Coschedule is a nice editorial calendar which lets you organize your tasks and keep you and your team connected. This is a great way to save time on social sharing, as the plugin lets you schedule your shares in the most optimal way. You can share tasks with your team members, upload resources, mark deadlines and make sure not to miss them.It comes with advanced tools that allow you to monitor social traffic, optimize your headlines, integrated with Google docs and Evernote, and many more.
Checking for broken links can take you a hell of time,and this is where Broken Link Checker plugin does a great job. It monitors your site against broken links and missing images and notifies you whether there are any found. Moreover, It makes those broken links display in a different way in your posts and prevents search engines from following them. The best thing about it is that you can edit the links from the plugin’s admin area without the need to edit the whole post in which the links were found.The plugin is highly configurable and super easy to use.
Disqus is an interactive commenting system that makes commenting easier on your website. It connects website commenters across different communities and helps them engage in active conversations. The plugin uses threaded comments and replies which makes it easy to follow and get involved in conversations. it supports social mentions and performs full spam filtering and blacklisting. Disqus comes with powerful admin and moderating features, and gives you full control over the way your blog’s comments section looks.
Search Meter is a super advanced plugin, which is there to override your blog’s default searching functionality. It automatically tracks what users are searching on your site and records which of the searches have been unsuccessful. This is a great way to get to know what your visitors are looking for on your website and provide them with the relevant content. The plugin comes with a popular searches and recent searches widgets that you can use to show your visitors the most recent and frequent searches on your blog. Search Meter provides search statistics based on different periods.
WordPress is cool by itself, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it even better. Here are some great plugins that can help you keep your blog up to date and bring a myriad of advanced functionalities to it.