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It can be overwhelming to choose from the 55,000 plus plugins available for WordPress blogs, especially if you’re a new user. It could be a task to figure out the correct plugin for your specific website.
Most WordPress users ask for the top plugins for social media, speed, SEO, backups and so on. The fact is that with the right WordPress tools and plugins, you could help an online business to grow exponentially. Data from WordPress suggests that more than 400 million people go through over 20 billion posts on blogs every month (2020 data analytics), which indicates a high amount of interest and increasing demand for blogs.
Although it is quite simple to create your own WordPress website and installing all kinds of themes, you have to be extra careful about adding plugins. And what are ‘plugins?’ Well, these are tools that help make a blog website highly functional. They are beneficial for both the readers and blog owners; for users because they’re able to navigate the website more efficiently. A lot of plugins are typically multi-purpose tools, however there are some which are developed for certain specific purposes only.
Below is a curated list of the top WordPress plugins that you should definitely consider for your website in 2020. These will help boost the quality and reach of your blog. They are tested for their features and have proven to be quite beneficial for most WordPress blogs.
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It is common for a blog website to get spammed every once in a while. It is vital to prevent this from happening as spam has the potential to contaminate your backend files and website via comments and form submissions from users.
In order to minimize spams, a great plugin to use for your WordPress blog is Akismet. This anti-spam plugin does the job of examining all your form submissions and comments to identify any harmful content.
By using Akismet, you will be able to get rid of all the spams in your blog website. The plugin works to automatically analyze the blog and omit content that may appear to be spam. Once the spams get identified, these are recorded as status history and you can see where those comments got unspammed/spammed by Akismet.
With active installations for Akismet at more than five million till date the plugin has helped remove over 400 billion spams for users till date.
Some of the key features of the Akismet plugin include the following:
- You have the option to see comment status history (where spams are found).
- It has a ‘discard’ feature which can block the worst kind of spams and save storage.
- Akismet allows for easy restore and backup processes.
- Its fast performance helps save time.
- It is possible for moderators to see the spam comment count from every user.
- With Akismet, you can view the URLs in the body of comments and thus identify misleading or hidden links. It is possible for moderators to view accepted comments for every user.
You can make your website more SEO-friendly and extend its functionality with the help the Rank Math WordPress plugin. It comes with multiple modules that can make your blog a lot more robust.
It is common knowledge that one of the most consistent traffic sources for a website is SEO. However, it has its own quirks. Optimizing your blog posts is a constant process and can take up a lot of time, sometimes even more than the development of the actual content. Feel that you need to have better SEO on your blog, but don’t have enough time to invest in it? Well, if the answer is ‘yes,’ then all you need is the Rank Math plugin.
It has a bundle of smart features that equip you with the best SEO tools to operate your blog and enhance its reach. There are automation features in Rank Math that work together almost like an SEO team for you and the MyThemeShop offers you a well-planned design and powerful features.
The configuration of Google Schema Markup (Rick Snippets) also becomes easier with Rank Math. It offers more than 13 kinds of Rich Snippets that include a Rating Schema, which means you’d be in a position to optimize blog posts with just a couple of clicks.
Rank Math almost configures itself. The installation process is fairly simple, a step-by-step procedure for configuring SEO for your WordPress blog. Once installed, the plugin does a verification of your website settings and suggests the perfect settings for optimal performance. This is followed by the installation wizard setting up SEO for your website along with webmaster profiles, social profiles and other kinds of SEO settings.
WP Review Pro
Several WordPress blog owners end up writing product reviews in order to earn money online. While some are offered direct payments by the company for their submissions, others make use of affiliate marketing and earn their revenues.
Did you know that it was possible to do your product reviews as blog posts? The only problem is that simple blog posts do make use of the proper review format, which search-engine supported. What this means is that your article might not appear in the Google review search results. To resolve this issue, you can use the WP Review Pro plugin, which is one of the best plugins for those looking to write product reviews on WordPress.
The best thing about WP Review is that it is super user-friendly and can be used by beginners too. When activated, it allows you to write new posts and select different review types. WP Review supports three different kinds of rating stars, percentage and points for review. There is also the option to rate individual features separately if desired. WP Review works with user ratings as well, and allows them to submit personal ratings for different products.
Another feature of WP Review is that it has a variety of styling options, which you can find under ‘Settings.’ So, there is the freedom to pick your favourite colours to match the theme and design your review box as you like.
I actually used the plugin to write reviews for different page builders. Check out the full article here.
Optin FormsOptin Forms is a WordPress plugin that allows users to make beautiful optin forms to design their website or blog. The best part is that they need not know any CSS or HTML for it. When using Optin Forms, you just need to pick an email solution and form design to customize. You can supplement your pages and posts with this form by simply clicking the mouse on a command or make use of a shortcode (add to specific pages and posts). You can use Optin Forms for the below mention email solutions:
- Interspire Email Marketer
There are five stunning form designs that you can choose from when using Optin Forms. Every form design is a 100 per cent customizable and it is very easy to change all the fonts, font sizes and texts. Use the plugin’s color picker feature to change each element’s color as you like. Starting from day one, you can use Optin forms to garner greater number of leads from your existing traffic. Also, once it is set, the plugin operates on autopilot.
Content Locker Pro
If you’re looking to power boost the likes and shares on your pages or wish to enhance your current mailing list, then you need Content Locker Pro. A lot of bloggers may already produce content that the audience wishes to read; this plugin helps convert the ‘reads’ into ‘logins’ or ‘likes’ and is proven to be very effective, thanks to its innumerable features.
Each time you have a visitor on your site, view it as an opportunity for creating a lead. The visitor could be your possible customer, if given the right direction on your page.
Content Locker Pro is a very simple plugin that is easy-to-operate and yet offers great benefits. You get access to the latest and super advanced techniques that can help grow your audience. Even a beginner can use this plugin to reap its multiple long and short-term benefits.
The consumption of content has undergone a major change today and most of the traffic on websites and blogs comes through mobiles. The great thing about Content Locker Pro is that it ensures consistent engagement with the customers regardless of the device being used by them.
The plugin has been developed in a way that it can easily work with your current branding and design. You have the option to choose from seven different types of basic designs and narrow down to one that best matches the theme and content of your website or blog.
Among the locker designs, there is one that hides the content till it is shared by a visitor. It is ideal for making posts go viral on the Internet in a short span of time, and will bring an increased number of visitors to your website or blog.
wpDiscuz is one of the quickest comment plugins available for WordPress. This self-hosted plugin is fully cache and CDN compatible and designed to work with highly active websites. If you get a high number of comments on your posts, then wpDiscuz is the perfect plugin for your blog, as it offers a dynamic range of commenting features and functions which include:
- A highly fast commenting experience
- Possible to allow/disallow commenting on posts as well as other content
- Easy, clean and simple user experience and user interface
- It adds a unique interactive commenting box to your posts
- You get real time updates on new comments
- Anonymous commenting feature (email and name omitted if not required)
- Complete integration with Twitter, Facebook and other social media login plugins
- Sorting of comment list in an organized way (oldest, newest, most voted etc.)
- Allows user to make new discussion threads and post replies to existing comments
- Offers nested or multi-level comment threads
- wpDiscuz also has anti-spam features for security and won’t allow any spammers to post comments on your blog.
- It has an integrated intelligent voting system that includes tracking of cookies and logged-in users.
- Among several other features, it allows you to share posts on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
There are several addons available with wpDiscuz too. One of them is wpDiscuz Report and Flagging, which adds a ‘flag button’ to all comments and has several helpful functions. This addon generates a pop-up report form for comments to categorize negative and positive comments.
There are two ways in which it auto moderates comments- trash and unapproved. The auto-moderation depends on the report and the count of flags. The admin gets an email notification of a report with new comments and visitor messages. They also get a notification when a comment hits the maximum limit of dislikes and flags.
WP Last Modified Info
Majority of the WordPress themes typically show the last published dates of posts. While this works for most other static websites and blogs, it doesn’t for WordPress because it is also utilized by sites that regularly update old articles.
For such publications, the last updated time and date serves as vital information. One of the most common examples of this is a news website. These websites regularly update dated stores in order to show recent developments, and also make corrections or add media files. In case, they added published dates only, the users would not be able to get those updates.
You might notice that several popular websites and blogs do not have any dates on their posts. This isn’t a good practice and dates should never be removed from a blog post. With the WP Last Modified plugin, admins can easily add updated/last modified information to their WordPress pages and posts.
Once you install the plugin, configuration will be very simple.
So, what exactly does WP Last Modified plugin do?
The plugin executes automated insertion of last updated/modified information on your pages and posts on WordPress. You can also use shortcode if you wish to do a manual insertion of updates and modifications on your pages and posts.
The ‘dateModified’ markup is automatically added to the WordPress posts and it help inform search engines such as Bing and Google about last modified time and date of a page or post.
Some of the key features of the plugin include the following:
It allows admins to show the last modified info in their pages and posts individually. Admins also have the option to set time/date formats as well as the timestamp position in their WordPress posts
You have the option to show the last updated/modified date below or above your pages and posts.
Provides you with options to display the last modified/last updated date above or below your posts and pages.
With the WP Last Modified plugin, you can make changes to the text that is displayed next to the recently modified date.
The Optimole WordPress plugin is a complete solution for all kinds of image optimization. It is fully automated and has set of advanced features that make it easier for you to de-clutter your bloaty pages and heavy images.
Optimole operates on a cloud system and optimizes images to make your website work faster. It delivers high-quality images that are sized perfectly for all kinds of devices.
It requires minimal footprint and just click a setup Optimole for WordPress. Soon after it is configured, you’d have the freedom to focus on the other vital aspects of the website as Optimole will take complete care of image optimization for you.
One of the best features of Optimole is that you can easily use it with Elementor. So, rather than simply optimizing your media library content, the plugin can also work with images processed through Elementor, including backgrounds.
Also, when one says that optimization is cloud-based, it basically means that nothing in the media library is altered by Optimole and every original image remains intact. The plugin runs a check on the browser and device of the visitor to deliver images that are tailor-customized; it even works in case of poor internet connections.
With Optimole, you can put watermark on your images to improve security (especially if your images have previously been embezzled by other websites. Besides this, the Optimole plugin also offers an entire package of essential features for image optimizers.
For a full practical guide on how to use the optimole plugin, check out my article here.
Easy Tables Content
Easy Tables is a user-friendly WordPress plugin that allows admins to insert content tables into their pages, posts and customized posts. The generation of the content tables is automated.
The plugin is compatible with Rank Math and also works with Gutenberg, Elementor, Divi, Visual Composer, Page Builder and Classic editor, all different types of page editors.
While using Easy Tables, you have the option to enable it or disenable it for certain posts/pages. Also, you can decide whether or not you wish to display content tables in a hierarchical format or not. What this implies is that lower priority headings will be put under higher priority headings. Admins can also choose to hide the content table and disable the feature or even hide it by default.
Easy Tables facilitates smooth scrolling. You can select to disable or enable the content table for every individual post and choose headings to create the content table. The plugin offers many easy options for configuring the location and time for inserting content tables.
Admins also have several options for configuring the appearance of the content table, including multiple built-in themes. In case you aren’t satisfied with the available themes, you could also choose to make your own customized one by picking out border colors, link color and the background. Among other features,
Easy Tables offers different formats for counter formats for bullets, including none, roman, numeric and decimal.
If you do not wish to use a content table in a specific post, there is the option utilize the available widget and put the content table the theme’s sidebar. These widgets are usually stuck or affixed on the post/page, and are visible at all times when the user is scrolling down.
The top-rated social sharing WP plugin is undoubtedly Social Snap. It helps admins get increased traffic and also boosts engagement through social media. The plugin hardly takes any time to be installed and configured and gives both your existing and new visitors the option to share the content posted by you.
Social Snap provides high-end UI/UX within the product and therefore has such an uncomplicated and intuitive interface and design. It can easily be used by beginners as well as advanced users who need an efficient plugin for social sharing.
A key thing to note about Social Snap is that it loads asynchronously and uses vector images which prevent the slowing down of your website. A lot of time has gone into ensuring that the performance of Social Snap is top-notch. You can expect very fast performance, whether using Social Snap for yourself or displaying follow and share options to visitors.
Social Snap offers social media share buttons that are beautiful and 100 per cent customizable for most major networks including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Social Snap makes sharing via Gmail and other email apps fairly simple and also allows a visitor to print out the content available on your page/blog. There is a copy link that allows you to make a copy of the page URL with a single click and share it with family/friends. Social Share displays total and/or individual share counts. It allows you to edit the labels of share buttons to maximize engagement.
You can also display different kinds of share buttons, suited for desktop screen and mobiles. The button called “More Networks” allows you to choose share buttons for display and you can hide the others inside the widget. This will help keep your blog/site clean at all times.