If you are a writer or blogger hosting on WordPress, you probably know how convenient the WordPress service is. However, many writers make the mistake of using a barebones website with only the most basic features. While this may get the job done, it won’t be very appealing to potential readers and may not function as well as other sites.
This is where plugins come in. There are countless plugins for WordPress that will improve your site (52,274 plugins can be currently found on WordPress), but today Stacey Wonder, content manager from Essaytigers, is going to talk about 10 of the most useful that are great specifically for writers and blogs.
Contact Form by WPForms
Almost every website has some type of form for users to fill out. Whether this is a contact form, payment form or feedback form it can significantly increase user interaction on your site by allowing users to ask questions or leave you feedback. Don’t let the name fool you, this extension does not only create contact forms.
Contact Form by WPForms uses a simple drag and drop tool to create a wide selection of user forms to use on your website. Writers should at the very least create a feedback form for visitors to get a feel for how their articles are being received. If the articles are not easy to understand or providing useful information, you need to know to improve them in the future.
This plugin features an easy drag and drop form editor, lots of form templates, all while being mobile-friendly.
Some website owners ignore web security, but this can be a very grave mistake. What most people don’t realize is that hackers often use automated tools to target any non-protected sites. Getting hacked would have a lot of disastrous consequences like the information of your readers being stolen, malware being installed on your reader’s computers, or even having your website shut down.
iThemes Security is one of the most popular cybersecurity plugins for WordPress, which is great for protecting your site and preventing any hackers from messing with your site. This plugin includes a web application firewall, an integrated malware scanner, and data leakage prevention tools.
All In One SEO Pack
SEO, or search engine optimization, is imperative to driving traffic to your articles. Anything you can do to guarantee your posts will be at the highest point of web results will lead more clients to your writings and assist you with building a greater following.
All in One SEO Pack module enhances WordPress site posts and pictures. A portion of the highlights in this module include: gathering all URLs on your site to permit web indexes to effortlessly explore your posts, URLs and titles that are increasingly helpful for getting to a high place in web searches, and producing meta labels for the entirety of your posts.
In the event that you are new to SEO the module handles everything on its own so you don’t need to do anything, yet in the event that you need to tweak or use advanced SEO procedures you can change the settings to meet your needs. This addon will also alarm you when it discovers copied content, and even pings search engines when you have a change on your website. If you’re interested in All inOne SEO Pack, then remember to use a coupon code.
Mailchimp for WordPress
One of the best ways to increase your user base is to allow users to subscribe to your newsletter. Emailing them interesting content every week keeps your site in their minds and encourages them to come back for more.
Mailchimp for WordPress creates custom forms asking users to sign-up for your email list, and also allows for you to write and format your weekly emails within WordPress.
It also links directly to any Mailchimp account, which is a site frequently used for sending out emails or newsletters to up to 2,000 subscribers (you will have to create a Mailchimp account if you have not already).
Elementor Page Builder
When you are a writer, you want to be able to make your articles intuitive to navigate and create pages that give readers an easy way to access your content. Creating the right page layout makes a big difference in the user experience, with a bad layout driving many readers elsewhere.
Elementor is a simple drag-drop page editor that helps you to create the best page layouts for your website. It allows for greater flexibility in terms of row and column formatting, and for the inexperienced this addon even guides you to optimal row and column setup to help your layouts look the best.
It also allows you to edit your pages when they are live, so you can see what your users will see and can tweak your layout from there.
Slideshows have become a favorite of many writers looking to increase traffic towards their post. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main thing to remember is that a slideshow allows for more pictures that can contain hyperlinks to your other writings, which is noticed by the search engines and moves you up the search results page.
The great thing about MetaSlider is that it ensures that your slideshow will be best for search engines, so you don’t have to worry about setting up your slideshow meticulously to follow standard SEO practices.
You just need to select images from your WordPress library, drag them into place, set the captions, create the links, and set SEO preferences on one page. An alternative to Metaslider is the sliders by WP Online Support, they even have a coupon code.
For those unfamiliar, shortcode is little bits of code in WordPress that allows website owners to create QR codes, headings, do CSS hacks, and more.
The best thing about shortcode is you don’t need much (if any) coding experience. Shortcodes Ultimate is a plugin that contains a wide variety of shortcodes that you can use to spruce up your website. Writers can specifically utilize shortcodes to add the following to your articles/blog with just a few clicks (no coding required):
- Spoiler Tags
- Panel Content
Keep in mind that is not an exhaustive list, and there are tons more codes you can use to better your website. Keep in mind that is not an exhaustive list, and there are tons more codes you can use to better your website.
EWWW Image Optimizer
Any good writer/blogger should know that the use of images will make your writing stand out. Images give the user a break from reading, add interesting context to what you are writing about, and are looked upon favorably when search engines determine your content’s placement on a search results page.
However, you want to make sure that the images you use don’t slow down your site and frustrate your users. EWWW Image Optimizer is a plugin that can ensure that your web page runs smooth no matter how many images you use.
This addon compresses your photos on its own, scales them to fit your reader’s device, and lazy loads all pictures (waits until the picture is needed before loading). An added benefit is that this plugin will optimize not only future images you use, it will fix any and all photos that are already on your website as well.
Broken Link Checker
Nothing is more off-putting than reading a post and realizing all the images and hyperlinks are outdated or broken. You want to make sure that any links you have used are up to date, and Broken Link Checker is perfect for that.
This plugin it will monitor all the links in your posts, images, comment sections. If a link no longer works, you will be notified so that you can go fix broken links. Hyperlinks can be updated in the plugin so you won’t have to go through all of your posts to manually replace broken links.
Not only will replacing bad links make your content more readable, it will make your posts less likely to get penalized by search engines during the SEO process.
Superb Social Media Share and Follow Buttons
You always want to include share buttons on all of your posts and articles. One of the quickest ways to drive traffic to your site is for your posts to show up on someone else’s Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Superb Social Media Share and Follow Buttons allows website owners to include share buttons on their posts to a variety of websites. Not only does this plugin provide share buttons for authors, it also includes a follow button so readers can follow you on social media, and share counts so you can see which posts are being shared the most.
You can also create buttons that allow users to like the post on Facebook, save the post on Pinterest, tweet the post on Twitter, or share the post on Linkedin.
Keep in mind that there are so many more addons and extensions that you can use to improve your WordPress site. You should take the time to browse more plugins to find any that can benefit your content and design. Hopefully this list has given you a good start in making your WordPress site look and function better than ever.