I’ve done quite a bit of talk of my favourite or recommended plugins for WordPress but I thought I should probably share what is actually going on behind the scenes of Laura Laura, so that you guys know exactly what – and why – I use certain WordPress plugins to run Laura Laura!
This post is focused on the WordPress plugins I use. If you are interested in more “day-to-day” blog running tricks I’ve got up my sleeve, let me know in the comments!
REMINDER – SAFETY FIRST
A) If you don’t know what you’re doing and try do install / edit / change things where you probably shouldn’t be – then don’t blame me! Remember to always back up your website if you’re planning on making any changes.
B) These are simply my favourite things or tips. Don’t feel like you have to or should use them simply because I said so.
Alrighty! Here’s a run down of the WordPress plugins I use, and why!
If you have Google Analytics installed, let’s face it – you really should – then this plugin is super handy. I got this plugin because it gives you a quick snapshot of your Google Analytics in your dashboard – no need to log in to Google Analytics. It showcases sessions, users, average time on site and much more. On a single post you can check analytics for a certain period too.
I love this plugin so much. If you are on self hosted WordPress this is a must have from me. The amount of tweets and status’ I see of people exclaiming “If its not easy to comment, then I won’t” or “Why do I have to jump through hoops just to leave a comment”. I couldn’t agree more. Fill in my email address, website, name and then the actual comment – I can’t be bothered, I’m sorry. Disqus allows users to sign in with their social accounts, their email or create a Disqus account to comment. Two clicks and my comment is posted. Disqus also let you follow each other, see where other people have commented and notifies you of replies to any comments you’ve left.
Sometimes I would like my content to be not in one boring paragraph block.
[ezcol_1half]This WordPress plugin is great for easily adding columns to your website. Woo Columns![/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]On posts and pages too – great for displaying wordy blogs, or having precise areas for content and images.[/ezcol_1half_end]
If you’re after a plugin that displays your Instagram photos on your sidebar, this guy is great. You do have to do a bit of admin at the beginning of setting up this plugin – mainly it’s just linking the plugin and your Instagram account up so they can talk to each other nicely. The payoff is worth going through the steps. You can display your photos in many ways and even have an automatic slideshow.
You can also add one to your post like above, say waaaaaaaaat
This plugin is literally it’s name. It displays the correct Pinterest badge anywhere you tell it to display! Follow me on Pinterest!
This plugin adds the Pinterest image over images when you hover over them! It’s as simple as that.
Three Pinterest WordPress plugins, what am I thinking. I don’t know – sorry. I haven’t investigated finding one that does all of these things, because doing these things work how I want it. Anyway, this plugin displays my most recent pins to my Pinterest boards. It updates almost automatically, which is great as I hate having a stale sidebar.
Ever wanted to share your post with someone to get their approval or get them to proofread, but it’s not live yet? This plugin takes care of that. You tick a box and spits out a special URL with allows a public preview of the post via that link. Super handy.
This is my go to social media plugin. I find bits of it annoying, but overall it’s a great plugin that adds social media buttons to your posts, pages and your blog homepage feed fairly easily. It has a LOT of sharing options to choose from, including ones you’ve probably never heard of!
Tweetily let’s you set up automatic tweets using links from your ‘archives’ or old posts. I’ve set mine to tweet out every 4 hours from a selection of categories. This is a great way to get your old content out there again, and every so often It’ll prompt me to share that old post on Facebook.
This is a recent addition to my sidebar. I used to manually update a text widget with an image and link when I felt like it / got bored of the content on there – talk about hassle. This plugin is a little bit of a brain teaser but after a few saves and refreshes I got there and it looks alright! You can set the ‘popular’ ranking by average views, daily views or comments. You cna also customise it to show a big image, smaller image, add in the author or date – endless options. Really good plugin.
Yoast is a great plugin for SEO purposes. It lets you easily optimise your blog or website for search engines like Google. It has post by post (and page by page) keyword analysis, suggestions for making it better and tell you how to do it. It also automatically sets up sitemaps, and makes your links search engine friendly.
I hope this post helps you out, and hopefully you try one of these plugins out.
Please let me know if you have any WordPress plugin suggestions, or plugins that you love – I’m always keen to try out new ones and find better WordPress plugins to use and share!
Pro tip: If you have WordPress plugins installed but are inactive – make sure you delete them! Inactive plugins and plugins that are left un-updated are security risks. Same goes for themes.
If you liked this post, check out my other blogging help blog posts, and I’d really love it if you could pin it >>