Well folks, I’ve officially been on WordPress for 4 months now and I’m loving it. My only regret is not moving here sooner. Really. I keep finding cooler and cooler plugins for WordPress, while at the same time seeing my old posts get crawled and stumbled upon in Google Search results. Aaahmazing.
If you haven’t checked out my first list of WordPress plugins I’ve loved, you may read it here.
1. Broken Link Checker
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Most of the broken links I find are Blogger links (go figure) from comments. Sometimes they’re out-of-date links from Sponsor Spotlights I’ve done in the past when the Instagram or Twitter handles change. Sometimes people delete blog posts, or even delete their entire blogs, and that link you provided in your posts is now broken. I’ve even had images from group giveaways disappear because the blogger who organized it deleted that blog post and image. This plugin find the broken link and you can edit the broken link right within the plugin. You can also mark as Not Broken (this happens a lot with import comments from Blogger). It’s been a great tool!
2. Share Buttons by AddtoAny
This little plugin I actually heard of through one of my clients, Glossy Blonde. She had this on her Blogger site and loved it so much that she had to have it on WordPress. This is one of those few add-ons that works on both platforms. Getting it just right requires some advanced CSS coding and tweaking to the functions.php file. If you’re too scared to do this on your own, drop me a line via e-mail and I’ll be glad to help you out!
I love this because it gives you (and your readers) an insane amount of options to share your content beyond just Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. AddtoAny allows you to share on Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, LinkedIn, Digg, Buffer, Evernote, and a whole bunch of other platforms I’ve never even heard of. Must-have IMO.
3. Google XML sitemap
No picture for this one. It’s pretty straightforward. The plugin generates a sitemap for you (essential for SEO) and gives you its URL. All you do then is enter that URL into your Google Webmaster Tools’ sitemap field and you’re all set for optimum crawling.
In my last plugin post I spoke about Yoast SEO. While I love that it also provides you with a sitemap and the promise of one less plugin sounds appealing, the sitemap it provided me yielded many errors for Google Webmaster Tools. That’s no bueno. This plugin does the trick and continues to update that sitemap for me without me worrying about it.
4. Pinterest Pin it Button for Images
This one is also self-explanatory. I used to have the JQuery Pinterest Button but I along with Back East Blonde were experiencing difficulties with the actual Pin It button’s placement. This plugin doesn’t allow you to swap out the button for a custom one, but I’m okay with that. I’ve seen many custom Pin-it buttons and sometimes they blend in with the picture and it defeats the purpose. Everyone recognizes the Pinterest button, and for me, that’s all you need.
5. BJ Lazy load
If you’re anything like me, you got a few chuckles out of the name. No? Maybe I’m the only perve. Moving on.
This plugin is amazing for your pageload time. Treasure Tromp uses it and it’s an amazing tool for her travel pictures. What it does is prevent the browser from loading images below what’s visible on the screen when a visitor lands on your site.
How is this amazing? Well, the only images that are loaded are what’s seen on the page. Let’s say you have 5 posts with many images on your home page. That’s a LOT of page load time you are cutting off. When the visitor scrolls down, the next few images are loaded so that they appear quickly. The rest of the images are kind of on a “waiting list” and they’re not called until they come closer to “the bottom” of the visitor’s screen. Make sense?
This is great for sites that are heavy on photography. Statistics show that if your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load the person X’s out. And we don’t want that, right?
Ok. In my last plugin post I raved about WP Better Security. It’s a great plugin, except that I locked myself out of my site accidentally. I had to call my web-host company and have them deactivate all of my plugins. It was a mini-nightmare.
What I like about Wordfence is that you can see IP addresses in real-time as they try to access/hack your site. You can also block IP addresses from accessing your website/blog. This is convenient in the case of hackers and/or other people you don’t want reading your material. It works. Bwahaha.
I also like that I get e-mails about their latest findings on hacking attempts to sites due to out-of-date plugins. It’s great to be in the know and be proactive.
7. Send e-mail only on Reply to My Comment
This is a nifty one. This plugin only sends an e-mail to the person commenting if you or another reader replies to their comment. It’s convenient if you are not using a third-party plugin like Disqus and want its alerting functionality without changing the aesthetics of your comment area. You can set it to opt-in automatically (which I have set to) so that I can reply to the reader straight from my commenting system without having yet another e-mail in my Sent folder.