I LOVE WordPress. I guess there is no secret there, that is where I do my designing. One of the best things about WordPress is the ability to customize your site and make it do EVERYTHING you want it to do. One of the ways to achieve that is with the use of Plugins. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my 10 favorite (and ones that I just can’t live without). The best part – most of them are FREE!! In my list below, the descriptions are very brief and are just meant to give you an idea of where to look for some of the things that people use the most on their blogsites. Each item includes a link to the plugin page. Please use that link to see the detailed information about the various plugins before you decide if it will meet your needs.
This plugin allows readers to comment on your posts using their Facebook account. If they are logged into Facebook they can simply type in their comment without having to fill out the normal information needed to post a comment. It will also give them the option to share their comment and your article on their Facebook wall!
I LOVE this Plugin. It gives you so much more flexibility in your blog posts and pages. You can control so many aspects of your posts without having to use HTML coding. The features I use the most include: Font family, Font size, Links, Font color, Tables, Indent text, and so much more. It is an amazing plugin. There is a FREE version as well as a PRO version so you can choose what will best meet your needs. In the PRO version you can even add any Google Web Font to your font list for even more customization!
3. Follow Me
Follow Me adds a tab to the far edge of your blogsite. When someone clicks on the tab a box pops up in the middle of the site with links to all your online profiles, email, RSS feed, etc. This is a great way to make all that information accessible for your readers without having to keep it on the page layout of each post.
If you are looking for a FREE way to reduce the Spam comments on your posts, I’d recommend this plugin. It adds the CAPTCHA code to each comment and must be filled out to submit comments. While some readers may find it a turnoff, most understand the reason you have something like this in place. Once you start getting hit with Spam comments, you’ll quickly decide it is worth having!
5. WP eStore (Premium)
If you sell products on the web, there are MANY different options for a storefront. One that I found that is at a good cost point, provides many options for your products and can easily be integrated right into your current WordPress blogsite is WP eStore. It is the one that I am using for my Strawberry Girl Designs products, click HERE to see it in action.
6. Mail Chimp
If you use Mail Chimp, you MUST have this plugin. It allows users to sign up for your Newsletter, Blog Posts via email, etc (anything you have a Campaign for) right from your blogsite. To see it in action, see the footer of our Strawberry Girl Designs page.
If you do not have Mail Chimp or only want to offer readers the option to Subscribe by Email, you can use Feedburner to accomplish this. Like the Mail Chimp plugin, the Feedbruner Form plugin allows you to have the subscribe form as a widget on your blogsite allowing readers to subscribe to your blog posts via email.
8. Simple Tags
Simple tags puts a box at the bottom of your Post edit page that shows all the tags you have previously used in any post. They can be listed by usage or in alphabetical order. To add tags to your posts, simply click on the phrases you want. Simple as that. I love being able to see all my tag options right in front of me instead of in the small default cloud box used by WordPress. Adding new tags is still done the same way and will automatically be added to your Simple Tags box of options.
9. Tofurious Photo Pin (Premium)
The Tofurious Photo Pin plugin creates a Pin It button below each photo. The reader can pin each photo as they go along instead of having to choose from the list of photos on the page if the whole page or article is selected to pin. It also gives you the flexibility of turning the Pin It button off for any images that you do not wish to have it under. You can use the standard Pin It button that is included, or upload your own image to use instead. It is a very powerful plugin!
10. Sexy Bookmarks
If your WordPress theme does not have the ability to insert customized call to action buttons, the Sexy Bookmark plugin is GREAT! It puts a box below each of your posts giving readers a way to share your content.