If you have been blogging for a while then you should definitely have this tools in your day to day life. Blogging without this tools can make your blogging experience bitter.
Spending several hours on learning how to implement any small changes on your blog is the biggest frustration. You probably understand how important is the provide a best read experience.
And inorder to provide the best for your readers you need to tweak and optimise many areas of your blog.
And many more…
Instead you can save yours hundred of hours of frustration and effort and just have a plugin and web tools . You can find free tools and plugins for basic functions and some premium plugins for premium plugins, typically they don’t cost more than $100.
[thrive_2step id=’4244′]Download this cheat sheet [/thrive_2step]of 26 tools if you want to increase your blog performance.
I have put together a list of 25 great tools – divided into 12 main categories – that you can immediately use to improve your blog and your readers experience.
Create better blog content with these tools.
When it comes to WordPress SEO, a few popular plugins rules and dominate the modern SEO approach.
Plugin #1: All In One SEO Pro
All in One SEO Pack Pro is easy to use right out of the box, so you can start improving your search engine results right away! It comes in free and paid version, of which the paid version is used and tested by us, which definitely has some great features over the free version.
AIOSEO Pro includes:
- Unlimited use of the plugin.
- All upgrades & updates to All in One SEO Pack Pro for as long as you maintain your subscription
- Professional support from the developers of All in One SEO Pack.
- SEO for taxonomies & catogories
Don’t ignore your seo for some few dollars, as investing on a right seo plugin can reap you better results. Get your All In One Seo Pro.
Plugin #2: WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is the #1 SEO plugin for wordpress for one simple reason: it works. It’s also the SEO plugin that we use here at SmartActiveBlogger & my other niche sites.
Yoast SEO which was formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users followed by All in One SEO. It packs everything from a snippet editor to real time onpage SEO analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and even more to XML sitemaps for your webmaster needs, and loads of optimization options in between which makes it one stop seo Plugin.
Other options include:
- Robots meta configuration – With this simple feature, Keep single posts or pages out of the index or entire sections.
- Canonical – This allows you to control the correct canonical on each page, including the homepage, tags, and categories, letting know the search engine which is the original source.
- Breadcrumbs – shows the hierarchy for a particular post/page.
- Permalink clean up – Make the links clean & readable & avoid adding any duplicate numbers on the post.
- XML sitemaps – XML sitemaps, which makes easy for search engines to find all your links and index them properly.
- RSS enhancements – Add a piece of content to the beginning and end of your content, which allows you to link back to your blog and the particular blog post…helpful if your content is getting scraped.
- Robots.txt and .htaccess editing – This makes editing the robots.txt and .htaccess easy and straight from the plugin’s Files menu.
Plugin #3 :Squirrly SEO
Squirrly SEO offers both a free version and premium version. The free version is sufficient for blogs publishing about five articles a month or for new bloggers that write a few articles. If you publish content more frequently and you are a problogger, you’ll need the premium “Pro” version, which offers more for a monthly subscription fee.
The Pro version is definitely worth the price as it significantly helps to bump up the onpage seo of your post and articles.
Web Tool #4: Panguin Tool
If your blog suddenly stopped getting traffic or you see a sudden fall in your traffic graph, the you would be wondering if your site got dinged by Panda, Penguin or another Google penalty? by the release of their new algorithm. The Panguin Tool will help you get to the bottom of it and its performance is outstanding.
Just link up Panguin with your Google Analytics account and the tool will show if your organic traffic dip happened at the same time as a major Google update. This tools shows whether you got hit by the new google algorithm update.
Web Tool #5: Disqus
Powering your blog comment with the amizing disqus plugin is a great idea to simplify and make your comments spam free. The Disqus for WordPress plugin seamlessly integrates to wordpress and other cms/html sites using the Disqus API and by syncing with WordPress comments into your disqus acount and the wordpress database.
From the standpoint of a blog owner, I have nothing but good to say about the back end and functionality of Disqus. Its just like bread and butter for blog owners but not for readers perspective, until and unless they use disqus too.
I loved all the configuration options the plugin provide, their way of threading comments with avatar, and especially the functional and attractive emailing system with social logins.
Disqus for WordPress
- Uses the Disqus API
- Comments indexable by search engines (SEO-friendly)
- Support for importing existing comments
- Auto-sync (backup) of comments with Disqus and WordPress database
Web Tool #6: WPTouch
If your theme isn’t responsive already and you dont want to hire any freelancer and make a new theme or get a new theme for your blog, then you should definitely focus on wptouch. WPtouch is a plugin for WordPress that automatically adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for visitors veiwing your website from their mobile.
As google Recommendes that you should have a viewport and this will significantly boost your search results, it will instantly enable a mobile-friendly version of your website that passes the Google Mobile test, and ensure your SEO rankings do not drop due to not having a mobile-friendly website.
Web Tool #7: Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is used by bloggers, publishers, businesses, and groups to control publication of content across different media, and even SmartActiveBlogger make use of it.
Editorial calendar helps you easily schedule future release of your post and articles and makes it easier for you to track your articles.
Editorial Calendar is the plugin I’d recommend for those bloggers and content marketers looking for a full-featured solution that works in the WordPress environment instead of paying a premium for a non-wordpress environment. It’s well-reviewed with a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on the WordPress Plugin Repository.
Web Tool #8: JetPack
Jetpack is a free WordPress plugin and is one of the top most popular plugins in wordpress, it that allows you to focus on what you do best, YES! Create and publish great content.
Jetpack made by the same folks who are behind wordpress and it simplifies managing WordPress sites by giving you visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and helping you get more traffic. Jetpack is a free plugin and the only feature that comes for premium is the vault.
- Image CDN: jetpack serves your images in your blog over their cdn & this makes your blog much faster than before utilising the nest cdn for wordpress. Jetpack automatically optimizes and speeds up images using the global WordPress.com content delivery network. This saves you hosting costs by reducing bandwidth.
- Traffic Growth & Insights Jetpack has a built in analytics and it tells you how many visits your site gets and helps you get more traffic with tools like Related Posts, Publicize, Enhanced Distribution, and Sharing and many more which it keep bringing.
- Security Jetpack is also pre packed with security measures which protects your site against brute force attacks and unauthorised logins.
- Monitor: It also monitor your site for downtime & uptime and keep your plugins updated automatically.
- Centralized Management With Jetpack comes a centralized dashboard on WordPress.com where you can do all sort of things like Manage plugins and menus, publish posts, and view enhanced site stats for all of your sites.
Web Tool #9: Related Posts Yet Another
Related Posts Plugin is a great way to promote your another post and let the reader grab and open another post when they reach the end of your post. relates Post Plugin has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. However, it also has a number of 1-star reviews, so you’ll want to test it out thoroughly to make sure it works for you.
Sometimes visitors may land on your site because they searched a term and followed a link. And the article they get after opening may not be of much use to them…But the articles that you recommended at the end of your post which has the similar style and interesting content like the same they have read above, they may be interested in, which they then share.
This is why I use a plugin like the Most Popular post as it widens the reach of my post and of interest for my readers. But it’s also why you should consider using the Yet Another Related Post Plugin which does the same but gets regular updates.
With this plugin, you’ll get:
- Customized recommendations – The algorithm will study the post titles, tags, categories, content and keywords and determines which other posts should show up at the end of your posts.
- Customize template – You can also control the look of your post.
- Caches – The plugin will store these recommendations in the cache of your site inorder to improve site speed.
- RSS feeds – Recommendations will also show up in your RSS feed which increases the chances of your post to get more views by readers who use rss readers.
- Prohibit certain tags and categories – You can also control which page or post doesn’t get recommendations.
Web Tool #10: SEMrush
SEMRush is one of the few SEO tools that I couldn’t live without. Unlike most keyword research tools, SEMRush works by showing you your competitor’s top keywords. So rather than grinding away in the Google Keyword Planner, just pop a competitor URL into SEMRush and you’ll see every single keyword that they rank for. #solidgold
Cool Feature: “Pages” reveal the pages on your competitor’s site that generate the most organic search engine traffic. This feature is insanely helpful for executing step #1 of The Skyscraper Technique.
Web Tool #11: Content Scheduler
Content Scheduler lets you control when content automatically expires mostly post & pages, this lets you create fresh content or the contents that are time based, since it automatically expires the readers see an expired message when they visit the content.
You control what happens upon expiration, including:
- Change status to Pending, Draft, or Private
- Add custom text to beginning or end of Post title
- Unstick sticky Posts
- Change Categories
- Add and remove Tags
- Move to the Trash
You can also use Content Scheduler to notify team members and content contributors when content expires. It helps you determine when content “expires, and what events take place, when that happens and what happens with the content after expiration and what steps are to be taken after the expiration.
Plugin #12: Limit Login Attempts
LLA is a plugin that protects against brute force attacks by limiting the number of attempted logins and making it harder for hackers to guess your password on the login page. It also prevents bots from trying to signin to your wordpress admin and helps secure your site.
WP Limit Login Attempts is another plugin which does the same thing but is current and updated through the most recent core file update. As of the time of this writing article, it enjoys a positive rating of 4.3 out of 5 possible stars.
Having any one of this 2 plugins secures your wordpress from possible brute force attacks and notifies you via emails about the possible threats and failure attempts and blocked login IP’s.
Plugin #13: Wordfence
Wordfence is a comprehensive plugin, which scans and manages all the critical site security issues. It is a full pack of security tools for a wordpress site. It can ban IPs and IP ranges, scan your files for problems and malwares which can be turned to be done on a regular schedule or on demand.
Wordfence is great for every wordpress site that has got some kind of ecommerce or valuable credentials. Its not just a plugin for wordpress, its a complete medicine for a sick wordpress and a healthy wordpress to stay more healthy.
A premium version is available and offers more control and security, though the free version may be all you need.
Plugin #14: iThemes Security: (formerly Better WP Security)
WP security is another comprehensive security plugin that works like wordfence. It has both free and premium “Pro” versions just like wordfence. It also provides two-factor authorization, which experts agree is a security “best practice,” and a strong password generator.
As security application and programs like anti-virus for your pc is an essential part for your machines, thats how is wordpress security plugins for your wordpress. Many bloggers and business owners that operates online ignore this security part and here they put their first step to disaster.
Caching, ever heard of this, if no, then caching is just zipping your entire site into a gzip of your hosting server, so that when ever someone visits your website, your website loads within seconds as the files are just unzipped from the gzip downloaded by the visitors browser, instead of downloading each files over the network. The two most popular caching plugins are
Plugin #15: W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the #1 caching plugin for wordpress, it comes in two version free, and premium “pro” version. It improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration, minimising and optimising the site.
Benefits of using W3 Total Cache:
- At least 10x improvement in overall site performance when fully configured (Grade A in YSlow or significant Google Page Speed improvements)
- Improved conversion rates which affect your site’s rank on Google.com
- “Instant” browser caching
- Optimized pages to start rendering quickly
- Reduced page load time (How to Load your website within 2 Seconds)
- Optimise and Shrink Images Size
Plugin #16: WP Super Cache.
WP Super Cache is an another plugin that speeds up your site, especially in the case of a sudden surge of traffic and is the best free available wordpress caching plugins which is owned and maintained by An Automattic Airline, which is owned by wordpress itself. WP Super cache creates static HTML files that are served instead of the heavier PHP scripts in WordPress.
Super Cache helps in two scenarios: when your server is underpowered or when you are experiencing a heavy surge of traffic. It’s been tested under some extreme examples…and proven to work without a hiccup. Since it has been used by many wordpress user and is one of the popular plugins and are on the top of the plugin list.
For example, Scott Beale had a page show up on the Digg front page twice, a mention on Slashdot and some major media exposure…with over 200,000 page views in one day:
WP Super cache transforms your wordpress site/post/pages into a static html site on the backend which makes the browser quite easier to download and load your site. On the backend, if you see how the source code looks, you can definitely see that it has been minified heavily to serve your pages quickly.
Plugin #17: WP Rocket
WP Rocket is not a free plugin and unlike the other plugins which is available in free and premium. WP Rocket which is an alternative to WordPress caching is developed by a team of experts in web optimization like Julio Potier, Jonathan Buttigieg, and Jean-Baptiste Marchand-Arvier.
Research shows visitors don’t stick around if your page takes too long to load. Definitely checkout How to Speed Load your wordpress Blog within 2 Seconds.
The surprising is that it claims to provide the best results on field and this is huge! Here is a sneak look
WP Rocket is an excellent, easy to configure WordPress caching plugin which comes with cdn too. It simply works, no time consuming setup process like the w3 total cache, which freaks me out by its settings and no blank pages or database errors which is a great relief for me.
Adding Analytics is really important only if you know how to make its proper utilisation. Analytics is not just graph and numbers, its the veins that takes the blood to the organs, utilising the analytics to its full can make you beat your competitors easily.
Plugin #18: Google Analytics by Yoast
Yoast which is known for its SEO plugin for wordpress, also makes another great plugin to track your analytics in wordpress. GA by Yoast gives you the google analytic graph on the wordpress admin dashboard.
Adding Google Analytics to your website is as easy as pie with the Google Analytics by Yoast WordPress plugin, which can be done just by installing the plugin
- Add the Google Analytics tracking code to your site with a simple button click.
- Track 404 error pages and user searches done on your blog
- Widget in admin dashboards in your WordPress
- Option to set up specific reports for all sorts of actions
Plugin #19: Google Analyticator
Google Analyticator is an alternative to GA by Yoast, it makes super easy to view Google Analytics within your WordPress dashboard. This eliminates the need to edit your template code (header.php) to begin logging and recording the analytics. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog which is a cool feature specially for those who wants to see their graph everyday.
Google Analyticator is One of the most popular WordPress plugins for Google Analytics which has been downloaded Over 3.5+ million times.
Google Analyticator Has the Following Featurespacked with it
- Supports both Universal (analytics.js) and traditional analytics (ga.js)
- Includes an admin dashboard widget that displays a cool graph of the last 30 days of visitors, the top pages, the top referrers, and the top searches.
- Comes with a widget to display visitor stat information on the front-end
- Tracks all outbound link on the page, including links not managed by WordPress
- Tracks all download links.
- Tracks event with outbound links / downloads instead of the old pageview tracking method
- Tracks site speed
- Allows hiding the Administrator visits.
Plugin #20: Google Analytics
Dashboard widgets are the popular choices for bloggers and site owners who want to tap into the powerful data that Google Analytics provides and have them viewed directly in the admin area.
Google Analytics Real-Time
Google Analytics reports, in real-time, in your dashboard screen:
- Real-time number of visitors
- Real-time acquisition channels
- Real-time traffic sources details
Google Analytics Reports
The Google Analytics reports you need, on your dashboard, in your All Posts and All Pages screens, and on site’s frontend:
- Sessions, organic searches, page views, bounce rate analytics reports
- Locations, pages, referrers, keywords analytics reports
- Traffic channels, social networks, traffic mediums, search engines analytics reports
- User access control over analytics reports
Email Subscription Form Management
Plugin #21: Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a new WordPress plugin from the Thrive Themes team that can fasten your process of creating beautiful wordpress optins, lead captures and landing pages.
It’s designed to help you add engaging opt-in forms to key locations on your website, make it easy for you to split test different opt-in forms and monitor your progress.
There are plenty of templates and other features that will have a huge impact on your list building efforts.
Here you have all of the main opt-in form types which include:
- After post
These forms are grouped together, so when you add a new group you can add one of each opt-in form or several different ones – this is great for keeping things organized and you can instantly see how well each of the forms are converting.
Plugin #22: OptinMonster12345
OptinMonster is the best lead-generation plugin for WordPress, but its getting dominated by other new plugins that features more valuable . It allows you to create beautiful attention grabbing optin forms that convert well. OptinMonster gives you the power to convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers.
What do you get with OptinMonster?
- Beautiful Optin Form Designs – The OptinMonster Builder allows you to create stunning optin forms and lead capture widgets that are optimized and tested for the highest conversion rates.
- Types – You can create various types of optin forms such as lightbox popups, floating bars, sidebar slide-ins, after post forms, sidebar forms, welcome gates, and many more.
- Exit-Intent® Technology – The exit-intent technology detects visitor behavior on your site and prompts/shows them with a optin form at the precise moment they are about to leave.
- Page Level Targeting – The page level targeting module allows you to target individual pages, so that you can target that pages for a specific.
- A/B Testing – No more guessing on what works by Testing different content, headlines, layouts and styles to see what converts the best.
- Actionable Insights – With the built in analytics, test which campaign has great conversion rates12345
- . Simply put – get the stats that matter.
- Integration with All Major Email Marketing Software – OptinMonster integrates with Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and MadMimi, Infusionsoft, iContact, GetResponse, Mailpoet, OntraPort, Feedblitz, sendinblue and all custom HTML form scripts.
Plugin #23: WP Subscribe Pro
WP Subscribe Pro is a highly recommended plugin for capturing emails that integrates with and supports MailChimp, Aweber, and Feedburner. It creates popup and doesn’t add any page load time, and is responsive on all media devices, including mobile, with no additional coding required.
This plugin is a great alternative to create optin forms, specially if you are looking to create optin forms of what you have pre determined.
- No Coding Required: Coding Knowledge is not required, Everything’s done by the Options Panel
- Exit Intent: Senses when your visitor is about to leave your site and prompts him/her to signup.
- Fully Responsive: The popups are responsive across all media devices.
- Speed Optimized: Doesn’t slow downs your website by adding any tons of css & scripts.
- Integrations: Currently works fine with FeedBurner, Aweber and MailChimp.
- Popup Trigger Control: Full control on popup on how and when should it appear on the website.
Plugin #24: Mailbag
Mailbag lets you quickly and easily add MailChimp or Campaign Monitor email forms to your posts or pages with a shortcode.
It works solely for MailChimp and Campaign Monitor users, but is fully customizable with CSS. You can also choose to have your form inherit styles from your current theme, or use the rather minimal style options that come with the download. You can place it anywhere on your pages with a shortcode.
Plugin #25: MaxButtons
It is one of the most popular CTA plugin choices around the wordpress plugin repo. With it, you can craft attractive CSS3 buttons to be used anywhere on your WordPress site. It features a user-friendly button editor that makes it one of the most popular wordpress plugin for bloggers and its super easy to create beautiful CTA buttons in a snap.
MaxButtons is a WordPress Button plugin that creates great looking CSS3 WordPress buttons to be used with a shortcode on any post or page on your site. The easy to use button editor makes it a snap to generate awesome CSS3 buttons in very little time.
Other Useful Plugins for Better Blogging
[thrive_2step id=’4244′]Download this cheat sheet [/thrive_2step]of 26 tools if you want to increase your blog performance.
For Creating Rich Engagement
LinkPatrol monitors all outgoing links to let you know if a site you’re linking to is spammy or turned spammy in run of the time, which can in turn damage your own SEO efforts. There’s a one-time fee for its use, which includes one year of support and updates.
Comment on blogs are the only way to have discussion with the visitors and readers of yours and get their valuable ideas and feedbacks, but it is also widely spammed by spammers and black hat seo followers since its easy to get a backlinks and self promotion, which kills you blogs slowly but for for sure. So, in order to manage spams and your comments I have listed some best plugins for you like akismet.
Livefyre Comments 3 is a comment platform for real-time conversations which is similar to disqus. The thing that distinguishes Comments 3 from disqus is that it centralizes conversations from around the social networks back to your site, and encourages engagement between readers on your site to build community around your content.
Since commenting from a social network where you already are active and spend most of your time. Its makes Livefyre Comments 3 replaces your default comments with real-time conversations. You can get your own Lifevyre at wordpress plugin repository.
Reward your readers by automatically placing a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment. This works for new bloggers who doesn’t find great engagement and want readers to leave a feedback as a comment with a bait for a juicy backlink.
As it claims that It has been found to increase comments and the community spirit for the thousands of blogs that have installed it. You can also get their emails by offering your readers the opportunity to register to your site to unlock advanced features of the plugin like being able to choose from any of their 10 last posts when they comment or other features like dofollow links and more.
For Creating Calls to Action
WP Calls to Action – cta
WP Calls to Action not only helps you create calls to action on your site but also lets you monitor and track conversion rates, run an AB split test on your CTAs, and generate more leads.
This plugin creates calls to action for your WordPress site. It gives site owners the ability to monitor and track conversion rates, run a/b or multivariate split tests on calls to action, and most importantly increase lead flow!
WordPress plugins for bloggers For Creating Landing Pages
Thrive themes is a drag and drop content builder and WordPress designing software, with thrive theme you can build great web pages, landing pages, squeeze pages and many without the requirements of technical knowledge.
Thrive themes also has another great product for creating option forms known as thrive leads. With the combination of thrive themes and thrive leads, you can make killer designs for option forms and landing pages.
Even SmartActiveBlogger makes uses of thrive leads, most of our option forms and pop ups are created using thrive leads which you can find on our resource pages, which helped us increase our conversion rate and capture more leads.
Leadpages offers very high-converting templates (they have templates from people using the tool like Patt Flynn, James Schramko who have tested these pages a lot).
On some of my pages I am geting up to 40% conversion (ie. email sign-ups) so that is quite impressive when the web standard is a lot lower. Leadpages are used by some of the top most bloggers like neil patel, brian dean and many others.
It will help you create stylish pages for your website such as:
- Squeeze pages
- Optin/Subscription/Lead pages
- Webinar promotion pages
- Sales pages
- 404 pages (If don’t have one – you are wasting opportunities)
- Video pages
- Also: popups and giveaway/lead magnet delivery
If you are using WordPress, then you really have no excuse not to be running a fast and social-friendly site. The plugins I suggested above can improve the performance of your site almost overnight with minimal effort. For more of WordPress top plugins, I recommend that you subscribe to our blog and get regular feedbacks and clear your doubts.
What WordPress plugins do you recommend for bloggers to speed up their sites and make their sites social-friendly?
Update: A better plugin for caching is W3 Total Cache. You should use that plugin instead of WP Super Cache.