Once the New Year rings in I will have been blogging for about 8 years now. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but I have learned a ton along the way. I learn about new plugins, outside programs, and techniques every year. It’s a constant changing business. Today, I thought I could bring a little information to the table for my blog writing friends. These are the perfect plugins for your blog that you should be using.
If your a food blogger this one is an absolute must! The set up to enter in the recipe gives you more control than any other plugin. Comes with the ability to convert from EasyRecipe and Ziplist. It’s growing when it comes to conversion. The SEO is amazing on this and allows for word count and such within Yoast also. What especially like is that it is simple, allows for printing, and the editing for it uses the same kitchen sink tool as you use when editing a blog post. Hands down the Cookbook plugin is the way to go when looking for a recipe plugin.
This plugin is a new one to me. For years I used Shareaholic but with some of their changes and randomly adding things to my blog it was time to move away from them. The integration of the social buttons from social warfare is nice, but the key to this plugin isn’t so much on your site but in the back end. Social Warfare adds the ability to each post to add a hidden pin with description along with the same for Twitter. Since I use both Twitter and Pinterest consistently this was a huge plus being able to add the image. Using it from blog to social media is a dream too! This is the one plugin out of all of these I would say is the absolute must have blogging tool!
Simple Social Icons
Simple social icons is a great widget plugin to add the social media buttons to the top, side bar, and/or footer of your blog. Might take extra coding depending on your theme set up to add them to the top menu. I like these because they are simple. They are not an image which allows for quicker load times. You can select any color you would like and sizing. Choose to have the background or the logo a color depending on your style. Lastly, it offers the most social networks when linking. This is key!
Simple Author Box
Simple Author Box allows great control over your author box. It’s a great tool especially when you have more than one person writing on the blog. My son writes here now at Mooshu Jenne. That being said he has his own author box with information about him and links to his social media. That way if someone is interested in seeing or reading more about him they can check it out through his author box. The design of simple author box is fantastic! Simple with customization of colors, social tabs, and more.
If your blogging you should have this plugin and use it for every single blog post. Not hard if you just follow the tips it gives you. The reason this is a must is that it will help you with SEO. If out all the information and make sure you have a green light. This year I went through and worked to make every post a green light. Once I did this with Yoast SEO I watched my traffic grow. SEO really is a thing!
Instagram Feed (Smash Balloon)
If you take a look at the bottom of my site you will see how this plugin for Instagram Feed works. I use this on all of my clients sites. Not always in the footer thought. Some have it in the sidebar and others have it in the header. Fantastic way to get people synced into your instagram feed. We all know we don’t get major clicks from instagram but you can do instagram stories for campaigns which means numbers are key. This is a great way to visually grow that. Remember people these days are all about the visual. You need to capture their attention with images and video first! Good photography is a plus!
If your not using Genesis you should be. There is like 5 billion more options for your blog when you use Genesis. That being said this plugin for Genesis 404 allows you to set up a page where if someone ends up on a wrong link that they can be directed to another section or another page. You don’t want a blank nothing when they end up in the wrong place. This is a way to keep people on your blog even when they end up somewhere without information.
Genesis Simple Hooks
Lastly, Genesis Simple Hooks is a wonderful plugin when you want to add shortcode to your site. Say you want to an Amazon disclosure to the bottom of your website using this plugin you can do that below the footer so it’s on every page. Maybe you want to add an ad to your site for the footer, after entry, or before the header. This plugin will allow you those options. It’s really a must have! It will also allow you to put code above each post if your looking to do that. Many options are available but you need to know some css or html.
These are the plugins that I just cannot live without. They are generally installed on all of my clients websites except probably social warfare since it’s a paid plugin just like cookbook. Those links are affiliate links so when clicked I would make a small portion from each sale. That being said, I really do stand behind both of those plugins. I use them on Mooshu Jenne and love them! Being a web designer I have a little extra insight to which plugins you should and shouldn’t use. I don’t suggest jetpack. It’s very heavy on blogs. If you have questions about a plugin please feel free to ask and I will help in any way I can!
Several links here are affiliate links. No way does that change my thoughts on these plugins. They are still what I would recommend. As bloggers we all know every little bit helps!