Are you getting bored with the way content on your blog looks? Are you looking to add a little flair? Sure, you can do some modifications to your blog theme, but doing it would require you to have some coding knowledge. You will also need some extra time to handle the errors and perform trials before going live! So what happens if you do not have any coding knowledge, and you want a quick and convenient way of making some changes to your site? This is where plugins come in!
What are plugins?
A plugin is a piece of code or software that acts as an add-on to a web browser and gives the browser some additional functionalities. Plugins extend and advance the functionality of your blog. For uniformity purposes, we are going to discuss the most important types of plugins that you need to set in your blog, regarding a WordPress blog. WordPress is the most used platform all over the world. However, we have other excellent platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, SquareSpace, Posterous, etc. The idea discussed is the same regardless of the blogging platform. You only need to search for the relevant plugin under each category of the blogging platform you are using.
Why use plugins in your blog?
– Ease of use makes the plugins an excellent choice for beginners
– Useful support from a large community of users
– There are dozens of plugins available simplifying the coding work.
– Easy to customize to fit your particular needs
– No HTML Editing or even FTP software required (For WordPress)
– Easy to build, customize and launch in minutes.
– For security enhancement, social engagement, smooth tracking and growing of your business.
Some of the disadvantages associated with plugins include;
– Constant testing
Types of Plugins to use for your Blog
Database and File Backup
It is strongly advisable you backup your data at set intervals and before performing an upgrade. Database and file backup plugins will back up your entire site including your database and all your files depending on the schedule you choose. Examples of WordPress backup plugins are;
– WordPress Backup
– WordPress DB Manager
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines love fresh and quality content. SEO plugins are used to increase your search engine visibility. They provide you with added features that define META data and generate XML sitemaps. Examples include;
– All in One SEO Pack
– WordPress SEO by Yoast
– Google XML Sitemaps
These are plugins that take your site’s security to a whole new level of protecting it from hackers and any malicious activity. The site is protected from intrusion attacks, XSS, CRLF, RFI, Code Injection SQL Injection among others. Examples include;
– All in One WP Security and Firewall
– BulletProof Security
These are plugins that automatically add links to your favorite social networking sites on your pages, posts and RSS feed. They allow your visitors to share a post or page. Example include;
– Share This
Blog Statistics Related
These are plugins that allow you to set tracking such as Google Analytics with additional search engines to download the tracking automatically on your blog. A good example is;
– Google Analytics for WordPress
These are plugins that let you protect your posts and pages so that only official members can view the protected content. They turn your blog into a powerful membership site. Examples include;
– Simple Membership Plugin
For Google AdSense
These plugins allow you to insert a Google AdSense to your pages, posts and on the sidebars. They enable you to set the parameters of the displaying ad such as images, color, etc. Examples include;
– Simple Google AdSense Insertion
– Google AdSense Plugin
The List is Inexhaustible………
Note- Above elaborated just the essential plugins that you need to set in you blog to get started. However, depending on the type and purpose of your blog, you may need to set other plugins that best fit your specialization. Examples of other plugins you can set include;
– Software license management – For those dealing with software development
– Affiliate Related plugins – For blogs engaging in affiliate programs
– eCommerce, PayPal, and other Payments – For those who want to carry out online money transactions
– Photo Gallery Plugins – To add photos to your site