Following on from my previous post on 5 Steps to Kick-Start Your Blog, I thought that new bloggers would benefit from a list of my favourite plugins to improve their website usability. WordPress has hundreds upon hundreds of plugins that you can choose from, so to make things simpler, here is a shortlist of five plugins that I found worked best.
1. Simple Social Plugins by Studio Press
Simple Social Icons, as seen on your left, is an easy to use and very customisable plugin to display icons that link visitors to your various social profiles. With it, you can easily choose which profiles to link to, customise the colour and size of your icons, as well as align them to the left, centre, or right, all from the widget form.
I love how simplistic and inoffensive this plugin is and is definitely my favourite find of all the social icon plugins out there.
2. Smash Balloon Instagram Feed by Smash Balloon
Integrating Instagram into your website can increase social engagement between you and your Instagram followers. By displaying your Instagram content and photos directly on your WordPress, you can increase your number of followers in both your Instagram and WordPress website.
If you don’t have time to update your photos on your website, don’t worry because when you add this plugin in your site, it will automatically display photos you have posted to your Instagram on your WordPress website. It is effective and time-saving. Moreover, admins freely display content and photos in their own way. This one also lets you customize your feeds in the way you want.
Besides, adding more photos to your website keeps your site looking fresh and keeps your audience engaged. This plugin is also easy to set up. Once it is installed, you can add your photos within seconds! No complicated steps and no Instagram account of developers required.
3. WP ULike by Ali Mirzaei
Okay, so admittedly, this plugin is not a must-have, but I enjoy how it makes my website more attractive and user-friendly.
WP ULike Pro plugin is our ultimate solution to cast voting to any type of content you may have on your website. And I think it’s a great tool to gauge the type of content your readers like!
4. Regenerate Thumbnails by Alex Mills
Regenerate Thumbnails allows you to regenerate all thumbnail sizes for one or more images that have been uploaded to your Media Library. This tool is particularly great if you’ve installed a new theme to your website and need to resize your photos so that they meet the theme requirements.
This saves you the trouble of reuploading photos from previous posts. It also offers the ability to delete old, unused thumbnails in order to free up server space!
5. Jetpack by WordPress.com by Automattic
Now of all the plugins that I have suggested, this is my top, number one, must-have plugin!
Not only can you monitor site traffic, explore detailed insights on your most successful posts, identify missing content your site visitors are already searching for and site downtime all instantly. As well as, preventing unwanted intrusions with effective brute force attack protection, malware scanning, and spam filtering. You can also keep your site totally backed up in real-time with no storage limits and one-click restores.
I hope you find them as useful as I do, and let me know if there are any plugins that you have come across that you think also deserve a mention!