Image by CreativeConvex.com
When I began blogging on WordPress.com, I had no idea what I’m doing. I knew I just had to get started and I’d figure out the rest later. Over time, I realized that I needed to have more control over how this blog functions both on the front and back ends.
About two years ago, I moved to self-hosting for this website and that’s where I learned how complex plugins are. Plugins are like spices. The right plugins can make your blog run smoothly. But if you add a plugin to the mix that doesn’t play well with the others, all hell will break loose.
Running a self-hosted blog has its moments of utter frustration. Because I don’t want you to go through the same headaches I’ve gone through, I wanted to share a few of my must-have WordPress plugins. I hope this helps.
Broken Link Checker
I never realized how important this plugin was until the first time I used it. I can’t remember how long Broken Link Checker took to find the broken links BUT I do know that I had about 300 or so broken links to fix.
If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. It took me about 18 hours over a span of two days to fix the broken links. Some of the links were truly bad and needed new links attached. Others weren’t truly broken & needed to be rechecked to confirm & remove them from the broken link list.
When I tell you I don’t EVER IN LIFE want to go through that again, I mean it! Take it from me and download this plugin and save yourself now before it gets too deep.
Disqus Comment System
I like leaving comments. What I don’t like are complex commenting systems. I’ve tested several comment systems before settling on Disqus Comment System. It is very user-friendly, both for me and the commenters, which is very important. The occasional spam comment does slip into my comment queue, though. Just wanted to make you aware of that.
Better Click to Tweet
I love Twitter. So much so that I incorporate Twitter into my blog posts. Better Click to Tweet allows me to create a tweet within a blog post that readers can click on the tweet to post it to their Twitter timeline. Brilliant! The key is to make sure that the tweet you choose to incorporate in your blog post is catchy. That way, people will retweet, like, etc.
Using an editorial calendar has been a struggle for me. I would write blog posts one at a time, which never really provided me with a break. Downloading Editorial Calendar makes planning blog posts way easier. I can see all posted and scheduled blog posts along with scheduled blog posts that are in draft status. In addition, the plugin provides a list of unscheduled drafts that you can either leave on the screen or hide them.
You can hover over the blog posts in the calendar and see options to edit, quick edit, delete, and/or view. This saves you time from having to find the individual post itself. Also, you can drag and drop posts throughout the calendar to your liking. How awesome is that?
Revive Old Post
Last year, I was trying to figure out a way to automatically share my blog posts on Twitter. It took a wee bit of research but I ran across Revive Old Post. I use the free option and it’s packed with features. You choose how many posts to share at a time & the minimum time between shares. You can choose the minimum and maximum ages of posts to be eligible for sharing. There’s also an option to exclude and/or include specific categories to share from.
That’s all I’ve got for now. If you have any questions and/or comments about these plugins, let me know in the comments. I love sharing what I know and getting feedback from you.
Until next time,