I was a big Blogger fan (versus WordPress) for a very long time. I loved that Blogger was free, had a built-in reader, it was linked to your gmail, and was easy to use and customize. I still am a Blogger fan, but for where I am in my blogging journey, WordPress is now suiting me better.
Related Post: Five Ways to Optimize Your SEO on Blogspot
With WordPress you get full control over how your site functions and looks. You have control of your cPanel, backing up your site, security, all your HTML and CSS, and have a lot more capabilities that blogger doesn’t have. My absolute favorite part of WordPress are the plugins! Yes, Blogger has widgets but they don’t have the capabilities that plugins can give your website. These are my favorite WordPress plugins:
Click to Tweet
This plugin allows you to add a nice looking box to your blog and you can type whatever you would like your users to tweet and share your page. Try it below.
I’m not going to go into the details of Yoast SEO, but in a few words, this plugin will walk you through all the steps to make your post and site SEO friendly. Seriously, this plugin is necessary for all WordPress users.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
I try to plan out my content weeks ahead of schedule. I haven’t been super great at doing that recently, but I’ll still try. This plugin will give you a great calendar view so you can drag and drop different posts to whichever day you’ll like to schedule them. It will give you a great month-at-a-glance view to see if you’re spacing out your posts correctly, too.
This plugin has saved me many times. When I was on blogger, you can choose small, medium, large, or original size for your images (hint: Always resize on another program like PicMonkey to something around 1200×1200 and then click on original size). Since I’ve switched up my site design a couple times, I like to keep my sizes a general large size and then it can be sized down to fit the width of my content column. However, a lot of these large images are not optimized and take can take a long time to load due to the file size. WP Smush will “smush” your images so that they still will look good but won’t cause your site to get laggy if the image is a too large file size.
Following up from the last plugin, I use a Lazy Load for my images. “Lazy Loading” is the process that you site loads. If you have image heavy posts, it might take a while for your post to load since it’s loading every single photo plus the rest of your site (plugins on your sidebar, widgets, content, etc.) Even in that time it takes, people might click off or bounce away from your site. This plugin enables my blog sidebar content and post content to load first and as you scroll down, the images will load one at a time.
WP Ultimate Recipe
For anyone who writes recipe posts, it’s pretty crucial to get a recipe plugin. All the details of your recipe will be listed in a stand-out recipe card and it will make your recipes more pinnable. All the meta-data will be transferred to pinterest to look like this! It is also a lot easier for your readers to print or save your recipes for later.
I use my content views on my 404 page (you can see what it looks like here) and on my “Start Here” page. To get the full details on how you can use it and why you should be using it, check out Anne’s full post.
What are your favorite plugins?