I think it’s time to write about the basics a little bit.
I was updating my articles today and noticed I rarely write simple stuff, I make advanced information simple, but I rarely write simple articles, you know, like this one…
…and you always have to go through the basics first.
I decided to tell you about these 5 free wordpress plugins that could really turn your blog into a super powerful marketing platform.
1 Yoast SEO
Previously known as wordpress SEO.
I’ve been using this plugin since my first article. They had problems with a major update about a year ago, but of course they sorted it, and now after that update the plugin is beyond cool.
The analysis tool is really handy (shows keyword density, meta description length, image alt tags, basically, all on page optimizations you need to make) and there is also a readability tool.
The plugin also takes care of open graph tags, xml sitemaps etc. (don’t really remember what else, they might have added more features)
2 W3 Total Cache
This little plugin is the ultimate caching solution for any blog.
You can take a look at all the features at the download page.
If you are a non tech savvy, you can just upload and activate it, or pay for premium support.
If you know what you are doing, you can tweak it beyond what comes out of the box for best experience, you don’t need that much tweaking though, the pre-selected options are good enough.
3 Popular Widget
You can’t imagine how long I had been looking for a simple plugin that shows the most read articles on a blog, glad I found Popular widget.
It is simple, light and works like a charm.
It shows most viewed, most commented, most visited articles, you can also show view counts… here are all the features:
Display recent comments.
Calculate visits or page views.
Custom field options for view counts.
You can see it in action in my sidebar.
4 EWWW Image Optimizer
As the name says, it optimizes images.
Have you seen those sites that take forever to load?
Most times they have very large images that take forever to display. It’s mostly the images that slow sites, the text doesn’t take much to load.
This is where EWWW Image Optimizer kicks in, it reduces the size of your images so your site can load nice and fast, you don’t need the size of the images to be much more than 200KB.
I used to use Smush.it, but Yahoo discontinued it, they do that with anything that works LOL.
Just noticed someone has developed a plugin called WP Smush Image Optimizer. I guess they target old Yahoo smush.it users. Haven’t had time to test it, you can try it if you want.
If you don’t use, or don’t want to use a plugin, you have to optimize all images by hand, which is really time consuming… you can use a tool like Pixlr if you choose to go this way.
Just don’t upload a 2MB image on a page and expect it to load fast and rank high in search.
5 Wordfence Security
The protection you get with this plugin for free usually costs thousands per month.
It is a crazy cool tool.
Once your blog becomes huge, and maybe even before that, hackers would always try to send you too much traffic (known as DDOS attacks), or hack your xmlrpc (something about trackback spam, or pingback denial of service attacks), or brute force attack you and more shit like that.
I have no idea why they do that, but all that (and some more awful crap) happened to me, and Wordfence Security saved my site throughout all the attacks.
This is possibly the most valuable plugin for your site, it also has a paid version that does some ninja shit, but I use the free version and haven’t tried those additional features.
You can read more about this plugin and some more tools you can’t run a business without here:
Let me know if you liked this article and stay awesome.