My favorite thing about the WordPress blogging platform is that outside of the backend system, no two blogs operate the same way and can be hosted on a variety of web hosting sites. This is mostly due to third-party plugins that meet certain requirements that bloggers have. Over the past few years, I ave tried dozens of plugins to accomplish goals for the site. Below are six that I’ve found extremely useful and I’d suggest you check them out and install them onto your blog.
LiveFyre – There are a lot of comment systems out there, but none are on par with Livefyre. Not only does the platform allow for commenting in real time (think streaming group chat) but it also offers multiple options for users to log in for commenting. Livefyre also has a great community team who evangelizes the platform and assists with user questions with lightning speed.
nRelate – This plugin suggests posts via thumbnails and links at the end of each post. Since installing roughly six months back, I have seen an increase in post views and added traffic to posts that were written six-12 months ago. It has also increased the time spent on the site.
PostRank – This nifty plugin rates your posts on engagement, sharing and some other variables and was recently acquired by Google. The 1-10 graded scale helps me see what kinds of posts resonate with my readers and also tells me when I might have thrown out a clunker – always good to get a reality check now and then.
TF SocialShare – If you are like me and are not savvy in coding, but want to make sure your blog can be easily shared, this is the plugin for you. It keeps everything in a nice clean template and is updated when a new player comes to the space.
WP Greetbox – This plugin allows you to give a custom welcome message to users entering your site from different social networks. It also asks folks if they would like to subscribe to your RSS feed. It can also be turned off after a certain number of views. For example if you visit my site five times from the same platform, you will not see the box.
I am always interested to hear about plugins that will make my life easier and would love to hear what ones you can’t live without.