Your Blog Will Go No Where Without These Imperative Plugins

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I’m really enjoying doing these posts for you guys in the hopes it’s helping you start your own blog!  I couldn’t be more blessed and truly truly LOVE what I do every day.

As I’ve said before I knew NOTHING about websites before I decided to embark on this journey.  I had no idea how all that content just JUMPED onto those pages.  It all was so foreign to me and ‘I’ certainly wasn’t someone who would ever have a website of her own.

Before I start this post, in case you are new or missed it, please check out my post “How To Start A Blog” HERE (or) you can click on the banner on the right.   I discuss the steps you first need to take to get your own website and what I did to get my blog up and running.

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Bluehost is the host I started with and have stayed with.  They are one of the top web hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.49 a month (this low price is through my link only)!

Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan.  I highly recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan. It’s the most affordable way to go!  I’m overjoyed to be able to extend this to you!  Please take advantage of it.

SO …. What is a Plug In?

The best way I can explain a Plug in is its kind of like an app for your phone.  You have the phone, the shell of it and you ‘build it’ with apps.  It is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to and gives the browser additional functionality. Most of them are completely free and very easy to install.

Not all Plug ins (apps) are necessary, some are just for fun and enhancement.  Others are COMPLETELY VITAL to the good health of your site.

Here are the Top 5 that I recommend you start with immediately:

1. Aksimet

#1 must have.  This plug in protects your site from SPAM.  Have you ever seen where some blogs have these comments down below that just don’t make sense or go on forever?  Those are SPAM comments and the hackers are looking to get as many words on your site as they can.  Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.  WORTH IT’S WEIGHT IN GOLD.

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Get Aksimet HERE!

2. Google Analytics

Another imperative Plug In that probably needs a 10 part series to cover everything this plug in can do for your blog.  A very brief synopsis is it gives you real time statistics of your site.  It allows you to see how many visitors you’ve had, page views, bounce rate and is highly addictive.  I found myself stalking it every 15 minutes to see my stats.  Now I spend a hour or 2 on the last day of the month going over all the stats it gives me.  A must have !!!

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Get Google Analytics HERE

3. Subscribe/Connect/Follow

On your blog you want it to be easy for your followers to be able to FIND you.  There are a ton of social plug ins out there and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.  I’ve tried several and you probably will too.  This is the one I finally landed on.  You are able to display an image for over 40 services like FB, Google+, RSS Feed, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.  Just be sure to put it in a spot on your blog that’s easy to find.

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Get Subscribe/Connect/Follow HERE

4. W3 Total Cache

Make your site 10 times faster than before.  Loadtime is KEY in the performance of your blog.  This infographic from KISSmetrics, shows how loading times can affect visiting times of your readers. In fact, according to them, just a half a second of longer loading time would lead to 20% traffic decrease.

With W3 Total Cache, you have one of the most powerful caching plugins out there, that will increase the loading time of your blog up to 10 times. It will cache each and every element of your site and readers will be able to read your posts in a split second.

Best part: What I like best is that you are able to individual turn on or off Object Caching, Database caching and other options so performance is absolutely optimized.

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Get WP Total Cache HERE

5.  Yoast SEO

An SEO plugin gives you the ability to see how well you will rank in search engine optimization.  In other words, if you enter the word popcorn into Google you will then see a list of all websites Google feels are most relevant to your search on popcorn.  You want YOUR post to rank HIGH in Googles opinion.

Yoast is a plug in that helps you with this.  It has a snippet preview, stop light page analysis (you always want to see green!), tells you if your post is long enough, has good keywords, it also has the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality in any WordPress plugin. Once you check the box, it automatically creates XML sitemaps and notifies Google & Bing of the sitemaps existence.

No matter what SEO plug in you choose you simply must choose one!

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Get Yoast SEO HERE

CONCLUSION:

These are the TOP 5 Plugins that I recommend you start with in order to get your blog up and running.  Yes, there are TONS more but I didn’t want to overwhelm you all at once.

I will be doing another post on some more Plugins that I use.  I think I currently have 35.  Some are not totally necessary to have, but they add some fun and whimsy to your site!

Stay tuned!

What are some of the Plug Ins you can’t live without?  Share them below in the comments section.

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