Millions of bloggers, freelancers and webmasters trust WordPress for managing the content on their websites and blogs.
WordPress not only offers a huge variety of options in its simple interface, but also makes it extremely easy for even the most amateur internet users to run their own websites by using its free and premium plugins.
These plugins cover almost every need of a webmaster from website design and performance to user engagement and customer services.
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Here’s a list of 5 very useful WordPress plugins for bloggers and freelancers to add more flavor to your website.
As a content management system, WordPress doesn’t have many weaknesses. It is more user-friendly and flexible than any other CMS available. However, searching within WordPress is still one area that needs to be strengthened.
The default search algorithm of WordPress often comes up with extremely broad and irrelevant search results. This can negatively impact the overall user experience on your website and may lead to higher bounce rates as well.
With Better Internal Link Search plugin, you can address this issue comprehensively and overcome any shortcomings that the WordPress search algorithm has.
The main reason why the default WordPress search engine shows broad results is because it searches everything including post titles, page titles, tags, categories and the actual content of the posts.
The Better Internal Link Search plugin changes this algorithm and limits it to titles, tags and description only. It also allows you to add custom search conditions to further polish the search results.
The best thing about this plugin is its simplicity and user friendly interface that enables even the most basic users to make advanced algorithm changes.
For any WordPress user, who wants a simple ecommerce solution without the hassles of setting up an SSL certificate, or the need to have a special WordPress ecommerce theme, Selz is one of the best plugins available.
Created by the Selz.com team, this plugin can be simply used as a widget on your WordPress website.
Selz can be used to sell digital products and services directly from your WordPress blog. It does not redirect your buyers to any other page and the whole buying process takes place on the same webpage. This gives you higher time on site for every user and also increases the chances of further sales on your website/blog. You can use this plugin to display compact widgets with attractive Buy Now buttons.
You can host your digital products and files on Selz as well. This allows you to automatically deliver digital products to buyers as soon as the purchase is made. This is a major advantage that saves you from a lot of hassle.
With Selz, you can accept payments from MasterCard and Visa in more than 190 currencies. You can also use it as a complete alternative to PayPal.
Selz can also be integrated with your email auto responder services like Mailchimp and AWeber. Once connected, you can use Selz as a list building tool as well, since it saves all the buyer emails in its database.
Selz does not cost you anything on sign up, there are no monthly charges and you simply pay a small fee when you make a sale.
Every blogger wants his readers to spend as much time on his blog as possible. This not only helps improve the blog’s “time on site”, which Google recommends, but also helps the users explore more useful content on the blog.
You can achieve this objective by using the WordPress Related Posts Plugin by Zemanta. Although there are other related post plugins as well, but the features that separate this plugin from the others are its classy user interface, flexibility, smartphone support and detailed analytics.
Using this plugin, you can display links to the most relevant posts on your blog at the end of every post.
There are a number of styles you can use to display related posts as well. You can either choose a simple list style or a more stylish thumbnail mode.
The plugin also shows you stats of the number of times users have clicked on the related posts shown by the plugin.
Overall, this plugin will increase the user engagement on your blog and will help your readers explore the hidden content on your website.
Website security has always been a major concern for most WordPress users. But the threat has increased significantly over the last few years.
Apart from other security measures, the WordPress 2 Step Verification plugin would be an ideal addition to your website defense system.
This plugin adds an additional verification layer on your WordPress login page. Once you enter your username and password, the plugin would then ask you to enter a unique one time generated security code that will be sent to your mobile phone as an SMS.
You can also generate the security code using the WordPress code generation app on your mobile phone.
So even if a hacker manages to enter your correct username and password, he would still need the unique security code to enter your website (which, of course, will only be sent to you).
AddThis is one of the giants when it comes to creating plugins, APIs and scripts related to social networking websites. However, the AddThis Smart Layers plugin is aimed at enhancing the overall user engagement of a website.
When you install AddThis Smart Layers, you can display small popups at the bottom of the users’ screen promoting the most relevant content from your blog. This often leads the readers to more in-depth articles on your blog.
The plugin is smartly configured to identify the browsing trends and preferences of individual users. This allows it to display only the most relevant content on your blog to your visitors.
Also, whenever a user shares something from your website using the AddThis Social Sharing Widget, the AddThis Smart Layers plugin will show 4-5 more articles with a personalized heading, “Recommended for You”.
Flexibility of options and the variety of plugins are two of the biggest reasons why WordPress is such a famous blogging platform. By using the plugins that I’ve mentioned in this post, you can significantly improve the overall performance of your WordPress website and the engagement levels of your visitors.
If you think there are other plugins that I should’ve added in this list, do let me know in the comments section.