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What WordPress Plugins are Vital to the Success Of Your Blog?

What WordPress Plugins are Vital to the Success Of Your Blog?


    If you have a WordPress blog, then you definitely use some plugins. There are so many plugins available for different uses, so it can become really difficult to find out which ones are the most needed for your site. Because of the benefits that plugins offer, webmasters and blog owners often tend to use too many plugins. Too many plug-ins cause several problems.

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    SEE ALSO: Top WordPress Plugins for the Smart Blogger

    If you have used too many plugins for your blog or website, then it will load slowly. Slow-loading sites are not good for visitors — and especially not good for conversion of prospects to customers. Google recently announced they were going to start using page load times in their algorithm, which means now load time will also affect your search engine rankings.

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    So…how many WordPress plugins should you use? The answer to this question is: the fewer, the better.

    Basically, use those plugins which are absolutely necessary for managing and running your blog like a professional one. A plugin is necessary for your blog if:

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    • It increases the loading speed of your blog;
    • It helps you to add a new feature that is important for your blog and business;
    • The plugin increases safety and security of your blog by eliminating viruses, malware, spam and other such problems;
    • It helps you to improve the search engine ranking of your blog;
    • If it benefits you and your blog in any other way.

    What WordPress Plugins Do I Recommend?

    There aren’t many that I fully recommend, but here’s my small list:

    1. Google XML Sitemaps – Google Sitemaps is very important from the point of view of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you have a sitemap for your blog, the search engines find it easier to crawl your blog and index it. That alone makes it a vital plugin for your blog.
    2. Akismet – This is an important plugin because it saves your blog from spam. It filters the comment spam and saves your time wasted in going through and deleting the spam manually.
    3.  W3 Total Cache – This plugin can help you to speed up your blog. It caches your site so your blog can load faster for your readers.
    4. An advertising management plugin –  There are several plugins available that can help you to manage the advertising on your blog. If you have a blog and you use different types of advertising for generating revenue, then you need this plugin to control your advertisement placement and other vital factors for generating more revenue. The plugin makes it easier for you to manage the placement, frequency, customization of the ads you place in the blog. Several are available by using the search term “Advertising” from within the plugin administration end of your WordPress blog.
    5. A plugin for forms – You  need a plugin for creating forms to use in your blog. Using forms you can allow people to contact you without showing your email ID, which saves you from the “spam masters”. There are different plugins available for the creation of forms. Ones to try include Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms.

    My final piece of advice? Never use more than 10 plugins for your blog.

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    What WordPress plugins (if any) do you use and why? Let me know in the comments below.

    (Photo credit: Plugged In via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Bikash Kalita

    Entrepreneur, coach, inspirational speaker

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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