Welcome to the world of plugins.
These come in different sizes.
There are lots of plugins to get all kinds of imaginable work done.
There are many free plugins thanks to the developers behind it.
Also, there are many premium plugins if you want more features.
I have tried and installed many plugins.
What I tried
I mean I tried literally 50 plus plugins. Not for the fun of trying, but to solve the problem at hand.
I don’t remember all of them. I will list most of them and the reason for trying, if any.
Once a few posts were published in my blog, I realized that SEO is required to get more traffic. When I read in other blogs that there are plugins for SEO, I tried the below:
A] Yoast SEO
B] All in One SEO
Page Builder Plugins:
In the middle of my blogging journey, I decided to offer some services in my blog to earn some money. That led me to design a service page in my blog. I mean the typical ones you see where you will have different services listed out with a description, pricing and booking or an email address mentioned.
I was not able to design a page in that way with the theme I had at that time and ended up searching for the solution and found that there are plugins for that.
I tried a few of them, but the one I liked and recommend is
“Elementor Page Builder” – It’s nice and easy with lots of options to customize and build a page.
Image compression Plugin:
For one of the blogs my idea was to post 100s of sketches / images. Adding many images of a big size will slow down your blog [, itdepends on the hosting package] so I wanted something which would compress the images.
The one I found is “Smush Image compression and Optimization” – This plugin is really good. It does the job well.
Money is the top thing on the list. That is the common thing known to all bloggers. I mean email conversion rate is much higher compared to other things [As far as I know].
Two things typically happen in a blog. You collect email address of visitors [i.e. make them subscribe to your blog] and you send them emails.
Those who visit your blog will not automatically subscribe to your blog.
To have more chances of subscription, bloggers give away something for free. Like a small PDF book or a cheat sheet or something very attractive that it makes it hard for the visitors to ignore or miss it for the less than 30 seconds of work entering their email address and clicking the subscribe button.
For the purpose of collecting emails, I paid and bought WP Subscribe Pro [$30] – It has lots of features and it does the job.
If you are using premium WordPress themes like “7” [which also I paid some 30+ dollars for], you get some premium plugins with it and hence, it saves you money which you typically have to spend on plugins.
To setup shop:
When I started losing hope of making money from blogs, I ended up working on a Kindlebook publishing project. For that I was in need of a website to sell the Kindle book.
In the quest to find it, I ended up finding “Woocommerce” – This is the plugin to look for if you want to sell anything through your blog as far as I know.
In my blogging journey I realized SEO for websites and blogs are different. In that book they had given detailed instructions on what were the things to do for on page SEO and for off page SEO. In that the below plugin was mentioned.
“Google XML sitemaps” – It helps to improve the SEO and also creates special XML sitemaps which help in better indexing of your site by Google or other search engines
Visitors and more:
Usually once you are done with the basic setup of a blog and once you are posting in the blog consistently, you will start thinking about visitors. You will be curious to know how many people are visiting your blog and what page they visited and from where, etc.
To know the answers, all you need is the “Google Analytics” plugin.
Once you have done the basic setup, you can use the analytics plugin to keep track of visitors, and all other details.
Adding posts to particular pages:
For one of my blogs, my requirement was to add posts to particular pages.
For example you are covering 2 different topics and each post or particular post if you want it to be part of a particular page, then the plugin “Posts in Pages” will help you solve that issue.
You can also get plugins for Security, speed of your website [W3 Total Cache], membership, slider plugins, etc.
What I recommend
Start using the plugins which come with your theme as freebies and if you feel other areas are left out, Google out to find the best free plugin which do the job and start using them.