There are over 38,000 WordPress plugins available. 38,000! Amazing, isn’t it? Plugins, if well-coded, add functionality to your site. Some Plugins are absolutely necessary – here are the WordPress plugins you need to start your blog. Other plugins aren’t necessary but can help make your site better or frankly, are just dang cool.
So if you’ve seen dozens of lists of “the best WordPress plugins” and you want to know what else is out there, this list is for you. These are plugins that I’ve found, have used, and love and they’re not necessarily the ones you see on those lists.
Frizzly is simply the best plugin available to add hover action for social sharing to your blog photos.
You’ve probably visited a blog before and found that when you hover over photos, the pin it button appears stretched or distorted, the pin it button appears over images that aren’t really supposed to be pinned (like a signature), or appears outside of the photo area. It looks messy and discourages people from sharing.
Frizzly is easy to set up and allows you to use standard Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter branding (very clean and square) or upload your own. I’ve chosen to stick with the traditional branding of those sites so that it’s very clear that I encourage you to share the content.
Content Views feels like the jackpot plugin that I found that I can’t believe everyone doesn’t use. I love looking at posts in a highly visual format (Pinterest style, if you will). The Content Views plugin allows you to create a shortcode to display posts. Like this:
Okay, so you might have heard about CoSchedule by now. But that’s just because so many bloggers who use it basically shout from the rooftops about how awesome it is.
CoSchedule makes it so easy to set up your editorial calendar and schedule social media posts for weeks and months in advance.
It’s also perfect for people like me, who frequently change their minds about what’s going to be posted next (what can I say, I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl). The simple drag and drop interface has almost no learning curve. It’s simple and awesome. Interested? They offer a 14 day free trial. You don’t even have to give them your credit card number up front.
You know that bar of color you see across the top of blogs, urging you to sign up for a newsletter or follow them on Bloglovin’? That’s a notification bar. You can use it to direct a reader’s attention to something you’d like them to see or do.
This plugin is clean, customizable, and über simple.
For years I used Snapwidget to show my Instagram feed in the sidebar of my blog. The only issue is that when you click on a photo in the Snapwidget, it links to a Snapwidget url instead of linking to Instagram directly. This could potentially keep you from converting your blog readers to Instagram followers.
Later Sarah introduced me to Instansive, a widget that creates links directly to your Instagram url. This works well however it only updates once a day so as you post throughout the day, you don’t immediately see those new photos on your sidebar. They do offer a premium version for $5 which updates your feed about every 45 minutes. This is a great option for Blogger users.
The Instagram Feed plugin allows you to display your Instagram feed however and wherever you’d like on your site. It utilizes shortcode, which means that once you’ve finalized how you want the settings, you just insert [instagram-feed] wherever you’d like it to appear and ta-da! It will. Mine is located in a text widget on my sidebar.
But here’s what I really love about it – it adds a “follow on Instagram” button at the bottom of your widget. Because the button uses Instagram branding, it catches your eye and is instantly familiar. If you’d like to see it in action, check out the sidebar of my personal blog.
Now tell me, what totally awesome WordPress plugins have you found that you’re shocked everyone isn’t using?