If you have the best plugins for WordPress, you’ll be able to do more than just designing a website. The plugins can improve user experience, increase conversions and help you earn more cash from your blog. The following are some of the plugins people can’t live without.
Unless you have a degree in computer science or you’ve dedicated your free time to learn new programming language, you likely don’t know much about web development or coding.
This is where the best WordPress plugins become useful. They can help you transform your basic WordPress blog into a profitable venture, and the best part is that they can be installed within a few minutes.
If you’ve been having a hard time trying to monetize your blog, the tools mention in this article will help you.
Note that just having the best monetizing WordPress plugins won’t simply print money literally. Instead, they normally help build up what we can refer to as the “intangible effects” – increased conversion rates, increase in traffic and better experience for the user.
Although you users won’t be able to see them, you’ll soon discover that they have a direct impact to your overall success. Also, monetization of blogs is a very advanced topic that can’t be discussed in detail here, but the WordPress plugins discussed in this blog are must-haves to someone who wants to start making money online through their blog.
We’ve tested the plugins mentioned here on a personal level and we still use every one of them, so you can be rest assured of their functionality.
We would never recommend a scammy software or plugin or something we felt would cause your site to crash. With that said, make sure that your website is always backed up on a regular basis, especially before you make any big alterations on it.
Best Plugins for Direct Monetization
The following plugins will directly impact how your blog earns money.
1. Google AdSense
It can take us a whole day to discuss how ads impact a website and whether or not they are necessary to begin with. We all can’t deny having AdSense gives you immediate return for all the hard work you’ve put into making your blog.
Same as with almost everything else in life, there should be a balance of the use of ads which contradicts the all-or-nothing approach. Your main aim should be to try having a balance which 1) will help in maximizing your energy on invested time and 2) to not detract substantially from your experience as a user. Having Google AdSense Plugin enables you to:
“…insert ads from AdSense via an easy point-and-click UI instead of inserting snippets manually. Google automatically controls the placement of ads on AdSense, recommends the initial layout for ads and lets you decide how the ads will be laid out on the site.”
The current version comprises of the following features:
- AdSense ads that can be added easily to your website in order to start earning money through advertising.
- With a single click, use Automated Mobile Ads to enable ad layouts that are mobile-specific.
- An easy and quick way to manage your ads using a point-and-click interface.
- Insert ads manually in the areas that you determine by yourself.
- Exclude ads from pages.
- Use Webmaster Tools to verify your site with a single click.
If you don’t have Shareaholic on your website, then you might be missing out on some great traffic. The plugin was mainly designed to allow you have a social sharing expansion, but this isn’t all it can do, it is so much more.
If you use it the right way, it will help you earn a lot of money. I don’t have any relationship with Shareaholic, neither does it endorse me in any way, I simply like it very much. Here are several of the benefits of using Shareaholic:
You’ll be able to switch on floating social sharing
This will help increase your blog’s reach, to some extent, it’s about being able to share things without difficulty. Don’t just keep adding share buttons all over the place, but if you place them at top, on the side and at the bottom parts of the page can be a great way to balance them out.
Your blog can’t be monetized of people aren’t visiting it. If you’re very attentive, you’ll discover that your page has a social sharing option which we also included at the bottom of this article.
There’s a feature for related posts
This is probably more useful than it gets credit for.
Almost everything out there is affected by bounce rate. The rankings of your Google search, how many views your page get on every visit per visitor, what you choose to eat for dinner, your self-esteem…everything.
The more time people spend on your website, the more cash you’ll earn. It’s very plain and simple. If you manage to get an average visit/pageview to rise from 1.17 to 1.59, your earnings will also start increasing in the same ration. This is why it’s important.
There are several different ways you can use to monetize your site directly
- If you don’t want your side bar or page to be cluttered, just enable ads within your related content at the bottom. You’re to choose the number of ads you want on your site and they can also be geared towards your advertising goals.
- You can switch on ads on each of your social sharing pages. If one of your followers decides to share a post, they’ll see a targeted banner ad which is the same as the other content that they’re already looking at. This is a great way of reaching out to your audience.
- Although this option is turned off because we’re utilizing our personalized affiliate links, Shareaholic is able to append regular product links into affiliate so that you can start making sales. This is very helpful.
Like I mentioned before, these are just some of the benefits. Just like with a lot of plugins, you’ll be able to deactivate and uninstall the ones that you don’t like.
3. WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions
WooCommerce is the right place to go to when you’re looking for the right tools for an online shop because they are all packaged in a single click of a button.
From a shopping cart for viewing products and refund pages to a completely functional product description pages, you’ll be able to sell digital or physical goods online with little-to-no knowledge about coding.
Do you have a unique service, idea or product that you’d like to sell? By installing WooCommerce, you can do it all very easily. Consider this: WooCommerce has more than 7 million installations, and is currently powering about 30% or more retailer websites around the world.
People trust the site because of its performance. The program was developed by the same people responsible for designing WordPress, which explains its success.
Even though the platform is free to download and is an open source, there are numerous other paid enhancements that you won’t regret spending money on. However, WooCommerce can function full without the paid enhancements, so don’t be discouraged.
WooCommerce Subscription Plugin also happens to be one of my favorite add-ons. The platform’s subscription package enables you to make particular content private before you can sell it to your followers at a renewal basis.
If you’re looking for a membership product that has a renewing revenue stream on your website, this is the best way to go. It costs around $200 yearly but will pay for itself and leave you with extra money if you’re looking to earn money with it.
Best Plugins for Search Engine Optimization, Email List Growing and Social Sharing
We included this category because although the plugins included here don’t result to direct monetization for your site, they are also important in regards to building your revenue. If you’re not always working on ways to build your email list, expand your social reach, or enhance your website, you definitely have misaligned priorities.
If you’re planning to use blogging as your main source of earning a living, you need to strategize everything. Sadly, even though your content is of the highest quality, it won’t be recognized by the world when you don’t have an audience that can share the information with other people.
4. Yoast SEO
Consider Yoast SEO as a link between you and Google. With that said, you should consider Google as the best prize. Always have this in mind.
Every decision you make should be centered behind a search engine. If you’re wondering why? It’s because of traffic. Search traffic is very important. Another reason is purchase intent. This is also important that it can’t be stressed enough.
Yoast SEO is likely one of the best plugins that’s been included on the list. It’s basically a framework of what you need to consider when coming up with a topic for your blog and writing the right content. If you implement proper keyword research/usage (long-tail, highly-searched keywords) and also include the right ingredients required for good metadata, you’ll be preparing yourself to get noticed by Google.
If Google doesn’t like what your site has to offer in the first place, it means that all this will be in vain (poor backlink profile, high spam score, low domain authority).
Having said that, if you work on parenthesized items without failure and you manage to improve your scores, Google will be able to find your content without difficulty because you have excellent metadata. Google will also learn about your page and they’ll use that information to rank your content.
The traffic you start seeing will have purchase intent; people will find your site because the kind of information or products you have there is what they were looking for.
Be wise, make it easy for Google to make an index to your page. You can use Facebook or Pinterest like your main referrals, but Google (or any other search engine) becomes the final prize.
5. Social Warfare (or Shareaholic)
Like you already know, Shareaholic is a very good tool for social sharing and it happens to be one of the best free WordPress plugins. However, Shareaholic also has a Pro version which is known as Social Welfare (the platform also includes a free version).
Social Warfare has better performance than most social sharing plugins in the market. More versatility, more features, more methods for sharing content. If people aren’t able to share your content within a few seconds of clicking your share buttons, they’ll lose interest in it.
People are become more impatient and lose attention very quickly, so your social sharing isn’t immediately available or placed properly, your audience will look for other alternatives. Make sure you avoid making these mistakes.
One share can expand your reach by hundreds or even thousands of people (one Facebook users normally has an average of 338 friends, assuming that you won’t be getting any more reach). Moreover, your likelihood with social sharing will increase ensuring that your site gets backlinks, this means that you’ll have more authority. This will eventually get you higher ranking for your content on the search engine.
Social Warfare features include:
- Show individual and total share count.
- Support for each social network that’s popular.
- Include Pinterest-specific descriptions and images to posts (best way to improve traffic on Pinterest).
- Display floating share buttons.
- Show popular content widget prepared by share counts.
- Include a box with “click to tweet” in your content.
- Completely mobile responsive.
- Use a UTM tracking code to trail social shares (you’ll notice that this will drive more traffic to your page).
6. MailChimp for WordPress
Once you decide to start a blog, you’ll soon discover that there are various different methods that are recommended by blogging “experts”. You’ll have to be in tune with almost 1,347,234 social media sites, learn about Facebook ads and write at least 17 life-changing blog posts every day.
Since there are very many directions as well as distractions, you’ll need to schedule your time appropriately. Two of the most important areas that will get you a lot of money are your email list and SEO.
Make sure that you’re building up your emails list. One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger is to forget building an email list when you start blogging. It plays a major role on how much traffic you’ll be getting on your site.
When your followers share their email with you, they’re trying to tell you that they’re interested in what you’re offering or what you have to say. These people are very likely to also be interested in the same things as time goes by.
The best way to build an audience that will engage in your blog is through email lists. This is also a great way of leaning about your target demographic, boosting traffic, and the most important part of your bottom line.
MailChimp includes a free version which allows users to immediately start building their email lists. You’ll also be able to create independent email lists for specific audiences, design custom forms/fields where readers can register and provides you with analytics on the performance of your emails.
Note: For all our email marketing requirements, we personally rely on ConvertKit and we also recommend it. CoverKit is a product of bloggers for blogger, and we think that it’s a very superior marketing tool for emails. Although they only have paid options, they currently have free plan with at least 1,000 subscribers.
In case I didn’t mention this before, email lists are very important. Well, let me drive my point a little further by including another plugin to our list that is definitely a must-have. You can download SumoMe for free on your website and begin trying it out because it comprises of numerous ways for gathering email addresses.
For an interactive but slim bar located at the top of the page to minimized collection forms as page footers to pop-ups that are polite when you scroll down, SumoMe lets users try out different email methods which will help you figure out the one that’s suitable for your site. This is one of the most user-friendly and versatile ways to collect email addresses without annoying or/and burdening your users.
SumoMe has a pro version that integrates with every big email service provider, saving you from having to manually key in new subscribers.
Best Plugins for Website Optimization and Speed
The ranking algorithms used on search engines normally emphasize on website speed and user experience. If you have low mobile or desktop speed scores, chances are that you’re being penalized by Google (same applies to other search engines as well) for giving people poor services.
Ironically, having different plugins on your WordPress website will impact your speeds in a negatively (plugins are based on intensives and add to the list of things that users need to download when they visit your page). Although plugins increase your website’s functionality, if you have a lot of them, it only adds more burden to your load.
Take a look at your website’s sores through Google PageSpeed Insights. Google also recommends some directives that you can use to increase speed on your page so get right to it and start fixing the issues on your page.
In addition, the following plugins will ensure that your website is operating faster by caching information for forthcoming visits, compressing images and hosting resource on outside servers for intensive images.
JetPack comprises of 16 plugins in 1, but the feature that’s more interesting is that it directly relates to Photon, a website speed. The plugin utilizes a content delivery network (CDN) which is personally hosted by WordPress.com so that your images can be displayed.
This will increase speed on your website without giving your servers the burden of having to deliver big image files to a user. Instead, there’s an image saved off in the WordPress.com cloud ensuring that your page loads quickly.
Remember that page loading times are what determine your SEO ranking, so get rid of anything that will cause them to become slow.
Furthermore, plugins are usually designed by Automattic (WordPress’ parent company), which means that you can always rely on their functionality or not being able to destroy your website every time you get new updates. It also has a number of cool features such as daily backups, brute force prevention, downtime monitoring (you’ll receive an email when the site goes down) and increased social exposure.
9. WP Smush
JetPack uses a CDN to serve a cloud-based image, and you’ll be able to speed up the process if you compress the big images which usually take a lot of time to load. WP Smush provides you with a much lighter and cleaner version of media by crushing the files down allowing you to upload them through your admin panel.
Another great thing about WP Smush is that it has a tool which enables bulk cleaning which is great for cleaning up several pictures at once. So, if your WordPress website has been running for sometime and it has numerous pictures on it, don’t panic, simply run WP Smush in the background for a couple of hours so that it can clean up and clear some file space.
10. WP Super Cache
Consider WP Super Cache to function the same way as Smush when it comes to images but exempt the HTML web pages. With the plugins, you’ll be able to offer most of your users with basic HTML. This in turn results to reduced server load, bandwidth usage as well as alleged lag problems.
Can’t still understand what we’re talking about? You really don’t have to. The most important thing to understand is that it’s a great thing. After all, plugins are basically meant to improve how your website functions through code snippets that most people don’t even know they exist.
The Best Plugins for WordPress Cannot be Noticed Directly
While it might be difficult to understand the functionality of the plugins mentioned in this article, they are important. However, every one of them has their own job when it comes to making your site operate in the best way possible. From making people know about your website and helping you earn some money (ads, social sharing, SEO, etc.) to improving the experience of users (design, speed, etc.), every function is important to you as a blogger.
I would advise (coming from a blogger to another blogger) is to set aside time so that you can make your blog with a solid foundation by utilizing a couple of the best plugins mention here. One good thing about these plugins is they are completely free. Your site will progress faster and you’ll also be motivated to continue blogging for a very long time.