Blogging tip: 10 plugins that make blogging easier

Wordpress plugins

One of the reasons I decided to self-host my blog was because I wanted more control over my blog. Basically: plugins! Plugins are handy little things you use to automate features in your blog. For instance, deleting hundreds of spam comments is a lot easier when you’ve got an anti-spam plugin keeping track of them and you can do it all in one go.

I’m one of those weirdos who likes seeing what other people are doing on their blogs, behind the scenes, like. Other people must be weird like me, right? Right! So here are the plugins I find the most handy to have running; if you’re a newbie self-hosted WordPress book blogger (or if you’re thinking of becoming one), I hope this list will give you some ideas on which plugins to use!

1. Advertisement Management
This plugin lets you stick ads in various placed in your theme without having to fiddle with the CSS or html or whatever. It’s how I manage the ads at the bottom of my posts and in the sidebar/footer.

2. Akismet
Spam! I hate it. I get a lot of it (a LOT, holy hell) and Akismet keeps me from going insane trying to take care of it all myself.

3. Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer
Basically what this does is it takes your Amazon affiliate username and attaches it to the end of each Amazon link. Automatically. Makes copying links over MUCH faster for me, because now I don’t have to click through Amazon’s toolbar thingy and wait for it to load, find the link I want, etc.

4. WordPress Related Posts
See the links to other posts at the bottom of this post? That’s done with this plugin! I used to use Better Related Posts, which was just links. Pictures are prettier, so I like this one a lot more.

5. CommentLuv
I read somewhere that having something like CommentLuv going on encourages people to post comments. I haven’t been keeping track to see whether that’s true or not, but I know I like it when other blogs have CommentLuv, so I figured I’d have it on my own blog.

6. Formidable
This makes it easier for people to contact me directly through my blog! And when they DO, it’s easier for me because people have to fill out basic information before they email me review requests (which makes it easier for me to sort through and find books I actually want to review). You can see it in action on my Contact Me page.

7. Exclude Pages from Navigation
This keeps my navigation bar tidier. I can have a page full of info about my disclosure policy, for instance, and I can link to it from the sidebar so people can access it. But I don’t have to have it floating around in my navigation bar taking up room! Huzzah!

8. FD Footnotes
I’m addicted to footnotes, I’ll admit it. I like that I don’t have to have super long things in parenthesis any longer– keeps my posts neater, too. This plugin makes it super easy to format them. No more messing around with HTML myself. Huzzah!

9. Jetpack by WordPress.com
If you’ve just migrated from WordPress.com and you miss various WordPress.com things, this plugin’s for you. I haven’t been on WordPress.com for years now, but I like Jetpack anyway because it’s got a lot of neat stuff included in it, including the buttons that you can use to share my posts.1 There’s also a stats thing, which I don’t need because I use:

10. StatCounter
Uber stats! This is a bit more than what I need, because all I want to know is what people are looking at and how they found whatever it is they’re looking at. The StatCounter plugin does that, though, and it does it a bit better than the stats thing in Jetpack.

Are you a self-hosted WordPress user? What’re your favorite plugins?

For more blogging tips, or to ask a blogging-related question, check out the Blogging Tips page! Now with fancy ask-a-question form!

Footnotes

  1. Although I’m actually looking for something different now– I can’t figure out how to add my username at the end of whatever someone’s sharing. Anyone know how?

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