The meteoric rise of WordPress over the past decade has been enjoyable to watch.
In 2003, when WordPress first came on the scene, it was seen primarily as a place where bloggers could go to create a site to express their ideas.
In short order, WordPress went from a simple blogging platform to be one of the most powerful influences in the history of the web. WordPress has more than 50 percent of the CMS market. Millions of WordPress sites are visited every day. Clearly, WordPress has grown beyond simply being a platform for blogs.
As we get into 2019, it is good for bloggers and those who are thinking of starting their own blog to familiarize themselves with some of the excellent tools WordPress offers to help their blog
stand out, to make it easier for their users to find, and to make it more enjoyable for their users to read.
The following are seven tools that bloggers must have for WordPress in 2019.
Most bloggers want visitors to leave comments on their posts. This is because active engagement gives the blogger reassurance that what they are writing has value and that what they are writing is reaching the right group of people. Active engagement via comments also sends a flag to Google and tells it that the site has value.
Comments are a great way to understand the viewpoint of those who visit you. You can use comments as a way of gauging what to write about next. Unfortunately, not all of the comments you receive are going to be from people who are actually looking to engage with you about your topic. Comment sections are a great way for irritating people to spread spam. They may use your comment section as a place for advertisement or place backlinks to their own website.
This is where Akismet shines. It is designed to make your comment section virtually spam free. It processes and accesses data from millions of sites and communities in real time. It learns and evolves on a daily basis. It filters your comments and blocks those that include spam.
Contact Form 7
If your blog has a Contact Me section, Contact Form 7 is a tool that you want to learn more about.
This lightweight plug-in allows you to create functional and attractive contact pages without needing to go through the trouble of coding or designing. This is a simple go to WordPress plug-in. With it, you will be able to find a number of different forms, you will be able to give them unique names, and you will be able to determine what contact information is required.
Don’t worry about special CSS coding. Contact Form 7 easily and simply integrates into your page or post using shortcodes. You can customize it to say whatever you would like.
Google Keyword Planner & Long Tail Pro
As soon as you’ve installed WordPress, you probably want to start creating blog posts immediately. However, before you do that, you need to do keyword research. Unquestionably, the key to success in blogging is knowing what phrases or what keywords are going to help you reach your target audience. Your target audience is people who are interested in reading the specific content you want to publish.
Some bloggers will just try to guess what keywords their target audience would search. The results are usually not that good. However, if you combine Google Keyword Planner with Long Tail Pro, you’re going to be able to search terms and see the average number of people who look for that term every month on Google. When you’re ready to take your research to the next step, you can look at the keywords you got from Keyword Planner, stick those into Long Tail Pro, and figure out what the best long tail keywords are.
The benefit of these keywords is that they’re not as competitive, and they usually help you narrow down your audience to those who are specifically interested in what you are writing.
Yoast SEO Plug-in
SEO is an essential part of getting traffic to your blog post, especially if you don’t have an audience that is already established. With search engine optimization, you can increase your rank on search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, or Bing. This will lead to increased traffic to your blog.
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plug-in that makes it easier for you to improve a number of SEO factors on your blog. What’s great about this plug-in is that you can use it even if you are not experienced with search engine optimization.
The plug-in takes care of all of the things you need. It helps you set up meta-titles, it helps you create a site map, and it even helps you with more complicated aspects. If you look at the site and feel that things look over your head, don’t worry.
Yoast SEO created an awesome tutorial that will get you up and going quickly.
One of the most overlooked aspects of blogging for your small business or for your own personal blog is website speed.
Speed is a killer when it comes to creating a website or an online profile that readers actually want to look through.
Studies show that a 2-second increase in loading time drops conversion rates dramatically. Some studies have even gone so far as to indicate the total share of global e-commerce revenue has dropped in excess of several billion dollars due to slow loading times. Talk about impatient people!
Pingdom is a great way to track your website uptime and downtime to avoid long periods of outage. In a recent study by Hosting Canada, data showed that hosting providers under $5/mo (per annum) have a range loading times between 302ms all the way to 1800ms.
Finding a host where you can avoid these kinds of issues is key and Pingdom allows you to get data to make better decisions.
At the end of the day, the success or failure of your blog boils down to how well you write. Grammarly is designed to help you ensure that your grammar and your spelling are correct. It does is for you automatically.
One of the nice things about this software is that it’s free. While it might not be compatible with everything, it definitely will work with WordPress. As you type in the WordPress content manager, you’re going to be alerted to incorrect words or phrases. G
Grammarly also lets you type directly into its app, making it easy for you to make corrections without interrupting the flow of your writing.
Rank Tracking Software
When it comes to growing your blog knowing where to focus your efforts is extremely important. The only way to do that effectively is to know what is working and what isn’t and without data that’s pretty hard.
Rank tracking software allows you to accurately monitor your keyword movements to continuously evaluate your site’s growth. Another big advantage of collecting keyword data is unlocking the ability to look at trends over periods of months or years to see what strategies have been effective for organic growth.
We have only discussed five of the tools, services, or plug-ins bloggers will need to have in 2019. We know that there are more out there. We would love to hear from you about the tools, plug-ins, or services that you have found useful or that you plan to use in 2019.