Plugins for any WordPress-run website are a very personal matter. What I tend to do is to utilize the tried and trusted handful of plugins that I’ve relied on over the years for many of my other websites, and then simply implement a plugin here and a plugin there to handle a particular scenario – an individual function.
That said, the short list of WordPress plugins I’ve listed below (nine in all) is by no means an exhausted list. It really depends on how you wish your own blog to function.
First off, however, I’ll do a short video on how to install a new plugin.
Most plugins are free of charge, and can be downloaded straight to your blog’s back-end, while many of the premium ones (you pay for those) are downloaded to your computer’s desktop and then uploaded through the back-end.
List of Plugins for a Travel Blog
Akismet (anti-spam mechanism).
Contact Form 7 (permits people to get in touch with you from your website).
Statcounter (this one works in a similar fashion to Google Analytics, but it’s far easier to comprehend, albeit much less functional).
SumoMe (a handful of tools that are useful in building an e-mail list. Some are free, others are premium – paid for. SumoMe also has the all-important social share buttons that appear on your blog).
Platinum SEO Pack (alternative to All-In-One SEO, though it does a very similar job – helps to improve on-page search engine optimization).
Ultimate TinyMCE (strange name, I know. This one I use to alter the size of the fonts within my posts at the click of a button (so you don’t have to fiddle with the hard code). However, the plugin has many other useful alternative “shortcut” features, too).
W3 Total Cache (heightens the speed of webpage load, which is important for Google search engine optimization and user experience).
Yuzo – Related Posts (shows related posts at the base of each blog post to enhance user experience and user time on site, which is good for Google search engine optimization purposes).
On a final note about WP (WordPress) plugins, don’t be tempted to overdo it. You see, the more plugins you have, the more lethargic your website’s performance becomes, and that’s no good for user experience, nor is it good for Google search engine optimization purposes.
There is no ideal amount of plugins, given that some are extremely “light” and others are particularly “work intensive.” Thus, I tend to go for a limit of around 12, though that does vary depending on my site’s needs.