Last year when I covered this topic, I named some pretty basic – but essential – plugins that were must-haves for me to maintain The Bawdy Book Blog. Editorial Calendar & Duplicate Post topped the list, and while I still utilize both heavily, my top five has indeed changed quite a bit. So for 2014, I give you the newest five plugins I can’t live without.
1. Gravity Forms
I only use the personal license version of Gravity Forms, but lots of bloggers like Nose Graze and Cuddlebuggery, heavily utilize its developer license version, which provides options for polls, surveys, coupons, and more. Most bloggers will be more than satisfied with the personal license, however, and you can check out my forms in action here. Gravity Forms is by and far the best WordPress forms plugin available. Gravity Forms is a premium theme.
2. The Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin
I did a full write-up for the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin, otherwise known around the blogosphere as the UBB, in July of 2013, but Ashley at Creative Whim has updated it’s features extensively since that time to make the plugin even more intuitive for bloggers. Besides all the great features listed in my write-up, you can now also post yearly, monthly or weekly wrap-up posts with just a short-code, get book info using Google with the touch of a single button, there is support for additional social media space (hello there, Audible lovers!), and many, many more. The Ultimate Book Blogger plugin is a premium theme. Speaking of the UBB…
3. Ultimate Book Blogger Reading Challenge Add-on
I kind of waffled back and forth on whether or not I wanted to buy this add-on to the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. If we’re being completely honest, I asked myself why it wasn’t an included feature of the UBB, but I really wanted the functionality, especially since I am terrible at updating challenge pages and this provides that for you automatically! It’s also an inexpensive premium plugin at only $7.50, but you do need the UBB for it to work. One thing I’d like to see is once my audiobook reviews are scheduled, they show up on my challenge page as pending, perhaps in italics or something to differentiate them from those that are posted. Overall, this is a great plugin to have for the reader challenge fans and once you set it up, you are set for your challenge! See mine in action here. This add-on is also a premium add-on.
The title for this plugin seems a little ambiguous, so I’ll explain. Lots of spammers and hackers try to break into your blog all the time. Rachel at Parajunkee experienced this very thing last year actually and it caused her a lot of grief while she tried to repair her site. So how do you know who is trying to log in to your blog and when? With WP-Activity. This handy little plugin doesn’t do anything else but tell you what IP is trying to log in and what username they are trying to use. But let me tell ya’ll, that information? It’s illuminating. Bear in mind that this plugin does not act as a security plugin so you’ll still need one. This plugin is free!
5. Evergreen Post Tweeter
Evergreen Post Tweeter had its own individual post a couple of months ago, but I am still excited about it, mostly because I notice it still works and hasn’t failed me multiple times like Tweet Old Post did. It’s customizable, it’s easy to set up and it’s free. Win!