As great as WordPress is, there are always certain problems and glitches that website owners will likely have to deal with at some point. And you can either deal with these issues the hard way – manually – or the easy way – via a plugin.
There are a host of WordPress plugins that take the “trouble” out of “troubleshooting” and totally streamline the business of running a website. Here are 8 plugins for WordPress that will make your life just a little bit easier for website owners and developers:
1. WP Missed Schedule Fix Failed Future Posts
The post scheduling function is a godsend, especially for those who prefer to blog in bulk and have their articles posted at different times so they don’t overlap each other. But if you’re one to schedule your posts all the time, you might have noticed that occasionally a post will fail to be published for some reason.
This can be super frustrating, especially when you’re not notified of this failure to publish until you stumble across the error in your admin panel. No one likes to see that dreaded “Missed Schedule” message! The WP Missed Schedule Fix Failed Future Posts WordPress plugin can help solve this problem. Properly named, this plugin scans your WordPress site to check for scheduled posts that have missed their publication date, and then goes ahead and publishes them. It’s a handy little plugin that won’t hinder your server in any way.
Spam is a pain, but luckily there are plugins developed specifically to deal with it. The Akismet WordPress plugin is a popular one. Actually, it has no choice but to be popular, since it comes pre-installed on all versions of WordPress.
Although it may not necessarily be fool-proof, it is quite good at hindering most of the spam people and bots will try to fling at your comment section. Akismet checks all the comments being made on your blog, then analyzes them to see if they resemble spammy material. Sometimes it hiccups, which is why you need to check out your spam folder on a regular basis. Sometimes legitimate comments get flagged as spam, so you’ll need to manually check for that on occasion.
3. WP-Optimize or Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions
When your revision system is overloaded, your site database can get quite large, which does little to make your site run more efficiently. In fact, it can bog down your site considerably. The WP-Optimize WordPress plugin helps to shrink your database so your website runs more smoothly and is streamlined. This plugin accomplish this task by taking care of things like post revisions, old comments, or auto draft posts. The Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions plugin does much the same thing, which can cut the size of your database by more than half.
4. Page Links To
Linking to internal pages and external sites is always good practice when you’re trying to climb the Google ranks, especially when those links point to authority sites. But sometimes it can be a real pain to do this manually. No one likes having to be immersed in an involved process just to adjust some settings. With the Page Links To WordPress plugin, all you have to do is turn it on or off.
This plugin makes it easy to take traffic coming to an old page and redirect it to somewhere else. This handy little plugin helps by adding a metabox to your post editor, where you are free to choose a customized URL to enter in the text field. That way, when traffic comes your way, it will be automatically directed to the external link.
5. Disable Comments
Have you ever tried to disable comments across your entire website? It’s harder than it might initially seem. But it’s necessary on occasion, for a variety of reasons. Not only that, but removing comments that have already been made at the front end takes a bit of technological knowledge, including coding. Not every WordPress user knows how to code or modify their themes.
Luckily, there’s a nifty plugin that can take care of this: the Disable Comments WordPress plugin. This gives you the opportunity to turn comments off, be it for your whole site or only on a post-by-post basis. When you want comments eliminated altogether, the plugin will even make the comment form disappear. If you want to disable comments on a specific post, the comment form will be removed on that post only. However, existing comments can stay, should you choose to keep them.
6. iThemes Security
It’s crucial to have a back-up plan in the event that your server crashes or some other random thing happens to your site. Everyone knows that. But not everyone actually takes the steps necessary to back up their website regularly, mainly because it’s kind of a nuisance. The truth is you absolutely need to be able to restore your website from a backup should something bad happen, in a very brief period of time.
The iThemes Security plugin does this automatically for you. It allows you to create backups of your site, whether fully or partially. This includes your database and installed plugins. There have been other plugins developed to perform this type of function, but iThemes Security is probably the best. It’s got a ton of features, and gives you the opportunity to restore your backup within minutes.
7. WordPress SEO by Yoast
Keeping your website search engine optimized can be quite the hassle, considering all the little factors that you’ve got to think about, including meta tags, page descriptions, and the like. When it comes to SEO, WordPress SEO by Yoast is a must-have. It gives you total control over meta descriptions, page titles, and keywords for your pages, posts, and categories.
This plugin also tells search engine robots what to do in the case of nofollow, follow, no index, index, etc. You can personalize your Facebook and Twitter descriptions for individual posts, too. That is, if you’d rather not use the default meta description field.
8. Digg Digg
Social media. It’s everywhere. And if you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, you’re missing out, especially when your site is presumably supposed to generate a profit. If you don’t know where to start, consider installing the Digg Digg WordPress plugin, which adds a floating box on your site’s pages and posts and allows your visitors to share your content with just a click.
This WordPress plugin handles any social networking site you can throw at it, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. You can personalize the type of services you’d like to show your users, and you don’t have to use the ones that you don’t think will be of any use to your site. All in all, it’s a must for diving into social media head first.
There are tons of plugins floating around out there that can fix some of the most common issues with WordPress, especially if you’re a bit wet behind the ears about the platform. Hopefully, the preceding list will be enough to get your site up and running (and keep it that way!).
Are there any plugins that you like to use to troubleshoot or streamline site operations? Let me know in the comments section below!