Guest Post – Our host is Amy Edwards, In this post Amy has listed some of her favorite new WordPress plugins.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Whether you’re an amateur blogger that’s just trying your hand at blogging because you’ve been bullied into it or you’re an experienced blogger that gets paid to blog for a living, there’s a good chance WordPress is your platform of choice.
First established in 2003 as a single piece of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing, WordPress has grown from a handle of users to millions of users in less than 10 years and it’s not hard to see why. Easy to use, adapt and 100% free, WordPress is constantly being developed by the Open-Source community which means it’s actually improving week on week. Its simple design means it can be used for anything from a Fortune 500 website to a personal blog, while its hundreds (if not thousands!) of themes make it easy to personalize and manage.
Another massive draw of WordPress is its extensive back catalogue of Plugins. A bit like an app for your smartphone, a Plugin is simply a tool or mini programme which you can download to your WP blog or website to carry out a certain task or feature. Like I said earlier, WP is constantly being developed and its Plugins are no different. Most WP Plugins are free to download and easy to install on your personal blog or website and the active WP community means it’s usually pretty easy to find a Plugin which is effective and has good rankings.
Although the WP community is pretty active when it comes to new releases, it can still be pretty hard to keep up with the latest Plugin releases – according to WP, there are currently nearly 20,500 Plugins currently available on the platform! Now, while I can’t give you a run-down of the entire 20,500 Plugins on the market, I can give you a quick run-down of my top 5 WP Plugin picks for 2012.
After The Deadline
Price: Free. (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/after-the-deadline/)
Struggle to get a handle on correct grammar, spellings and sentence structure? The After The Deadline Plugin could be for you. Also available as a Google Chrome extension, this Plugin has been designed to act as a quick proof-reader for your content to make sure no embarrassing mistakes slip through. Clichés, double negatives, hidden verbs, jargon – you name it, this Plugin should be able to spot it and fix it before you publish.
It’s no secret that to successfully market your blog posts, you need to optimize them for search engines. Don’t have a clue where to start? The WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast is the perfect Plugin for both advanced WP users and newbies. From basic post titles and metadescriptions to more advanced canonical links and XML sitemaps, this Plugin makes it easy to get a handle on your blog or website’s WP SEO and is essential for anyone that wants to ensure their blog gets maximum visibility across the web.
Price: Regular license: $14. (http://mapify.it/)
Ever wanted to add a dynamic map to your blog or website? The Mapify.it Plugin could be just the solution. Whether you’re using Google Maps or a custom map, the Mapify.it Plugin allows you to enhance your chosen map with custom pin-point graphics and pop-up galleries – plus it incorporates the great zoom and pan effect of Google Maps. Available as either a WP Plugin or a complete theme, the Mapify.it Plugin is great for anyone that wants an alternative, feature-rich map for their users.
PHP and WordPress Weather Forecast Plugin
Price: Regular License: $10. (http://codecanyon.net/item/php-wordpress-weather-forecast-plugin/2460976):
Want to add a quirky feature to your WP blog or website? You can’t beat a good weather Plugin and the PHP and WordPress Plugin is one of the best I’ve seen. Based on Google Weather, the Plugin is easy to install and edit and displays the latest weather conditions and four day weather forecast. Compatible with the latest WordPress, this Plugin offers weather conditions in any language and the temperature format is changeable by visitor. OK, so not exactly a ground-breaking Plugin, but still a nice little feature to make your blog stand out from the crowd.
Price: Free. (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/onswipe/)
With mobile well and truly taking over, it’s about time you made sure your WP blog or website looks good on both mobiles and tablets as well as desktops; enter the Onswipe Plugin. Easy to download, the Onswipe Plugin restyles your blog in a super-sleek magazine-style format which is easy to navigate with the swipe of a finger – pretty impressive, right?! Fully customizable, the Onswipe Plugin means there really is no excuse for your blog to look below par when it comes to mobile devices and tablets.