My nine must have WordPress plugins for book promotion and site security
If you are serious about book marketing and building your author platform, you probably already have at least one self-hosted WordPress site.
To get the maximum value from all your posts and pages, though, there are must have plugins that will help increase your site traffic and therefore, your book sales.
At the same time, you should ensure that your site security is sound. Here is a list of WordPress plugins that I use on all my sites, so I can vouch for their ease of use, functionality and effectiveness.
My nine must have WordPress plugins
1. Revive Old Post
Without a doubt, Revive Old Post is absolutely the most effective tool for increasing site traffic. I have been using it for years now. Initially the free version, but as the paid version has so many additional features, I have the paid version on all my sites now.
With Revive Old Post, you can share all of your existing posts and pages on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Tumblr using automated schedules. For re-posting book promotional pages and posts, it is the best tool available. Image sharing and Google Analytics integration is also included in the paid version.
If I had to choose the single best plugin for self-publishing authors, this would be my choice by a very long way.
2. Social Warfare
Social sharing buttons are a must have on any site, but so many free social share plugins slow down site speed by adding unwanted tracking code, spam, malware links and ad links.
I have tried so many of them over the years, and was almost always disappointed or even upset at the site damage some could do.
I stumbled on Social Warfare about a year ago, and at last I found a social sharing plugin that not only works, but is super fast and clean. I run the free version on some of my sites and the paid version on others.
Update: A free core version of Social Warfare is once again available from the WordPress plugin Directory.
However, the paid version is not expensive and includes Twitter share total tracking. Twitter killed of share tracking, and as far as I know, Social Warfare is the only sharing system that collects Twitter sharing data. The paid version has a lot of other features including additional styling, share recovery, Google Analytics tracking, post customisation for social networks and bit.ly integration.
3. Related Posts By Sovrn
Adding related posts at the end of your blog posts help reduce your bounce rate by keeping your site visitors engaged. Related Posts By Sovrn is the best I have found.
It is free and comes with a lot of customising and styling features. It is also extremely light-weight and does not affect your site speed.
4. Print Friendly & PDF
I only discovered this free plugin recently. Who prints blog posts, so why would you need it?
Firstly, having a print option helps SEO a little, and secondly, it allows readers to quickly create a .pdf, which can be read later on perhaps a phone. Lastly, it can serve as a reader, similar to Readability and Safari Reader, so it helps with site engagement and reducing bounce rate.
5. Breadcrumb NavXT
Adding breadcrumbs to your site helps users navigate your site as well as helping your SEO and search engine indexing.
Adding breadcrumbs used to mean doing some coding, but with Breadcrumb NavXT it is extremely quick and easy to set up, and it is free.
Without a doubt, the easiest and quickest way to add breadcrumbs.
6. Insert Headers And Footers
Very often, you need to insert a code or script from an external site, such as Facebook, Bing, Google or Adsense into your site’s header. Editing your PHP files, especially if you are not running a child theme, can break your site. Insert Headers And Footers is a quick, easy and much safer way to add scripts and code.
Wordfence is the number one security plugin for WordPress. If you are not using it, you should be. The free version is perfectly adequate for almost any site and will protect you from site attacks by the bad guys.
After using Wordfence for a few weeks, you will be surprised by how many unwanted attacks your site attracts.
Do you have a full backup of your WordPress site and database?
If you do, are you sure you can do a restore if the need arises?
Many backup plugins do not offer a restore function, so they are useless. Don’t necessarily trust your hosting service either, as most only offer short term backups.
UpdraftPlus has the huge benefit of being able to save backup files automatically to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, email, plus more remote locations. Off-site backups are the most secure means of protecting your site.
Updraft is a free and paid backup plugin that works without a hitch. I have been using it for a long time now, and it has saved me on many occasions, particularly when a plugin update goes horribly wrong.
You’re right; Grammarly is not a WordPress plugin.
However, with a Grammarly Chrome or Safari extension it works within your WordPress editor and helps enormously in making sure your writing is as good as it can be.
I use Grammarly every single day, so I can attest to how useful it is in finding errors and typos quickly and efficiently.
Summary: There are thousands of WordPress plugins; some good and some bad. I am always very wary of testing new plugins on any of my live sites, because a badly written plugin can cause a lot of problems. I aways check the support threads and reviews of any plugins I am considering, and then test them on my trial site before adding them to my live sites. The nine plugins I have mentioned above have been working on all my sites for a long time now, so I can attest to them being not only safe to use, but also efficient and productive.