3 Time-Saving WordPress Plugins

WordPress has always been my top choice when it comes to blogging. I love to be able to customize my blog to look however I want and have complete control over everything. I also love the variety of features and options that WordPress has, especially with their vast amount of plugins.

Some of my favorite plugins are ones that make my blogging life easier and even increase my productivity. So today, I thought I'd share my top three plugins that save me quite a bit of time and help me get more done!

Broken Link Checker

No one has time to go through every post and page on their blog to verify that all of the links are still accurate. In addition, no one wants a reader to come across a post from a few years ago, try to click through the various links or videos within the post, and find out that none of them exist anymore- not to mention that these missing links are bad for SEO. Broken Link Checker solves both problems! Once the plugin is installed, it searches for missing images and broken links on a regular basis. Once it finds them, it notifies you that there's an issue in the dashboard and you're able to edit it. Really easy, really valuable.

Editorial Calendar

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn't provide an easy-to-use overview of your posts that allows you to see what's coming up in the next few weeks or months. But the Editorial Calendar plugin does! Not only can you see when posts are scheduled to post (along with drafts and pending posts) within a monthly calendar overview, but you can also drag and drop posts if you'd like to change their posting date. Want to change the time, title, or tags? You can do that right in the calendar grid with the Quick Edit feature. Whether you have a co-authored blog or a single author blog, this simple plugin is a must for anyone who posts regularly.

Duplicate Post

If you post regular features (think: link roundupsinterviews, or a blog series), Duplicate Post is a must-have plugin. It allows you to clone a post or a page and keeps all of the information within it, including tags and categories. You can also set the options to copy only certain aspects of the post or page, too. It's a huge time-saver if you have regular features on your blog.

What plugins would you recommend for increasing productivity?

5 Plugins to Boost Your WordPress Comment Section

You're blogging for your business, just like everyone says you should.  You're putting out this great content, but somehow you feel like it's not drumming up the kind of connection that you hoped it would.  What's missing?

If you're leaving your comment section totally unattended, you might be missing out on valuable community building through discussions on your site. Being active in your own comment section usually helps, but there are also a few plugins that can help grow your community and help things run smoothly once those comments start rolling in.

1. Comment Reply Notification: If you're going to take the time to respond to comments in your comment section, you want people to be able to see it!  This plugin automatically emails commenters to tell them when their comment is replied to.  This is much better than a system where you have to opt in to get emails for all comments.

2. Add New Default Avatar: This is just a fun little thing to make your comment section prettier.  Ideally, all commenters would have their avatar set up with Gravatar (and if you don't, DO IT! I wrote about why it's important here) but for those that don't, it's nice to have something branded to match your site as opposed to that boring mystery man.

3. CommentLuv: I don't use this personally, but this shows a link to a commenter's latest blog post underneath their comment, which encourages your community to check out other readers' sites- and encourages them to comment, because they know their own blog will get some publicity. Pretty cool!

4. Akismet: Nobody likes spam.  Akismet is the most popular spam plugin, and I've had good luck with it. Some bloggers use and like FV Antispam if Akismet isn't cutting it for some reason.

5. Recent Comments widget: Okay, this isn't a plugin.  But by using this simple built-in widget in your sidebar, you can help generate discussion by drawing readers' attention to the posts that are currently attracting the most comments on your site.

Last but not least, my favorite tip for generating comments on your posts is to directly ask your readers a question at the end of your post.  A lot of times readers want to give you feedback and connect, and by asking a question you're giving them something specific to talk about.

What is your favorite plugin for managing your comments section? (See what I did there?)