Travel bloggers are pretty much in demand for those who wish to know about other cultures, traditions, cuisine and historic background. But it is rather difficult to be able to stand out when you’re just starting up and when the competition is fierce.
There are many ways to promote your content online with social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But WordPress is where newbie bloggers have a platform to reach out to their audience. The only way to truly get the best out of WordPress is with the help of certain add-ons called plugins.
Now, what exactly are these so-called plugins? They are tools that give your site a little more zing to make it more engaging to your visitors. You can do everything from adding social icons, to running a poll on your site, and comment spam filters.
So now the question that we should be asking is; “What plugins should travel bloggers use”? We have taken the liberty of listing some of the most common plugins that will pique the interest of enthusiastic travelers from all over the world and improve their SEO rankings as well.
W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular WordPress plugins today. Apart from improving the performance of your website, it also reduces downloads times with features such as content delivery network (CDN) integration. W3 Total Cache improves user experience as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Travel bloggers may not be that adept when it comes to the technical part, but that is what makes W3 Total Cache easy to approach as it handles all of that on its own. And the best part of it all is that it is free.
You are looking at perhaps the most download WordPress plugin today. It does everything to optimize your site for maximum visibility and lead generation. It does all of the following.
All these functions prove that you have the power to turn plenty of heads to your site. The only thing that could prove to be a challenge is the customizations. But if you follow some of the guides under “W3 Total Cache Settings”, you’ll be fine.
Yoast SEO is a great alternative to W3 Total Cache that also takes care of all the technical optimization of your site. With the snippet preview, you can have a look at the rendering of your writing and what it will look like in the search results. Whether the title of your site is too long or too short, the search engine will still show accurate results.
Your Meta descriptions will even make sense in the search results. You will rise in rankings as well as get a boost in your click through rates. The plugin’s Page Analysis tool will keep a check to see if, for instance, the images on your post have the alt tag containing the focus keyword for that post.
The plugin will allow you to control which of the pages Google shows in its search results and which of the pages it will not show. Yoast will tell the search engine to index all of your pages like in the form of category and tag archives, but only the first pages.
Yoast also has the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality of any other WordPress plugins. As soon as you have checked the box, Yoast will automatically create sitemaps and will alert Bing and Google about its existence.
If you wish to have search engines better index your blog, there is no other plugin that will do the job than Google XML Sitemaps. These way crawlers will be able to see the structure of your site and retrieve it better. The plugin supports every kind of WordPress generated page and custom URL.
Google XML Sitemaps will notify every major search engine whenever you have made a new post. As a bonus, the plugin will not reduce your download speed, break your site or even annoy you in any other way.
Sometimes it is a good thing to share your old posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms in order to keep them alive and generate more hits. That is exactly the purpose of Revive Old Post and thus the name of the plugin. Use this to drive more traffic from social networks.
You can use the plugin to promote your content by choosing the best time to share your old posts and how many you wish to share. When writing traveling articles, there may come a time when some of your old blogs need modification.
Smart Layers by AddThis gives you all the things you need to make your visitor’s user experience a great one. By implementing buttons that are easy to use with a simple interface, you can enhance customer engagement like never before. The social sharing buttons work as layers that overlay your site so that it does not interfere with the design of your site.
You can thus share your post on social media as well as drive traffic. The plugin will also provide additional content to keep your visitors engaged. You can turn layers on or off as well as customize their appearance by choosing three different themes; light, dark and transparent.
Many of the plugin’s smart features will flow nicely above the site’s design without disrupting the user experience. Keep in touch your analytics as well. You must register if you wish to know how Smart Layers can work on your site and then you can engage with your visitors.
Akismet assures bloggers and site owners that they never have to worry about comment spam ever again. Since filtering is incredibly time-consuming, annoying and confusing, Akismet does you a solid favor by saving your time and helping you focus on more important things.
The best thing about Akismet is that it is already pre-installed on WordPress so that alone should make you realize how important this plugin is.
Commentluv does a great job by adding a link for your readers to their last blog post at the end of their comment. That way, when you are guest posting on other blog sites, the readers will be able to follow you back. CommentLuv Pro has plenty of other features that you should try, like fighting spam, integrate twitter links, adding keywords and other social enhancements that are all for the better.
Commentluv is said to increase the comments and user experience for the hundreds and thousands of blogs out there. You will find as many interesting blogs as you can from your own blog and community. This will give you the opportunity to build your community by offering your readers to register at your site so they can unlock the advanced features of the plugin.
Your readers will be able to choose any of their last 10 comments when they decide to comment. There are other features like the dofollow links and more.
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a plugin that will beef up your site’s security for sure. Of course, WordPress is already secure, but it doesn’t hurt to add some extra security for the occasion. The plugin reduces risks b checking for vulnerabilities as well as implementing and enforcing the latest in WordPress’s recommended security measures and practices.
This plugin also includes an unprecedented security points grading system that will measure how well you protect your site based on the security features that you have activated. It will detect if there is a user account that has the default “admin” username and then changes that username to a value of your own choosing.
The plugin also detects if there are any WordPress accounts with identical login and display names. If you make your username the same as your login, then you are easier for hackers to raid your site since they already know your username. It will also stop user enumeration so that other users or bots discover user info via author permalink.
If you’re not comfortable with the “Pin it” button that is right underneath your post, you can use this plugin for a better solution. Your readers can simply move the mouse cursor over the image they wish to pin and then the visits will shoot up like a rocket.
Having this is a very smart and comfortable approach which respects the convenience of the reader. The plugin will give you an even bigger edge that some of the other social media platforms cannot. Travel bloggers have a great chance with this since it is all about pictures and videos for their blogs.
The Easy FancyBox plugin provides you with a flexible and lightbox solution for pretty much every media link to your site. The plugin uses FancyBox jQuery extension and is also compatible with WP 3+ Multi-Site. After installing, you will find a new section known as FancyBox that you can find on your Settings > Media admin page.
All of the links to GIF, JPG, and PNG images are automatically opened in the FancyBox lightbox that floats over your web page. There are also instructions on how you can manage and present your YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo videos as well as images.
Save the bandwidth on your site and help it load faster by lazy loading for images and iframes with this plugin. BJ Lazy Load replaces all of your post images, thumbnails, content iframes, and gravatar images with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to entering the browser window as soon as the visitor scrolls the page.
It even works great with text widgets.
Manage multiple contact forms with Contact Form 7. You can also customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with a simple markup. The forms in this plugin support Ajax-powered submitting, Akismet spam filtering, and CAPTCHA.
With the help of Geo Mashup, you can save location information with pages, posts, as well as other WordPress objects. You can also easily customize a Google map that will be embedded with each of your blog posts. You can add KML files, pin a location and lots more.
We hope that all of the above information is enough to set you on your way to travel the world and let everyone know the wonders of your travels.