An indispensable and powerful feature of WordPress is the ability to add extra functionality with plugins. Plugins are the WP equivalent of add-ons (or add-ins) that are so common in desktop software the last few years.
This article will attempt to make a fitness blogger’s life easier by showcasing some very helpful – and thoroughly tested – WP plugins. All plugins are free, unless otherwise stated.
Before we start, let’s see what qualities any plugin must have to make it a good candidate for your fitness blog :
- Value : The plugin must offer great services to fitness bloggers
- Free : The plugin must be free or at least have a usable free version. Most plugins have a paid version too. We have not used any paid versions so far.
- Error-free : One of the most important things to consider. A plugin that runs into errors and crashes does more harm than good.
- Sufficient support : There should be a user base for the plugin. This usually shows that the creator of the plugin really cares to solve any issues, to release upgrades as required and to add badly needed features.
Enough said, let’s see the best WP plugins for fitness bloggers !
This is the first plugin we install into any blog (fitness or otherwise). This plugin does one thing really well : takes a backup in such a way that you can install your website anywhere.
For instance, suppose you want to test your website before it goes live. So you put up a test WP site, let’s say at www.yourdomain/mytest/ , which is not known to the public. You check and it looks OK, but how do you transfer it later to the proper place, which is www.yourdomain/ ? You will run into troubles because there are several things into your testing WP installation that refer the testing URL ie. www.yourdomain/mytest/ . All these need to be changed to refer to the new URL instead.
Duplicator handles this with ease : You create a “package” from within the plugin, create a database and user from your Control Panel, then upload the package on the destination URL and run the provided script. It may seem complicated; it is not.
It also serves taking backups very well and you can be sure that restoring from the backup will be easy and safe.
The second most importnat plugin, Wordfence protects your website from hackers and malware. Hacking attempts against WP installations happen everyday. You need to have a strong password anyway, but this plugin can warn you by email when there is hacking activity taking place, can block IPs, allows you to set maximum number of login attempts etc.
These are the most important settings (found underWordfence-> Options) :
- Where to email alerts: Put your email here
- Lock out after how many login failures : Put in 5
- Lock out after how many forgot password attempts : Put in 5
- Count failures over what time period : Put in 30 minutes
- Amount of time a user is locked out : Put in 12 hours
Leave the other options at their default settings.
Also, you can run a Scan from Wordfence -> Scan
These were the two most important plugins, necessary for the health and fitness of your site 🙂
Let’s move on to a few more plugins that make life easier.
This plugin automatically places links with thumbnails at the bottom of your posts, encouraging your visitors to read yet another of your masterpieces. The recommended posts are based on relevancy and there are several parameters to customize the results.
This great plugin allows the fitness blogger to insert anything they want in the beginning, middle or end of their posts. For instance, if you are writing articles on fitness, you may want to insert ads, or pictures of your ebook, or video thumbnails…stuff like that. WP-Insert makes it easy.
Unlike another popular SEO plugin that reportedly caused major server overloads, this one has been found to work just fine. We also believe it does a much better (we could say scientific) job SEO-wise.