(Image courtesy of Erik Strandberg [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons)
I am not what I would call Tech Savvy by any stretch of the imagination. As just a homemaker (IS there such a thing as just a homeschooling homemaker?) I get by but I always feel like I spend my blogging life playing catch up. I do, however, love to learn from others! There are so many gifted and talented Tech Gurus that help me, through what they share on their blogs or with me personally. It is THEIR skill that I pass on to you.
I use a WordPress self-hosted site, so I have the opportunity to use plugins. There are several plugins that have made my blogging life much easier and more efficient. Here are my favorites:
- WordPress Editorial Calendar – this enables you to map out your posts long in advance. It is a great help for Blogathon, that’s for sure!
- WordPress SEO – I love this because I know very little about SEO. This plugin guides you in use of key words, length of post, etc. to get the most out of SEO without having to know a lot.
- Broken Link Checker – nothing drives me crazier than clicking on a link on a website and have it die. This plugin lets you know every time a link stops working on your blog and gives you options to deal with it (correct the link, report as not broken or unlink it).
- Comment Reply Notification – I always feel bad when I leave a comment on someone’s blog because I may not get back to see if anyone replied. If I subscribe to the replies, I end up getting emails to everything other than my own comment. I wanted to be able to build COMMUNITY on my blog, so it is important to me that those who comment find out when I reply to them. This plugin allows you to create the settings you want to notify anyone leaving a comment that they have been replied to.
I have tried many plugins and often remove them after a bit if I don’t find them to be REALLY worth it. I don’t want to use too many and slow my blog down more than it is. These are some that I absolutely love.
Finding photos was such a serious issue for me in the beginning. I was confused as to what I could and could not use to avoid copyright violations. I see so many blogs with credits to Google images, and they are generally NOT free to use. One of my goals is to learn how to take my own photographs (rather than relying on my very talented daughter). I have, however, learned where I can find photos that are legal to use and are FREE.
- Wikimedia.org creative commons – most of the photos there are in public domain and therefore completely free to use.
- Flickr creative commons – many of the photos there use a license that allows photos to be shared, so long as they are credited
- Freedigitialphotos.net – these photos can be downloaded and used (even altered) so long as they are credited
Alright, this is an area in which I am almost completely ignorant. I don’t have a smartphone (or an even semi-intelligent one). But I recently purchased a Nexus 7 and am entering the world of apps (slowly and with kicking feet, I might add). There is one app that I have downloaded (per the recommendation of Nikki at Christian Mommy Blogger) and find helpful.
- WordPress App for Android – it allows me to very easily reply to comments on my blog without having to be at the computer. It’s very easy to use and I’m really enjoying it. This can be found in your App store on your device.
Well, there you have it. The few tools that I use and can actually understand. What are YOUR favorite blogging tools?
Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Erin Branscoms, Mommy Mondays, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Making Your Home Sing Mondays, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Walking Redeemed, A Wise Woman Builds Her House, The Welcoming House, Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, A Little R&R, Pieces of Amy, Homeschool Mother’s Journal, TGIF Bible Love Notes
I love your list of plug-ins, Kate. I’m not an app user (yet), having only a not-very-smartphone that doesn’t even allow Android apps. The time is coming, though. Until then, however, I love your list of plug-ins, and am going to get a couple of them for my own blog. I’ve been toying with the WP Editorial Calendar one for a while, but always put it off as a bit too ‘organised’ for my chaotic randomness. But you’ve prompted me to give it a go. And that one for replying to comments is just superb! I’m definitely going for that one. So thanks for sharing these today.
You know, Susan, I don’t use the Editorial Calendar every day (or every time I blog) but when I have ideas I don’t want to forget, or a series I’m wanting to do, it is a great tool to help keep me FOCUSED!! Go for it, you’ll like it more than you think.
Great list, Kate! Thanks for sharing. I need to check out that wordpress app!
Crystal, please do. If you use your phone (or tablet) often, it is a great help to keep on top of comments on your blog.
I’m glad you listed the free photos sites. Those are good to have handy. Thanks for posting!
Thanks, Leslie. I am always looking for photo sites (due to my lack of skill).
I just recently got a Kindle and only last night discovered the WordPress app. I’m hoping it will help me keep up with blogging better with my full time job. Great lists here!
Oh yes, I really am enjoying it a lot!