Blogging with WordPress is just about as easy as it gets, but you may sometimes find yourself strapped for time. When the next brilliant idea strikes, these time-saving plugins will help you go from concept to published faster than you thought possible.
All plugins listed can be installed automatically from your WordPress plugins menu by searching for their title.
Zemanta is one of those plugins that just simplifies everything. It’s easy to use, quick to install, has no effect on how your post is displayed and aggregates content for you. How great is that?
Zemanta works as you type. It analyzes what you’re writing to provide suggested images, links and tags. Most images are licensed under the Creative Commons or in the public domain, although it’s always a good idea to double check. They can be inserted into the post or set as the Featured Image with a single click.
Jetpack had a bumpy start, but it’s turned into an excellent go-to plugin for sharing, comments, comment forms, shortlinks, additional widgets, custom CSS and much more. Once you’ve connected your blog to your WordPress.com account in a few easy steps, you can take advantage of the free utilities. You also have the option of using paid services, such as automatic back-ups.
A major benefit to Jetpack is it ties your self-hosted blog in to WordPress.com. No only will your posts show up in WordPress.com search results, the comments and activity on all blogs linked to that account will show up in one easy to manage drop-down.
Until version 3.5, WordPress had a built in links utility, also known as theBlogroll. This was handy for bloggers that maintained a list of links in the sidebar. Whether it was love to their favorite sites or a collection of sales links, the Blogroll was a much loved feature.
All In One SEO Pack
This plugin make SEO easy. The settings menu provides a quick and easy way to set your main SEO elements – including title structures and keywords – while a meta box on each individual Post and Page lets you fine-tune the information to display to search engines.
The real beauty in All In One SEO Pack is how flexible it is. You can easily tweak a title on just your category and post pages, for example, and never use the meta boxes for the individual posts.
Lightbox Plus Colorbox
If you’re looking for a simple solution for opening just aboutanything in a lightbox or modal, this is the plugin for you. The set-up can be a little tricky the first time you use it, but once you’ve fine tuned the settings it works like a charm. The plugin comes with roughly a dozen lightbox themes to match the look and feel of your website.
Lightbox Plus Colorbox offers the option to automatically open media (images and videos) in a lightbox. You can open external links in a lightbox by using arel= attribute of your choosing in the link.
Picasa and Google Plus Express
End the vicious cycle of uploading, downloading, uploading, downloading. This plugin allows you to browse your Picasa and Google Plus albums directly from the post editor and insert them singly or as an album. By authorizing your account in the plugin’s settings menu, you can browse your private images as well.
Picasa and Google Plus Express is particularly useful for bloggers who use a Chromebook.