5 Ways to Take Your WP Blog to the Next Level

The core functionality of WordPress enables you to build and manage your website with ease and without sharing too much efforts.

Back, a few years ago, just a good content could be enough to drive a lot of visitors to your website and stay on top. Obviously, building a compelling website nowadays requires far more time, resources, efforts and energy. With the fast growing web design enhancements, you need to make sure your website is keeping up with the latest prevailing trends in order not to be missed out. Moreover, if you want to stay on top and be a step ahead, you have to regularly enhance the functionalities of your website to fit the needs of your visitors.

Below you can find 5 personally tested ways that will bring your WordPress blog to the next level by enhancing its functionalities in so many ways. These simple tips will work for almost all kind of blogs.

Choose a Beautiful and Functional Theme

In addition to an attracting and clear layout, functionality comes next. A feature-rich theme is the prerequisite for your blog’s success and better user experience on your website. It can enhance the functionality of your website and display the content in a more visible way.

WordPress Portfolio Gallery theme, is a perfect choice in terms of both the functionality and available beautiful layouts with large image thumbs. Full width layout view and infinite scrolling options it’s going to drive a lot of attention to your website.  The highly functional lightbox of this WordPress portfolio theme is its most standout addition. It is capable of displaying galleries, portfolios and the collections of your posts within it with the post preview possibility.

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The lightbox can also display your website content in a full-screen slideshow with 15 different slide effects. You can easily customize the settings of the lightbox to best fit your needs, such as enable info in the lightbox, allow autoplay, set lightbox width and height, enable play/pause buttons, etc.

The theme includes 10 different page templates and comes with highly customizable widgets including advertisement widgets. The theme is responsive, user and SEO-friendly. Check out the theme demo  to see other features that go into the theme. I would also recommend checking Portfolio Gallery Pro for more advanced features and functionalities.

Focus on Social Media

Social media can really take a credit for spreading a word about your website and strengthening its social presence. Such a fast growing popularity of some social networks opens up new ways and opportunities to stand out.

If you don’t want your blog to be left behind, then integrating Instagram feeds to your website is a right choice. With Instagram Feed WD plugin user and hashtag based feeds integration will take no longer than a couple of minutes. The plugin enables you to display Instagram feeds on your website in modern Thumbnails, Masonry, Blog Style and Image Browser layouts. Masonry and Blog style views will be a great addition to your website style and please every single visitor coming to your blog.

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You can choose to open images in a lightbox or redirect the viewers to the image Instagram page. This WordPress Instagram plugin features a really powerful lightbox, capable of displaying feed images as a slideshow with 15 transition effects, as well as showing image info and  comments within it. You can also display images in filmstrip mode, enable share buttons and image download button.
The plugin comes with two themes, and gives you a possibility to create new ones with your personal header, user data, pagination and layout options.

Keep a Functional Calendar

Calendars are widely used within different types of blogs and websites. They are a great tool for displaying and managing events on your website and a way to keep your visitors informed on the most important and interesting events organized for them. Moreover, an advanced and easy to use calendar can enhance the functionality of your blog and make it way better.

Among numerous event calendar plugins available in WordPress directory, I find Event Calendar WD as the most functional and user friendly plugin to use. With the available Month, Week, Day, 4 Day,List, Map and standout Posterboard view options you can make sure your visitors are not going to miss out any event.

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The WordPress calendar plugin supports event microdata option, to ensure events you display are easy found by search engines. You can have single or multiple events per day and provide any relevant information for the visitors, such as event organizers and venues marked up on Google Maps,  add featured image, link YouTube video, etc. Event tags and categories will make it easier to find events on your blog.

Event Calendar WD also enables you to add recurring events on your calendar specifying the repeating rate of the event. With the provided shortcode you can insert Event Calendar WD to any of your posts and pages. You can also add calendar widgets on your blog.
Event Calendar WD Pro comes with 11 highly useful add-ons, among them Event tickets fully compatible with WooCommerce, Upcoming events, Countdown, Frontend Management add-on, etc.

 Track What Your Visitors are Searching For

Your blog will gain much trust and authority if your visitors find whatever they’ve come for. Providing relevant and trustworthy content that would be of interest for your visitors is a great way to increase website traffic and gain popularity. Tracking what your visitors are looking for on your blog will be a great way to provide the content they are interested in, won’t it ? Search Meter plugin will be your best partner in  tracking the search queries on your blog. Moreover, it also shows whether or not the visitors found what they were looking for.

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With Search Meter’s admin panel you can see the search result history of the last days, week and month and which ones have been unsuccessful. The plugin enables you to add customizable widgets on your blog, such as the Recent searches widget or Most popular searches widget, with each query linked to the actual search result.

Search Master plugin is super easy to install and use. Viewing and managing search statistics is just a matter of a few clicks. You can determine who can see your full search statistics in the settings section of your blog.

Make Sure the Links on Your Blog Work

To make the content on the website complete and trustworthy we oftentimes provide different links.  They complement the posts and are also great from SEO perspectives. If you always make references  to the sources you’ve used or additional information for your visitors, just make sure the links you provide work. Otherwise, you are running the risk of frustrating your visitors and losing the links weight for search engines.

The best way to manage links on your posts and pages is to use Broken Link Checker plugin, which does exactly what the title says. It monitors your website post, pages, comments and custom fields and detects broken links and missing images and lets you know if there are found any. If broken links are found you will get a notification either on your WordPress admin panel or by email.

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The plugin enables you to create link filters, which will help you to search for particular links throughout your blog, such as , comment links. There are also several options provided to manage the links on your website. You can edit the link URL, remove the link but keep the anchor text intact, manually mark links as broken and hide the links from being reported. The plugin also provides information about the status of each link.

If you want to enhance the functionality of your blog and stand out from the crowd these highly functional and advanced WordPress plugins will be of great use. All this plugins have been personally tested and will be a good addition to any kind of website. I strongly recommend to check them out.

If you have any questions related to the plugins don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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About gayane.mar

Gayane Mar is a passionate web-blogger who started her blogging activity a few years ago. Her posts are all about web design and web development. She writes all these posts for good people who need some guidance or advice with web development. The driving force behind her writings is the great hope that her blog posts would be helpful for each and every one reading them. If you are interested you can follow her own blog wpcapitan.com.

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