The Best WordPress Plugins to Use in Your Travel Blog

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Now that you have opened your travel blog, you have installed the theme you like and represent you, you are ready to start writing your articles.

But first I would like to recommend these to you WordPress plugin for a travel blog which, in addition to helping you manage some things (saving you time and effort), will make your blog even more "yours".

Plugins help both the look and feel of your blog.


To make you understand for a moment what a plugin is, try to think of your new blog as an empty house: plugins are like adding pieces of furniture (functional and useful) or like paintings to beautify your home!


Installing WordPress plugins on your blog is like furnishing it with furniture or decorations that have been pre-made by professionals. They work well, match your design, and are easy to implement.

In this post, I'll list the top 10 WordPress travel blog plugins you should check out - not all of them are free, but for the paid ones I'll also give you a free alternative in case you don't want to spend too much.

I also use these plugins (or have used them in the past) on ForToursLovers!

Some of these plugins are specific to travel blogs only, but most of them are vital to any new blog, so even if you are a food blogger or a fashion blogger, these plugins could help you grow your blog better and better. faster.

Note: be careful not to make the mistake, taken by enthusiasm, of putting too many plugins on your site: they could slow it down and this is not a good thing in terms of SEO.



It might be a good idea to back up your database and do a speed test on the site before and after adding new plugins to make sure they don't affect loading times.

  • How to install a plugin on your WordPress blog
  • 1 - Plugin to create interactive maps on the blog
    • 1 –  HTML5 Maps
    • 2 – Interactive World Map
    • 3 – WP Google Maps
  • 2 - WordPress plugin for social management
    • 1 – Revive Old Post
    • 2 – Social Warfare
  • 3 - Plugin for link management
    • 1 – Pretty Links
    • 2 – Link Whisper
  • 5 - Plugin to create an index in posts: Fixed TOC
  • 6 - Plugin for managing pop-ups: Master Popups
  • 7 - WordPress plugin for the "Contacts" page
    • 1 - Contact Form 7
    • 2 – WPForms
  • 8 - Plugins for SEO management
    • 1 - Yoast SEO
    • 2 – All In One SEO Pack
    • 3 - Google XML Sitemap
  • 9 - Spam or security plugins
    • 1 - Wordfence
    • 2 – Akismet Anti-Spam
  • 10 - WordPress plugin for site speed
    • 1 – WP-Rocket
    • 2 - W3 Total Cache
    • 3 – WP Smushit

How to install a plugin on your WordPress blog

Installing a plugin on WordPress is very easy: download the plugin in .zip format (compressed) from the portal from which you decided to buy it or from the WordPress directory.



On your blog in the "plugin" section you will find "Add new". From the page you can either add a plugin of the recommended ones, or click the "Load plugin" button.

On upload plugin you will have to click "choose file" and choose your .zip you just downloaded, then click "Install now".

Click it and it's done! remember after adding it also to activate it and configure it (if required).

1 - Plugin to create interactive maps on the blog

1 – HTML5 Maps

HTML5 Maps is a free plugin to create maps on your site. Interactive maps are a great way for travel blogs to showcase the countries you've traveled to and written about.

You can show these destinations in the menu but personally I find it much nicer to have one graphically Destinations page with an interactive map like this one (which as you see I use on my blog)

These maps have clickable regions or countries to take people to specific categories on your site.

ForToursLovers uses the interactive map plugin because it is more intuitive and is very nice graphically!

The plugin I use is paid, but if you are looking for something free try the free version of HTML5 Maps: you will not have all the maps available (for those you have to switch to the Premium account), but at least to start you can embed a map from it looks elegant and well done.


Beware that these maps, if not well done, really risk slowing down your blog! Run speed tests, before inserting the plugin and after, to see the performance impact on your site!

2 – Interactive World Map

Okey if you are looking for a truly professional plugin to create interactive maps on your site in WordPress, Interactive World Map is the one for you.


Obviously, being a very professional plugin, it is paid, but the cost is very low and it is an investment that I recommend given the multitude of features that this plugin offers.

You will be able to show hundreds of different types of maps including that of the whole world or continents and sub-continents, countries (practically all countries in the world are included), regions, metropolitan areas, in short, everything and more.

You will be able to color the countries in different colors, or add markers of the places where you have been.

As far as I'm concerned, the best plugin on the market for this type of maps!

3 – WP Google Maps

WP Google Maps is the simplest plugin to integrate Google Maps on your travel blog. You can create a custom Google map with markers containing categories, descriptions, images and links.

Very easy and also integrating maps into your site could make you have an SEO improvement: users search for them and they are easy to understand, they also integrate your content perfectly.

An example: imagine you are writing a walking itinerary in some city: you not only describe it but the reader can see it, print it and maybe take it with them!

2 - WordPress plugin for social management

1 – Revive Old Post

What happens when you have a lot of content that you have developed over many years (like me who have had the blog online since 2013) that you want to share and promote, but you don't have the time or desire to spend your hours looking for these old articles in your archives ( like me being lazy for these things)?

I use the plug-in Revive Old Post.

This plugin automatically connects to a variety of social media profiles and automatically promotes your content for you. You can automate tweeting / sharing messages, as well as how often your content is promoted.

For example, you can decide to tweet every hour, or every two or three.

This plugin saves a lot of time and allows you to dedicate yourself to other things. Beware that on social media you must still be present so the ideal is to use it as a help between your tweet and the other, do not abandon it!

2 – Social Warfare

Before I found this simple social sharing plugin, I searched everywhere for attractive and intuitive social sharing buttons that didn't hurt my site's SEO.

I have tried a lot of them and after having performed various tests Social Warfare It's hands down the best I've found: not only does it make it easier for readers to share, but it uses faster, smarter share buttons, in-post click-to-tweet calls to action, and so much more.

3 - Plugin for link management

1 – Pretty Links

If you have affiliate links on your site, this plugin is a must. I discovered it quite recently and have been using it ever since!

Pretty links allows you to customize your affiliate links. What does it mean?

For example an affiliate link which could be like:

“https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/stella-della-marina.en.html?aid=1252798&no_rooms=1&group_adults=2”

becomes something much simpler:

"Https://www.fortourslovers.com/stella-marina-monterosso"

therefore much more readable and easy to identify.

Also, if you have this link in multiple pages of your site, if it changes, you won't have to go and change it everywhere but just change it in the Pretty Links console.

Pretty Links also allows you to keep track of how many people have clicked on that specific link.

Beware that it has a limitation: if the links are already shortened, it could cause problems. make sure when you insert a link that it always works.

Pretty links is available both in the free version (the one I use) and in the paid pro version which offers many more features.

2 – Link Whisper

Link Whisper is a plugin that you will struggle to find in the other lists of "Best WordPress Plugins". This is simply because not many people know about it: I first discovered it after a lot of online searches.

But what does Link Whisper do? This plugin allows you to automatically add internal and external links to your blog by simply choosing which words to automatically link.

For example, let's say you've just written a great post about low-cost travel and you want to drive the traffic that comes to your blog to this article.

With the Link Whisper plugin, you can easily set it up so that whenever the words “low-cost” appear on any page, post or category on your site, they automatically link to your travel guide.

I love this travel blog plugin because you can log in and add the keyword for each city, region, country and continent on your blog and automatically link them to appropriate posts / pages.

The plugin also allows you to automatically link all of your categories using destination as a keyword, which is perfect for travel blogs as most have continents and country names as their categories.

Likewise, you can also connect outside using the same tactic. If you have a great affiliate for Booking.com, you can set Link Whisper to
automatically links the words Booking.com (the plugin is in action now, automatically linking that term for me), or whenever you type “book a hotel room” it can also link to your affiliate.

You can also set it to make all external links from the plugin “nofollow”.

Do you have a favorite travel camera that you always talk about on your blog? Make sure that every time you type Canon G7x into your blog, it is automatically added to your Amazon affiliate for that product!

5 - Plugin to create an index in posts

1 – Fixed TOC

Do you want to automatically create a "table of index" in your posts?

Personally I advise you to do it, especially in very long posts: they divide the post and make it easily navigable for the reader (who may decide to read only one chapter and not the whole post) and google likes them!

On this blog I do them by hand and with HTML, but they are limited!

On other blogs that I manage, I use the plugin Fixed TOC (for a fee) and it's pretty awesome because it has tons of customization options.

You can color your tables of indexes, you can place them wherever you want, you can make them dynamic and much more!

6 - Plugin for managing pop-ups

1 – Master popups

If you are reading this article, you will probably get a popup for the blogging group at some point "Blogging Masterclass Group".

This popup was done with Master Popups.

beware that it is a paid plugin and also quite expensive, but it allows you to do a ton of things:

you can create customized popups, navigation bars, notifications for accepting cookies.

You can customize your popups on how and where they appear (after a few seconds? When does the home page load? On specific pages? At the top or bottom of a post? "

Master popups also provides you with ready-made templates (which you just have to customize a little) for the newsletter, the promotion of your product (a book?) And much more.

I wouldn't recommend it for someone who has just started a travel blog, but if you've been blogging for a while and want to give it a more professional idea you might want to give it a try.

7 - WordPress plugin for the "Contacts" page

1 - Contact Form 7

If you want to do business on the blog (but not too) you will surely need a "Contacts" page through which your readers can send you an email (without having to make your email address clear on the blog) or for customers who want contact you for any collaborations.

If you are looking for a free plugin Contact Form 7 is probably the best one for you.

I used it on this blog for a lot of years, until I needed something more customizable and more professional (see later).

However, Contact form 7 is an excellent tool, easy to configure and insert into your pages.

2 – WPForms

After using Contact Form 7 for a lot of years, I decided I needed something more professional on the blog and after some research I came across WpForms.

WPForms is both a free version (with limited functionality) and a Premium version (paid) but it allows you to do many more things.

I like it very much, it is light and 100% customizable, easy to use and allows you to enter not only a classic form with name - surname - email and comment, but also checkbox, combobox, and others that can be easily inserted thanks to the Drag and Drop.

8 - Plugins for SEO management

1 - Yoast SEO

One of the most important factors in growing a new blog is making sure your website has a solid SEO (Search Engine Optimization) foundation. This will allow your site to rank in Google's search results and thereby drive traffic to your site.

At the time of writing, ForToursLovers receives over 85% of its traffic from organic searches performed on google by users. This demonstrates how important it is to keep search engines and SEO in mind when building a new site and writing your posts.

Yoast SEO is a free plug-in that allows you not only to optimize your site map and the readability of your blog, but also to optimize your articles from an SEO perspective as well as another infinity of features that it offers and that simplify your life.

beware that, even if Yoast gives you a lot of information, some of it must be taken with more than pliers. For example, after you have finished writing a post, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and check the SEO status of your post before publishing and you will see a kind of traffic light that depending on your post will be green, orange or red, clear indications on the SEO of your post.

Grab them with pliers! Use them as pointers to finding problems, not like the bible. Always remember that a plugin algorithm will never compete with your brain because the plugin is limited.

Yoast SEO will give you some help: it will count your keywords, check readability, allow you to edit meta-data, verify optimal length, and more.

it's not a must-have plugin, but especially in the beginning it could really help you.

2 – All In One SEO Pack

Also All in One SEO Pack it is a great plugin and it is easy to use, which is why it is considered the best by many: for those who have just opened a travel blog it is in fact easy to install and configure since all the configuration can be done in a single page.

So which one to choose between this and Yoast? Yoast certainly has more features (such as sending the XML sitemap) but given the ease of configuration, All in One is also a great tool.

Both Yoast and All in One SEO Pack have free and paid pro versions.

3 - Google XML Sitemap

One of the things you absolutely must do to improve your blog's SEO and speed up the indexing of your posts is to send a sitemap to google every time you publish or update a post.

If you have installed Yoast SEO this sitemap job does it for you, but if like me you choose not to install Yoast then you will need a plugin that does it.

Google XML Sitemap he does this job very well: once personalized (which is very easy to do) you can even forget it.

I found virtually zero incompatibilities (apart from Yoast or other sitemap plugins) and highly recommend it.

9 - Spam or security plugins

1 - Wordfence

Every website is subject to being hacked at one time or another. Facebook has been hacked, Instagram has been hacked, so don't think for a second that your WordPress blog is free from viruses, malware and hackers.

To combat the current online hacking crisis, you need to protect your site using a security plugin. Wordfence it is constantly updated and provides a web application firewall that helps prevent your site from being endangered by some web bitch.

If you are reading this post and have not installed any kind of malware security plugin on your blog, you should stop reading it right away and go and download one from the plugins directory.

Wordfence looks like it does a great job!

2 – Akismet Anti-Spam

As your blog starts to grow (and sooner to be honest) you will start to notice a lot of spam comments appearing in your conversation feed on your blog posts.

A SPAM link is easily recognizable, it could be something like this:

“Hey, great post! I've been looking for a useful post like this for some time! Check out the new running shoes that run for you while you sit comfortably on the sofa! [Insert spam link here] "

If you have the comments moderated before they are approved (do it!) You could just trash these spammy comments.

But do realize that sometimes so many come that it could become a huge job and Akismet comes to your aid!

Akismet Anti-Spam helps to limit spam comments to an absolute minimum. The plugin can be free and all you need to do is install it, add the Akismet.com API key and clean your site of unwanted spam.

To date, this plugin has cleared ForToursLovers of over 500.000 spam comments!

Imagine how much time I saved than by deleting them one by one by HAND?

10 - WordPress plugin for site speed

1 – WP-Rocket

WP Rocket it's a wonderful plugin that does a fantastic job and that's what I use here on my blog. This is a Premium plugin with an annual subscription, which means you will have to renew it every year and is therefore a bit expensive if you have just started your blog.

But if your blog is already a bit advanced and maybe it already earns you something then it's really worth investing in it.

But what is the cache? Basically, web browsers like Google Chrome and Safari actually save data from websites frequently visited by users.

So if you visit ForToursLovers, your browser will cache (or save) some of my images, website layout and texts so that the next time you come back to the site, you don't have to wait for the internet to load the content, it will already be stored in the browser cache.

To make sure your website caches your content and offers it to web browsers around the world, you need to have a good caching plugin and WP-Rocket really does a fantastic job.

2 - W3 Total Cache

A caching plugin is essential to ensure your website is running as fast as possible.

W3 Total Cache has long been one of the most recommended caching plugins for WordPress and is fairly simple to install and configure.

There are 16 pages of settings for this plugin, but you don't really have to tinker with any of these settings. The plugin will automatically optimize for your site and you can basically leave it as is.

3 – WP Smushit

This plugin automatically compresses your photos upon upload. Photos are arguably one of the biggest slowdown factors on any travel blog.

With WP Smushit, not only can you automatically compress images while uploading, but you can also batch compress previously uploaded photos saving up to 70% of space and without losing visible image quality.

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