There’s a reason serious fashion bloggers (and bloggers of every kind, for that matter) overwhelmingly choose WordPress to manage their content.
There are plenty of options out there that can help you write and publish content, but when it comes to flexibility and customization, nobody tops WordPress.
It all comes down to one thing: The plugins.
Plugins can help you add monetization, email opt-ins, comments, contact forms, image galleries, and more to your site with just a few clicks.
The only problem is there are tens of thousands of them to choose from.
So what are the best WordPress plugins for fashion bloggers? Which ones can take your blog to the next level and which ones should you simply ignore?
How to Choose WordPress Plugins for Your Site
The wide world of plugins is really exciting when you first dive in.
A somewhat recent estimate puts the total number of available plugins over 50,000.
So why not add all of the plugins you want?!
Not so fast. There are two major drawbacks to having too many plugins on your site that you should be aware of:
Having too many plugins will down your site, period.
OK, so there’s a little more to it than just the total quantity of plugins your site uses, but in general adding more stuff for your website to load will hinder site speed.
Who cares about site speed? You should! If you want to rank on Google and make money with your blog, that is.
How quickly or slowly your site loads for visitors can have a direct impact on your rankings, both in the way Google’s algorithm evaluates your site and in terms of visitor metrics — if a lot of people come to your pages and leave quickly because of a slow load time, you’ll rank lower.
Best practice is to limit your plugins only to those that are absolutely essential to the operation or monetization of your site.
There’s no magic number of plugins you are allowed to have, just remember that every time you add a new one, you could be hurting your site speed, rankings, and revenue in the long run — so it had better be worth it!
Out of date or poorly coded plugins are one of the main reasons WordPress sites get hacked.
Hackers find vulnerabilities in these plugins’ code and use it to access your WordPress admin dashboard.
Reputable plugin developers will quickly patch these vulnerabilities and release new versions of their plugins, but it’s on you to make sure yours are always up to date. And if you install a plugin created by someone who’s lost interest in keeping it secure, you put yourself at serious risk.
Your best bet here is to choose well-known plugins with a good reputation.
Look for lots of positive reviews from real users before you install. You can also check when a plugin was last updated to get an idea of how up-to-date its developers keep it.
The Best WordPress Plugins for Fashion Blogs
So now that we agree it’s a bad idea to install every plugin on the planet, let’s talk about the add-ons that will be essential to your blog and business.
Here are our favorite WordPress plugins specifically for fashion blogs.
#1: Yoast SEO – For Search Engine Optimization
Before you get started writing and publishing content on your new blog, you’ll want an SEO plugin to make your life a lot easier.
Yoast is the industry standard and can help you:
- Easily set meta titles and descriptions for each post or page
- Noindex author pages, date archives, and other pages you don’t want Google to evaluate
- Control how your navigational breadcrumbs display in search results
Think of this plugin as the intermediary between you and Google (along with the other search engines). It has tons of features and settings that lets you tell Google directly what your content is about and how you’d like them to display it.
The free version can do almost everything you need, but eventually you might want to upgrade to the premium version for advanced SEO features and better support.
Can you do without it? Maybe — but your SEO efforts will suffer unless you know your way around the WordPress backend to hardcode some of the things Yoast does for you.
Get Yoast SEO here:
#2: TablePress – For Comparisons & Richer Content
If you find yourself writing about products (great for affiliate commissions) or comparing, well, anything in your posts, you’ll really want to consider including tables.
Comparison tables are an amazing way to quickly display data and information. They’re really easy for users to read (especially on a phone) when compared to long paragraphs of text, and a lot of bloggers find they’re great for affiliate conversions.
TablePress is an awesome plugin that helps you create simple but elegant HTML tables without ever leaving WordPress.
TablePress is completely free and open-source, with terrific documentation from a super engaged and passionate user base.
The tables it creates aren’t overly elaborate, but the plugin couldn’t be simpler to use.
Can you do without it? You can just as easily use a free HTML table generator like this one, but TablePress lets you do everything inside your WordPress dashboard using shortcodes. That means it’s easier to use the same table in different places across your site and easily make changes to your data.
WordPress users who have embraced the new Gutenberg editor can also replace much of the basic TablePress functionality, but power table-users will want a dedicated solution.
Get TablePress here:
#3: AdRotate – For Manually Monetizing with Ads
Once you start bringing in some traffic to your blog, it’s time to start making some money.
One of the best ways to do that in the fashion niche? Ads!
Down the road you’ll have the option of joining a premium ad network like Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive — they’ll manage your ad placements for you and optimize your revenue.
But a lot of people choose to do this work themselves using good ol’ AdSense or networks like Media.net.
A plugin like AdRotate gives you a ton of control over:
- Where ads show on your site
- Tracking clickthroughs & RPMs
- Creating custom ad layouts
- Setting custom timers and schedules for ads
AdRotate is also an excellent solution for direct ad sales, which can be more lucrative than going with a big network (though it’s a lot more work).
This plugin comes in free and Professional versions. If you’re willing to pay, you’ll get advanced features like geo-targeting, deeper reporting, and better customer support.
Can you do without it? When you have enough traffic, you can let a professional ad broker deal with all of this for you. Until then, you might be leaving money on the table if you choose to roll with the default AdSense settings.
Get AdRotate here:
#4: Pretty Links – For Better Looking Affiliate Links
When you begin to explore the world of affiliate marketing, you’ll end up joining affiliate networks like CJ, Shareasale, Pepperjam, Impact Radius, and more.
There, you’ll grab custom affiliate links to put inside your content — but the problem is, these links are often hideous.
They’re long, full of affiliate IDs and other tracking numbers, and worse yet, they’re confusing to readers of your content because it’s not always clear where that link will take them.
Pretty Links is an awesome solution to this problem. It allows you to create custom URLs using your own domain name that will redirect users to your desired target.
For example, instead of an eyesore of an affiliate link sending readers to one of Banana Republic’s shopping pages, you could have your link be: yoursite dot com / go / BananaRepublic.
Pretty Links also tracks clicks on each link and gives you detailed information on the users who click your links.
The basic version of Pretty Links is free, but upgrading to Premium gets you better support, higher-end analytics, and some other fun link features.
Can you do without it? If you’re willing to have ugly, confusing affiliate links on your site — Yes. But you won’t find many big publishers or successful bloggers who don’t beautify their links.
Get Pretty Links here:
#5: rewardStyle – For Influencers Only
Have you ever opened up a fashion magazine and found a glamorous photo of a celebrity around town? Next to the photo, you’ll usually find a description of what the celeb is wearing and where you can buy it yourself.
As a fashion blogger, this is a concept you can steal and implement on your own website using rewardStyle — an exclusive network for fashion bloggers and other influencers. Get approved by them, and a whole new world of monetization opens up to you.
(You’ll need to have great content and an established audience to be accepted.)
One of their coolest features is the rewardStyle widget. It allows you to add “Shop the Post” or “Shop the Look” widgets to your content.
These gorgeous affiliate link carousels pair amazingly well with your photography or fashion insights. You can curate lists of items featured in your posts from tons of different retailers and earn a commission when users click through and buy.
The plugin is free to use, but you won’t find it in the WordPress market. You’ll have to apply to join the rewardStyle network, first, and access the plugin files from your dashboard.
Can you do without it? rewardStyle won’t be essential to the functionality of your blog, but it’ll give you a huge leg up on monetization.
#6: Skimlinks – For Hands-Off Affiliate Commissions
Affiliate marketing can be really intimidating at first.
Applying to marketplaces, finding merchants, creating your links, and adding them to relevant content takes a lot of time — especially if you’re publishing frequently.
Skimlinks is a really cool automated solution to this conundrum, and it’s great for beginner affiliates or fashion bloggers who want to focus more on ad revenue and brand partnerships.
Join the Skimlinks network and install their plugin on your WordPress site. From there, Skimlinks automatically combs your content to look for brand and product mentions it can turn into affiliate links.
That means you can spend more time writing about whatever you, and your audience, want. And less time finding new affiliate offers to promote.
It’s seriously that easy. Of course, Skimlinks takes a big chunk of your commissions compared to forming your own direct partnerships with brands, but the time-save can be worth it for some publishers.
Can you do without it? You’ll make more money with targeted affiliate campaigns, carefully selecting each product and brand you promote and negotiating your own commission rates. But if you’re looking for incremental revenue on your blog without a lot of additional work, Skimlinks is one of the best options.
#7: Scriptless Social – For Lightweight Social Sharing
In the fashion game, social media is huge. You’ll want a large and engaged presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and more.
One of the best ways to start is to make it easy on your readers to Like and Share the content on your blog.
Scriptless Social is a lightweight and simple solution. The free plugin adds social sharing buttons to your posts and allows you to store hidden Pinterest images inside your content.
Social plugins are notorious for being unnecessarily bloated, so Scriptless is a breath of fresh air in the space. It’s simple, elegant, and extremely functional without a lot of fancy extras.
Can you do without it? Some themes include built-in social sharing functionality, but few do it as well without the bloat.
Get Scriptless here:
#8: Social Photo Feed – For Building Your Social Audience
A lot of your best fashion photography will live on your Instagram account.
So you’ll need a good way to show it off on your blog, too.
Tons of fashion bloggers swear by Social Photo Feed (also known as Instagram Feed), a plugin that allows you to create widget galleries of your best photos anywhere on your site.
If you have eye-catching visuals to share, this is an excellent way to build your Instagram audience through your blog. Then your Instagram followers can turn into recurring blog readers, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a loyal audience.
Social Photo Feed starts free, but Pro users get access to more customization and advanced features.
Can you do without it? Again, some of the best fashion blog themes will support Instagram widgets and galleries. But a plugin like this one gives you way more control.
Get Social Photo Feed here.
#9: Autoptimize – For Site Speed
Remember that lecture up above about site speed?
Once you’ve added a handful of plugins, published a bunch of content, and loaded up your site with a bunch of beautiful photos, you might find your Page Speed Insights scores dipping.
You’ll need an all-in-one plugin that can clean up your site’s loading priorities, handle script caching, and lazy load your images.
Autoptimize is the go to plugin for tons of bloggers looking for a site speed boost.
It does all of the above and more, plus it’s free and open source.
There’s a good chance installing it on your site with just the basic settings will speed things up in just a few clicks, and without you needing any technical knowledge.
Can you do without it? You’ll need a lot of coding experience, not to mention a bunch of separate plugins, to achieve with Autoptimize does on its own. If your site speed is fine, this one isn’t a must, but it’s highly recommended for anyone worried about slow load times.
Get Autoptimize here:
#10: ShortPixel – For Web-Optimized Images
The one thing Autoptimize can’t do on its own — and which desperately needs to be done — is compress your images.
Photos straight from your phone, camera, and editing software boast massive file sizes. Even dropping the overall size of the image down drastically barely helps.
If you’re using a lot of photography on your site, you need a plugin like ShortPixel.
It’s pretty simple: Every time you upload an image to WordPress, ShortPixel grabs it and optimizes it for the web. That means super tiny file sizes — as small as the photo can get without losing quality.
Your site load times will improve dramatically when you install ShortPixel. As soon as you turn it on, you can have it comb your site and optimize every single image, even old ones.
It’s free to use, but with a monthly limit on how many photos you can optimize. Paid users can process up to 5,000 images a month for just a few dollars.
Can you do without it? Unless you’re willing to painstakingly optimize your own images and bring their file size down before you upload them to WordPress, you need ShortPixel or a similar plugin.
Get ShortPixel here:
#11: Thrive Leads – For Growing Your Email List
We’ve already covered the best plugins for growing your social audience as a fashion blogger.
Now it’s time to grow your email list.
A highly-engaged email list can be hugely profitable in the right hands, so once you have solid traffic and some recurring readers, you’ll want a system in place to turn them into subscribers.
Thrive Leads is one of the best around. It connects to most major email marketing providers (like Mailchimp or Sendinblue) and gives you an unbelievable amount of tools at your disposal to create opt-ins all over your site.
- Split test copy, opt-in design, and more
- Experiment with exit-intent pop-ups
- Design different opt-ins for mobile and desktop
- And a ton more
Thrive isn’t free to use, but offers different pricing levels depending on how many sites you own.
Can you do without it? Most email providers will offer basic opt-in boxes and options, but if you’ve been struggling to grow your list you may need to enlist some more firepower.
Get Thrive Leads here:
Assembling Your Plugin Roster
These are some of our favorite plugins, but they’re hardly the only options out there. You’ll find most are pretty essential to the way your site operates (site speed or in-content features) or your revenue (affiliate links, list building, etc.).
If you’re thinking about adding a new plugin to your site, consider whether it adds must-have functionality or money in your pocket. If it doesn’t? It might not be worth the potential risk to your site.
For beginner fashion bloggers, start light. You won’t need more than a small handful of plugins in the beginning. Add more only as they become absolutely necessary.
Any questions about WordPress plugins? Ask below!