Writing regular and fresh content for a blog can be a mean feat – especially for those who have have day jobs, family and social commitments, and a host of other interests competing for their time. Then there are also the matters of  keeping your site updated with the latest versions of all of your software and plug-ins, making sure it remains secure, and above all, ensuring actually works from update to update – it’s easy to see how all this can quickly become a burden.

It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this list of automation plug-ins that can help to do a lot of the most tedious work for you. One word of caution, though: always ensure sure you have a safe back-up version of your site that you can easily revert to if something was to go wrong with a plugin.

Plugins for automated posting

Just about every element of content publishing can be automated – from sourcing of the actual content itself, to tagging and categorising posts, to publishing them on your site. Here’s a selection of plugins that can help you to streamline this process:

  •  WPeMatico – automatically publishes the output of any RSS feed
  • WP RSS Aggregator – combines automatic posting form several sources, and lets you customise posting times by source
  • Bulk Images to Posts – lets you convert your entire portfolio or an image gallery to a series of posts, and time their release
  • Auto Post Scheduler – excels at automatically scheduling a silo of already-written content, and can even recycle your old posts periodically
  • Automatic Post Tagger – does just what it says on the tin: it tags your posts automatically, based on keywords you select beforehand
  • Magic Post Thumbnail – adds featured images for your posts automatically, and selects them ‘intelligently’ bases on your content. Be careful about intellectual property, though.

Plugins for backups

These plugins ensure that your site is backed up regularly, which really is essential before you consider implementing any other kind of automation.

  • WP Database Backup – this only works on your database (not your files) but it can connect automatically to a wide range of cloud-based storage solutions, including Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Updraft Plus – will back up both your database and your files. You can even set up a different schedule for each. There is both a free and a premium version available.

Plugins for posting on social media

And lastly, these little gems will repost your posts to social media, either sorted by tag, by channel, or by post:

  • Jetpack – this plugin handles your social integration, and it also has a lot of other fun little features that you can use of you have an official WordPress.com account
  • Social Networks Auto Poster – has to power to automate posts to a whopping 22 different social media channels – so the odds are, your chosen platforms will be supported here.

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