Which Are the Free Magento 2 Blog Extensions You Should Be Using? 9 Must-Haves
Informative, entertaining, engaging and... a key revenue source! These are just some of your expectations regarding your Magento 2 blog, right? Well, then, get ready to check them all off your “wishlist” digging through my shortlist of can't-believe-its-free Magento 2 blog extensions.
From SEO-oriented to shipping-focused features, from functionalities centered on social media to those geared at enhancing page loading speed, these 9 extensions are, each, extra functionalities to inject into your blog.
So that it (your blog) should serve your specific needs and help you reach your goals. And that without having to “stretch” your budget (there are only 100% free extensions in this list)...
Oh, yes: and they're all wearing the signatures of certified Magento partners!
And now, let's get straightaway to these must-have Magento 2 extensions that you should be turbocharging your blog with:
- all of them “spoiling” you with configurations that make customization unexpectedly easy
- … blending perfectly into your blog's design and fitting into your codebase (no need to depend on an “army” of coding experts)
1. Magento 2 Image Slider
Let's review a visual/aesthetics-oriented extension first things first.
For, as above-mentioned, a “money-making” blog shouldn't be purely informative and helpful, but... engaging, visually-arresting, as well.
So, imagery does play its major part here!
Now here are a few of this extension's key features:
- supports no less than 10 sliders
- built-in support for inserting video text, image
- one of those fully responsive free Magento 2 blog extensions
- provides tons of animations, with Live Preview, for you to select from
- supports OWL Carousel
- conveniently intuitive UI
- you're free to display it anywhere on your blog with CMS & Widget
2. Facebook Live Chat
A blog is the ultimate channel of communication with your brand's audience. With your e-store's regular and potential customers.
Well, then moving from standard communication to... instant communication is a must if you want to meet their expectations. And this is what makes Facebook Live Chat one of the must-have free Magento 2 blog extensions.
It's that chatbox incorporated into your blog that's powerful enough to turn “just” guests into loyal customers.
And now, let me point out to you some of its most powerful features:
- there's a Like button and a store profile incorporated into the chatbox
- user statistics capabilities
- unlimited History Chat
- you get to set upcoming events, define greeting text and integrate your e-store's Facebook profile into the chatbox
- simple backend operations for enabling/disabling the chatbox displayed on your blog
- familiar UI; a Facebook Messenger Interface-alike chatbox
3. Magento 2 Lazy Load
A must-have extension for your Magento 2 blog if you care enough about the user experience that you provide there. And page loading speed does play a key role in improving/negatively impacting it.
Moreover, besides optimizing your blog's performance, Magento 2 lazy load creates some aesthetically-pleasing image transitions influencing the UX.
But let's get deeper into details and “unearth” all those advanced features that make this extension one of the must-haves:
- it helps you save your web server resources — saves bandwidth and minimizes server requests
- it creates smooth, blurring effect transitions for your lazy load images
- … and a smooth, visually-pleasing transition when users keep scrolling down your pages
- it gives your blog a ranking boost by creating friendly code strings
- it optimizes your blog's page loading time
- you're free to enable/disable the “Lazy Load” mode for each one of your blog's pages
- you get to set advanced time point for loading pages
4. Better SEO, One of the Free Magento 2 Blog Extensions You Should Be Using
Inject Better SEO into your blog and... propel it in the search engines results!
And it's not “just” packed with clever features, but ideally easy to use, as well. Built to fit into your blog's existing code structure and to empower you to customize it to serve your SEO goals in detail.
I'm talking here about:
- meta descriptions
- meta keywords
… that this extension's flexible enough to allow you to insert quick and easy.
Now that we've settled that Better SEO makes an ideally customizable, blog/store-friendly extension, let's check out its powerful features:
- SEO checklist — a more than handy “TO Do” list, pointing out to you the SEO tasks to complete for reaching a high SEO score
- its detects duplicate content issues
- advanced HTML/XML sitemaps — one for the users, the other one to be used by search engines
- structured data — implements schema structured data
- metadata template rules — easy to define mass and dynamic metadata for your pages, categories, layered navigation
- provides you with actionable SEO reports
- rich snippets preview
- cross links
- social optimization
5. Exto Analytics
Applying a marketing strategy that lacks the proper data-fuel is like aiming at a target... blindfolded.
So, if relying on pure chance doesn't define you and if you want to go beyond the data provided to you by the native Magento 2 reporting functions, go with Exto Analytics.
Here are some more heavy-weighing reasons to do so:
- real-time mobile dashboard, so you should remain “connected to” your data anytime anywhere
- convenience at its best when it comes to handling your reports — you get to sort data by specific columns and even to turn off the columns feature itself
- date range picker — compare and evaluate your blog's performance on different periods of time
- your previous data gets added to your reports, as well, once you install the extension
- a chart, enabling you to visualize all data reports in parallel
6. Magento 2 Admin Theme
From user experience to... admin experience.
As your own blog's admin, you should also consider making your dashboard's more user-friendly and intuitive.
For a high level of convenience on your side will bubble up, eventually, in the experiences that you'll create for your visitors.
But let's see specifically what makes Admin Theme one of the best Magento 2 blog extensions to use:
- mobile optimized
- easy to use and quick to customize
- retina ready
- clean, neatly structured code
- a different interface for Login & Forgot Password
- admin icon font
7. Magento 2 Infinite Scroll
It does precisely what its name says: it keeps loading content, without interruption, as your blog guests scroll down.
Fluidity in the way you present content to your readers translates into improved user experience!
And now, let's scan through this extension's specific features:
- you can display and easily change the “Show” button, along with its loading text
- the navigation bar can be placed anywhere on the page
- you can implement it both on your category page and in the search page
- the pages that your readers land on get automatically loaded
- while scrolling down, your blog guests know, at all time, what section on the blog they're on
- you get to customize your progress bar to your liking
- users get to share the links of those specific pages that they reach during their scrolling (for instance, if they're on page 8 of your blog, they can bookmark/share the link of precisely that page)
8. Better Blog
Now, let's imagine that you don't own a blog yet, “only” an e-store.
And that now you want to integrate a simple blog, as well. One that should:
- be conveniently easy to configure
- have a beautiful layout design to “wow” your readers with
- load fast
- come packed with much-needed backend features, making updating content unexpectedly easy for you, the admin
Checked, checked, checked!
The Better Blog is undoubtedly one of the must-go-to Magento 2 extensions no matter the size of your current e-commerce site.
Once integrated into your Magento store's backend, you'll get to manage both your store and your blog from the very same place.
Here are the main reasons why it still is one of the best Magento 2 blog extensions:
- SEO friendly: SEO-friendly URLs, metadata information, XML sitemap
- open source code
- layered navigation, with a significant impact on UX (your blog guests get to quickly track precisely those posts that they're looking for
- out-of-the-box comment functionality: Disqus Comment, Facebook Comment
- blog topics
- built-in product recommendations feature: "Who Bought This Also Bought", "Auto Related Products", "Frequently Bought Together"
- the option to integrate your store or your blog's sitemap
- responsive design
- social sharing buttons
- blog widgets: show your (recent) posts on your site's homepage (sidebar here included)
In short: you get to integrate a simple blog with your e-store with no need for a third-party framework!
Moreover, you'll be managing comments, categories, posts, right from your Magento 2 admin, quick and easy.
And you'll get informed each time when a blog guest has posted a comment, not to mention that the extension grows into a powerful “ally”, supporting your SEO efforts.
One of the must-have Magento 2 extensions without question!
9. Magento 2 SMTP
A powerful extension to “turbocharge” your Magento 2 blog with so you:
- gain total control over your email customization process
- get enabled to run test sections on your Magento 2 SMTP server
And it does all that by providing your blog with configurable port and host.
Now, let's go through its cool features:
- it stores all sent emails logs
- built to support 20+ SMTP service providers
- enables you to test how well your current email setting's doing
- it empowers you to customize your emails in the slightest detail
The END! These are the 9 best Magento 2 blog extensions that you should be using. Scan them through, “weigh” their feature loads while setting them against your own needs and growth plans for your blog and... go for the most suitable ones!