This post is for those who don’t know what a plugin for WordPress is.
If you’ve read my post “WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, you probably noticed I mentioned “plugins”.
What are plugins?
Plugins are little “apps” that you install on your web hosting server, after you’ve installed WordPress. These beauties can do just about anything, from blocking spam in your blog/website comments, to adding a contact form to your site. While some changes are bigger than others, you will definitely notice them, since they all add to the look and feel of your WordPress website.
It needs to be said, though… go easy on the number of plugins you install. Installing too many plugins will slow your entire site down, and you don’t want that. If your site is too slow, people won’t wait for everything to load. They’ll move on.
Here are my 10 favourite plugins to use:
Make the lights turn green and you’re SEO-golden! Super easy to use, whether you have the free or paid version. Bonus tip: Google and use the Hemingway Editor, which will help you avoid using passive language or too many adverbs in your copy. This will make your content shine.
My website was live for two days when I received a comment on a post. Day two! How does anyone even know about my site yet? I haven’t had a chance to get the word out yet. Not only that, I had installed another plugin that hides the fact that my page is, in fact, a WordPress site (more on that one later). It was spam. I immediately installed Anti-Spam and it’s been smooth sailing since.
Coming Soon CC
This reminds me of setting up props on stage behind the curtain because all the audience sees is that your site is under construction. But it offers visitors a way to join a mailing list for when the big reveal happens. Just deactivate the plugin when you’re ready to go live.
This plugin adds a code from your website to Google Analytics so that you can analyze your website data and traffic.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask.com and Bing to better index your site, making it easier to be found… and that’s what we ALL want.
News Announcement Scroll
Have you noticed my testimonials? Out of all of my plugins, finding one like this that worked the way I wanted it to, that was customizable and easy to edit or add to, well, it took me a long time. I like how the colours and speed are all adjustable.
Simple Share Buttons Adder
There are so many versions of sharing buttons, and to each their own. But I just love this one to pieces. The font, colours, icons are all adjustable. It’s also easy to use. I tried SumoMe first. I did like it, but I felt that the free version was very limiting.
UpDraft Plus – Backup/Restore
While my web hosting company does regular backups, there’s peace of mind that comes with having a bit more control over this aspect of your website. It stores the latest two backups, overwriting the older of the two backups so that it’s not eating up my space on DropBox. It sends me a quick email at the time of backup, and I know everything is secure.
This is the mother of all plugins to have. A website will never be 100% safe from hacking but an added band of protection can’t hurt. It has a firewall, anti-virus, and high-speed cache, and will notify you by email if there are any problems. The first few emails might freak you out, it usually just means you need an update.
WP Meta and Date Remover
This amazing plugin will remove the meta and dates from your web page posts so that it doesn’t LOOK like a blog. This is great for businesses who want the ease of using WordPress, but want it to look as professional as possible.
If you’re looking to get some help with your plugins, keeping them updated, this is just one of many ways I can help you.