Plugins for your WordPress Site
There are literally thousands of plugins out there and I am not going to overwhelm you with them all. I will share with you some of the ones that I personally use. It is enough to get you well and truly started. I previously wrote a blog post about plugins to use to share your content so I will not repeat those ones here.
So, what exactly are plugins? WordPress.org says – Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. For me, plugins are to WordPress as apps are to phones. They increase the functionality and/or apearance of your site. Some plugins work in the background and some are visible on your site.
If you are not sure how to add plugins to your site, I have included a video at the end of this post.
Akismet – is one of the only plugins that comes already installed when you install WordPress. It is comment spam prevention for your blog– that basically means it mostly catches when people (or robots) are writing spam in the comment section of your website.
Contact Form 7 – Creates a simple form for your contact page – or any other page you want a contact form on. Very easy to use – if you use the default template it takes about 4 clicks.
Dean’s FCKEditor for WordPress – This plugin replaces the default WordPress editor. This gives you more ‘Word’ like editing functionality when creating pages and posts.
For the next 2 plugins you need to have set up a Google Analytics account.
Google Analytics Dashboard – gives you the ability to view your Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin does not provide the tracking code for Google Analytics. For that you will need to use a plugin like Google Analytics for WordPress (which is the next one on our list).
Google Analytics for WordPress – Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and page views.
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it's much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently.
Scribe SEO – is a keyword research tool that you use to optimize your posts and pages. Once you have written your content Scribe analyses your writing and suggests keyword phrases that you may have missed. It gives your writing a percentage score out of 100. The score is made up of the top SEO best practices – it then offers suggestions of things you can do to increase your score. It also helps you create backlinks from other sites, crosslink the content with your own site and identify social media users who may want to share your content.
Tweet Old Post – Tweet Old Posts is a plugin designed to tweet your older posts to get more traffic. It randomly picks your older post and posts them out on Twitter, based on the intervals specified by you.
WordPress Database Backup – WordPress database backup creates backups of your core WordPress tables as well as other tables of your choice in the same database. You can set up the frequency of how often you want it to back up your site – it then emails it to you.
It only backups your database. It does not backup your plugins, uploaded files etc. If you want to have all of that backed up there is a service called VaultPress. The price for this service starts at $15 per month. They say – VaultPress keeps your site safe. Every post, picture, and page. Every comment, revision, and setting. Everything.
WPTouch – A simple, powerful and elegant mobile theme for your website. WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into a phone style theme. It turns the appearance of your website into one that is easy to use and read from any smart phone. There is a pro version of this plugin, called WPTouch Pro, which sells for $39 for one site. I am more than happy with the free version. It also allows people to switch between mobile view and the site’s regular view on their phones.
Here is the video to teach you how to install plugins into your WordPress site.
Stacey is a coach, trainer and speaker who supports people getting started with an online presence through WordPress and Social Media training. Stacey's hands-on style, supportive nature and extensive knowledge make her the perfect go-to resource for new entrepreneurs, and small business owners, who need a one-on-one or small group approach. She will also help you to overcome your mindset barriers so you too, can feel the freedom of living your passion.
Great post Stacey some plugins I will have to get.. I love sexy bookmarks too!
I see you use them but you didn’t mention them!
I se you wrote another post I TROOL-Y thing it bears repeating!
Thank you for the comment. I do also like Sexy Bookmarks.
hi Stacey, super post with tons of highly valued resources. Thanks for sharing. I like to add the wibiya toolbar, although it’s not a wordpress plugin, it’s a toolbar that adds interactive features (like a link to open Youtube Videos, link to open your Facebook page right on the website, the latest post, a subscribe form, etc) to your website. For people to find it, go to https://www.wibiya.com/ (it starts with a free package). – Juan.
Thank you for the comment. I actually have wibiya, but have never really done anything with it. Thanks for the prompt to go back and have a second look.
Hey Stacey, great post, but I don’t feel confident enough yet to add these on my own.
Hey Juan, can you do it for me?
Thank you for the comment. I do run a one day course that teaches people how to create their own wordpress site. The information is in the Website in a Day tab.
Let me know if you have any questions,
Great information, Stacey. I am new to WordPress and a bit bewildered by all the options. This blog really helps. Thanks.
Hey Stacey – great post. I even found a couple plugins I wasn’t aware of that look like they’ll be really useful. In exchange, I have a couple for you as well. 🙂
SEO by Yoast – I particularly recommend the Yoast plugin as they are direct partners with Google. Oftentimes I hear about new information/updates from Google and them at around the same time, before any others.
Free Contact forms with Addresstwo.com – this is a small business CRM (Customer Relationship manager) that is very powerful. It’s a free contact form and the database is an optional monthly fee if you want/need it. It’s a very good way to keep your contacts organized. I find this SO much easier to work with than Contact Form 7 which requires a knowledge of HTML. https://www.free-contact-form.com/ Let me know if you want a free demo and I’d be happy to give you one.
Lastly is Lightbox Evolution for images. “Lightbox Evolution is a tool for displaying images, html content, maps, and videos in a “lightbox” style that floats overtop of web page. Using Lightbox Evolution, website authors can showcase a wide assortment of media in all major browsers without navigating users away from the linking page.”
Great post and hope these help! I just love testing out new plugins – has definitely been one of my favorite things since moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.