WordPress has a significant advantage. You can equip WordPress with many new features.
This is possible via the so-called plugins. These are small code snippets that you can download in the plugin archive of WordPress.
This 7th part of the blog start series will show which plugins make sense to launch a new blog and what you should generally look out for in WordPress plugins.
Plugins to start the blog
The following 8 plugins I install immediately when I set up a new blog. They’re adding features to WordPress that I believe are vital to the success of a new blog.
This is spam protection. Using a central database on the Akismet server, spam messages are filtered very reliably. Also, there are statistics on the spam volume. I prefer this plugin to captcha solutions, which are very reader-unfriendly.
Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and offers the most comprehensive set of tools to optimize your website.
The Jetpack plugin is likely to be one of the most feature-rich WordPress plugins ever. It brings along over 30 functions and it raises the question of whether it really makes sense to have such a “monster” installed.
The WordPress plugin “Related Posts” displays similar articles under each article. This is not only useful for visitors to your blog, who will find and read more interesting articles, but it also helps in search engine optimization. Internal linking is very important.
WordPress Database Backup
Nothing is worse than losing a blog and all articles due to a server crash. If desired, the plugin ” WordPress Database Backup ” saves the database manually, but can also keep the database at predefined times (eg, every Monday morning) and send it to you by e-mail, for example.
Google XML Sitemaps
As you can see, search engine optimization is essential from the start. With the plugin ” Google XML Sitemaps,” a sitemap is generated automatically, which reads out Google and Co. and thereby guarantees no article miss.
It is very important to measure exactly from the beginning how many visitors you have. This is the only way to track and analyze the development of the blog. ” Google Analyticator ” automatically builds the necessary code lines into the WordPress blog and also outputs the statistics directly from the blog. If you do not want to use Google Analytics, you can also use the statistics service of WordPress: ” WordPress.com Stats.”
These are the plugins that I consider absolutely necessary. However, I install a few more, but certainly not necessarily vital.
Where can I find more plugins?
There are thousands of WordPress plugins. It’s hard to find your way around.
A sorted overview can be found directly at WordPress and Plugin-Directory.
How to install / update plugins
There are 2 ways to install WordPress plugins.
For method 1, select in the Admin under the menu item “Plugins” the item “Install.” Now you can search for a plugin there. Once found, just click on the install.
To update a plugin you can see under the item “Plugins” -> “Manage” if there are updates. If so, then click on “Update automatically.”
However, I am someone who still goes the classical way. I save the plugin on my hard drive, unzip it, and then upload it via FTP to my server. Then I activate it in the plugin menu.
The WordPress developers have done an excellent job here. Installing new plugins is now also relatively easy for beginners with the first-mentioned method possible.
Depending on the plugin but then you have to make settings, for example. This is in the plugins but usually there.
What should you look for in WordPress plugins?
You should be very careful. On the one hand, as far as the number of plugins that you install. The more it gets, the slower the blog will be. Most bloggers use fewer than 10 plugins. I do not see it that close.:-)
On the other hand, you should also look carefully that the plugin is trustworthy. Have other users already tested it? Was it recommended on a trusted website?
Also, there are plugins that are merely badly programmed and burden the database too much (eg, many tag cloud plugins).
So you should ask each plugin if you need it. And if you have tested one and found that you no longer need it, then you should disable and delete it.