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INTRODUCTION

When starting a website many people use a WordPress theme. It is easy to use and provides a solid backbone from which you can quickly get a site up and functional, and depending on the theme used, it looks very professional.

There are many add-on tools you can also incorporate to make the site more user-friendly and also have the site be more engaging and useful for your visitors. Today I want to go through a few, some you may know about while others, perhaps not…

What I am presenting here are the basic plugins or services you may want to consider, and the go into some others that would help, depending on the intent of your site.

This list is not inclusive. It is a good start, however, and you will note I have asked for comments to add in any tools that you may find useful for your site. It is interesting to see what others are doing, and we can also learn…

So let’s get started…

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WORDPRESS PLUGINS

In this short tutorial, I want to first provide some tips to help you use plugins safely, get more out of them regarding functionality, then discuss the basic ones I recommend you use, and some more advanced ones you may want to consider…

Some Tips For Using WordPress Plugins

For the uninitiated, plugins help us do more things on our WordPress sites…Going a bit further back, if you have not heard of WordPress, it is a background framework program to manage website content that can be put together in many ways to provide a rich variety of looks and feels for websites.

So plugins help us do more things with the WordPress themes, content, and websites. There are about 25,000 plugins you can use as I write this, so you DO have some options.

It then comes down to which do you almost HAVE to have, which are NICE to have, and which are the best can you use for specialized needs, depending on the intent of your site.

There is a dark side to plugin use…If you use ones that interfere with theme functions, ones that slow down your loading speed, or ones that are not secure, you can end up with a lot of problems you had not anticipated.

So before we go into any descriptions of plugins, I’d like to point out things to watch for when considering which plugins you may want to use…That way you can get all the functionality you are looking for while also not having major problems…

Tip # 1. Keep Your Plugins Updated

Once you start using plugins, you will note when you go to the dashboard notifications that updates for them are available.

It is very important that you do update them when you see this, because often security risks have been found and corrected in the update, or perhaps a more efficient version will be found.

The updated version of the plugins also have been modified to work with the latest version of WordPress, so if you do NOT update them, you may find they do not work properly, or maybe not at all…

It may be also good to check on outdated plugins that are NOT being updated, This may mean that they are not keeping up with the capabilities of later versions of WordPress as to what they do, or they may be security risks.

Tip # 2. Update or Delete Your Deactivated Plugins Too

Always remember that plugins that are not active can still serve as portals for hackers to try to get unauthorized access to your site, and therefore are a risk. Note the same can be said for themes so get rid of them or keep them updated as well.

If you are not going to use a plugin, my advice to get rid of it. Delete it and you have a cleaner workspace and less to worry about. It is that simple.

Tip # 3. Keep Backend Plugins But Deactivate When Not In Use

Plugins will slow down your site through taking up valuable resources. Therefore, my recommendation is to keep the total number you have on your site to a minimum. Activate them as needed only, keep the backend ones deactivated except when they are used.

In a nutshell, every single active plugin on your site should be utilized by your site. If not, it shouldn’t be active. There is no reason to add to the resource strain on your site for such plugins…

A ‘backend plugin’ that provides a good example of what I am talking about is called the P3. This handy plugin tool scans all the various plugins you have installed on your site and then provides information how resource intensive each one is.

Although this is quite useful, you do not need to have the plugin activated unless you are checking the other plugins. So this is an example of one that you would keep updated, but not activated unless it is needed.

Tip # 4. How many Plugins You Have Doesn’t Matter

Plugins are simply codes to provide functionality to your site. The same effect could be largely achieved using your functions.php. Therefore, in a way it does not matter how many you may have on the site.

What DOES matter is how the code is written for the plugin. If not done correctly, they will operate slower than possible, they may conflict with other plugins or the theme coding, not work at all, or they could, in severe cases, crash your site.

So the focus needs to be quality, not quantity when it comes to plugins….Really simple…

Except…

Tip # 5. How Many Plugins You Have Installed IS Of Concern

If you have too many plugins on a site, the likelihood of conflicts between them increases…

The greater the number of plugins, the greater the chance of a conflict…Remember that huge number (25,000) of total plugins available to use, you can imagine that there will be some conflicts.

Keep things simple and lessen the chance that you will suffer the pain I myself have gone through of figuring out which plugin is causing a problem. Remember that less can be more….

Tip # 6. Do Your Due Diligence With Plugins

Before considering using a plugin, look at the following considerations. Here what others are doing can help guide you…Normally from every WordPress site, you can go to a download page and see more details about the plugin…

Look at …

(1) Reviews. Reviews from others that have used the plugin….predominantly positive or negative? Do others think this is a good plugin or not and why? Start with the average rating, normally shown by the number of stars awarded (1 to 5, 5 being best) then look at the written comment entries from users.

(2) Number Of Downloads. How many downloads has there been by others? Is it a relatively new, untested plugin or is it one that is widely used and accepted by many as being a good effective plugin?

(3) Developer Experience. Is the developer new to the market or have they been around awhile and do they have other plugins they are selling? Perhaps they have other similar products such as internet marketing tools or software that you could research as well, just to see what their reputation is overall…

(4) Plugin Support. One other thing that is very important: Do they have a good support system for their plugin? What do others think about it and what has been their experience? Have there been any lapses in support? How long does it take to get the support?

Remember that a plugin can make you a lot of problems down the road potentially, so consider carefully whether the functionality you will gain is worth the trouble it could cause…Even with the best research, and a top-flight plugin, things can go wrong…

The bottom line is please that you need to make sure that you need what you are contemplating installing…

Last point on the subject…

Tip # 8. Free versus Paid Plugins

Is something of more value to you when it costs a great deal of money? Likely…In the plugin world, this is also the case…Psychology plays a part in the plugin world just as in other market segments.

Once you decide to pay for something, you have an investment of not only your money, but also your belief in whatever it is you have bought. This makes sense….

Just make sure that you go through the other due diligence measures above before you buy, because just because it costs a bit more than a free plugin does not make it better.

Note that you do have options out there that are completely free and they work well. There may be upgrades that you will pay for if you choose, but the basic and free versions will work well to do what it is you need…

Make no mistake about it, if you do the research and find a plugin that meets all your needs, and it is a premium well-made plugin, you very likely will be completely satisfied and safe. Just do not make the mistake of thinking because it costs money it will be good…

Basic WordPress Plugins

These are ones that I would consider adding to every website. Many are back-end plugins, in that they help you be more efficient and effective when working on your site in regards to things that are cumbersome or time-consuming such as SEO, checking your site, security, etc.

Here are some of the basic ones I would consider adding…

Without wasting any more time. Here are the essential WordPress plugins for your new start-up blog.

(1) Akismet Plugin

(Pronounced “A-Kis-Met”)

images - WordPress Tools & Plugins That Help Your Site.

If you are totally new to blogging, you must realize that comment spam will be an ever present problem. This neat little plugin helps combat this, and it is free and easy to set up and use.

Since spam is so prevalent, this really needs to be one of the first plugins you install on a new website using a WordPress theme. Spammers want to get a link to your page or articles, they are not seriously wanting to discuss the content found on your site.

Using Akismet, you can automatically move those comments that it considers spam into the trash can…It is a must have.

Here is an image that depicts how it works…

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This plugin has massive support and is used by millions of WordPress bloggers…

Here is a snapshot of information that will make you feel comfortable using it:

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Here is a neat video on how to use Akismet….

You can download this plugin using the link below…

===> Akismet Plugin <===

(2) Floating Social Share Bar Plugin

 

floating social buttons plugin - WordPress Tools & Plugins That Help Your Site.

As the social platforms have risen in importance for everyday users over the past few years, so has the importance of planning for this on your websites. In fact, it is a major factor for site and page ranking algorithms today.

Because of this, it is essential that you have a tool on your page that will allow your site visitors to quickly and easily share your content. This plugin does that nicely.

Not only is it free to use, it allows you to have social sharing buttons that stay in a prominent position on your website as the user scrolls through the page making it easy for them to access and share.

This plugin actually will encourage them to share your content, and when this happens, Google and the other search engines notice.

Most social share plugins are resource heavy users, so it is important to use one, getting one that will not bog down your site loading times is essential.

This plugin is one of the best in that it provides a very lite platform that minimizes resource usage…

Here is a snapshot of information that will make you feel comfortable using it:

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Here is a download link for this plugin…

===> Floating Share Download Plugin <===

(3) WP Super Cache Plugin

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This is another category of plugins where you will find many options, some paid but many free, as this one is. In my opinion, this is one of the best cache plugins for WordPress you can use.

It adds a host of caching features for allowing faster site loading and less of a server load.  This is also one of the most well-known plugins in this category.

Here is a snapshot of information that will make you feel comfortable using it:

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Here is a video tutorial to learn setting up Super Cache plugin:

Here is a download link for this plugin…

===> Super Cache Download Plugin <===

Note: There ARE other good alternatives to this plugin available that you may want to explore. Check out the W3 Total Cache plugin and perhaps the best, even though at a cost, a solution called WP-Rocket…

 

(4) Contact Form 7 Plugin

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If you do a search on Google for contact form WordPress plugins, you will see a littany of options presented. Some are free and some are paid, Really what you need is a simple and effective plugin that will not slow down your system or take up to much of your resources. When we search for contact form plugins, you will be bombarded with many. There are many

Contact Form 7 is such a WordPress plugin. It simply works. Very easy to configure. and use. Note that Yoast also has a similar plugin, so you may want to look at that too…

Every entry from the form created using this plugin will be sent to your designated email inbox, and you can create multiple forms making it good for creating segmented lead lists…

Here is some additional information that you can use:

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Here is a good video on how to start using this WP plugin…

 

Here is a download link for this plugin…

===> Contact Form 7 Download Plugin <===

(5) Google XML Sitemaps Plugin

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To get your product on the map of the internet the search engines have to know where to go, and what they will find when they get there. As you update your site with new content it is the same thing.

You want Google to be able to quickly find that new information and accurately be able to know what it is. Sitemap submission is an important part of letting Google find all your pages. In fact, this is an essential thing that you should be doing after setting up your blog. Simply, install

To that end, you will need a plugin that can reliably create a sitemap for your site and update it properly. Once you have installed this plugin, you can activate it and it will generate the sitemap for you. your sitemap and

Once you have this you can submit the sitemap manually to Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster tools. It auto-updates whenever there is a change…Even if you are not using this best free plugin, make sure you have some alternate plugins to generate

Make sure you have some tool if not this one to do the sitemap for you, or risk not getting good rankings for your efforts to add engaging and useful content for your readers that will draw in site visitors  – they will not know you are there!

Here is some additional helpful information on this plugin…

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Here is a useful video on installing, activating and using this plugin…

Lastly…

Here is a download link for this plugin…

===> Google XML Sitemap Download Plugin <===

(6) WordPress SEO by Yoast

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I consider this one of the better SEO plugins you can use to help make Search Engine Optimization easier for your online marketing efforts…It is way better than another popular plugin called All In One SEO which I used to use.

The free WP SEO Yoast plugin offers a lot more features than any other free SEO plugin you have access to for WordPress…

(1) For instance, it has all the feature of the All in one SEO plus nice things as…

  • a Meta Robots plugin,
  • an RSS footer,
  • an XML sitemap, etc.

(2) You can also annotate as ‘no index’ any non-useful pages or articles/posts to make your site rank higher and more valuable.

(3) It can also be an alternative to Google XML sitemaps and can create sitemaps too. so because it will make an XML sitemap for your site it can also be used as an alternative to Google XML sitemap.

Here is some additional useful information on the plugin:

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Below find an excellent video guide on setting up WordPress SEO by Toast…

Here is a download link for this plugin…

=> WordPress SEO by Yoast Download Plugin <=

Lastly, here is some further places to get information on this plugin…

(7) PuSHPress Plugin

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This is a useful plugin due to how it can inform Google that you have posted new content to your site quickly. It has what is called PubSubHubBub functionality, in short meaning that sends FAT PINGS.

It also lets you tell Google that you are the original author of an article that you just wrote as opposed to someone else. There are nefarious operators out there that will scrape the internet for articles that they can try to use as their own…

This also allows faster indexing of your blog, and you can get rankings quicker on your new content. I consider this to be a must-have plugin since a lot of my content involved reviews of new IM products that are launching…

Here is some useful information on this plugin…

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No big deal to this plugin, just install and activate. From that point it will do it’s job for you. Therefore, there is no video supporting installation!

Here is the download site for the plugin:

===> PushPress WordPress Plugin <===

 

(8) WordPress Database Backup Plugin

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The last basic plugin I want to include is a very important one, even if the last here today. Using this plugin you do not have to worry about a crash or a hacked site because you have a backup automatically sent to you on a regular basis that you can restore your site from.

There are many options out there, I will add the one I use here. I suggest you have a look for yourself and see if this will work or if you would rather use one of the many alternate solutions…

The WordPress platform is based on Php and MySQL and having a backup means that you can quickly recreate the entire site if something happens. Using such a plugin you can schedule backups so you do not have to think about them, they just happen.

With this particular database backup plugin, here is what the free version will do for you:

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Here is some additional information on this plugin…

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Here is the download site for the plugin:

===> WP Database Backup Plugin Download <===

 

Advanced WordPress Plugins & Tools

There are many more sophisticated plugins that do some whiz-bang stuff for your site. They may or may not help and be needed, based on what it is that you are doing.

I recommend that you spend a little time on the WordPress site to explore the different categories of plugins and what the offerings may be that you can use.

Remember the cautions, however, and do your due diligence prior to installing!

Here are just a few plugin ideas to get your right brain stimulated…This latest article will get you started, and you can further explore the many innovative plugins out there!

Click on the image below to see a recent article where a lot of research has been done for you on some of the best plugins out there…

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OTHER WORDPRESS TOOLS/SITES TO HELP YOU

Since WordPress is a program that is used by so many online marketers, I thought I would offer some good training that you can use for getting started…

Knowing about plugins is good, but of course to understand clearly where and why they are needed, you need to have some background knowledge in WordPress. This is where I will provide the opportunity for you to do that…

I am going to provide some teaching tools for getting started. Initially, I will start with basics (free for subscribing to the site), and then two additional courses that you can buy and download to have available whenever you may need them.

These will go much more into the finer points of WordPress, and include advice and training on how to get more out of your themes and sites. Truly you need some guidance unless you are an expert.

(1) Wealthy Affiliate Educational Site

In my own experience, such training has been invaluable. You can combine it with a site such as Wealthy Affiliate, which gives not only training on WordPress but everything you need to get a viable and successful Online Marketing Program…

How To make Money Online  - WordPress Tools & Plugins That Help Your Site.

You can find more information on Wealthy Affiliate here:

===> Wealthy Affiliate Review <===

(2) WordPress and Plugin Free Training

 

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(3) Basic Level WordPress and Plugin Training

 

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(4) Advanced WordPress and Plugin Training

 

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CONCLUSION

As you can see, I have mentioned what I consider essential WordPress plugins you should add to your page, as well as some of the “nice-to-have” plugins that will either make your use or the site visitor’s experience more engaging.

Hopefully, these will provide you some good tips that you can use today or, going forward as you develop your sites. Things are changing quite rapidly even in the  website building category of technology, and it pays to stay abreast of the changes, or risk being left behind!

Also, consider spending some of your valuable time taking additional training such as what I have offered you here. It cannot help but make you a better internet marketer, and you will be the better for it in results, sales, and of course profits!

 

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Please provide any other WP tips or tools that you may use below in the comment section….We can all use more information on how better to set up our sites in a manner that will make the site engagement a rewarding one for the visitor and subscriber…Thanks in advance, I do appreciate your cooperation…

Cheers!

David Sweney Online Siganture - WordPress Tools & Plugins That Help Your Site.

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