One of the greatest advantages, aside from design of your site, is having tons of code at your fingertips. WordPress has a feature called plugins. You can download plugins to your site to do just about anything you want. The list is long. In this article, I am going to talk about some of the top free wordpress plugins and explain why you will want to use them.
Top 5 Wordpress Plugins
Standard installed when building site through WordPress Website Builder:
- Akismet - A plugin used to protect your site from Spam. You are going to want to activate this plugin and signup for the key. It is free to get the key.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast - A wordpress plugin must have! Helps you to get your page optimization right the first time.
- Exclude Pages from Navigation - It allows you to exclude certain pages on your site.
- SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam - Si Captcha is the plugin that you see on a site that asks you to enter the characters in a picture before you can continue. We have all seen them. Be sure to activate this as well!
- Pretty Link Lite - allows you to create nice clean links. Blocks affiliate numbers and such from showing on your links.
I will explain the following Plugins in more detail:
- WordPress SEO
- Pretty Link Lite
Search engine Optimization plays a very important roll in building your business online. I haven't covered SEO yet, but you will want this plugin. To install any plugin on your site you are going to do the following:
- Click on Plugins in the left menu bar of your site dashboard
- At the top of the new page, hit Add New
- Search for the plugin you want - WordPress SEO and install it. Also, once installed be sure to hit activate.
Here is the main menu for WordPress SEO:
There are two very nice abilities for your site you get when using WordPress SEO.
- You will get an indicator in the Publish are of your pages and post. This indicator will tell you if your page or post is set up properly for good SEO.
- As you can see, there is a Label called SEO: OK Check. Beside this label is an indicator that is yellow. As you build your site, you are working toward the goal of that indicator being Green. Green is great. Yellow is ok. Red is not good at all.
- Below the Content section of your page or post you will see a screen that looks like this:
- As you build our your pages and posts, you are going to want to fill in the Focus Keyword and Meta Description. Both of these sections will add to your search engine optimization and help your page get ranked better. That is the whole goal of SEO. Ranking in the search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
- Across the top you see a couple of options.
- Page Analysis will offer you information you can do to make your site better. You can use these guidelines to correct errors on your page and increase the power of SEO on your page. Here is what it looks like:
- Use this to correct any SEO issues on your page or post. Your goal is to get as many green indicators as possible. This example is a picture of this page, before I got it completed.
Pretty Link Lite
Pretty Link Lite is a very straight forward plugin. It allows you to clean up long links on your site. You can also cloak long affiliate links so that people can't see your affiliate number and steal it.
You simply click Add Link past the link you want cloaked, and hit add and you get a new clean link to use. The new link is saved in the window and you can come and copy it any time you want.
The list above are the top 5 wordpress plugins. They are all a must have for your site. Additionally there are several other good plugins you might find useful:
- TablePress - used to build tables on your page or post
- Social Media - there are a lot of different plugins to help you put social media buttons on your site
- Thank Me Later - a nice little addon that will send an email thank you to anyone who leaves a comment on your site
As you get farther into building your site, you will want to sign up for Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. These are very important to building your site. They help you with your seo and offer status of traffic and such about your site. We will be covering these tools in later articles. We will be putting our sitemaps into Webmaster tools for Google to be able to follow our site.