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Essential WordPress Beginner Plugins – Part 1

Essential Plugins for Beginners Guide Part 1

This is going to be the first part in a series where I cover some of the essential WordPress beginner plugins. These are basic and simple to use that will get you started in your quest to running your own website. Its important to point out that there are thousands and thousands of plugins available to you. But just because they are there it doesn’t mean you have to install them all. You should also note that the more you install, activate and have running, will slow your site down both in functionality and in loading. You should be only using plugins that you really need. No I mean you REALLY need.

This article will explain a few of those which are essential regardless of what your site is about or does. Leave your comments below if you think one should be included for the next part.

 

1. Google Analytics for WordPress.

This plugin was created by Yoast and is the barebones analytics software with some extras. It will allow you to deal with and analyse 404 errors or redirects and tells you how individual authors are performing. Great if the blog is made of multiple content writers. It does all the things you expect Google Analytics to do as well. Highlighting visitors, unique, organic and page views. No website should be without.

Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/

2. Vaultpress

If your blog or site is your pride and joy or you’re making money from it then you should be taking the security of your property very serious. This plugin is a bit like a virus checker only it checks for unauthorised access, bugs, anomalies and deals with them straight away. It will back up your blog as and when you specify. It’s very secure and recommended by many of the top bloggers.

Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/vaultpress/

3. WordPress SEO by Yoast

I literally could not live without this plugin. I had used other SEO plugins before and they were never as clear or straightforward. I remember wishing that there would be some sort of help, a way to point you in the right direction to know if you’re doing it properly.

Yoast’s version is brilliant because it has a little light which goes from red to amber and then green. Each light specifies at what level your content is optimized for search engines. After you have typed in your chosen keyword it will automatically give you a long list of available keywords. After selection it will tell you how many times you have used the keyword in different sections of the post.

The real part of this plugin which makes it helpful to pros and amateurs alike is the page analysis feature which will list exactly what is bad, what can be improved and what is good about the content for optimisation. It tells you what you should do to get that green light. Within no time at all each of your posts will be ready to be found on the search engines.

Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

4. Akismet

This is a plugin which even comes as standard yet is almost never activated whenever I am helping clients. This super plugin manages all those annoying spam comments that you have been welcomed by when starting the day. It is very accurate and can, most of the time, fish through and trash the spam, pass the proper useful comments and when it’s not sure will put them aside for you to manually approve. It’s a lifesaver is what it is. Activate it now.

Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

5. LinkWithin

A neat little plugin which will show a set number of articles at the end of each post. When visitors have had read the article and liked it they can quickly see others written. This is a very useful plugin if you want more pages to be seen on your site. The moment I installed this little gem my bounce rate decreased, average duration went up and had a lot more engagement on my site. It simply opens up the content more and allows it to be accessed in just a single click.

Check it out here: http://www.linkwithin.com/learn

6. WP Super Cache

This doesn’t really apply to those smaller websites out there but rather to the super blogs or content sites who have hundreds of pages. When you start a blog you will be surprised how quickly everything starts adding up in memory and this takes its toll on how quickly a page is loaded for the visitor. If they are been put on hold constantly they will get annoyed and just leave. So by using WP Super Cache it starts to serve cached versions of your site. If they revisit it will load up the already saved content instantly saving a vast loading time and mental breakdown. The visitor will always get the updated version of your site so don’t worry about content missing etc. Grab this plugin if you have started to notice a considerable slow-down when loading up the site. My advice is to go to your browsers, type in your URL and see how long it takes to load after clearing your cache.

Check it out here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-cache/

 

Essential WordPress Beginner Plugins – Part 1 by Simon Thomas

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