Create and Get Started Blogging Online Part 10 – Important Plugins and Installation
In the previous chapter we went over choosing the right theme, and how to customize a theme you have chosen for your blog. Today, we’ll be looking at important plugins which you should always install with your website because it will help streamline your optimization process. However, some plugins will even help optimize your speed, images and help with visitor engagement. I always like to install these plugins as soon as I setup my blog because I’ll forget afterwards, and this can cause delays in engagement. With that said,
Let’s jump into plugins, and go over some of the MOST important ones to install going forward. And remember, the easiest way to start a new blog is with our free WordPress installation service.
When you access your website the plugins can be installed by going to the left menu then clicking on Plugins>Add New. Once the right screen populates, you can start by doing a search then clicking install after you find a plugin you like. The installation process is very simple, and can be done within minutes. Once the plugin has been installed, you can view it within the left menu.
Now that you know how to install plugins, let’s look at some of the MOST important ones which every blogger & website owner needs going forward.
All-In-One SEO –
This is a must have because it streamlines your entire SEO process. Once the plugin has been installed you’ll see the options when writing content. Scroll down on the post page, and you’ll see SEO options which you can add before hitting publish. For example, you can add your title, description and keywords before publishing your content.
The plugin works right out of the box because it automatically adds the entire code to all your pages instead you having to do it manually.
WP Cache –
A very important plugin which optimizes the speed of your website. Having a slow website can push away visitors, and even hurt your rankings. Google works hard at giving people a good experience, and the last thing they want to do is boost a slow website higher than one which has been optimized for speed. This plugin works right out of the box and requires very little configuration. Next,
If you require some help with setup then do a quick search in Google, and you’ll find 10-20 videos on configuration.
Ewww Image Optimizer
Another amazing plugin and works right out of the box. It’s an awesome plugin because it shrinks the size of your images allowing your servers to display pages much quicker. With smaller images you’ll have less weight on your servers which is good for load times, visitor engagement and rankings.
There are other image optimization plugins available, but this one has awesome reviews and I use it for all my blogs.
Google XML Sitemap –
Another very important plugin, and very easy to configure once it has been installed. It adds the XML file to your server so all that’s left is for you to tweak what pages and posts you want in your sitemap. What does this plugin do?
It creates a list of posts, pages and categories in a format which is easy for search spiders to understand. This plugins will allow Google to index your pages more quickly, and understand the linking pattern within your blog. It’s just a great way to get indexed and start ranking faster within the SERP’s.
Contact Form 7 –
Many of the new themes will have their own contact form installed however if you are building from scratch then use this plugin. It adds a simple contact form to the pages you indicate, and it’s very easy to configure because you have to:
- Select what fields you want
- Add the “to” email
- Add the “from” email
- Add the code to whatever page you want the form displayed
The contact form will pull the .CSS code form your template so it matches the overall look and feel of your website.
The plugins I have listed above are the ones which you should install right away. You can do a quick search in Google, and find some more you think would be a good fit for your blog. However, please start by installing these first, and then looking for others which will be relevant to your blog.