Best WordPress Plug-Ins

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Best WordPress Plug-Ins

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A WordPress Plug-in is like a little software program that adds functionality to your site. There are literally thousands of plug-ins available.

Most are free, another there are usually “Pro” versions of each, and you can upgrade for a fee. There is no need to upgrade in most cases.

You access plug-ins from inside the back-end of your installed copy of WordPress. You can search a directory for the plug-in you want, install it, and activate it.

Steps for Selecting and Adding a Plug-in

1. Start by using the Plug-in option on your installed WordPress blog.

Best WordPress Plug-Ins - menu

2. Search and click on the plug-in you want to install.

3. After it has self-installed itself, you activate it.

Best WordPress Plug-Ins - activate

4. Once activated, you configure the plug-in to meet your particular needs, if needed. Many don’t need configuration, but this social media plug-in example allows you to configure which social share icons you want to display.

Best WordPress Plug-Ins - configuration

5. If you don’t like a plug-in after installing it, you simply deactivate it and then click again to uninstall it.

Best WordPress Plug-Ins - uninstall

Since each plug-in serves a different purpose or performs a different function, it’s impossible to provide a “one-size-fits-all” example. However, most are very intuitive and you can make changes to suit your needs without help. Also, almost all the plug-in programmers provide documentation and will answer support questions.

Plug-in programmers are always improving and updating their little apps. Fortunately, many update automatically. In some cases, you are required to go into the back-end of your site and update manually by simply clicking a button. You go into the back-end of your website to add posts anyway, so this involves only another minute or two of extra effort.

My Top 10 Recommended Plug-ins

Here’s are the Top 10 plug-ins I recommend you use from the beginning. They are all free.

Jetpack. This adds many different functions that you’ll find useful. Use the free version, not the paid version. You’ll learn that to use their tracking function you’ll need to sign up with Google Analytics, which is also free. You want to do that because it enables you to see how many site visitors you get on a daily and monthly basis.

Akismet.  This protects your blog from unwanted spam.

Wordfence Security. This is an important plug-in that keeps your site free from various kinds of malware attacks. At the very least, it will alert you to any problems. Configure it carefully.

TinyMCE Advanced. WordPress has a built-in word processor, but this plug-in adds functionally. It makes it easy to format your blog and to add images, which I suggest you do.

Classic Editor. This has completely different functionality than TinyMCE Advanced. WordPress added a new way to input text and images called Gutenberg. Some people find it confusing. If you want to avoid the confusion, just add this plug-in and active it. It by-passes Gutenberg. The Classic Editor works like Microsoft Word but in a far more straightforward way.

UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore. Many hosting companies offer free backup services in case your site crashes or gets infected with a virus. Personally, I would not trust their service, I use this free plug-in instead. I back up all my sites twice a month and keep them for three months. Where are the files stored? On a free service like Google Drive.

Yoast SEO. I discuss SEO in detail in Step 5, including the use of this plug-in. Use the free version to optimize each of your blog posts. You can enhance your page ranking on Google and other search engines. Yoast offers many support documents, and you’ll find it is easy to use.

Sassy Social Share. An easy-to-use plug-in that enables your site visitors to share your site on Facebook, Twitter, or dozens of other locations you choose.

Ad Inserter. You want to manage where you want ads and affiliate offers to appear if you intend to make money with your blog. This plug-in handles these tasks.

Contact Form 7. This free plug-in allows you to easily set up a contact page. People can interact with you, but no one will be able to harvest your email address and spam you later.

Yes, there are literally thousands of plug-ins. These are the best WordPress plug-ins, or at least the 12 I think need to be installed immediately. You can add others as needed when you discover more about WordPress functionality.

Don’t be stressed about plug-ins. They are easy to use and turbocharge the functionality of your site. If you want to hire someone to install WordPress on your hosting service, configure it, and add these needed plug-ins and others, please see my affordable installation service here. Most people can install their own WordPress blogging platform, but I offer quick and painless service, plus free support, for those who want it.