These five basic plugins are must-haves as you begin your blogging journey.
The inception of your blog is probably the most confusing part of your journey, this goes without saying. You’re just figuring things out, reading words you’ve never read before, and hitting up Google like it’s your bffaeae. Out of the many to-do’s when you first create your blog, this one concept is a game-changer: plugins. This is not something you put into your wall to make your room smell good. Let me explain…
What is a plugin?
Think of plugins as phone applications. It’s 2016, and every time we need something in this world, there’s an app for that. Apps solve our technology problems and make things work smoothly – need a flashlight? There’s an app for that. Forgot your wallet? There’s an app for that. The same goes for plugins.
Plugins are ways to improve and add to the functionality of your website. You can look at which plugins you have downloaded, which are available to download, and more, on the button in your left sidebar.
How to download a plugin
Step 1: Click ‘add new’ in your left sidebar
As seen in the image above. This will take you to the ‘Add Plugins’ page where you can scroll through recommended plugins, popular plugins, or simply search for whichever plugin you’re looking for.
Step 2: Search for which plugin you need
We will be digging deeper into our recommended plugins for your blog setup. If you aren’t sure the exact name of the plugin you are searching for, more often than not a simple keyword search will do the trick. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, Google can help. Simply type in the functionality you are searching for with the words ‘WordPress plugin’ and hit search. For instance: ‘Facebook like box WordPress plugin’. This will help you find exactly what you are searching for, enabling you to narrow down your search in WordPress.
Step 3: Click ‘install now’
Once you have found your holy grail of plugins, click the ‘install now’ button. Once you have installed the plugin, you must activate the plugin by clicking ‘activate’.
Let’s get into which plugins we recommend for the initial setup of your blog.
Akismet is essentially the monopoly of spam-blocking software. This plugin blocks countless (and seriously, without the plugin you’ll see what we mean by countless) spam comments from being sent via comment and contact forms.
2. Yoast SEO
First, let’s chat about SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization: the process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine’s organic results. English: this makes your website come up when people search keywords related to your posts. You need this. I repeat: you need this, this is important. And while SEO is vital to a successful website, we can admit that it is highly confusing. That’s when Yoast comes in. The Yoast SEO plugin does all of the work for you. The only skill that you’ll need is entering in relevant keywords and a meta description. *TIP: Using the title of your post at the top of your post and using your focus keyword many times in your post greatly improves your SEO.
You’re putting in hard work for this blog (and if you’re just starting out, you will be soon!), so of course you want your hard work to be shared across the interweb. That’s what Shareaholic is for. Shareaholic is an all-in-one content amplification software that allows your readers to share content to their followers that they find interesting. It adds ‘related content’ options after your posts, social sharing buttons on your page and over images, offers analytics for your social sharing, and more.
4. Contact Form 7
A contact form is always good to have on your blog page for the sake of reader submissions and brand collaborations. Contact Form 7 is the most popular contact form plugin, and is extremely easy to set up. Simply install and activate the plugin. It will then provide you with a short code that you paste into the text view of a new page that you create to be your contact page. It will show up like this once you’ve published!
5. UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore
Can you imagine losing all of the hard, time-consuming work you put into your blog, in an instant? Yeah… terrifying. That’s why you need a plugin that will backup your ish. UpdraftPlus will backup all of your data and files, and has options for you to choose automatic, consistent backups, so you don’t have to worry about manually backing up on your own. *magic*
Now you’re ready to create the world’s most epic blog that’s ever appeared on the internet. Let’s do this.
What Do You Think?
- What are your must-have plugins?