Using WordPress A Beginners Guide 10 Essential Plugins Kaleidoscope Blog

One of the things I love most about using WordPress for running a blog or website is how easy it is to add amazing extra function to your site/blog by using plugins.

Plugins are small applications that you can add (plug-in) to your site to give it more functions such as helping with SEO or filtering spam comments. Many plugins are free, while some come at a small fee.

I’m going to share the 10 Essential Plugins I use for most of the clients I design blogs and websites for which will help you get your site set up on a firm foundation. Perhaps not all of these plugins will be useful for you and your site, but I’m guessing most of them will.

TIP: When choosing plugins always look at how many times that plugin has been installed by others and what rating  it has. Lesser known plugin developers and less used plugins may cause issues with your site and site security.

1. AKISMET

Akismet will filter the comments that come through to your blog and, depending on your settings, will either immediately delete spam comments, or will separate spam comments from legitimate comments so you aren’t wading through the junk to get the gold! 

2. JETPACK

Jetpack is a plugin created by WordPress which has many functions. You can set up spelling and grammar checks, display related posts, add infinite scroll to your site and so much more. A MUST!

3. UPDRAFT PLUS

Updraft Plus allows you to back up your website or blog the location of your choice, such as DropBox or other online storage. You can set this up to happen automatically or leave it to do manually and you can even specify how many back-ups you would like to keep. The free version is all I ever use, but there are more options with UpDraft Plus Premium which is a paid plugin.

4. WP SUPER CACHE

WP Super Cache creates a cache which stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster. This means your site will load more quick for your readers, which is a very good thing.  

5. FEATURED IMAGES IN RSS

Many WordPress themes do not automatically make your images available to be displayed in an RSS feed, such as on Bloglovin’ or Feedly. Featured Images in RSS will automatically add your Featured Image to your RSS feed which makes your blog display in a much prettier and more visual way which will help attract new readers and keep current readers.

6. GOOGLE ANALYTICS BY YOAST

Google Analytics by Yoast makes connecting your Google Analytics account to your WordPress site or blog super easy. Which means getting all your site’s statistics just that little bit easier!

7. JQUERY PIN IT BUTTON FOR IMAGES

The jQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin adds a “Pin it” button to the images on your blog or website when a reader hovers their mouse on the image. The great part about this particular plugin is you can add a custom graphic for your pin it button very easily, allowing you to make your site even more unique and personal.

8. WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST

WordPress SEO by Yoast is another great Yoast Plugin. This one makes SEO super easy giving your prompts on how to make your SEO better and ratings of the SEO of each page and post of your site.

9. WORDFENCE

Wordfence is a security plugin that keeps your blog or site safe from online attacks. It will also scan your site to see if it is already infected and will also help to make your site run faster. There is also a paid option which offers more functions.

10. WP CANVAS GALLERY

Created by the fab developer of Angie Makes, WP Canvas Gallery offers gorgeous gallery options for your images that you can truly customise to fit your needs. Options include everything from a grid gallery to sliders, carousels, mosaic and more!

If you are unsure of some of the technical terms used above, make sure you check out the Blogging Glossary to look up their meaning.

All the best with adding these plugins to your site. You will find these helpful in running a website or a blog at its best.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below and I will my best to answer them.


 

Amanda Fuller

Founder at Kaleidoscope
Founder of Kaleidoscope - facets of blogging, womanhood and life, Amanda is on a heart-led quest to create a savvy resource for the modern day woman — a one-stop-shop overflowing with real life, been-there-done-that wisdom and curated inspiration.