Friday, August 2, 2013
WordPress for Websites & the 7 plugins you will need.
WordPress has become a increasingly popular method to create a website due to its ease of use, fantastic and helpful developer community, and the sheer number of high-quality free modules and plug-ins that can add fantastic features and security to your website. Here is list of the seven I recommend everyone start with.
Akismet Spam Protection
Akismet is a spam filter plugin for comments. It is automatically installed with WordPress, so you simply need to go to your WP-Admin Dashboard and click on Plugins, find Akismet in the list and click Activate. A message will appear asking for your WordPress.com API key, simply click the link and create a WordPress.com account and then copy and paste the key back into your Dashboard.
When a page is accessed on your site, WordPress performs some database lookups and executes a bunch of code. Ordinarily this isn’t a problem, however if you happen to have a lot of traffic all at once, this can slow your site right down. Quick Cache is a plugin that caches your pages periodically to dramatically reduce the load on the WordPress server. You can find the plugin at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/quick-cache/
Once installed, click on Plugins in the Dashboard and click Activate. You then need to click on Options in the dashboard menu and find WP-Cache in the menu. This leads you to a page where you can enable the caching. Don’t enable just yet, because it’s best to do this after you install your theme and have everything working, otherwise you can sometimes have trouble testing changes.
Note that to get WP-Cache working you may need to create some directories for it to write to. The plugin will give you details of what to do.
The Sitemap plugin automatically creates an XML sitemap prepared to Google’s specification and then contacts the Google servers every time you create a new post or change the sitemap. You can download the plugin from http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/
Simple Feed Stats
For larger blogs, the social proof of having current subscriber numbers can provide a “It must be good!” kind of effect. Simple Feed Stats provides a simple daily updating image that shows the subscriber count, however it’s possible to use a WordPress plugin for even more customization. Download it here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-feed-stats/
Subscribe to Comments
WordPress makes it easy to provide RSS feeds for comment threads and this feature will keep commenters hooked to a blog far more tightly than if they rely on remembering which posts they wanted to check the discussion on. A plugin is also available to allow users email updates on a discussion (http:// wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscribe- to-comments/)
WordPress Random Post
Using a freely available WordPress plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/spider-random-post/) a blog design can show a list of random posts to the user. This can be useful not just for casual, first time visitors but even for regular readers as it is a powerful way to help them explore parts of a blog they may not have seen before.
WordPress Related Posts
At the end of blog posts, give the user links to related posts either using a WordPress plugin (http:// wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-23-related- posts-plugin/) or by running a query to show other posts in the same category or other posts by the same author.