Step By Step
How To Start A Blog For Beginners

Chapter 6

Plugins


Now that you have your theme installed it’s time to install the best WordPress plugins that you will need for your site.
 

What are Plugins?

Glad you asked…

Let me give you an example- I like to think of WordPress as the human body.

Our physical body has everything we need to perform exercises to keep us healthy, yet we use calorie counters, running shoes and weights to make the exercises efficient.

That’s what plugins do for your WordPress blog.  They increase the functionality of your blog as well as add new features that can enhance appearance and performance, all while not learning code. 

Just like the calorie counters and running shoes, there are always alternatives and what plugin is right for your blog, may not be right for another. 

I hope that gives you a better understanding of plugins and their importance. 

 

Let’s get you started…

 

Just to make things easier for you, this chapter is in 3 parts:
1. An Essential list of plugins you need
2. A Non-Essential-These are plugins I personally love
3. How to install a plugin

 

8 of the Best WordPress Plugins

 

1. Akismet

 This plugin helps guard your site from all the spammers that are waiting to jump on your first blog post. When someone comments or fills out the contact form on your site, this plugin scrubs the global internet to make sure it’s not spam. You worked hard on your post don’t let spammers ruin it.

Price: FREE

2.Yoast SEO

Yoast is an amazing tool to help you with SEO even if you’re a beginner. The easy to use features prompts you to optimize your blog posts for the keywords that you want to rank for in the search engines.  It also creates a sitemap of your blog to make it easier for Google and other search engines to locate the pages of your blog.

Price: FREE

3. Insert Headers and Footers

This simple but powerful plugin lets you insert code like Google Analytics, custom CSS and more to your WordPress site in the header and footer. It’s great because you don’t have to mess with the coding of your site. 

Price: FREE

4. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights creates a way to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics, so you can see how visitors find and use your website, so you can figure out how to keep them coming back. 

Price: FREE

5. Contact Form 7

It’s important to give your readers a way to contact you. This plugin is a contact form that allows you to create any customizable form that you would like to be filled out by your readers. 

Price: FREE

6. SG Optimizer

This plugin helps with the SEO of your blog, while also helping with your site performance. This is wonderful because enhancing the site performance creates better usability for your readers. When your website is viewed pictures and pages will load faster.  **Note this plugin will only work when you have hosting purchased from SiteGround

Price: FREE

7. wpDiscuz

The wpDiscuz plugin is a plugin that boosts the power of your comments. It provides a beautiful interface, encouraging engagement with your readers. 

Price: FREE

8. BackWPup

This is a good plugin to get started with to have a Backup of your WordPress blog. Once you start to get bigger and have more content, you may want to look into upgrading to a premium plugin. 

Price: FREE

 

6 Non-Essential Plugins

 

I can’t live without this plugin!  l love it because it turns your post toolbar into a Mircosoft Word dashboard. Allowing you more room to customize text, font, colors, etc.

Price: FREE

2. Simple Share Buttons Adder

They have several share plugins to help make your site super fancy and easy to share your content. However, this one does the trick for me and it’s free. I may switch to something else later, but for now, this works just fine. 

Price: FREE

3. EasyAzon – Amazon Associates Affiliate Plugin

If you plan on using Amazon affiliate program, this plugin is a must-have. It seamlessly connects to your Amazon affiliate site and allows you to search for Amazon products from your WordPress dashboard. The free version allows you to insert a text linking to the product directly into your post, with a click of a button.  If you want to include pictures of the products, (which you should) I highly recommend you purchase the premium version.  I also, love this plugin, because it has a 90-day cookie for visitors. Meaning that if a visitor clicks on one of your links and puts anything in their cart they have 90 days to make a purchase and you get the commission!

Price: $47

4Editorial Calendar

I’m a visual person and I like to have a dashboard view of things i need to do. This plugin is visually appealing and functional. It allows you to plan your blog post in advance and place them on the calendar. You’re able to list it as a draft,  review or scheduled. Changing your post to scheduled allows your blog to be automated. If you know you’re going on vacation or want to be more efficient with your time. This app is perfect for you!

Price: FREE

5. Thrive Leads

Want to grow your email list? Even though there are many of options out there, I love this plugin for the flexibility and the many features it has to offer.  If you are wanting to build your mailing list faster and have been conversation rates, this is the plugin for you. 

Price: $67

6. WP Instagram Widget

Wonder how everyone displays their Instagram feed on their blog?  Using this easy plugin, you customize and display yours too!

Price: FREE

 

How to Install Plugins

 

If you are installing a free plugin you can go directly to these next steps. If you are buying a premium plugin such as Thrive Leads or Eazy Azon you will need to purchase the plugin before installing. 

Step 1-Go to your Dashboard >Plugins

Step 2 Under Plugins> Select Add New

Step 3- Middle of the page you will see “Search plugins”>Type in the name of the plugin> Press enter key

Step 4- When the plugin you typed comes up> Select Install Now

Step 5-Once installed> Select Activate

Step 6- To check to see if your theme is installed check it under Installed Plugins.

Step 7- Each plugin will appear in different locations on your Dashboard menu.  In this example, the Editorial Calendar plugin appears under Posts.

That’s it you are now a Plugin Pro!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’ve Installed a Plugin

 

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