The 6 Types of WordPress Plugins You Need to Install
Why you need a performance plugin: If your blog is slow, your readers will bounce and Google will rank you lower in search engine results. A good performance optimization plugin will “cache” your content so it loads faster.
2. Security Plugins
Why you need a security plugin: On average, around 30,000 websites are hacked each day. If your idea of securing your blog is simply having a good password, you’re asking for trouble.
Why we recommend iThemes Security: Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes Security offers a one-click setup wizard that makes protecting your site easy.
3. Backup Plugins
Why we recommend UpdraftPlus: It strikes a good balance between flexibility, features, and ease of use. It has a 4.8 out of 5.0 rating on the WordPress plugin repository, and it’s actively updated by its developers.
4. SEO Plugins
Why you need a SEO plugin: If you want website traffic, you need Google to love your content. By using a good SEO plugin, you can make sure your blog posts are putting their best feet forward.
Why we recommend Yoast SEO: It’s the gold standard of WordPress SEO plugins.
What’s the cost? Yoast SEO has both free and premium versions. Its free version offers everything you need.
5. Social Sharing Plugins
Why you need a social sharing plugin: By making it easy for your existing readers to share your posts on their favorite social media sites, social sharing buttons help get more eyes on your quality content.
Why we recommend Social Warfare : There are a lot of social media plugins out there, but we like Social Warfare because it’s lightweight (e.g. doesn’t slow down your website) and offers unique features like “Click to Tweet” boxes and Pinterest-specific images and infographics.
What’s the cost? Social Warfare has both a free and pro version. Its free version offers all the basics you’ll need, but if you decide to upgrade the pro version is only $29 (paid annually).
6. Email List Building Plugins
Why you need an email list building plugin: If you want your blog and business to grow, turning blog traffic into leads is a must. You need a way to capture the email addresses of your readers so you can continue to engage with them.
Why we recommend Convert Pro (affiliate link): Its drag-and-drop editor for creating pop-ups is the most user friendly option we’ve used.
What’s the cost? Convert Pro isn’t free. It costs $99 annually, or $399 for a lifetime license. If cost is a concern, consider the free version of Sumo, which has some great features, but includes company branding.
How to Install WordPress Plugins
Now that we’ve gone over the types of plugins you need, let’s walk through the steps for installing them.
It’s really simple:
In the left-hand navigation pane inside your dashboard, go to Plugins
Choose Add New
You then have two paths you can take:
Click the Upload Plugin button (if you downloaded a third-party plugin like Convert Pro), or
Enter the name of the plugin in the Search plugins… field (if you want to find a free plugin from the WordPress.org repository)
Path #1: Install a Thirty-Party WordPress Plugin
If you want to install a WordPress plugin you downloaded from a third-party website, click the Upload Plugin button and:
Click the Choose File button
Find the third-party theme you downloaded to your computer (Example: convert-pro.zip) and select it
Click the Install Now button
Path #2: Install a Plugin From WordPress.org’s Directory
If you want to install a plugin from WordPress.org:
Enter the plugin name (Example: “wp super cache”) in the Search plugins… field
Click the Install button
How to Activate a WordPress Plugin
Whether you choose a free plugin from WordPress.org or a premium plugin from a third-party website, you’ll turn it on the same way.
In the left-hand navigation pane, go to Plugins
Choose Installed Plugins
Find your plugin and click Activate
Blog Set Up and SEO
Volumes have been written about on-page SEO, off-page SEO, Google RankBrain, keyword research, SEO tools, search intent, Google Analytics, and all the other intricacies surrounding the ins and outs of getting ranked higher in SERPs (search engine results pages).We’re going to be straight with you:
If you want to start a blog that brings in traffic, if you want to catapult your content to page one of Google, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and learn SEO.
We’ll give you some great reading material in a moment. But first, let’s cover the SEO basics you need to know when doing a new blog set up — the kind of SEO basics often missed in advanced tutorials.
How to Create an XML Sitemap
If you installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin we recommended earlier, creating a sitemap is a snap.
In the left-hand navigation pane of your WordPress dashboard, hover over SEO
Click the Features tab
Scroll down to the XML sitemaps option and make sure the switch is toggled to On
You now have an XML sitemap for your blog. Next, we need to give it to Google, Bing, and other search engines.
So before we leave the Yoast SEO plugin, let’s copy the URL of your sitemap:
Click the question mark icon next to XML sitemaps
Click the See the XML sitemap link
Your sitemap will open in a new tab in your browser.
Copy the URL in the address bar and save it.
How to Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines
The steps for submitting your sitemap differs from search engine to search engine. We’ll quickly go over the most popular ones, starting with Google:
Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
Go to Google Search Console and sign in using your Google account
In the left-hand pane, select your website
Change Permalinks Structure
By default, WordPress sets the links on your blog to the following format:
Why do they do this? No one knows for sure. “For grins and giggles” is the theory we’re going with.
But regardless of the reason, you need to update this link structure before you publish a single piece of content.
Here’s how you do it:
In the left-hand navigation pane, hover over Settings
Under Common Settings, set the option to Post name
Install an SSL Certificate (So Your URL Begins With https Instead of http)
Speaking of things Google likes…
You absolutely, positively must install an SSL certificate for your website. Here’s why:
Readers will know your website is safe
Your website will be safe thanks to the encryption of readers’ sensitive data and personal info
Google sees it as a ranking signal, which means not having an SSL certificate will hurt your content’s rankings in search results
How to Install an SSL Certificate
Your web hosting package from SiteGround (affiliate link) includes free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt.
Here’s how you install them:
Log into your SiteGround account
Click the Go to cPanel button
In the Security section, click Let’s Encrypt
Select your domain name, choose the Let’s Encrypt SSL option, and click the Install button
1.Performance Plugins Why you need a performance plugin: If your blog is slow, your readers will bounce and Google will rank you lower in search engine results. A good performance optimization plugin will “cache” your content so it loads faster. 2. Security Plugins Why you need a security plugin: On average, around 30,000 websites are…