What is a plugin in WordPress? List of recommended plugins for bloggers

CatherineTrainings, Website Design, WordPress

What is a plugin in WordPress?

Day 7: What is a plugin in WordPress? List of recommended plugins for bloggers

Hi. Welcome to Beginners’ guide to WordPress Blogging: 12-day challenge. Today we will be reviewing “What is a plugin in WordPress? List of recommended plugins for bloggers”.

My name is Catherine M. Egwali and I will be your instructor for the next few days. I work at Switem Technology Solutions and I am one of the co-founders of the company.

Switems Technology Solutions is an ICT company that helps startups and SMEs grow their business, income, achieve set goals and solve problems by using technology solutions.

Some of the services we provide include domain registration, Hosting, WordPress Website Designs, E-commerce Website Designs, WordPress Hosting, Managed E-commerce Hosting, Payment Acceptance Solutions as well as other technology solution services.

Over the next few days, I will be taking you on a journey to understanding how to use WordPress to start a website or a blog.

Catherine Mayokun Egwali

Questions About WordPress Themes

Questions about WordPress Dashboard Login

If you have ever asked any of the following questions, after going through today’s lesson, you should be able to easily answer any of them.

1. What is a plugin in WordPress?
2. How do I use a plugin in WordPress?
3. What does a plugin do?
4. How many plugins for WordPress are there?

What is a plugin in WordPress?

What is a plugin in WordPress?

Plugins are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress.WordPress.org

A plugin is a piece of code/software that can help you extend the functionalities of your WordPress website e.g. Woocommerce for selling products and services, Wordfence for securing your website.

How many plugins for WordPress are there?

There are literally thousand and thousands of plugins. They are of different types and they can be obtained for free or at a fee.

Plugins you pay for are usually called Premium or paid plugins.

Benefits of premium plugins may include:

1. Reliable support
2. Improved documentation
3. Good code quality
4. Increased features/functionalities
5. Updates and continuous development as against plugin maintenance abandonment

How many plugins for WordPress are there?

Free plugins are usually available from sites such as the authors’ sites, WordPress repository, and some plugin directories such as WPD.

Premium plugins are usually also available from their authors’ sites and/or marketplaces for plugins.

Some of such marketplaces include Codecayon, and WPMUDev.

How do I install a WordPress theme?

You can integrate a plugin by downloading it from the WordPress repository/other plugin sites and installing it via File Transfer Protocol or via the WordPress dashboard.

The video below shows how to install and configure a plugin on a self-hosted WordPress platform.

Some of the topics covered include:

1. How to find a plugin
2. How to install a plugin
3. How to activate a plugin
4. How to configure a plugin

Steps to take before integrating a plugin to your WordPress site

1. Do a background check to know those that use the plugin, reviews about the plugin (good and bad), if it is being maintained (i.e. updated regularly) etc
2. Find out if it is compatible with your WordPress version
3. Ensure you download and install the plugin from a trusted site/source
4. Confirm the plugin version you want to use is free from security vulnerabilities

Recommended list of plugins for bloggers

1. Wordfence: Great for securing your WordPress site

2. Vaultpress (Premium): Great for disaster recovery. You can use it to backup your site. Helpful for restoring your site during migrations, or when a disaster occurs

3. Yuzo: This helps to automatically show related posts on your blog thus improving engagement on your site

4. WordPress SEO by Yoast: This is one of the best plugins for optimising your contents for search engines. It provides tips on what to do to produce contents that rank well in search engine result pages. It also helps to check if your content is well optimised based on your chosen focus keywords.

5. Akismet: One of the best plugins for handling comment spam.

6. Google XML Sitemaps: For enabling Google to easily crawl and understand your site/blog . There is no need to install this plugin if you have Yoast SEO installed

7. Contact Form 7: For creating contact forms that can enable people get in touch with you for feedback, consultations or enquiries

8. Starbox: It helps you to display an author’s biography per post so that readers can engage with the contents on your blog and social media channels

9. CommentLux:  With this plugin, readers are encouraged to post comments as it automatically places a link to a commenter’s last blog post alongside his comment

10. Google Analytics for WordPress plugin: enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics stats e.g page views via the WordPress dashboard.

11.Nextscripts SNAP: this helps you to automatically publish posts from your blog to social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc

12. Scroll Triggered Box useful for getting the attention of visitors who engage with your site. It can be used for newsletter sign-ups, displaying offers, getting people to share your posts etc.

13. WP Super cache: This is a caching plugin that helps to speed up page load time for your site

14. Smush: very useful plugin for  compressing and optimising your images; thus also helping with improved page speed load time as well as site’s SEO

15. AddToAny Share buttons: to enable visitors easily share your post on social media

16. Convertplug (Premium): It is used for converting website traffic into leads by helping you build email lists, promote videos, offer coupons and do much more.

17. Better Click To Tweet: Give readers an easy way to share quotes and the likes from your post to Twitter

18. PowerPress Podcasting plugin by Blubrry: useful tool for podcasting

19. UpdraftPlus WordPress backup plugin: Great for disaster recovery. You can use it to backup and restore your site

Are you excited about today’s lesson but looking for an affordable hosting plan to practice with?

Not to worry, we have a discounted baby hosting plan plus FREE domain name for you.

You can purchase this plan with a free domain name here for just N2500 only.

Do you have questions pertaining to TODAY’S lesson?

Join us in our Facebook Group where we will be answering questions to each lesson’s post. To ask and get your questions answered, ensure that you post your question as a comment under the Lesson Question Post Of The Day. Each day’s lesson questions must also be asked during the training period.

Thank you for participating. See you tomorrow.

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Catherine Egwali is the co-founder and COO of Switem Technology Solutions. She is a #1 international best selling author of the book The Competent Entrepreneur, an ICT Business Consultant, WordPress designer, SEO & and technology solutions enthusiast. She helps start-ups and SMEs grow their business, solve problems, increase sales and achieve their goals through technology solutions. View her other posts or find her on LinkedIn. You can also connect with her on FB messenger via https://m.me/catherineegwali