Wordpress is a great site building tool but doesn't come with all of the features you need to create a vibrant, safe and search engine ready website. Fortunately, Wordpress was created in a special way, allowing third party programmers to create and integrate their own features in the form of Wordpress plugins.
The course covers my top 10 plugin recommendations, as well as some of the innovative plugins I use on special projects.
The top 10 plugins will cover the important aspects of your site:
Besides these 10 essential plugins, I'll be including a number of innovative plugins that I use on some websites. These plugins will help with a wide range of tasks from internal page linking, adding a Google map to customizing the CSS of your site using a point and click plugin.
I have been building Wordpress websites for over a decade. During that time, I've refined my list of recommended plugins for features that all of my sites really need. This course will help you install, activate and configure these must-have plugins on your own website.
Wordpress is great, but you do need to be able to find your way around the plugins repository. This lecture explores what plugins are, and why they are necessary.
Plugins fill the gaps in the core Wordpress feature set. if there is anything you want to do on your site, but Wordpress doesn't have it covered, I bet a plugin will. This lecture briefly explores the ranges of features and functions provided by plugins.
If you have a spare moment, please read this lecture and answer the question in the Q&A section of the lecture. It will help me improve the course. Thanks!
A brief description of my plans for this course.
This lecture installs the best known Wordpress SEO plugin and gives you a tour of what it can do for your site. This is the first plugin I install on any new site.
I recommend you setup a security plugin as soon as possible. It's not that Wordpress is insecure, but stuff you add to your site can make it more vulnerable. Having a good security plugin installed and setup can keep your site out of the hands of hackers.
Comment spam is one of the most annoying aspects of owning a Wordpress website. Yet comments are really important. There are a few plugins available that offer to cut down on comments spam, and this video shows you the one I use.
Every site needs a contact form. There are a lot of good plugins that add a contact form to your site, and I'll be showing you perhaps the most popular.
Caching plugins decrease the load times of your pages, which keeps visitors and search engines happy. This video will take you through the basic setup of a popular caching plugin.
Images can increase the time it takes for a web page to load. Load times are important, so anything we can do to decrease the time taken to load pages is a good thing. This video looks at a plugin that can optimize your images and make your pages load more quickly.
There are a number of plugins that backup part or all of your Wordpress website. The one I want to show you backs up everything for you and can even help restore after a problem. The plugin does have free and paid versions. I'll be installing the free version in this tutorial.
If you want to put adverts on your site, you'll probably need a plugin to achieve the desired level of flexibility. The one I like gives you a lot of freedom. In this tutorial we'll install the plugin and have a little look around the options.
A related post section is really useful for keeping visitors on your site. Once the visitor has read one article, they see a list of related articles and click to read a different article. Search engines also like this type of internal site linking. There are a lot of related post plugins available, but I am going to recommend one you may not have heard of.
An image lightbox is a great way to show off the images on your website. Some themes have the lightbox built in, while others don't. In the latter case, you'll need a plugin to create the lightbox effect, and there are some great ones out there. This tutorial shows one that I use a lot, and how to set it up.
Wordpress makes it easy to schedule posts into the future, but a good editorial calendar plugin can make planning and publishing of your content much easier. This tutorial installs an editorial calendar and shows you how to use it.
Whenever you link out to other web pages, it can be useful to "tidy up" those links and be able to track the clicks. This plugin can help with that.
Wouldn't it be nice if every new post on your site was automatically shared on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Well it is quite easy to set up, and does not actually require a plugin. This tutorial shows you how using a free service.
Have you ever wanted a widget to always be visible in the sidebar, even when a visitor scrolls down the page? This widget will do it for you.
There are times when we need to "inject" code into areas of the HTML document for a post or page. It might be in the header area, footer area, both, or elsewhere. This plugin has a lot of options.
When a visitor moves from one area of your site to another, it would be nice if the sidebar widgets updated (especially adverts) so that they were always targeted to the topic of the page the visitor is viewing. This plugin can be used to put widgets only on certain sections of your site.
There are a number of reasons why you might like to include a Google map on your website. This tutorial shows how to add a simple one, using a free Wordpress plugin.
Sites like Wikipedia use a lot of internal linking to ferry visitors around the website. This type of internal linking can be difficult to maintain, but this Wordpress plugin makes it super easy. I was a consultant to the developer, to make sure it contained SEO safe mechanisms.
To change the way a theme looks, you really need total control over the theme's CSS. If you don't know CSS, that's not an option, or is it? This plugin will allow you to change the CSS on your site, without any knowledge of CSS itself.
Now that you've finished this course, and seen the plugins I recommend and use on my own sites, perhaps you could take a moment to answer a couple of questions? Thanks in advance!
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I have written and published a number of books that are available on Amazon, including best selling books on Wordpress ("Wordpress for Beginners 2017") and search engine optimization ("SEO 2017 & Beyond"). I also run a website called ezSEONews, where I teach my visitors and newsletter subscribers a number of skills required for running a successful website.
As an ex-schoolteacher, I hope I can make complicated topics simple to understand. I certainly enjoy trying!