When first installing WordPress, there are some great out of the box features for the CMS. There are also some free plugins that help enhance your Worpress site. In this first WordPress tutorial I am going to cover some of the essential plugins to use with WordPress.
Akismet comes with WordPress by default. To save yourself a ton of spam, I highly suggest to turn on this plugin. Simply go to the Akismet site and fill in your information to get a key sent to your email. Once you have the key put it in the setting and activate the plugin, that simple.
WordPress is not set up for a regular website, by default WordPress is meant to be a blog. So with that in mind, blogs are set up to use categories and tags, where a website would use more of the meta tags. All in One SEO pack adds meta tags to all your pages and posts. You can set different tags per page or per post. If you forget to add some tags, don’t worry, All In One SEO uses default ones you set automatically. One of the best SEO plugins around!
Social media is huge in this day and age. What Sociable does is add links to all the major sites so your readers can share their content easily. Now there are a ton of Social media plug ins for WordPress, I just find that Sociable is the quickest and easiest to use.
Now there are a ton of options as far as contact forms go, like a paid one like Gravity Forms or hand code one and hope the WordPress editor does not delete your code after saving. But the option I use the most and works right away is Contact Form 7.
This is a simple easy to use plugin. You create your form in the settings option then simply paste the short code on the page, that is it. Very simple and you have a nice looking, operational form on your site.
The final basic one is the Google Sitemap. Google uses sitemaps to help index your pages. So if you have a couple hundred pages, it can take a long time to make a sitemap by hand. This plug in doe sit for you automatically. All you have to do is turn it on and adjust a few settings and that is it. The plugin will submit all your maps to the top search engines.
As you can see there are many plugins out there that can make your WordPress site even greater. Look around, there are Poll plugins and Gallery plugins out there as well that can help spice up your site!