WordPress is a great CMS (Content Management System) for building any type of website. Web designers all over the world galaxy love WordPress for its simplicity in setting up, ease in customizing design, and for how simple it is for anyone to make updates to content.
What makes WordPress even better is the great variety of high-quality plugins that add all sorts of increased functionality to your website. WordPress.org hosts a great database of thousands of plugins you can install with one click on your own site. Most plugins are created for free by awesome coders helping make the world a better place. They deserve serious thanks. (So if you are a coder who has created a free WordPress plugin – THANKS!)
In my use of WordPress to create websites that connect my clients and their markets I’ve come across a few that are indispensable. These plugins can be added to your site whether you are a professional developer or hobby blogger. These plugins stand out to me because they:
- Are easy to add to the site
- Have customizable options
- Integrate seamlessly with the WP admin panel
- Are easy to add custom design to
- Are easy for clients to understand and use (when needed)
(see this article about what makes a good plugin in general)
So, while not an exhaustive list, here are some of my favorite plugins:
Somehow the evil spam robots of the universe have even figured out how to leave spam comments on blogs. This can get annoying if you are constantly being bombarded with comments that aren’t real. Akismet is the fastest way to shut off the spam-flow. After installation I’ve never seen a spam comment get into the system. Nice!
Okay, I honestly don’t use a plugin to add Google Analytics to my sites, I do it by adding code by hand. The point is that you need Google Analytics on your site no matter how you get it there. Analytics gives you an incredible amount of information about visitors to your site – where in the galaxy world they came from, what they were looking for, what they looked at while on your site, and much, much more. If you aren’t getting in-depth reports on your website traffic you need to reconsider what you are even doing with your website.
One key to ranking well in search engines is to make your website easy for them to crawl and index. This plugin creates a sitemap for search engines to see what content you have on your site, then submits it to the search engines for you! How much easier can that get? Read More »
Avatars on the internet are pretty cool. They let you provide a small picture to tell more about yourself on a certain blog, forum, or community website. But it can be a hassle to have to upload a new photo for each site that you want an image to appear. That’s where Gravatars come in. Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars and the idea is that you link your picture to your email address in one place and that avatar can be pulled into a variety of other websites.
You can get your own Gravatar really easily at www.Gravatar.com. Just enter your email address, confirm it when you get the welcome email, and upload your photo! It will then begin appearing when you enter your email address (usually required anyways) on a Gravatar-enabled website.
Here’s a video that does a good job explaining Gravatars:
I spent a day earlier this week training Neff Co on how to update and edit the website Apt Design just finished building for them. Well, didn’t actually spend a day. The training only took about 10 minutes. At the end they said, “Wow. That was easy, wasn’t it?”
Yes, it was. Yes, it is. If you are looking for an intuitive, easy-to-use, scalable, powerful blogging platform and/or Content Management System (yes, it can do both), WordPress is our preference. The community around WordPress is huge, and I’ve found themes, plugins, and widgets so easy to work with.
Simple + powerful = WordPress.