There are two ways to load plugins up to your site. First is from your WP Dashboard using Add-New and performing a search of the WordPress.org plugins site. Second is by going to and downloading the plugin from the WordPress.org plugins site to your computers desktop and then loading it up to your site through the Add New Plugin function. Try each. I download them to my desktop because plugin names can be similar and I don’t want to load up the wrong one to a site.
There are a handful of basic plugins that each of your sites should have.
Here they are. They will make developing your WordPress website a lot easier.
#1 – Google XML Sitemaps by Anne Brachhold. When you’re ready to release your site to the world this plugin will create a sitemap for the search engine bots to find when they crawl your site. It helps the search engines each time they revisit your site and do a better job indexing your site………………therefore helping you.
#2 – Contact Form 7 by Takayuki Miyoshi. Whether you blog or have a content management site…….or both, you need to have a way for visitors to reach you. This is simple and flexible. You can capture names, emails, phone #’s, etc. Or you can get real creative and develop a short questioner with check-off box responses. For right now stay with simple. This guy also has a sister plugin in case you need to add a CAPTCHA line to your contact form. It’s called Really Simple Captcha. Links are below for both.
#3 – Image Widget by Modern Tribe Inc. This plugin is called a widget because it goes in a website sidebar. It allows you to put your picture and a brief description about you on every page and post. I believe it’s important that visitors connect with you on a personal level and a photo helps that. It reassures visitors you are a real person.
#4 – Exclude Pages From Navigation by Simon Wheatley. Some themes have this concept built-in, but many do not. This plugin adds a checkbox, “include this page in menus”, which is checked by default. If you uncheck it, the page will not appear in any listings of pages (which includes, and is usually limited to, your page navigation menus).
It comes in real handy when building your site and preventing visitors from seeing your development cycle.
#5 – All In One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert. This is one of the most powerful On-Page SEO plugins available. Once installed and activated you need to fill in general information about your site. Then, at the bottom of each page/post you create will be a series of dialogue boxes for you to fill in, including keywords. This is hugely helpful in getting you ranked in the search engines.
#6 – Easy Theme and Plugin Updates by Chris Jean. This little gem helps you whenever you update to a new theme version or plugin version. It will create a backup of your previous them/plugin in the Media section of your dashboard as a backup in case the new version doesn’t work all that well.
#7 – WordFence Security by mmaunder. I just learned of this security plugin the other night at an internet meetup in Dallas. The presenter says this is the best security plugin he has found. I checked and it has >700,000 downloads. Add 1 more for me. Wordfence Security is a free enterprise class security plugin that includes a firewall, anti-virus scanning, cellphone sign-in (two factor authentication), malicious URL scanning and live traffic including crawlers. Wordfence is the only WordPress security plugin that can verify and repair your core, theme and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups. Sounds like this plugin almost walks on water as well.
#8 – Soliloquy Lite by Thomas Griffin. This plugin is here because the class as a whole requested a photo slider. Soliloquy is audited by Mark Jaquith, lead developer of WordPress, for security and features the easiest to use and most performance optimized code for a WordPress slider plugin. By utilizing custom post types, Soliloquy allows you to create an infinite number of responsive WordPress sliders with an infinite number of images in each slider with a few clicks of the mouse.
There are many other plugins I will share with you at a later date. As a matter of fact I have 2 lists from developers I have met. Each list contains the Top 100 plugins these developers feel are the best. They give these to their paying clients. You can find each list on the Downloads Page under Session4.