Plugin Recipe for WordPress Noobies
What plugins do you really need on your WordPress site?
What kind of plugins do you really need on your WordPress site?
Plugins and which ones to use is a topic consistently swirling around the radio waves in the universe.
We got a question last week for WPblab from Chef Ivan Flowers and it got me thinking.
Is there a plugin "recipe" that can be used for most sites? #AskWPblab
— Chef Ivan Flowers (@ChefIvanFlowers) November 18, 2015
When you make bread, there are basic ingredients.
Once you understand the role of each ingredient in the chemistry of the bread making, you can start substituting and fiddling around with the recipe.
Better Homes and Gardens’ New Cookbook is my go-to. Even though it is decades old it’s really the only one you need. Once you understand the relationship between ingredients, you can always make it your own.
Now, the WPwatercooler site has a list of recommended plugins that are repeated in their 160+ episodes, so you should check those out.
Here’s my understanding of the basic recipe:
- Social Formatting
- Social Sharing Buttons
- Feed Subscription
For backup I’m using Updraft Plus. I’m not totally sold on it because it makes three zip files and I don’t know how to restore from a backup yet but since I haven’t found a replacement it stays. I like that it will put a copy of the backup in my DropBox.
SEO & Social Formatting
I’m using Yoast SEO. This does the Google sitemap, formats my posts for optimized social sharing, and helps me stay on track with my heading. I wish I used it six months ago.
Social Sharing Buttons
I’m using Mashshare. It has two big buttons, the only ones I really want: Facebook and Twitter.
I’m using WP-SpamShield. It’s free. It works. No complaints.
I’m using Feedburner Email Subscription. People can signup to get my blog posts in their email. It’s straightforward.
This was suggested by WPFixIt. I haven’t used one since SiteGround seems to keep me safe. But I also hear Sucuri is good.
@YouTooCanBeGuru my favorite one right now is Simple Security Firewall. Lightweight and does allot.
— WP Fix It (@WPFixItFast) November 22, 2015
This would be the poppy seeds, or garlic, or whatever else you’re putting in your bread. It’s not a need per se but it makes your life better.
I’m using more than this but here are a few extras that you may want to consider as a blogger. This list may or may not be updated in the future.
DesktopServer is how I made my site and they have an importer plugin and a duplicator plugin.
Manage WP‘s Worker is for managing all of my websites in one dashboard. It’s really nice. I pay $2.50 a month for this and it’s worth it.
FooGallery: I’m actually using FooGallery, FooBox, FooVideo, and Owl Carousel from them. I love Foo, what can I say?
Revive Old Post: Isn’t it bad that I forget to tweet my own articles? I’m always afraid of being too pushy so I spend a lot of time with replies on Twitter and retweets of their posts. I have this set on tweeting every 7.5 hours. It seems to help me help myself.
Jetpack. I like that it integrates with the WordPresss iOS app. It helps me be more responsive to the comments I get on my blog.
Also, you can see the plugins I favorited in the WordPress Repository here.
Hi, great post. Did you know that Back WP Up is an amazing back up plugin as well?
Also, after watching g your show last week, I wanted to say that DesktopServer allows you to create “starter packages.” Every time you start a new local history site, you can always include your favorite plugins.
I didn’t know that about DesktopServer.
Also, I forgot security for myself and this post.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’ll check out BackupWP!
Great basic recipe. My plugins (leaning paid):
Backup – Vaultpress
Social Formatting / SEO – Yoast (pro), WP Smush, SBI! for WP
Social Sharing Buttons – Shareaholic but upgrading to social warfare soon
Spam – Askimet for comments and Cleantalk.org for blocking spam form submissions
Feed Subscription – none yet but will look into feedburner
Security – Sitelock
My big extras:
Social metrics tracker – easily see what content hits best and over time.\
Broken link checker
Leadin for email capture
JM Twitter Cards
Yoast replaced JM Twitter Cards for me.
I will check out the social metrics tracker.
I have Akismet and some other anti-spam ones, JM Twitter cards, social sharing buttons, and about 100 other plugins that seem to need updating every day. Oh, yeah. Broken Link checker, too.
Cool. If you get Yoast SEO (free) you won’t need JM Twitter cards.
I use Yoast SEO for a long time ago and I’m very glad about it, I also use Sucuri for my site’s security; it monitors and protects your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. Good article, thank you!