Plugins are great
Many of you have hopefully read my guide to setting up and installing a WordPress website. I love using WordPress because it is such a versatile and user friendly platform, which makes building a beautiful and functional website quite easy once you understand how to use it. Whether you’re building a small blog or a E-Commerce site to sell things one, WordPress really does have eve rything that you need.
This article is about my top five WordPress plugins, which anyone shoud be using on their site to make things much easier in day-to-day life when it comes to building and editing your site.
If you ask anyone involved in Digital Marketing, they will tell you that Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most important things when it comes to getting found online. A big part of Search Engine Optimisation is what is known as the On-Page copy, this essentially means the way that the words on the website are written, the length of the paragraphs, keyword density, picture alt tags and other various things. It is easy to forget all these things when you are writing a Blog post or building a homepage on your website, but that is where the beauty of Yoast SEO comes in.
Yoast rates the On-Page SEO of your site using a traffic light system. It will tell you the things that you’ve missed out and what you can do to improve your SEO. An example for me writing my last Blog post is below.
I only use the free version of Yoast. There is a Pro version which is more versatile and has more features.
One of the things that puts people off WordPress is the belief that you cannot drag-and-drop elements, in the same way you can with Weebly and Squarespace. This, however is false. There is a plugin called Elementor, which allows you to do just this. This really speeds up the website building process and means you do not need to learn any HTML and CSS, because it is all done for you.
Here is a Screenshot of the Panel that you are given with Elementor, all of which you can drag and drop into a precise space on your site. It also allows you to build pages differently for mobile and tablets, with emulators of the devices you are using.
Sometimes, getting your Twitter Timeline to Embed onto your site really is a pain. If it doesn’t fit into the side bar and blocks part of your content out, it looks sloppy and unprofessional. Enter then, AH Twitter embed. It is a Plugin by Andreas Hecht, which is where the AH comes from. It is simply a tool where you can enter the name of the Twitter profile that you want, where you want it on the page, and you can even define the exact size of the Timeline on your site.
One issue with this timeline is that its inital release was in German, and a lot of the instructions are in are in the same language, but it does work well and is relatively self explanatory anyway.
Here is a screenshot of my Twitter Timeline, embedded snugly on every page of my website, and the remarkable thing is it will add that to every new page that I create, making my content building my easier, and meaning that there is always fresh content on my website, even if the page they are looking at dates back a long time.
Monster Insights is a lovely Plugin, made by a company of the same name. What it does is allows you to easily install Google Analytics to your site, without the need for the long winded process of installing it manually. If you are interested in the user behaviour of your website, which pages customers land on, leave from and the amount of time that they spend on it, there are few better programs to use than Google Analytics. As its made by Google, and part of the Google Ecosystem, setting up and account, checking your stats and downloading the app is very easy, especially if you have an Android phone. But actually installing Google Analytics to your website is a very long winded process involving all sorts of back and fourths between Google and your website.
Monster Insights, however, makes that process a lot easier. All you have to do is set up your Google Analytics account, copy the API from the site into Monster Insights and then, you’re done. No messing around with codes or anything else. It also allows you to view basic insights from your website’s dashboard, rather than having to visit Google Analytics.
Although the first four on this list all serve a very important service when it comes to your website, this last one is just a bit of fun. If you have a blog, which contains lots of articles, and aren’t sure which of your posts you want to direct a user to, this allows you to direct them to a random post on your Blog, similar to the Random Article button on Wikipedia.