So, Which WordPress Plugins Do You Need to Begin?
WordPress works just fine out of the box, but most users want to enhance their website’s functionality. Plugins, or extensions to the basic application, do this. Installing plugins is really easy, but choosing from tens of thousands of plugins can be challenging.
Note: For this article, there are only free plugins listed, so you can try them out. That should not imply you should only use free plugins. The purpose of this article is to get you started quickly, and you may start shopping for more sophisticated solutions later.
Where do you get the free plugins you need? To get free plugins, simply go to Add Plugins in your Admin Area and start searching.
Once you have installed a few websites, you will probably come up with your own WordPress plugin checklist, but here’s our basic list to get your started.You may not end up using all of these, but it’s nice to know that you can start with the basics and keep improving.
Good Free and Basic Plugins to Get Started with WordPress:
Email Contact Form: Contact Form 7 is very easy to set up. You just install it for free, make sure the settings are correct, and use the short code to drop it in a contact page.
Spam blocking: Askimet is included with each version of WP, and it is also free. These days, you do need to set up a free account at WordPress.com to use it.
Social: I don’t have a strong opinion about the best social sharing plugin or plugins because there are so many. You can get the Jetpack plugin for free, or it may have been included with your installation, and it has a social sharing plugin. Shareaholic is very popular, and it produces very nice-looking output.
The legal stuff: WP-Insert is a very useful plugin that will automatically put text in your “legal” pages. This could include terms, disclaimer, etc.
Statistics: Your actual theme may make it easy to drop statistics scripts in your website. You might also be able to drop them in one of your widget areas, so you may not need a WordPress plugin. JetPack includes statistics.Also, WP Slimstat has a free version and very good reviews. It eliminates the need for an external stat service.
Popular/ Related Posts: Both of these types of plugins are very popular, so you might want to browse the free plugin repository for one. They are good because they help make your site look more active and keep visitors on your website longer.
Your Comments: Which Plugins Do You Need?
If you have been using WP for some time, you probably already have some strong opinions about which plugins you need in your kit. Please leave us some comments, and we will publish your opinions.