Step 3: Install WordPress Plugins to Improve your Website

So far you have signed up to host your website, you’ve installed WordPress, and then you’ve chosen a free theme to improve the looks of your little project.

Now is the time to install a couple of plugins to improve the functionality of your webstite.
Too many plugins can become difficult to manage and may slow down your website, but there are a few, basic, important ones that you will need and may as well set up now and get used to working with them.

  • WordPress Database Backup
    You do not ever want to have your webhost’s servers fail and not have a backup of your data.  This plugin will compress your site’s data into a single file and email it to you.  Currently I have this done once per week, but will probably get it done more often after I have more content.  The emails are small, so the size doesn’t really matter, but I usually only keep the last 2-3 backups around in my inbox.
    This one is very easy to set up

 

  • Really Simple Twitter Feed Widget
    I have been using Twitter as another way of communicating and sharing the knowledge that I have gained.  This plugin installs a widget which you then drag to your side menu.  It only takes about 30 seconds to set up to display your latest tweets.  I had also tried Twitter Widget but I could not set the width to display properly so I uninstalled.  Otherwise it looked good so maybe it would work better under your control.

 

  • Google Analyticator
    You will want to be able to see how many visitors your website is getting, how they get there, how long they stay, and where in the world they are located.  This information, along with much more, is available to you through the Google Analytics service.  This plugin sets up all of the code on your website to allow you to use this great service.  All you have to do is sign up through Google and copy your user number UIN into the plugin’s setup page.

 

  • Easy Privacy Policy
    This plugin easily helps you add a privacy policy page which includes an Adsense compliance section. The settings for this plugin appear under “Settings” – “Easy Privacy Policy”.  You add your website name and email address into the information bars at the top, click “Create Privacy Page” and presto it’s ready.
    Now you have to go to Menus and add it to your top menu.

 

  • Google XML Sitemaps
    This plugin was recommended to me to help the search engines to index my site.  It will generate a sitemap for me, of course using XML.  I haven’t yet activated it though.

 

  • WPtouch
    This plugin is used to format your site better for use on touch based smart phones and mobile devices.  I’m trying this out and will have to experiment more with the settings to optimize my site for an iPhone.

 

  • Pretty Link Lite
    This WordPress plugin is a simple way to make small links for your website.
    For example, if you go to: “http://www.virtualbusinesshq.com/InstallWP” it will take you to: “http://www.virtualbusinesshq.com/virtual-business-steps/install-wordpress”
    This is easier for people to remember and for you to include in Tweets or Facebook status updates.

 

Go on to Step 4: Work on a Practice Site

Go back to Step 2: Install WordPress and Choose a Theme