I’ve been using WP for a while now and I figured I’d share some of my secrets. I understand how hard it can be to teach yourself WordPress blogging but I’ve been consulting my expert, Ms. Google, and she helps me attain everything I’d ever need to (ask for) online.
Akismet: Your WordPress blog comes naturally with this amazing spam filter, but you do need to sign up to get an API on their website. To sign up for an API key, click here. Star that email that you get because you’ll probably need that key later on in your blogging career. You can use it with multiple blogs.
Goto Plugins>Activate Akismet>Settings>Paste your API Key & update.
SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam: Adds a captcha to your comments so that it keeps spammers at bay. You can tweak a few things under settings like tying it to your Akismet or making users enter captcha when they log in, register, comment, etc.
One Click Plugin Updater: One day, you’re going to happen upon your WordPress dashboard and there will be a number of plugins that need to be updated. Sucks that they take like 2 minutes each to install, unpackage, reactivate, :-p. That’s where this plugin comes in. Even if you have 10 plugins that need updating, a thin yellow ribbon with an update button that simply aggregates, then automates your updating process.
WPTouch: Everything’s going mobile. Duh. Want someone to be able to read your site on their iPhone or Blackberry? This formats your blog to work well with mobile. No, you’re not going to have all your flash, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier for those users. Yes, you’re going to have to be a little technical (get your Adsense and Adwords information handy!), but there’s a lot of stuff that goes into this plugin and you might at least want to check it out.
Tweetmeme: Simple Twitter plugin. Makes it so that users who are logged into Twitter can click the “tweet” button to update their personal Twitter followers and simultaneously add to the TweetMeme.com news feed.
Google Analyticator: Easy install for Google Analytics. Don’t have GA? Click here and get on that! There’s a lot that goes into this so click the Analyticator link and it will help get you started.
Visitor Maps and Who’s Online:Want to stalk your readers? This is taking analytics to the next level. It does need Maxmind GeoLiteCity which will automatically install once you install the VMWO plugin.
There are honestly so many more plugins I use, including SEO helpers, but these are the basics I think you should at least start out with. If you have any questions, please consult the documentation for each plugin. If you would like further on-site help, I am also available for a very reasonable fee 🙂 Email me!
Akismet is probably the most remarkable WP Plug in I’ve seen. Remarkably elegant, you don’t even really know it’s there but it’s doing its job.
Yeah, how about database site backup and child themes and all that. I had to update the WP software and the theme and so I was able to create a child theme although I don’t know if I did it right. I still lost the logo image for my site and had to put it back. But since I hadn’t done too much customization I was able to do it rather easily. I know there are backup and WP and theme updating plugins, but I’m skeered to pick one. Isn’t there a downside to having a bunch of crazy plugins from who knows where all up in your database?
Certain Plugins aren’t going to work with others. They get all up in the faces of other Plugins and all hell breaks loose in your coding. I know that’s an ambiguous answer however I do know this first hand as well and does exist and it’s a big problem :-p
Every time I install a new theme, or revert to an older one, I seem to have to upload everything again–get ready for a few hours of tweaking it to your liking and make sure you have your artwork at hand.. a lot of times if you copy the link of the image prior to the re-theming, you can use that image link (resizing sucks though). A lot of times the change is because there is another CMS inside the new WP CMS and it wipes out the original settings. If you’re ever going to do a total rework of a website, I suggest testing it on a database in a folder other than your root, then exporting/importing settings when you’re ready to go live.
You’ve ALWAYS got to back up your FULL database prior to changing anything drastic though. Before activating, deactivating.. who knows if the recent WP 3.3.1 update screws it up for one plugin and all of a sudden you can’t log in because that page is corrupted now? Play it safe and don’t use too many Plugins. This list has changed since I wrote it however I’m currently always installing: Akismet, All in One SEO Pack, Page Links To, TweetMeme, and One Click Plugin Updater <3