- Plugins are a vital part of the WordPress ecosystem and can greatly enhance your WordPress site. Now that you know what they are and how they work, you're probably trying to send me messages through internet ESP saying "Morton! Tell me what plugins to install "to make my site awesome!" I'm not going to do that. Because I don't know what plugins and functions your particular site needs or would benefit from. Instead, I'll give you some suggestions on types of plugins that can be useful for most sites and point you to further courses that talk about these in more detail.
First up, although WordPress is about a secure CMS as you can get, there's always room for further securing your site. Securing WordPress is a science all its own, but for that quick fix, there are two types of solutions you should consider. First, plugins that protect your site from attack, and second, plugins that back up your content. To protect your site, I recommend plugins like Limit Login Attempts, that block brute force attacks, and alos adding Two-Factor Authentication to make malicious logins virtually impossible.
You can learn more about this in the course WordPress Developer Tips: Locking Down WordPress, and in particular in chapter four, Essential Security Add-ons. For backup, I recommend implementing some form of off-site solution, either free or as a service. To learn more about this, you can check out the course WordPress Plugins: Backing Up Your Site. Next, no site is complete without an easy way for people to contact you. I recommend adding a contact form to your site so people can easily send you messages and you can protect yourself from e-mail spam.
There are several great plugins available that help you add custom contact forms to your site, including free and for-pay options. In the course WordPress Plugins: Contact Forms I showcase several options and give you a clear idea of how to set up and use each. To gain readers and spark sharing, it's important to have social sharing tools integrated into your site. There are many different plugins available that can do this, and in the course WordPress Plugins: Social Media Buttons I dive into this in detail. And while on the topic, your content will also benefit from being customized for social sharing.
This can be done using one of several SEO, or search engine optimization plugins. I know that sounds wrong, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The course WordPress Plugins: SEO walks you through different options and shows you how to get the most out of each. If your site features images and image galleries, it can be a good idea to add a lightbox and gallery plugin for a better user experience. There are too many different options to choose from here to create a course, and since they all do pretty much the same thing, just in slightly different ways, I leave it up to you to find the one that fits your site the best.
Just remember, you're looking for something called lightboxes, they're the ones that, when you click on an image, pop up to show the image in a larger format. Finally, if you find the prospect of digging through the plugin directory on the hunt for the best plugin too much of a commitment right now, there's a solution that solves many of the tasks above in one neat package. The Jetpack plugin is actually a series of plugins that use the power of wordpress.com to add features like brute force protection, two-factor authentication, contact forms, social media sharing, image galleries, and more, to your self-hosted site.
Jetpack requires a free wordpress.com account, and introduces a lot of features you will probably never use, but if you're itching to get going, it can be a good start.
Note: This course covers an older version of WordPress, which features the Classic Editor. Watch this course only if you are using the Classic Editor plugin or using WordPress 4.9 or earlier. Otherwise, watch WordPress 5 Essential Training, which covers the new Block Editor experience.
- Creating posts and pages
- Formatting text
- Publishing and scheduling posts
- Adding images, audio, and video
- Bulk editing posts and pages
- Customizing themes and menus
- Using widgets
- Extending WordPress with plugins
- Editing users profiles
- Configuring settings
- Getting new readers
- Keeping WordPress up to date and secure
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know WordPress
What is WordPress?3m 30s
2. Getting Started
3. Creating Posts
4. Adding Images and Media
5. Creating Pages
6. Managing Content
7. Changing the Appearance of Your Site
8. Extending WordPress with Plugins
9. Users and User Profiles
10. Configuring Settings
11. Getting, and Interacting with, Readers
12. WordPress: Behind the Curtain
13. Maintenance and Security
Keeping up to date6m 59s
14. Diving Further into the World of WordPress
Going further with WordPress2m 29s
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