When you start a WordPress blog and select a theme, another task you’ll want to look at are the various WordPress plugins that are available to enhance your blog. Here are a few core WordPress plugins to consider.
WordPress plugins allow you to add extra functionality to your WordPress blog. For example, one of the first plugins you activate on your WordPress blog is a plugin called Akismet. Akismet catches most of the spam your blog receives.
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.”
Akismet is brilliant because you just activate it in the beginning when you start your blog and it just sits there and does its thing. Read more about it here.
One of the first plugins you’ll want to install after you activate Akismet is the WordPress backup plugin called WP-DB-Backup. When you activate it you’ll be able to select when your WordPress blog is backed up and how you want those backups sent to you or stored.
For my blog I’ve set the backup to be emailed to me once a day. I know it doesn’t sound like an exciting plugin but it will save you a lot of time and frustration when bad things happen to good blogs. 🙂 Just do it. Yes, I’ve even had to use the backup to restore one of my other blogs.
One of the first WordPress Pages you’ll want to provide on your blog so people can contact you is a contact form. A WordPress Page typically shows up as a menu choice on your blog. If you look at the menu on my blog you’ll see the Contact menu choice. This menu choice represents a WordPress Page.
After creating a Contact page, you’ll want to install the actual form where your readers will be able to enter information to get in touch with you. Here are three contact forms you can try and then decide what you like. I use cforms because it’s extremely flexible to customize in every way imaginable. Of course with flexibility sometimes comes complexity.
These plugins aren’t the most exciting ones but are core plugins that will help keep your blog safe and offer your readers a way to get a hold of you.
More to come on WordPress plugins. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss more plugins that will enhance the functionality of your blog. I’ll also be providing a short video on how to install plugins.