5 WordPress Plugins to Activate Your Blog

WordPress plugins let beginners who can’t/won’t code a way to break through the technical brick wall preventing amateurs from building and improving blogs. Here are 5 WordPress Plugins for Basic Blogging

5 WordPress Plugins for Basic Blogging

WordPress plugins let beginners who can’t/won’t code a way to break through the technical brick wall preventing amateurs from building and improving blogs.

WordPress plugins get beginners get past the Brick WallThis article began when I was green and has been updated with my experiences.

1. WordPress Popular Posts Shows what the world likes most on your blog

Forget what you think is good.  Visitors will tell you.  This WordPress Plugin lets you set what “popular” means– whether it’s page views or comments — and shows popular posts in a Widget you place anywhere.

2. EZPZ One Click Backup Adventure with a safety net!

An early computer game had a robot sidekick who piped up every time you saved the game and said, “Oh goody are we going to do something dangerous?”  If you like to experiment with your bog (and who doesn’t?) back it up before you get nuts.  Note:  When using WordPress’ auto upgrade it is necessary to deactivate then reactivate EZPZ One Click Backup.  Postscript:  I couldn’t make EZPZ work.  Now using WP Tools Backup but looking for something truly EZ.  Comments welcome.

3. TinyMCE Advanced Old fashioned keyboard functions

Being an old-school typer, I enjoy being able to put in “carriage returns” as I write. See the post on TinyMCE Advanced.

4. HeadSpace2 Writing for Web Crawlers

The HeadSpace 2 blurb says it well, “Meta-data manager on steroids, allowing complete control over all SEO needs such as keywords/tags, titles, description, stylesheets, and many many other goodies.”  Lots of blank spaces to fool with and hope to generate web traffic.  Does it work?  Ask me in a few months.

Postscript:  Headspace2 is terrific but WordPress SEO by Yoast is scary powerful

5. W3 Total Cache An outboard motor for your bathtub duck

For your own peace of mind, back up your blog before attaching this amazingly powerful Plugin.  Some very weird stuff happened to me, but I checked loading performance before and after, and it works.  The part that didn’t work for me was “Content Delivery Network support via self-hosted / file transfer protocol upload.”  Still, the other parts improved performance.  Update:  This actually isn’t working that well — turning off minify seems to return the Theme settings.  Try WP SuperCache, which has been performing perfectly.  Here’s an article and detailed discussion on WP SuperCache versus W3 Total Cache.

Find any of these in the WordPress plugins by searching on Add New Plugins in your WP menu.

Detailed beginner instructions on how to use WordPress plugins

WordPress Tips #5 – 7

Continuing the blogsnewsreviews.com ridiculously simple WordPress advice

WordPress Tip #5

When you are writing Posts (or Pages) pay attention to the two tabs in the upper right corner of the workspace, namely, “Visual” and “HTML.”  What you can do to your text is quite different depending on which one is clicked.  Don’t be afraid to examine code.  It’s not rocket science, although it takes some getting used to.  For the Page version of this article, I started breaking up the Tips using a little piece of code: <!–nextpage–>  You just paste it in while the HTML tab is on, and it makes a new page.

WordPress Tip #6

As powerful as WordPress is, not all instructions and explanation are as clear as others.  Some “help” files seem to start out easy enough, and the tone is always friendly, but I get confused, especially by articles that embed references to very elementary articles while explaining something rather complicated.  An article I found quite helpful is Administration Panels. When you find instructions that are making sense, save them and re-read them. I got enough guidance from my web hosting company to get my WordPress site up and running.  BlueHost supports one-click installation of WordPress.  I have been so impressed with their kind and patient customer support (by people based in Utah) that I decided to become an affiliate. If you have gained some confidence that even an amateur can eventually figure out WordPress, I hope you will click through here if you decide to host a site.  It’s a pretty cheap hobby and some people say you can eventually make some money.

WordPress Tip #7 Find inspiration.

When I decided to start a blog, I found a couple of tremendously helpful sites, offering solid guidance on how to “monetize” you site.  One of these is Problogger, who offers solid information and does not blow sunshine up your skirt about getting rich quick on the Internet.

Shows, rather than tells, how quality content can make a difference.  Very inspirational.

WordPress Tip #3 Only One Blog in WordPress

WordPress Tip #3: Only One Blog in WordPress

WordPress is set up to make only one Blog, that is, one collection of Posts. The main blog is set up to accept your most recent Post, and display it at the top of the Blog. You can’t make more than one Blog.

As Many Pages as You Like

But in WordPress you can make as many Pages as you like.  Pages are intended to be static, that is, unchanging.  A Page, well polished and with specific guidance to the reader, is often used as a “landing page.”  WordPress users commonly create an “About” page to orient the reader about the site’s author(s), its mission and topic, and links to sections of the blog.  Pages may be added to Menus, which you select and treat like a Widget, posting a Menu of Pages on a topic that might interest your readers, or any collection criterion you decide.  But Menus do not update automatically the way the Blog does.

Themes

If you want to make a Page look different you can change its Theme, that is, the set of computer instructions that determine the page layout, and available free from WordPress or from a vendor.  You will find a lot of talk about Themes, and there are many you can download.  But no one mentions how to set a different Theme for a page.  I found it hidden under “advanced” in a plugin called HeadSpace2. It may be elsewhere but I found it there. What is a “plugin” you ask?  See the answer in WordPress Tip #4.