WordPress for Beginners: Some Helpful Plug-ins

Next up in our WordPress for Beginners series are a few of my favorite and most useful plug-ins, how to upload them and a small demo of a couple of them.  Plug-ins are what make WordPress so glorious.

  • how to upload them in 2 different ways
  • using a featured gallery
  • the advantages of adrotate, need url for adding an ad (ad code)
  • backups
  • setting up a contact form

I’m sure you have noticed that there are a million choices for plug-ins, some free and some not.  So many, in fact, that one could really get lost in the world of plug-ins.  Plug-in choices are definitely subjective, so you may not like my choices and love others that I don’t particularly care for.

Some work well with your chosen theme, and you will find others make your blog go haywire (I’ve experienced a few of those).  So be extra careful in selecting only the necessary and beneficial plug-ins.  Always err on the side of conservatism with plug-ins, and if something does act up on your site, suspect a plug-in.  Another tip is to delete inactive plug-ins, as they, too, use up your site’s resources and can cause site loading delays.  Update plug-ins as new updates come in for better functionality with your current version of WordPress.

 How to Install a Plug-In to your WordPress Blog:

  1. Click “Plugins” on the left of your Dashboard.
  2. Click “Add New.”
  3. If you know the name or author or some keyword of a particular plug-in you are looking for, enter it in the search box.
  4. You will most likely see a host of plug-ins that may possibly fit what you are looking for.  Once you find the right one, click “Install.”
  5. Make sure to activate it.
  6. If configuring of a particular plug-in is needed, then you would do that at this point. If you need instructions on this, feel free to email me, but most plug-ins have a site you can visit with instructions and even screenshots.

Yet another way to install a plug-in is via FTP in your server, but if you don’t know what you are doing, try going the route that I described above or find someone more knowledgeable that can help you.

My Favorite Plug-ins: (You can search for these on the Plug-in Directory)

  • Featured Content Gallery (Refer to my video below for more information)
  • AdRotate (Refer to my video below for more information)
  • 123contact Form for WordPress (Click to see what a Contact Form looks like)
  • And the Winner is… (This is great if you don’t use Rafflecopter)
  • Article Templates (Suggested use for this is if you have a format you constantly use)
  • WordPress Database Backup (Hopefully your server also backups your content as well, but this is helpful when you need to restore it in a pinch.)
  • Wibiya Toolbar (I love this but it doesn’t work with my blog for some reason) 
  • Wordbooker (Integrates your Blog and you FaceBook account)
  • Tweetmeme Retweet Button (A button to allow you to retweet your blog posts)
  • Stumble Me (To share your posts on Stumble Upon)
  • Subscribe to Comments (Allows readers to subscribe to comments on a particular post)
  • Smart Youtube (Easy and customizable way of adding YouTube videos to your posts)
  • Related Posts Thumbnails (Customizable way to show related posts at the end of your posts)
  • Move Comments (A way to quickly and easily move selected comments from one post or page to another)
  • Pin It on Pinterest (Adds a Pin It button at the end of selected posts)
  • Page Links To (Allows you to point a page or post to an URL of your choosing)
  • Members (To control the premissions and access of different roles or users)
  • Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering (Numbering comments)
  • Google XML Sitemaps (Supposedly generates a special sitemap that helps search engines to better index blog, but I can’t verify that)
  • Akismet (Protects from commment spam)

Some Plug-ins you might like but I don’t use:

  • Several of you are importing posts from Blogger into WordPress and there are several plug-ins that would be beneficial to you.  Again, email me if you want a list of those.
  • Of course if you use GFC, you will want to use Google Friend Connect Integration.
  • One plug-in that many bloggers like to use but I personally find annoying on many levels is What Would Seth Godin Do (It displays a welcome message to new visitors and a different one to return visitors).
  • Like I’ve said before, I use my own icons for my social media websites on my sidebar, so I just use the “Text” widget to add the html.  However, you might prefer Social Media Widget rather than doing it manually like me.

Here is a video demo on AdRotate and Featured Content Gallery:

Topics we’ve covered in this series:


Please email us or use the comment section for any questions or suggestions on topics you’d like to see covered.  If you need migrating or designing assistance, please contact CreativeBlogMe or if you need hosting services, I recommend Just Host.


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