WordPress is not only the most popular blogging platform but it’s also the most used website platform people use all around the world. Almost 25% of websites today are on WordPress platform and you can imagine that it has something extra for every website owner.
WordPress is equipped with themes that can make your website look awesome and plugins that play an important role in adding extra functionalities.
Let’s start with the basics, the login screen – http://yourblogname.com/wp-admin/
will take you to the login screen, where you add username and password that was entered at the time of installation of your wordpress blog.
Login screen looks like :
After logging in you will be presented with your dashboard, where you will see all kind of details of your posts, comments and pages.
You will also see a quick draft mode and wordpress news module, which can be disabled via “Screen Options” at top right corner of your blog.
The next essential place to visit, just after you setup and login for the first time is to change the Title of your blog.
Title of your blog can be changed via – “Settings > General” on the left side of your navigation menu.
This is how it looks, the general settings page –
You can change the title of your blog, add a tagline and change email address for administrator account, etc. from here.
Writing your first article is under the same left navigation and can be found under “Posts > Add New”
You will see a variety of text box and fields in the add new post field. “Enter title here” is textbox for entering your post’s title. Below it you will see “Add Media” button from where you can upload images, audio, video to your blog.
After that you will formatting options just like in a Word document. You can play with text sizes, colors, heading, paragraph and much more.
The textbox below the formatting options is the area where you add text, images, videos etc to enter the post content. You can add new post, edit old ones and set schedules in this posting are.
Changing your Blog Theme
Adding themes, and using the ones that are already available for free in WordPress theme repository.
There might be more than 50k+ themes available at any moment and all of them are free to use on your WordPress blog.
You can change your blog theme via – “Appearance > Themes” and clicking on “Add New” or follow link http://yourblogname.com/wp-admin/theme-install.php
You can also upload your own themes and make your blog look like anything.
Let’s move on to the plugins part now, below you will find some really essential WordPress plugins that I recommend strongly.
Most Essential Plugins for Your WordPress Blog
Essential plugins in your WordPress blog will not only boost your website traffic, but also security and piece of mind. In this article you will find those must have WordPress plugins that are used by me and the experts of WordPress.
So, let’s get started with one of the most popular and the used WordPress plugin.
Its one of the most popular plugin in WordPress. Why? Because it helps you in Search engine optimization (SEO). Another notable plugin that I have used in past is All in One SEO plugin, which is again a pretty great plugin.
Using a shared or VPS web hosting environment can make your website slow due to other websites on your server getting high traffic, so you need to have a caching plugin that allow your html files to be compressed and delivered quickly.
Caching plugin that I have used in past also include – WP Super Cache, still a good option, and much easier to setup.
A sitemap will tell Google about a new post published and those you have modified on your blog.
Although SEO plugin from above comes with a XML sitemap, but I prefer to use a separate plugin for Sitemap, as Google XML Sitemap is more organized and way better according to me.
If you want your site visitors to contact you via contact form, then this plugin is a must. I use it on every single blog I have.
Jetpack is another super duper plugin that I use for almost all blogs, it has several plugins inside it and its bundle of joy for bloggers. I can’t live without the Stats plugin that it has, I check my blog traffic, referrers, outgoing links, popular posts, search engine traffic all from within my WordPress dashboard.
For checking statistics, I also use Google Analytics, as it provides many more insights about your traffic.
You will find social share buttons in the left hand side of this blog and many others. Floating Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon etc can be seen on almost every big or even small websites. People that want to share your article can use these buttons and they bring social traffic to you. Another important plugin for social media growth.
These six WordPress plugins are highly essential and I recommend them strongly. I know these plugins are very few, but you don’t have install some plugins for the sake of it. More plugins will make your site load time longer. So, use plugins that you actually need and don’t overdo.