With the standard installation of WordPress you can actually start blogging immediately. But there are some plugins that should be installed to give the user more control or options. These plugins affect the media library, social media implementation, search engine optimization etc.
The following plugins are highly recommended:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
Even though this plugin is still a beta, it is already highly recommended. It will let the user create SEO titles, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs and much more.
- Broken Link Checker
This plugin checks if links that are used in blog posts are broken. If so, then it will show the broken link in the backend on the dashboard.
- MapPress Easy Google Maps
MapPress makes it easy to insert Google Maps in WordPress posts and pages.
This plugin adds Open Graph Protocol Data to the metadata of a WordPress blog. This metadata is used when sharing a blog post on Facebook. The first image of a post will be shown, like the title and description.
SexyBookmarks adds share buttons under a post of a page. The user can define which share services should be shown. Be careful with the URL shortening though, because this can slow down the loading time of the page.
- NextGEN Gallery
Wordpress comes with a media library that does its job pretty well. NextGEN Gallery is also a media library, but then 10 times better. It comes with tons of options, and a blog post can contain multiple image galleries. The disadvantage is that it needs a lot of memory.
- Smart Youtube
Easy inserting of YouTube videos into posts with full customization. Just copy and paste the Youtube link into the blog post and change http:// to httpv:// or httpvh:// for hd video.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog. Fully customizable.
- Facebook Like Button for Dummies
Automatically add configurable Facebook Like buttons. Just install and activate. This plugin adds by the way also the OG metadata, so when this one is used, the plugin WP-OGP is obsolete.
These plugins provide all the functionality that most of the people want/need for their blog. The user can write blog posts that support all kind of media, link related posts to each other, optimize the blog for search enginges and let visitors share their favourite content with just 1 click.
The next part of this tutorial series will describe how to write a blogpost using WordPress.