What is WordPress and what is it for?
WordPress is a web content management system or CMS that is mainly used to create blogs or personal or professional websites. It was developed in PHP and MySQL under GPL license with modifiable code. It has become the most popular on the internet because it is free and easy to use. Among its main characteristics, the following stand out:
- Easy installation, automatic update and customization.
- Multiple authors or users, along with their roles or profiles that establish different levels of permissions.
- Ability to create static pages.
- Allows you to sort articles and static pages into categories, subcategories and tags.
- Extensible through free and paid templates and plugins.
- Automatic positioning in search engines such as Google.
Any professional who wants to start or improve an internet business can have a low-cost blog or website thanks to this product to have a first profitable internet presence, such as:
- corporate web
- image gallery
- support website
- On-line shop
- electronic catalog of products.
Top Free WordPress Essential Plugins
The essential free plugins to optimize your WordPress blog are:
WordPress SEO by Yoast :
To optimize and improve the SEO web positioning of your blog by writing the titles, descriptions and keywords of your articles and that they are positioned in the search engines automatically. Generates XML Sitemaps that contain a map of your website that is automatically sent to search engines every time you publish an entry. It’s the best positioning I’ve ever used.
You can download it from the following link http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/
To prevent spam in the comments of your website. You can download it at the following address http://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/ You register and they give you a free API Key for personal blogs that you must insert to activate it.
W3 Total Cache:
To cache your WordPress website and load faster in case your hosting provider does not perform web caching. It is valued by Google for positioning and by users because it speeds up the loading of your website. Its link is http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/ . It is recommended that you read the instructions or watch the video to configure it correctly.
WordPress Database Backup:
To have a backup of your MySQL database in case you want to migrate it to another hosting or suffer an attack on your Blog that deletes the data from the tables. You can also use the backups offered by your hosting provider with cPanel for example.
To have a floating bar in each entry that allows you to share your articles on the main social networks, you can use the Digg Digg plugin and configure which networks you can share the articles on. If you are on a PC, look at the floating bar on the left or at the social network links at the end of the post to share the article.
It is a mega plugin with many components that you should not activate all of them because it can overload your WordPress. There is a module that allows you to share your articles on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and many more. Available at http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
I recommend not to abuse the plugins in your WordPress because they can slow down the loading of your website if you have many assets. Use only the basic and essential ones for SEO, Spam, Social, Security and statistics that I just mentioned.
Also Read: Social Media Mistakes You Should Avoid
The Best WordPress SEO Plugins For Your New Website
If you have the paid version of WordPress and you want to be able to correctly position your blog posts or your web sections in search engines, you will need a series of well-configured WordPress SEO Plugins like the ones I recommend below.
Plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast
This plugin from the famous Dutch Joost de Valk is going to do 70% of the SEO On Page of our website. It has several configuration options that you can see on its WordPress SEO Yoast page and it is the most used together with the All In One SEO Pack that is simpler.
By activating this Google Analyticator plugin we can enter the Google Analytics account ID in the form UA-XXXXXX-Y in our WordPress and thus be able to see the complete web statistics of our site.
Google XML Sitemaps
If you don’t like the sitemaps (sitemap.xml) that Yoast generates, I recommend you disable it from Yoast and use this Google XML Sitemaps plugin to generate the automatic sitemap.xml of the map and send it to Yahoo, Google and Bing search engines every time that you generate a new entry of your blog. This file contains the pages and entries of your website to ask Google to index them the next time it crawls your site.
W3 Total Cache
The loading time of a page has an important influence on search engine positioning and according to Google it should be less than 3 seconds. For this we need a complete plugin like W3Total Cache or a simpler one like WP Super Cache that allows us to automatically cache the pages of our website in order to avoid unnecessary requests or queries to the database of a page or post that it doesn’t change much over time and thus make the page load faster. In this way, every time a page on your website is requested, the user visits a cached copy or stored in memory.
WP Smush It
I often see WordPress blogs that have unoptimized images that are a bit heavy, slowing down the loading time of the web page. This WP Smush It plugin will allow us to optimize JPG images automatically every time you write an entry or a page or all the ones you have at once.
This free seo plugin is more complete than Yoast because it implements rich snippets and allows you to optimize an article for several keywords with a score.
Among the most important tasks, it allows you to do the following:
- Write articles optimized for a few target keywords.
- Write the meta titles and descriptions of your pages and posts.
- Control which pages are indexed and crawled with sitemap and robots.txt files
- Do 301 redirects without installing another plugin.
- Verify ownership of google search console.
- Do an on-page seo analysis of your website.
Broken link checker
This plugin tells you the broken links or 404 errors that the pages and articles of your website have and allows you to manually correct them one by one.
Really simple SSL
This plugin activates the https protocol that gives security and confidence to your website when transmitting data from your website. It requires that you have a certificate previously installed on the web server.
This plugin compresses the images that you upload to your WordPress pages and articles so that they weigh less on your website and the loading time is reduced. It also removes the EXIF metadata with the time, camera, and location of the photo. Defer loading images below the viewable area until the page has loaded. This reduces your server load and speeds up page load time.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin
This plugin inserts articles related to an article on your blog to increase the time spent on your website by increasing the number of page views and lowering the bounce rate. The user experience has recently become a weight positioning factor
Table of contents Plus
This plugin creates a summary of the sections of the post that are in the titles and subtitles, facilitating reading and creating an index at the beginning of the article that allows you to click and reach each section.
Google has recognized that speed is an important ranking factor and this is the best plugin to speed up your WordPress with as little effort as possible. It’s worth paying for everything it does in a few clicks as long as you have decent web hosting.
Among the functions that it has, they highlight and accelerate your website are the following:
- Cache of your web pages.
- Compression of static HTML, Javasscript and CSS files.
- Lazy loading of images.
- GZIP compression.
- Database optimization.
- Optimization Google Fonts.
- From €44 you have it for one year with free support and updates.
A correct configuration of these WordPress plugins with a good search engine positioning strategy appropriate to the objectives and the type of website together with the domain of the Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics will allow us to improve the positioning of your blog or website made with WordPress.