You've got your WordPress site up and running with default WordPress plugins - now what?
It's an empty box. There are posts and pages, but you have to put in the content and the images, a method of contact and some way to collect emails, so that if at some point you would like to sell people things or let them know what your next event is - or even just ask them for some feedback. You have to do all of it - so how do you do that?
Plugins add functionality, they add flexibility to your site and, yes, they are the flesh on the bare bones of your site.
You'll get some default plugins with your website:
Hello Dolly, which is basically a joke from the WordPress community
Akismet to reduce the amount of spam signupsThe appalling jetpack - which is okay if you're a beginner, but there are better ways of doing everything Jetpack does, without the bloat.
What are the essential plugins for your WordPress site?
Essential plugins cover security, search engine, optimization, bloat, speed and optimization of things that are going on that you may not even want to know about. Things like database optimization and image optimization.
Once you've got the basic plugins sorted you'll maybe want some advanced plugins to solve problems or to add even more functionality.
You may want to add a page builder to help you with design; or a membership site so that your visitors can get special protected content just for them; maybe you want to sell something - maybe you want to have something like an Etsy shop - or maybe you'd like to set up forums or social interaction for your members.
All those are pretty advanced and you don't need them to begin with, but they're available for when you want them in the future.
How do you choose the right plugins?
There isn't actually a right answer to that. If you talk to any front-end or back-end developer, they
will give you different answers. I have my favorites, but the thing to do is to make sure that they play nice together, otherwise you get auto correct.
You can do all this yourself - it's cheap and in fact, it's the cheapest way of doing it and the best way to learn. But it is a bit of a learning curve and some of these plugins, for example the security plugins, can give you a lot of notifications that give you a heart attack.
And because you're spending all that time learning how to do the technical stuff on the back end you'll never get that time back for doing what you actually want to do, whatever that is.
The answer is to employ a freelancer - like me, for example!
Setting up your 10 essential plugins is reasonably cheap; it's also fast because, well, I have a lot of experience with it and what might take you four or five hours will take me a lot less time.
I know what the most useful plugins are - the ones that you will come back to and be glad you have, again and again and again. Click the link to find me on Fiverr. The link will take you direct in my gig for installing my particular 10 best plugins for your WordPress site.
Installation covers: security, basic SEO, basic optimization and one or two other things that you will find very useful like a method for people to contact you - that's always a good one! - a method to get people's email addresses for when you want to contact them.
I'll also be glad to help you if you've got anything else that you think you might like for your WordPress site but you're not sure how to do it. Just contact me on Fiverr and I'll give you a customized offer.
Do you have some favourite WordPress plugins? Leave a comment below to say what they are.