Knowing what plugins to use when you first get started with WordPress is overwhelming.
We have several WordPress plugins that we recommend to make building and promoting your site easier. There are literally hundreds of plugins out there. And while the right ones are essential to getting your site to do the things you need it to do, you want to run your site with as few plugins as possible. Since they are written by different coders, you can end up with conflicts if you’re not careful.
This also goes for WordPress themes. There are great ones and not so great ones out there. Read the reviews, check to make sure both themes and plugins are compatible with the most current version of WordPress AND that they are being maintained. We only mention themes here because our first plugin recommenation is a bit of an overlap between plugins and themes.
Our upcoming tutorial video #1 will walk you through plugin and theme installation, plus you can let us know if you have questions and we’ll do our best to help. (I’ll come back and link it here when it’s live)
Our WordPress Plugin List
Tops on our plugin list is Elementor. They offer both a free and pro version. If you get our annual hosting plan, you’ll get Elementor Pro included with your plan. If you’re hosting elsewhere, we highly recommend the pro version. Elementor is a page/theme builder that offers exceptional functionality. Not only does it help you design headers, footers, blog posts without knowing code, you can add forms, galleries, call to action, social media components – there are 50+ widgets to help you drag, drop, and accomplish almost anything your site will need. You can use Elementor with any compatible theme, but the simplest is the Hello Theme (free) designed by Elementor. It’s basically a blank slate, giving you free reign to easily design a unique site.
If you’re not hosting with #thehashtaggirls, you can get Elementor Pro HERE.
Next up is Smash Balloon Instagram Feed. The one thing I wish Elementor had was a way to include your Instagram feed on your site. But Smash Balloon accomplishes this quickly and easily. For most of you the free version will be totally sufficient, but they do offer some amazing features in their paid program. Learn more HERE.
Are you concerned about SEO?
If SEO is important to you, then Yoast SEO should be next on your list. Again the free version is powerful and excellent for just about everyone especially when you’re just starting out. While Yoast won’t tell you what keywords are trending, it will make sure you have enough in your posts and that it’s optimized to give you the greatest chance of SEO success. Yoast offers some great free tutorials at yoast.com/academy
For those utilizing social media (who isn’t these days…) and may want to run advertising in the future, we’d like to recommend Pixel Your Site. It’s another plugin with robust free features. You can connect your Facebook, Pinterest, Google analytics, and more with this one service. A Pixel is small bit of code on your site that allows Facebook, Pinterest, and others to track visitors. Ever visited a website and then started seeing ads from them? That’s from a pixel (no they’re not looking over your shoulder or reading your mind). Even if you aren’t at a point to run ads right now, it’s helpful to be gathering that information.
We have a few other plugins on our sites – to connect our MailerLite account, some that help with layouts for recipes, and if you’re running an online store, there are others that help you get the most out of Woocommerce. If you’d like to chat about our recommendations, don’t hesitate to message us or schedule a 15 minute free consult.
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