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A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins

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A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins

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One of the most confusing (and exciting) features of using WordPress is Plugins! But how do you know for sure which ones you absolutely need and which you should avoid at all costs? In this session, Christina Hills from https://www.WebsiteCreationWorkshop.com will walk you though, step-by-step, the various types of plugins you might need as well as how to properly evaluate and install them. Discover which free plugins are essential and know when and if it's time to upgrade to the Pro version. You'll also learn the exact steps to take when a plugin goes "bad" so your website is up and running in no time.

One of the most confusing (and exciting) features of using WordPress is Plugins! But how do you know for sure which ones you absolutely need and which you should avoid at all costs? In this session, Christina Hills from https://www.WebsiteCreationWorkshop.com will walk you though, step-by-step, the various types of plugins you might need as well as how to properly evaluate and install them. Discover which free plugins are essential and know when and if it's time to upgrade to the Pro version. You'll also learn the exact steps to take when a plugin goes "bad" so your website is up and running in no time.

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A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins

  1. 1. A Beginners Guide to Free WordPress Plugins with Christina Hills
  2. 2. #wcoc@christinahills What are WordPress Plugins?
  3. 3. @christinahills #wcoc Plugins are like Apps on Your Phone
  4. 4. @christinahills #wcoc Plugin Can Be: Fun or Functional
  5. 5. #wcoc@christinahills Fun: Falling Snow Plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-snow/
  6. 6. #wcoc@christinahills Functional: SEO Plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo
  7. 7. #wcoc@christinahills How Do You Evaluate a Plugin?
  8. 8. #wcoc@christinahills WordPress.org Plugin Directory1
  9. 9. @christinahills #wcoc Inside WordPress Admin2
  10. 10. #wcoc@christinahills Example: “Image Widget” Plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/image-widget/
  11. 11. #wcoc@christinahills Find Inside WP & Evaluate
  12. 12. #wcoc@christinahills Look at: - Version Compatibility - Active Installs - Star Ratings
  13. 13. #wcoc@christinahills Look for: - Screenshots - FAQ -Documentation
  14. 14. #wcoc@christinahills Find it on WordPress.org https://wordpress.org/plugins/image-widget/
  15. 15. #wcoc@christinahills How Active is the Support Forum?
  16. 16. #wcoc@christinahills Go to the Plugin Homepage
  17. 17. #wcoc@christinahills Do They Have a Pro Version?
  18. 18. #wcoc@christinahills Click to Install the Plugin
  19. 19. #wcoc@christinahills REMEMBER to Activate the Plugin!
  20. 20. #wcoc@christinahills See if the Plugin has a Special Settings Area
  21. 21. #wcoc@christinahills For “Widget” Plugins Go to the Widget Area
  22. 22. #wcoc@christinahills Check the General “Settings” Area
  23. 23. #wcoc@christinahills Some Plugins Have Their Own Settings Area
  24. 24. #wcoc@christinahills Save Your “Favorites” For Faster Install!
  25. 25. #wcoc@christinahills At WordPress.org Click “Heart” to Favorite
  26. 26. What is a Shortcode Plugin? [ ]
  27. 27. #wcoc@christinahills Plugin Shortcode: “[“ words in square brackets “]” [simple-sitemap]
  28. 28. #wcoc@christinahills Sitemap Shortcode: [simple-sitemap] in a Page
  29. 29. #wcoc@christinahills Resulting Page Created from that Shortcode
  30. 30. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery Shortcode: [foogallery id="133"] Visual View
  31. 31. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery Shortcode: [foogallery id="133"]
  32. 32. #wcoc@christinahills The FooGallery “Photo Album” Displayed
  33. 33. #wcoc@christinahills The Jetpack Plugin www.Jetpack.com
  34. 34. #wcoc@christinahills www.Jetpack.com/support Explains all Features
  35. 35. #wcoc@christinahills Tiled Galleries “Photon” Image Storage Related Posts Contact Form Stats Security Monitor Downtime Social Sharing Widget Visibility Extra Sidebar Widgets
  36. 36. #wcoc@christinahills If you are NOT a developer: Ignore Instructions that Involve code! Just say to yourself: “This is not for me!” www.Jetpack.com/support/site-breadcrumbs/
  37. 37. #wcoc@christinahills Always Update Your Plugins!
  38. 38. #wcoc@christinahills Look for the Orange Circles
  39. 39. #wcoc@christinahills Sometimes Plugins Get “Moldy”
  40. 40. #wcoc@christinahills Watch for Outdated Plugins that have this Warning!
  41. 41. #wcoc@christinahills Use “No Longer in Directory” Plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/no-longer-in-directory/
  42. 42. When Should You Upgrade to the Pro Version of a Plugin?
  43. 43. #wcoc@christinahills You Upgrade to the Pro Version For Support and More Features
  44. 44. Must Have Plugins List: Backup Security Under Construction Contact form Duplicate Post Image Widget Advanced Image Styles TinyMCE Advanced Caching plugin Redirection plugin Enhanced Media Library
  45. 45. Additional Plugins to Consider SEO Social Sharing Social Follow Related Posts Contact Form
  46. 46. #wcoc@christinahills Plugin Best Practices: ALWAYS keep plugins up to date. Delete plugins you are not using. Keep the number of plugins at a minimum Be nice in plugin support forums!
  47. 47. #wcoc@christinahills Graphic courtesy of SixRevisions.com
  48. 48. #wcoc@christinahills Donate to Keep Plugin Authors Happy!
  49. 49. @christinahills #wcoc So Gather Your Army of Plugins
  50. 50. Connect with Christina Hills Twitter: @christinahills Email: christina@websitecreationworkshop.com

Editor's Notes

  • Hello I am Christina Hills, and welcome to the webinar today.

    Today I am going to share with you How You Can Easily Create a Beautiful Website in WordPress, Even if You Hate Technology..

    I’ll explain more in just a few minutes...
  • Plugins are tools to extend the functionality of WordPress. It is software add-ons to “turbo charge” your WordPress website.

    Plugins are optional; you don't have to have them for WordPress to work. However, they greatly add to the appearance and /or functionality of your WordPress website. Think of them as the 'bells and whistles' added to your website.
  • Note: Search WordPress.org for the most up to date snow and other animation plugins. It’s quite fun to add during the holiday in December!
    You can find that plugin here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/nksnow/ (outdated now)
    so try this one https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-snow/
  • Some plugins are to manage your site
  • 2 Ways
  • Go To WordPress.org to further search and evaluate – also called the repository

    It is easier to evaluate plugins by going to the www.WordPress.org/plugins site to research a plugin that you find inside of your admin area. It’s because the documentation is laid out better.
  • Tip: Look for Plugins with a high star rating. They tend to have been tested by more people.

    Note: You can install a plugin right away and try it, or you can evaluate it first.
  • Social Media Icon Widget Settings

    This image shows the custom widget for the Social Media Icons Plugin.
  • Social Media Icon Widget Settings

    This image shows the custom widget for the Social Media Icons Plugin.
  • Search on WordPress.org for the plugin you are interested in.

    Tip: Because WordPress.org forces the plugin authors to use a specific format when describing their plugins, it is MUCH easier to evaluate it this way vs. going to the plugin site.
  • Social Media Icon Widget Settings

    This image shows the custom widget for the Social Media Icons Plugin.
  • Do the Plugin Authors Have a Monetization Model? Are they making money? Are they committed to maintaining this plugin?

    Should you upgrade to pro?
  • Look on the left to see if Your Plugin Has Options

    Note: Sometimes the plugin settings are below the Settings menu in its own special section. So just look around your admin area.
  • Social Media Icon Widget Settings

    This image shows the custom widget for the Social Media Icons Plugin.
  • Look on the left to see if Your Plugin Has Options

    Note: Sometimes the plugin settings are below the Settings menu in its own special section. So just look around your admin area.
  • Look on the left to see if Your Plugin Has Options

    Note: Sometimes the plugin settings are below the Settings menu in its own special section. So just look around your admin area.
  • You can find a free plugin from WordPress in 1 of 4 ways:
    - You can look at the ‘Featured’, ‘Popular’, ‘Recommended’, or ‘Favorites’
    - You can look at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory at http://wordpress.org/plugins/
    - You can use the Search box and search on a keyword/tag
    - You can click on one of the tags to bring up all Plugins with that keyword/tag

    Tip: You can also do a Google search to find Plugins. Make sure you trust the source before downloading anything. That's why I get most of my Plugins from within the WordPress admin, as you then know they come from WordPress.org a trusted site.

    Teach the favorite ones
  • You can find a free plugin from WordPress in 1 of 4 ways:
    - You can look at the ‘Featured’, ‘Popular’, ‘Recommended’, or ‘Favorites’
    - You can look at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory at http://wordpress.org/plugins/
  • Sometimes plugins use what is called a ‘shortcode’. Shortcode have brackets ‘[‘ and ‘]’ to let WordPress know to insert the plugin into the page/post.
  • Tip: Simple Sitemap by David Gywer automatically builds a special page that is a sitemap so that visitors can see the entire map of the website.
    See plugin here:
    http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-sitemap/
  • Sometimes plugins use what is called a ‘shortcode’. Shortcode have brackets ‘[‘ and ‘]’ to let WordPress know to insert the plugin into the page/post.
  • Sometimes plugins use what is called a ‘shortcode’. Shortcode have brackets ‘[‘ and ‘]’ to let WordPress know to insert the plugin into the page/post.
  • Sometimes plugins use what is called a ‘shortcode’. Shortcode have brackets ‘[‘ and ‘]’ to let WordPress know to insert the plugin into the page/post.
  • Sometimes the Options Have Their Own Section

    Note: This Plugin will make a site mobile responsive if the WordPress theme is not already mobile responsive.
  • Sometimes the Options Have Their Own Section

    Note: This Plugin will make a site mobile responsive if the WordPress theme is not already mobile responsive.
  • ALWAYS keep plugins up to date.  Delete plugins not active and delete plugins you are not using.  Strive to keep the number of plugins at a minimum
  • If you see that warning, best to use another plugin!
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordcents/
  • Beaver builder

  • Related posts
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/

  • Related posts
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/yet-another-related-posts-plugin/
  • Donate to keep plugin developers motivated!

    Give a review

    When you ask for support, to ask nicely
  • ×