The course took place at the campus of Lillebaelt Academy (ErhvervsAkademiet Lillebælt in Danish). Around 100 students and teachers participated.
The point of the course is to allow novices in web publishing to set up a site and know the basics of why and how when it comes to design, security etc.
I recorded the lesson so the participants can review it later.
The third lesson started with a continuation of widgets, which we touched upon in the last lesson.
Then I examined some of what plugins can do for a WP page and why they are an essential part of the experience. This was illustrated with examples of some good plugins and where to find them.
The lesson ended with a brief introduction to the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) illustrated through the most popular plugin for that purpose, Yoast.
Sources I mentioned during the lesson:
- Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that is a matter of course for most when they set up a new WP, and really necessary if you can post comment on your side
- Contant Form 7. There are many contact form plugins, but the CF7 is rightly among the most popular as it offers some customization options but still quite manageable.
- Jetpack is a “swiss knife” that adds the features from WordPress.com accounts. It is made by the same development team as WordPress, and while someone thinks it’s heavy it can actually replace a range of loose plugins, and in that regard it’s quite light. However, it requires that you have a free wordpress.com account, and some features cost a subscription.
- qTranslate-X is a plugin that lets you run a WordPress with multiple languages – see for example. this side. There are several minor errors in this plugin, but most other solutions are either more clumsy or cost money so I chose to highlight it.
- bbPress lets one run a full forum as part of one’s WordPress. Not only for hobby but is also being used for support / customer forums and similar.
- Disable Comments is if you do not want to let people comment on your site or see that the opportunity has ever been there, as it removes the comment function fully from the page.
- Mailchimp for WP. MailChimp is one of the most popular mailing list systems, and this plugin lets you integrate it with your WP so you can connect them and manage things from one place.
- My Calendar. There are a number of calendar plugins for WP that allow one to create events and display them in a calendar. This is one of the better with many features like a widget, categories, etc.
- iThemes Security, WP is updated often and security holes shut quickly, but you can always tighten security more. There are a lot of plugins that help with this and iThemes is one of the best. I’ll cover security in more depth in the fifth lesson.
- WordFence is another great bordering to essential security plugin. One of its remarkable features is that it easily shows where your visitors and especially attacks come from, so you can easily block entire countries or areas from access to the site so they will never be able to try to hack it.
- EWWW Image Optimizer is another plugin that I use on most of my pages. This is because websites should preferably be displayed quickly, but people also love photos on their pages while photos take up a lot of space and thus load-time. EWWW helps to minimize the size of your images without it being visible.
- WP Super Cache is another way to get one’s WP to load faster as it generates a static cache of the page, which is faster than if all content should be retrieved from the database each time. The minus is such that changes will not necessarily be seen by visitors instantly. Made by the same people as WordPress itself.
- W3 Total Cache is another cache plugin that has a lot more configuration options but, in turn, is also significantly more complex and adds more need for understanding as one can quickly destroy one’s page.
- Google Analytics is a great tool for getting statistics about visitors to one’s website, and this plugin makes it easy to integrate the service.
- Yoast SEO is probably probably the most popular SEO plugin for WP. It helps you optimize both the page and the way you write posts so search engines find it easier – and perceive it as being positive and serious.
- All in One SEO Pack is another of the most popular SEO solutions and a nice alternative to Yoast.