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Five WordPress plugins for a better site

Author: ; Published: Feb 29, 2012; Category: Managed Hosting, WordPress; Tags: ; No Comments

WordPress is among the most popular content management systems (CMS) and blogging hosting applications today. 

It is becoming more and more common for businesses to have their site developed in WordPress as it is for a blogger to be using WordPress for what they publish on the Internet.

One of WordPress’s many good points is the ability to extend its functionality through (often) easy to install plugins.

Let me share with you five WordPress plugins I believe will help you have a better site.

1.  Backup your WordPress and database – what good is a better site if disaster strikes and there is no backup?

 

While Dynamic Net, Inc. provides free backup and restore for our managed shared hosting and managed reseller hosting customers, not all providers do so.

Even when you are with a provider that has daily backups, you want to play safe to have your own set, off site; and, maybe you want to run extra backups when you please.

We’ve found BackWPup to be a great plugin for WordPress.

Not only does BackWPup allow you to set up backups to run on a regular basis (as well as on demand), your backups can be off site for added disaster recovery protection.

 

2.  Ensure your WordPress-based site or blog has a solid search feature

 

The default search engine in WordPress is rather weak. 

When we had our site redesigned in WordPress, one of the very first things we noticed is that if a prospective customer puts in a word that should be easy to find, guess what? 

The results from the search were often buried so far down the prospective customer would leave before seeing it.

We found Relevanssi to be the answer.  We now have better control over our site search engine. 

Customers and prospective customers can now find things on our site easier when they use the search feature of our site.

 

3.  You have a smart phone, what about smart forms?

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a form that was flexibility and versatile?  A smart form?

GravityForms is the answer. 

While it may take five to fifteen minutes longer to set up a form compared to other WordPress form plugins, once you are done, you are free to move on to other business.

Check out the video on the GravityForms site to see how easy it is to use and set up.

 

4.  You probably have a desk or wall calendar, but what about an editorial calendar for your blog?

 

“Consistency matters always, no exceptions” is one of the says we told our daughter whom we adopted as a teenager.

One of the questions that came to mind the more we blogged was how to blog more consistently.

Then we found about about the Editorial Calendar plugin.

This easy to install and use plugin makes planning what blog articles gets published when a breeze.

While this particular blog post about five WordPress plugins for a better site is being published immediately, we have blog articles scheduled out for several months using the Editorial Calendar plugin.

 

5.  Yes, WordPress allows you to have nice pages and posts without knowing HTML, but what if you wanted to spice things up with custom CSS?

 

If you are like most WordPress users, over time you find yourself getting hooked as to how easy it is to add and edit pages, create posts, and so on. 

You eventually get to the point of asking yourself is there an easy way to spice up your blog posts or site with just a little CSS, a little hand written HTML.

I found myself in that position when I was writing an article that will be published in a few weeks from this one — using the Editorial Calendar plugin — dealing with the shortage of IPv4 addresses, and the impact to hosting providers and hosting customers.

Yes, I could switch from the Visual tab to the HTML tab in WordPress to put in some custom HTML; and I’ve done so in the past mainly with the color of text and the background color.

But what if I wanted a fancy box around some text to make the text stand out?

Well that did require learning some CSS, the question came into how do I implement CSS on our site without breaking the theme or getting into uploading the file via FTP over every little change to the CSS file?

The custom CSS Manager plugin was the answer.

I was now able to create some simple CSS entries, and then reference those CSS on our pages and blog posts.

 

Contact us if you have any questions about the above mentioned plugins or want to know more about our managed hosting services. 

If you are on our managed shared or managed reseller hosting services, our support department will install or trouble shoot the above mentioned plugins as part of your service with our company.

Peter Abraham
Former CEO of Dynamic Net, Inc. Will be transitioning to a new career in the near future.
Peter Abraham

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Peter Abraham

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