Free Tuning – 8 Professional Plugins for WORDPRESS Optimization
Since 2003, a large number of developers and designers have been working on making the popular content management system WordPress even more powerful and user-friendly. However, the demands on a CMS are as different as the areas for which it is needed. Therefore WordPress contains only the most necessary tools and plugins after the first installation.
There are thousands of extensions available for setting up WordPress, which help, for example, to protect your website from hacker attacks, provide statistical analyses or keep spam out of post comments. We introduce you to eight plugins that will help you get the most out of your CMS and then briefly explain how to install them.
All In One WordPress Security and Firewall Plugin
With the “All In One WordPress Security and Firewall Plugin”, you add additional security features to your website without having to know complex rules for creating an htaccess file. The plugin creates a new entry in the menu with the title “WP Security”. In the “Dashboard” you get information about the security of your site. Under “Settings” you can, for example, edit the “wp-config.php” and automatically create an htaccess file and under “Database Security” you can change the prefix of your database. In addition, there is a user administration and numerous security functions.
“Antispam Bee” protects you from spam in the comments area of the posts, which are often annoying and unnecessarily increase the database. In the administration area under “Settings” and “Antispam Bee” you can define extensive rules on how the plugin should deal with spam. For the functions and settings, a detailed manual is available.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
With “WordPress SEO by Yoast” you make your website fit for a good position in search engine rankings. The plugin creates a separate area in the administration menu, which you open by clicking on “SEO”. Via “Titles & Metas” you can define the page titles and meta descriptions. “Social” helps you to link the posts to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts. Under “XML Sitemaps” you create text files that you can send to search engines and by clicking the “Permalinks” button you will find the settings for user-friendly URLs.
The more templates, plugins or widgets you have installed, the slower your website will become. You can prevent this with the plugin “Hyper Cache”, which helps to increase performance and save resources. For example, the plugin regularly performs a system cleanup. Alternatively, you can also clean up the system manually via “Settings”, “Hyper Cache” and “Clear cache”.
The plugin “Jetpack” contains various extensions and tools under one roof. For example, you can automatically publish blog content in social networks, evaluate the visits to your site in a statistics tool, blog articles via e-mail while on the go or integrate a contact form. In addition, a spelling and grammar correction is included and you can present your pictures attractively on the website with the “Carousel” extension. However, some modules of “Jetpack” can only be used after registration on WordPress.com.
Google XML Sitemaps
In order for search engines to index a website correctly, it is recommended that you create an XML Sitemap that contains the list of pages on your website. In sitemaps, you define which content, including URLs, is relevant for the search engine. If you use Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster to diagnose your site, an XML Sitemap is required. You can customize this plugin for your website via “Settings” and “XML Sitemap”. Here you will also find the link to your XML Sitemap, which you need for Webmaster Tools.
In order not to lose important data and settings after a possible hacker attack or a failed update, you should make regular backups of your databases and files. One of the most comfortable plugins for this purpose is “XCloner”, because this tool not only backs up the databases but your complete installation. You can then save them offline. Should a restoration become necessary or if you want to clone your website, you can also do this with the help of this plugin. You open “XCloner” via “Plugins” and “XCloner”. By means of a cron job you can also create an automatic backup.
Fast Secure Contact Form
In order for the readers of your blog or website to contact you, you need a contact form. You can easily create this form with the plugin “Fast Secure Contact Form”. You create individual forms, add a welcome text and a CAPTCHA and have an automatic confirmation mail sent. You open the plugin via “Plugin” and “FS Contact Form”.
How to install plugins
Installing WordPress plugins is easy. Click on “Plugins” in the menu of the administration area and then on “Install”. Enter the name of the plugin in the search mask, if you know it, or search for a plugin using a keyword, for example “Spam”. After a successful search you will see a result list of suitable plug-ins below the search mask with a rating and description. Select a plugin and click on “Install”.
WordPress will ask you in a popup window to confirm that you want to install the plugin. Click “OK” and wait until the installation is complete. This only takes a few seconds.
You will receive a message if the installation was completed successfully. After clicking on “Activate this plugin” WordPress will take you back to the plugin overview. Here you have the possibility to install additional plugins, deactivate plugins or personalize the plugin by clicking on “Settings”. The “Edit” button only makes sense if you are a developer. Otherwise you should not make any changes here.
Alternatively, you can search for plugins on the official plugin page http://wordpress.org/plugins/ and download them to your hard drive in .zip format. This is recommended, for example, if you manage multiple WordPress installations and do not want to run the search multiple times. Click the “Upload” button under “Install Plugins”.
Click the “Browse” button to open your hard drive and select the plug-in you want to install. Then click on “Install”. The plugin is installed automatically and can then be activated.
In order not to endanger the security of your WordPress installation and the website, you should not use plugins from dubious sources. Also, remember that too many plug-ins put too much load on the system, making your site slower. Therefore, install only the most necessary plug-ins and delete any that you don’t need.
Use these plugins for a better performance of your blog. With our WordPress tutorial, you will learn how to integrate additional functions like a WordPress shop into your blog.