3 Simple WordPress Plug-ins to Install Now

Are you baffled by the thousands of WordPress plug-ins on the market? Not sure which you need? Here are 3 of our current favourites that are simple yet effective to try on your site.

Why we love WordPress

As you know, we’re big advocates of WordPress, not least because it’s a simple platform to develop and manage a website or blog on. It’s also because of the flexibility that plug-ins give you to control how your site looks, how it’s used, how it’s found and how secure it is. In this article, we introduce 3 of our favourite plug-ins at the moment. Here are our flavours of the month:

1. Contact Form 7 Honeypot

If your website suffers from spambots that fill in your contact form with links and gibberish and clutter up your inbox, this ‘honeypot’ add-on for the popular Contact Form 7 plug-in could be the answer to your prayers. It helps to stop spambots from filling in your contact form by adding an extra field to your form which is invisible to human eyes, but gets filled in by the spambot. From filling out various forms on the web, you’ve probably seen a field that asks you to copy the random words, called a ‘CAPTCHA’. A honeypot is a good alternative to a CAPTCHA, as it reduces inconvenience for your visitors, who will no longer need to decipher random and often scrambled words. www.daobydesign.com/free-plugins/honeypot-module-for-contact-form-7-wordpress-plugin

2. WP to Twitter

When you publish a blog post on WordPress, you can publish straight away or schedule when you want it published to your blog followers.  This plug in allows cross-posting to Twitter when you add new blog entries as well as new pages to your WordPress site so that everyone knows there’s something new to see. www.joedolson.com/articles/wp-to-twitter

3. Display Widgets

Do you have widgets that you only want to display on certain pages?  This tool allows you to select which page/category to display a certain widget on.  The plugin is more novice-friendly than the popular Widget Logic plugin, and helps to prevent widget repetition on your website. http://strategy11.com/display-widgets/

Don’t go plugin crazy!

New plugins are constantly being released – it’s hard to know where to stop, but stop you must! Only have as many plugins as your site needs for your website to function and look good. Having too many activated at the same time can slow your site down. If you have any installed that you’re not using, deactivate them to speed things up a little. Deactivating a plug-in won’t delete it – you can always reactivate them later when you need them, and they usually retain their settings prior to being deactivated. If you’re never going to use them, why not free up some space and speed up your site’s loading time? Your visitors will thank you. Here’s a useful article we’ve come across on the subject of ‘too many plugins spoil the site’: http://zemalf.com/605/is-your-wordpress-blog-super-slow-because-of-plugins/

What now?

Have a look at the plugins we’ve suggested and see what you think.  Will they improve your site for visitors or make your life easier?  Have you got too many already and need a clear out? Think about how people use your site and what problems you want to combat so that your site or blog is easier to manage. It’s definitely worth the effort to get the balance right. If you’re not so confident installing plug-ins, our monthly WordPress Training Courses are a great way to experiment with different plug-ins in a practice environment with friendly tutors. Click here for more details. Have you got a favourite plugin you’d like to share? If so, why not leave us a reply below?

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