Top Level – Recommended WP Plugins Your Starter for Ten

Back of computer with many data cables they are plugins

This is a list to help the first time WordPress user implement their WordPress site.   This is not an exhaustive list and is just at this point a list of plugins that will help. There is a table below and the items in it are all essentials. However, any shaded items are your starter for ten gold star items and will give you a flying start.

Most plugins are available directly from your WordPress dashboard and this is the simplest place to load your plugins from

If you are starting out the simple solution is to rely on JetPack and a couple of supporting plugins.  In the example below, it assumes your host provides some automatic backup facility of your website.  There is a backup feature in JetPack but this is a paid premium feature and as such as been omitted. This article is affiliate link free.

Ref Function Complexity Plugin WordPress source
1.1 Forms Simple Jetpack Forms JetPack Forms and similar
1.2 Forms Simple Contact Form 7 Contact Form 7 and related plugins
2.1 Partial Website Security – Repeated wrong user name and password protection Simple LoginIzer Loginizer and similar
2.2 Fuller Website Security Moderately Complex WordFence Security including WordFence
3 Backup (optional if your hosting company provides sufficient backups) Simple Updraft Backup plugins including Updraft
4 Social Media Simple Jetpack Social JetPack Social Media and similar
5.1 Grammar & Spelling –  Simple Jetpack Proofreader JetPack Grammar/Spelling and similar
5.2 Style Checker Simple Style and grammar checker Style and Grammar
6 Force HTTPS: if there is a reference to HTTP if your website has secure browsing  Simple  ForceHTTPS WordPress Force HTTPS
7 Make your website seen – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Simple All in One SEO All in One SEO and similar

Top Level – Price Comparison of Email and Autoresponder Services

To succeed on the Internet you need an Email / Autoresponder system to send emails to people who sign-up …

The email features include:

  • Capture the name and email details of a person visiting your site using a form. Provide unsubscribe services
  • Send emails to those people on your list
  • Allow emails to be sent to those that have not opened or opened one of your emails.
  • Automatically respond to people that sign-up
  • The creation of Lead Capture Pages
  • Statistical Reports

Most people use services such as MailChimp, MailerLite, GetResponse, or aWeber, but there are also more sophisticated services.   These will let you collect, store, manage, and search many different types of information.

If you are starting out MailChimp and MailerLite both have free forever services as long as you keep within their restriction on use for the number of subscribers and number of emails.  See table below.  The pricing links below are not affiliate links. However, the Service Provider column contains affiliate links (I receive a small commission if you buy a subscription – it helps to pay for any website costs).  This applies for MailChimp, Mailerlite, Getresponse and AWeber main links.    

Service Provider Pricing link Free Service Paid Cost
MailChimp MC-Pricing Up to 2,000 Subscribers From up to 500 From $10 per month
12,000 emails per month Unlimited emails
Landing Pages

 

MailerLite ML-Pricing Up to 1,000 Subscribers From up to 1,000 From $10 per month
12,000 emails per month
Landing Pages

 

GetResponse GR-Pricing For 1 month up to 1,000 subscribers 1-month trial From up to 1,000 From $15 per month
Unlimited emails
1 Landing Age Up to 1,000 visits

 

Aweber AW-Pricing For up to 500 subscribers 1-month free trial From up to 500 From $19 per month
Unlimited emails

The TEN Commandments for Quality Content

Internet website with content that is attractive to visitors popping out of the screen

Content is King...

1. Accessibility

Your content needs to be accessible, to that end one of the simplest things to do is to use the correct font size and style in your articles. 

The suggestion from the Royal National Institute for the Blind is that it recommends 14 pt. Helvetica or Ariel font (Tahoma and other font styles are suggested too).  The minimum font size is set at 12 pt, but this does not meet most of the visual needs of those with partial sight.    Additionally, any images that are not logos or are not present for design reasons should have appropriate descriptive text in an alt tag (A special place on websites to help the visually impaired – usually a facility provided in any content management system to allow the addition of text).  

See short link  https://goo.gl/D6nwq7 that is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-communication/accessible-communication-formats

If you have clicked on either of the above links you will find that 16 pt is mentioned and of course if you use this size your crucial content will be read by nearly all your visitors that are partially blind.  The site also recommends that 70-80 characters should be used per line except when you are using columns.

2.  Interest

The best and most useful content is written well, but more importantly,  it should grab your reader’s eyes and interest.  This is obvious but content that is boring will not be read.   Nor will it encourage anyone to look at anything else you write.

3. Entertain When You Can

And of course, not all of what you write can entertain. 

The golden rule if your text is not useful or interesting, write fun-filled content that excites and entertains.

4. Useful

It is important that any content interests or entertains.  But if it is not useful and does not relate to the reader’s needs he or she may not come back.   To avoid that you can create useful content such as tutorials and educational material.  This technique is popular with readers and with search engines.

5. Research Well

Your content needs to be well researched, ideally from multiple sources.  Some are obvious:-

  • Google and Google Alerts
  • Yahoo
  • Facebook Search
  • LinkedIn Search
  • Twitter Search
  • and Bing 

Basically,  these are the big search engines and you will probably know more

The less obvious are:

6. Factually Correct

You need to check your content and of course, that takes time,  One needs to verify that at the outset and of course you need to go back to the article from time to time as facts do change.

7. Grammatically Correct

Grammar image of grammar test paperThis is always a challenge.  For some people,  it is easy, while for others that may not be the case.  If you are using the Chrome browser there is Grammarly Extension that may help.  For WordPress, there is the standard JetPack plugin, by using the Proofreading Function (Grammar and Spelling).   Don’t forget to tick the proofread check box.

I am pulled up from time to time by the Grammar police on the Internet.  But it will surprise you to know that Google can tell if your content is grammatically correct or not.  Therefore, it is very important that your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all correct.  So get those free or paid for extensions from Google and WordPress now.

8. Long

The bad news is that these days, Google wants quality content,  and much more than 300 words,  The nearer to a  thousand words the better.  But three thousand words is top-notch and that is what we all should be aiming for.  Perhaps I need a content writer!

9. Media

Having a variety of media on your pages is great for your visitors, and Google loves a variety of Media too.   That is images, video clips, slides, audio tracks, and games.   You do need to balance with written content on your site,  especially if you are using video clips.  There is a requirement that video clips should have text script or a textual explanation about it.

10.  White Space

Create white space if you can.   Office typists prior to the year 2,000 did this automatically,  They used the following rules.   

Double or One and a half space between lines

Two spaces between sentences

and Two lines between paragraphs.