How to Install 21 WordPress Plugins in 5 Minutes

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Once you have completed the basic setup of your WordPress website, it's time to add more functions by installing plugins.

Here is a basic list of plugins that I integrate into every WordPress website I build.

Update: Since I wrote this post in 2010 several plugins have changed or have been surpassed by newer better plugins. That is why I created this new list (in alphabetical order).

Basic WordPress Plugins List

BackWPup
Contact Form 7
Fancybox for WordPress
Flare
Google XML Sitemaps
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
Limit Login Attempts
No Self Pings
nrelate Related Content
PS Auto Sitemap
Quick Adsense
Revision Control
Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker
Subscribe To Comments
W3 Total Cache
Wordfence Security
Wordpress Popular Posts
Wordpress Seo
WP Updates Notifier
WP-Optimize

A number of the old plugins are no longer needed as a lot of their functions are now build into the core of WordPress, other ones are integrated into the Genesis (aff)  Theme Framework that is used on this site.

If you need / want more details on each plugin check out 20 Basic WordPress Plugins.

Old Basic WordPress Plugins List

Dagon Design Sitemap Generator Replaced by PS Automap Sitemap
FD Feedburner Plugin Integrated in Genesis (aff)
Flexi Pages Widget Build into WordPress core custom menu's and Genesis
Google XML Sitemaps
HeadSpace2 Replaced by WordPress SEO
My Page Order Build into WordPress core custom menu's
NextGEN Gallery (Only used for Photo galleries, non standard function)
Related Posts Replace by nrelate Relatec Content (with thumbnails)
Robots Meta Integrated in WordPress SEO
Secure Files Replaced by WordFence
SEO Slugs Now done manually for more control
Subscribe To Comments
WordPress Automatic Upgrade Now done with InfinteWP (Remote update software + WordPress client)
WordPress Database Backup Replaced by BackWPUp for more options
WordPress File Monitor Replaced by WordFence
WP-DBManager Replaced by WP-Optimize a lighter version that works great
WP-SpamFree Replaced by Growmap Anti Spam
Fancybox Fancybox for WordPress, works better with WordPress 3.x
WP Security Scan Replaced by WordFence
W3 Total Cache

Yes, you counted correctly, those are 20 different plugins… and if you have ever installed a plugin, you know how difficult a task it was to install these.

Search for the plugin on wordpress.org, click the install button, confirm that the installation was successful and activate the plugin.

Plugin nr 21 to the rescue, meet Plugin Central!

Plugin Central is a plugin created by Vladimir Prelovac, and it is a great time-saver.

This is always the first plugin I install using the standard process:

Plugins -> Add New -> Search -> Install -> Activate Process

Once you have done this, the magic begins. Go to the option “Plugin Central” under the Plugins menu.

The next screen gives you the option that you are going to use. Pay special attention to the field where you can paste the list shown above.
Of course, you can just type the names of other plugins you want to install.

Once you are satisfied with your list, click the “Install Plugins” button.

Depending on your host's security settings, it might ask you for your FTP data such as FTP site, username and password. Or,  it will start to work directly.

The process of installing the plugins depends on your hosting environment, but with my Just Host based websites it takes under two minutes for all 20 plugins.

After the whole process has ran, you need to active all of the plugins, which takes about four clicks.

Go to the installed plugins page, click the top checkbox (Plugin), choose from the dropdown menu “Activate” and then push “Apply”.

Now all of your plugins are active. Some of them need some configuration (Google xml sitemaps, Wp Super cache and Askimet, etc) but most of them are running right off the bat.

Configuring the plugins will take some time, but you just saved a lot of time on the installation, so go ahead and set all the options that you want. I will be writing more about some of these plugins, but now it's time for you to take action!

Start Your Own WordPress Website

To get started you need: 3. Configure your WordPress settings and plugins and start writing...

Comments

  1. I’ve been wanting to recreate my main site http://www.cats90210.com with wordpress, where my Blog is. but the static pages I’ve build all have this at the bottom: Comments on this entry are closed. I dont want that on all my pages, how do I prevent that?

  2. @Rita: I see you use the Thesis theme, in the Thesis options you have section called “Display Options”.
    Click on the + sign behind the “Comments” en then check the tickbox before “Disable comments on all pages” that should do the trick.

  3. That option was selected, yet that annoying message appears… I can’t get rid of it! Maybe it’s time to dump Thesis.

  4. @Rita, Looks fine now! You could do some testing with Images in Thesis Posts like I do on my site http://herbertvandinther.com/
    It could spice up your blog a bit more, not the way like http://icanhascheezburger.com/tag/happycat/ but with some great cat pictures.

    I have a cat myself and he is now 21 years old.

    P.s, what is this thing that Bloggers have with Cats….

    • Thanks, I am in the midst of a complete redesign of my Blog and two websites, goal is to appeal to a more upscale clientele (who wont keep complaining about having to pay for our services!) Thanks for the help and encouragement!

      Wow 21 years old, that’s wonderful!!

  5. If I might ask a strategy question. I already have a website, already have a wordpres blog. I want to redo my website in wordpress now too, which will include either using a new theme or designing one myself. In order to do this, I assume I need to reinstall wordpress in a new directory so I can work on it while leaving my current wordpress blog unaffected, and I’d just point to the same data so I don’t lose my current posts, am I right?

    • @Rita: My take would be to install WordPress in a new directory like /cms with its own database.
      Then export all the data from your old WordPress blog and import it into the new one. Start building your site with pages to reflect the old static site.
      Make sure your keep the post slugs the same as the old site URLs. (use a plugin like “.html on pages” if you currently use the .html extension.

      Once your site is ready you need to take a few steps to get it live:
      1. remove or rename the index.html from your old site.
      2. copy the index.php and .htaccess file from your subdirectory to the root
      3. change one line in the index.php file to require(‘./cms/wp-blog-header.php’);
      4. change only the Blog address in the General settings to the real site name.

      This will give you the possibility to build your site upfront and get in live in five minutes….

  6. want to build a new website using WP, but use my the existing domain name, and not replace the old pages until I build the new. How should I proceed?

  7. @LarryG: What you can do is to install WordPress in a subfolder like /cms
    You can then build the site next to the live one making sure your permalinks for the pages reflect the old ones (in the development phase it will have /cms/page-url.html)
    Make sure your keep the post slugs the same as the old site URLs. (use a plugin like “.html on pages” if you currently use the .html extension.

    Once you are happy with the new site you can follow these steps:

    1. remove or rename the index.html from your old site.
    2. copy the index.php and .htaccess file from your subdirectory to the root
    3. change one line in the index.php file to require(‘./cms/wp-blog-header.php’);
    4. change only the Blog address in the General settings to the domain name.
    5. Remove the old .html files.

    If you do it this way, your site will be “down” for about 5 minutes and if you made sure the urls stay the same, you won’t loose any rankings or visitors.

    Of course you have made a backup first of your old site :-)

  8. Very Cool! Thanks for posting this!

  9. I am really in need of some help with setting up my website, i have no idea what i am doing, i was told word press so the easiest………..

  10. @Ann: Can you send me more details and the URL of your site to hummerbie (at) gmail (dot) com?

  11. I noticed the comment above about installing wordpress in a subfolder, so that you can modify it without overwriting the current website. Do you know if this will work on godaddy using their wordpress installation tool? I like our current site, but the guy who created it for us is busy, and we want more control and easier tweaking, so I’ve been looking at creating a similar wordpress site to replace it. Obviously, I want it to be down for as short a time as possible, and it looks this that solution would work.

    I’d appreciate any thoughts

  12. @Chris: Yes, that is correct, basically you want the page links (URLs) to stay the same as the old one. This is te ensure you keep the rankings you currently have in the search engines.
    Until the go-live of the site inthe cms/ folder you block the search engines. After go-live you get the same urls as the current links.

    As for the change in urls, yes you can do that and make the new page /information.html
    To keep your rankings you can do a .htaccess redirect like:
    redirect 301 /Leuthner-Law-Office-Contact-Information.html http://www.leuthnerlaw.com/contact-information.html
    (should be one line !!)

    That way you tell the search engines that that is the new pagelink. Do keep in mind that PR will follow a lot later or you may loose the Pagerank is not a factor in your search engine rankings.

    So simply stated: Yes you can change the pagelink :-)

  13. I’m using Coraline. I just added static pages. They all have the comment box at the bottom. I’d like the comment box on the blog but not the static pages. Do you have any suggestions?

    • @Carrie: You are on the wordpress.com network, that means there are some restrictions, but if you edit your pages you should see a field below the helper link that states Discussion uncheck both options and the commentbox will disappear. You should doe that on every page where you don’t want the box to appear. P.s. You can do this with posts as well.

  14. I downloaded PlugIn Central but for the life of me I cannot find the Plugin tab.

  15. nirajan nirakar says:

    im a new user wp.after add several page ,how to order like as a top vertical home-contact US-basedand on the row in below 9 page how to setup ?it necessary need html code?
    ple,could u give step by step

  16. Dagon Design seems to be out of service, should I switch to buddypress instead?

    Great articles btw. following them one by one

  17. ajayiOliver says:

    Please I am new to Wpress and I want to use it to develop a website how do I go about it.

    Thank you.

  18. Ajayi Oliver says:

    Hello,

    Please can anyone put me through on how to design a website with word press?

    I have installed it on my domain.

    Thank You.

  19. Being the newbie I am thanks for the information I really appreciate it.

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