While our software is great when it comes to registering domain names, it doesn’t do much in terms of developing or designing them. Some of our users drop catch expired domains for the purpose of flipping and therefor only need to park them without any development. Others who chase after expired domains for SEO purposes will find themselves developing numerous (sometimes even hundreds) of domains on a regular basis. When it comes to designing and development a new website my choice in content management systems has always been WordPress.
Although it may seam like the process of installing and setting up a new WordPress website on each of your domains is a little lengthy, most hosting accounts come with one-click installation wizards (like Fantastico or Softaculous) which make this step quick and simple. Once you have WordPress installed it’s time to install and enable some plugins before you start adding content. But, which plugins are the best? No matter what type of website you plan to create I always recommend installing these five plugins. They’re my favorite and a must have for all WordPress sites!
1. SEO Ultimate – This plugin makes adding meta data (such as titles and descriptions) to each post quick and easy. It also lets you easily configure the social media titles and descriptions that will appear anytime someone shares your page or post. It’s easily my favorite and most recommended SEO plugin!
2. WP-SpamShield – Blogs get hammered by spam on a daily basis and you need something to protect you. Akismet is the default anti-spam plugin that comes with WordPress and it’s not bad, but this one is much better. With WP-SpamShield you won’t need a captcha on anything! Install it, make a tweak or two in the settings area and your site will have just about all of the spam protection it needs.
3. Fast Secure Contact Form – If your website needs some type of submission form (such as a contact form) then Fast Secure Contact Form would be my recommendation. It’s very simple to setup and can be completely customized. You can enable things like captcha if you want, but if you’re using the WP-SpamShield plugin I recommend above then this isn’t even needed. Create forms with whatever fields you want (and custom CSS) by using this plugin.
4. Social Warfare – This plugin is ideal for adding Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and a few other social media share buttons to your posts and pages. I previously used Sharaholic because it offered lots of additional social networks. However, it was extremely heavy on the server (in terms of server resources) and to be honest, most people never shared on all those other networks anyways. Social warfare offers a smaller selection of just the biggest networks and it doesn’t hog server resources. It’s my favorite social sharing plugin out there!
5. PHP Code Widget – This plugin is used for the Widgets section of your blog. There is already a Text widget available which may work fine for something like a banner or Adsense unit. However, if you’re trying to put any type of PHP code into your widget then it’s not going to work. Install the PHP Code Widget and should you ever need to put PHP code into a widget (such as code for a mailing list) you won’t run into any issues!
Consider jumping to the Plugins section of WordPress the minute you login and search/install these. They will make life easier for you once you begin to add content and will cut down on annoyances like spam.