We have embedded below a table of some of the most commonly sought after features or things we want to do in WordPress when starting out and at least one free plugin that will allow you to do these things easily for people relatively new to WordPress and building websites.
All the free plugins can be found by going to Plugins….Add New on your WordPress Dashboard and searching for, installing and activating the plugin. Alternatively you can follow the links in the table, download the plugin as a zip file to your computer and then reupload it into your WordPress site on the Plugins page.
It is important to be extremely careful not to use too many plugins when first starting out on WordPress, since it is pretty much a universal opinion among all people experienced in this field that having bad plugins or too many plugins is the number one reason sites become too slow or break altogether.
Only use a plugin if you absolutely need it for something. If it’s a 50/50 toss up or you don’t really need it then it’s best to leave it, especially in your first year of blogging. That said here are some of the common problems encountered, along with plugins which can solve them.
Some Useful Free WordPress Plugins
|Function Needed||Free Wordpress Plugin(s) Available|
|Comparison or information tables||TablePress; see CSS Pricing Tables for a Premium plugin|
|Optimizing Images (getting file size down for quicker loading)||Imagify - essential free plugin|
|"Buy Now" buttons||Forget About Shortcode Buttons|
|Being able to scroll down to certain parts of a page or post||Content Anchor Links|
|Returning to Old Wordpress Editor||Classic Editor plugin|
|Adding custom design to homepage and other pages||Elementor Page Builder|
|Adding feature grids or boxes with icons in||Use the WP SVG Icons plugin along with one of the column plugins below to create the feature grids. See our article on how to do this.|
|Ability to create equal (or unequal) sized columns of text or images||LightWeight Grid Columns or Genesis Columns Advanced|
|Optimizing your site for faster page loading||Autoptimize and WP Super Cache plugins|
|Image sliders||2J Slideshow; see Slider Revolution for a popular premum slider plugin|
|"Share on social media" buttons to put at the top and bottom of posts||Shared Counts|
|Checking for broken links on your site||Broken Link Checker|
|Redirecting old, broken links to new link||Simple 301 Redirects|
|Globalizing Affiliate Links||Amazon Link Globalizer plugin; for a paid service see Geniuslink. See our article comparing the two.|
Here are some other websites and resources that can be useful for different aspects of building websites.
Images are a crucial part of posts and it is important to have at least one image per article as the “Featured Image” at the top, and also throughout the article where relevent to break up the content and make it more visually appealing.
For free to use images, Pixabay is a superb resource online, with millions of totally free to download and use pictures on a wide variety of topics and themes. This site can be excellent for sourcing featured images if the topic of your niche is featured prominently in the images of their site.
Elsewhere, Flickr is another resource that can have usable images if you can’t get what you need off Pixabay. There tend to me more usage restrictions on images off this site though and you may need to credit your use of the image.
Failing that then it is possible to do a Google or Bing image search, and filter the results under “Tools” or “Filters” to include only images which are “free to share” and use or “labelled for reuse”. These searches can sometimes, though not always, return usable images depending on the topic being searched.
It is also perfectly possible to take images on your iPhone, since they can deliver good enough quality pictures and can actually make product reviews look more authentic and less corporate and fake if the photos look more real and down to earth. Consider this as an option if your niche warrants it.
For Premium paid image services that give access to a larger library of high quality, license free stock images, there are also some good options. Stockphotosecrets, Stutterstock and Istockphoto are three paid resources for photos and pictures.
Resizing, Editing and Other Image Services
If you find an image which is ideal but is too small or big for your site, then you can always put it through the superb resizeimage.net tool. This is a totally free tool which you simply upload images to and then resize the dimensions and alter the file format and compression to get the dimensions and file size as you want them.
See our article for optimizing images on your site for more on this. Another good free tool to help you remove the background on an image is the remove.bg site, which will do this in seconds totally free. Createclickablemap is also an excellent tool for creating maps, as is this resource on Imgflip for generating memes.
Getting Content Written
For those who do not really like writing content, or have a lot to get through and need some help, there are several online writing services and freelancing sites available online that you can outsource the work to. Here are the main ones:
See the video below from Income School comparing the bottom three services for ease of use, speed of delivery and quality of content.