WordPress Training – How to Use Your WordPress Plugins

Posted by:

Now that you have installed and configured all of your WordPress plugins this tutorial will show you how to use them on your blog. You may notice as you go through this tutorial that some of the plugins you installed will be missing. This is because some of the plugins simply work in the background automatically without you ever having to do anything further beyond initial configuration. We will show you here how to use all of the non-background plugins.

All in One SEO Pack

AIO SEO allow you to better configure your posts and pages for search engine optimization so that you are more likely to get ranked in organic search results. When you go to make a new post or page the AIO SEO module will be at the bottom of the page.

The module contains 3 sections:

1) Title – This box allows you to change the title of your posts and pages that the search engines will see. If this is left blank your actual post title is used. You probably will not use this one that much since WordPress lets you change the title as much as you like anyway and there aren’t many situations where you will want the seo title and the actual title to be different.

It might come in handy however in the unlikely situation where you have an old post whose title you would like to change but you can’t because you have lots of other posts linking to the old title already. Changing the title of the post will change the url slug and all of those links will now be pointing to a url that no longer exists.

In this case using AIO SEO’s title re-writer will allow you to change the title that search engines see while still retaining the old slug (original url of your post).

2) Description – This box allows you to write a seo description of your post. This is the description that will show up in search engine results under the title of your post. If you do not fill this out then the first words in your post will automatically be used. You should always take the time to write your own description using keywords unless your content is so well crafted that the first 160 characters of your post is the perfect description.

3) Keywords – The keywords section should be filled out with the keywords you are targeting for the particular post or page. Don’t go crazy with it just use your main keyword phrase and 2-3 sub keywords. Typically you should have this figured out before you even write the post so it is just a matter of typing them into the box.

AWeber Web Forms

AWeber forms provides you with an easy way to add capture forms to your blog. As previously stated in another tutorial you will need an AWeber account to use this plugin. You should have also already connected your AWeber account to the plugin via the AWeber settings section.

1) To use this plugin navigate to Appearance – Widgets.

2) Drag the AWeber Web Form widget from the Available Widgets area to your blog sidebar (or whichever sidebar you want it in).

3) The widget will have a drop down box that allows you to select which web form you would like to display. Most likely you will not have any web forms created yet. You can do so by logging into your AWeber account – creating an email campaign – and then creating a web form to go along with the campaign.

An alternative to using this plugin is to place a text widget in your sidebar and then enter the web form code provided to you when you choose "I Will Install My Form" at the end of the AWeber web form creation process. If you are using Get Response you must use this method as they do not have a plugin option.

Disqus

Disqus pretty much takes care of itself but there is one feature we haven’t mentioned yet. Disqus has a sidebar widget that¬† will provide a feed of recent comments.

1) To use this widget navigate to Comments – Disqus. Login to your profile.

2) Click on the Tools tab and scroll down to view the sidebar widget html code. Adjust the settings to your liking and then copy the code.

3) Navigate to Appearance – Widgets. Move a text widget into the sidebar of your choice. Paste the code into the text widget and click save. Always be sure to click save when making changes to a widget. Now visit your live site and see how it looks.

Easy WP SEO

Easy WP SEO effectively automates a lot of the tedious on page search engine optimization techniques, while instructing you in how to do the rest.

To the left is a picture of what you will see at the start of any new post or page. Enter your keyword into the box provided (here’s some more info on keyword research) and when you save or publish your post Easy WP SEO will analyze the post and provide you with an SEO score, keyword density information, suggestions for improving your score, as well as a whole host of other important information.

It will also add any automatic edits you have given it permission to apply in the settings. There is really no need to go into detail about everything this plugin analyzes and what that information means because the plugin creator has provided short 1-2 minute videos that explain every feature.

Simply click on the little question mark next to the feature you want to learn more about and you will have your answer in no time.

Internal Link Building

There are two ways to use the Internal Link Building plugin.

1) The first way is on individual posts. When making a new posts this plugin will add an additional editing module titled Custom Keywords. With this module you can add any post wide keywords you like, where you want them linked, how many times to link the word, whether to open in a new window or not and some other minor options.

This is really just a convenience feature. If you have a word you want to link to another page 10 times, this plugin lets you do that with a few clicks rather than manually linking each word.

2) The second way to use this plugin is to set site-wide keywords. This is the reason we installed this plugin. Navigate to Settings – Keywords. You will now be on Internal Link Building’s global keyword utility. Here you can set keywords of your choice to link to a specific url any time they show up on your site. It will work for existing content as well as continue to link new instances of those words as long as you keep them active.

The main purpose of this plugin is to make it easy for you to interlink your posts. If you just wrote a post covering an important topic for example you can then come into Internal Link Building and set certain related keywords to automatically link to that post whenever they are used. Otherwise you would have to try to remember every time that you used that word and go back and link each post manually.

This plugin is also extremely useful if you have a product or affiliate program that you wish to link to a signup page, or a page with more information, etc. every time a certain word is used on your site.

Pretty Link Lite

Pretty links is a plugin that lets you create trackable, custom shortened url’s using your own domain name. To use this plugin navigate to Pretty Link – Add New Link. You will see a list of boxes. The process of creating a new link is pretty self-explanatory but if you need help you can click on the little question mark next to each box.

These links are useful for marketing purposes. You can create nice looking links to use in ad campaigns and track the clicks right from your WordPress dashboard.

Social Media Widget

1) To use this plugin visit Appearance – Widgets. Grab the Social Media Widget from the Available Widgets section and move it into the sidebar of your choice.

2) The widget will open and you will see a long list of services. For whichever service you would like to display on your blog simply fill in the service’s url box with your corresponding information (ex: http://facebook.com/yourusername.

3) Two icons that you should be sure to include are your RSS url and E-mail url. These will create clickable icons that allow visitors to easily subscribe to your blog feed via RSS or Email.

For the RSS box use your feedburner feed url. You can find this by navigating to Settings – Feedburner or by visiting your feedburner account.

For the Email feed you will need to login to your feedburner account. Once there click on the Publicize tab. Scroll down and click on the link titled Preview Subscription Link.

A new window will pop up. Copy the url in that window and come back to Social Media Widget. Paste that url into the E-mail url box.

4) Now click the save button in the widget and view it on your live site. Click on all of the icons to make sure they are linking correctly.

What Would Seth Godin Do

This plugin lets you specify a message to display to new visitors. The options are as follows:

1) Message to New Visitors – This is where you will enter whatever message you would like new visitors to see. By default it encourages people to subscribe to you RSS feed. Another idea is to use it for list building purposes by encouraging new visitors to fill out an opt-in box you have placed in the sidebar.

To edit the message but keep the same styling simply replace the content inside of these tags: <p style=”border:thin dotted black; padding:3mm;”>Your Content Goes Here</p> with whatever you want the message to say.

However, this box will also accept other html code as well. So, for example, if you have a theme that provides you with custom styling shortcodes that create nice looking call-out boxes you can use those shortcodes here, being sure to include the beginning and closing paragraph tags: <p>Your Custom Styled Content Goes Here</p>.

2) # of Repetitions – Here you can set how many times the message is displayed for a new user before it quits.

3) Message to Return Visitors – This changes up the message for returning visitors.

4) Location of Message – Set whether to display the message before or after a post (before is recommended).

5) Show Message on Pages – Whether or not to show the message on page really depends on the purpose of your message and whether you are using your blog or a static page as the homepage of your site.

6) Posts/Pages to Exclude – Here you can specify individual pages you would like the message to be excluded from. Again, it just depends on the structure of your site.

7) When you are finished save the settings and you’re done. This plugin works by tracking your browser cookies so if you want to view the message on your live site multiple times you will need to clear your browser cookies when it stops showing up.

WordPress Editorial Calendar

To learn how to use this plugin watch the short video below created by the plugin’s authors cvernon, justinstresslimit, MaryVogt, zgrossbart (to view full scree click the arrow box in the lower right hand corner of the player).

WP-DBManager

Now we come to the last plugin on our list. To use this plugin scroll to the very bottom of your WordPress dashboard menu and click on Database – Backup DB. This plugin makes it extremely easy to backup your database. Simply scroll down and click on the Backup button. That’s it, your files are backed up. You will want to do a manual backup before making any significant changes like installing a WordPress update.

Now if something goes wrong or you ever need to restore to a previous backup you can do so in the Manage Backup section. Simply choose the backup to restore to and click Restore.

Automatic backups and optimizing are also scheduled by default, which you can view and change if you like by visiting DB Options.

We hope you have found this tutorial useful and we will see you in the next one.

If you like this post please click the "like" button and leave a comment below. Thanks!

0