Installing Optional WordPress Plugins on Your Website

Hello and welcome to this article about installing optional WordPress plugins. If you have stumbled upon this post from Gawd knows where, you may be interested to know that this is from a series of articles from a Kindle eBook called, “How to Set Up a WordPress Website from Scratch.” If you would prefer to buy the book to make life easier, feel free to download it by clicking the image below.

Finally, we have the optional plugins. I am calling these plugins ‘optional’ because you definitely do not need them when you are first starting out. However, you may want to try them out because they either make your site look nicer, easier to manage, or better if you’re doing anything in the way of affiliate marketing. All these plugins I use in my sites, by the way.

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

Small and fast plugin to display in the sidebar a list of linked titles and thumbnails of the most recent postings. This is a great plugin to use if you don’t want the boring ‘Recent Posts’ most people use in the blogs and websites. 

Optional WordPress Plugins

What I particularly like about this plugin is it allows you to add the feature image that you use in posts in your sidebar. If you want to see what I mean, click on this ‘good news’ article from the BBC and on the right you can see links with images to other articles. I reckon they look really nice, and much more interesting.

Widget Options

Additional Widget options for better widget control. Get Extended Widget Options for WordPress for complete widget controls. This is another great plugin. It allows you to choose what your readers can see in your sidebars, headers, footers, and so on.

I am a big fan of this plugin. It means that if you want to put something like ‘Related Posts’ in your sidebar, you can do this easily. For example, for a travel site I manage, when I write an article for France, I can ensure that only articles about France appear in the sidebar. It’s actually pretty cool.


Embed beautiful and feature-rich tables into your posts and pages, without having to write code. Tables are a nightmare to add in WordPress, especially if you are using WordPress’s own table gadget. Install this plugin and you can add tables in your posts that look great.

Optional WordPress Plugins

Pretty Links

Finally, with this plugin, you can shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. This is particularly useful if you are setting up a website to do affiliate marketing. Basically, it allows you to change affiliate links. This is a good idea as people don’t like clicking affiliate links. However, they do like clicking ‘normal’ links.

Wrapping Optional WordPress Plugins Up

And there we have it. Remember that the plugins above are all optional. There is no need to install them. However, if you do, your website will probably look and feel a lot nicer. In the next article, we’re going to be looking at Content Delivery Networks.

Michael Williams

Blogger, writer, teacher and an all-round good egg.

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