Installing My Recommended (Free) Plugins

PluginPlugins, and using good ones, are what will make your WordPress blog stand out from the crowd – not just in your visitor’s eyes but in Google’s too!

WordPress Plugins are essentially add on applications that you can strap on to your WordPress blog to give it extra functionality – sometimes ‘behind the scenes’ or, at other times, the ‘in your face’ type of thing that gives your blog’s visitor a cooler experience! They are created by all sorts of people but vary in quality and functionality. Many are great, some are crap!

The thing I found in the past, when trying to find out what the best Plugins to use on my first blog might be, was that I got fed too much generic information – the pros, cons and a hundred and one alternatives.

Absolutely NO use to a blogger just getting started. I just wanted somebody I trusted to say, “Hey, use these!” In effect I needed to be better informed and not given multiple choices that I, at that time, could not understand.

So how about I tell you about the plugins that I install on ALL my blogs ( and those of my clients and customers)? Make sense?

There’s no secret, they’re freely available, but I’m talking about the Plugins that I consider essential to having a cool and working blog ( I’ll discuss more advanced ones for more specific blogging purposes another time). I personally use every one of these plugins on every blog I build.

There are others that I use, for example here on Blog Briefing, but I don’t consider them ‘essential’ for every blog out there on the Intertube.

ALSO there is an argument that says the more plugins you use the slower your blog loads so that’s something to take into account. I’m undecided. Certainly don’t install, and activate, plugins that you don’t use!

Now these plugins I talk about are not mine – I did not create them – but I have, when given the option, donated some cash to the people that did create them to say thanks ( if they work well for you I suggest you do the same).

As this site is all about letting you know what I, personally, do with my blogs rather than giving you all the alternatives that will just muddy the waters ( and perhaps confuse you, as I was confused initially) look over on the right of this post and, if you wish, download that ‘Zip’ File of my recommended Plugins and I’ll run through what to do next in the video below…

and in this second video I’ll talk about tweaking those installed plugins (if and when they need tweaking)…

Hmmm, as I’m trying not to fry your brains with too much info ( in one overly long video tutorial) I’ve broken this down into a further two tweaking videos the first of which, below, fixes that WP-Database plugin issue (cliffhanger ending!) in the video above…

and those final tweaks for plugins that won’t have their very own tutorials…

Useful Links for this tutorial:



Managing Director at Big Buzz Projects
Clive McGonigal is a full time Web Developer, Marketer, WordPress Evangelist and all round Decent Chap. He lives between London and France ( on a tiny rowing boat with an internet connection) and spends his offline time wining, dining and conversing with his dogs. He loves WordPress ( themes, plugins and tweaks) and blogs about them whenever he can.

Comments (11)

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  1. Limin says:

    Aloha Clive,

    I have been learning about setting up my wordpress blog
    and your site has been very helpful. Thanks!

    I am now stuck with one problem:
    Email notification of new posts is not working after I activated and set up ‘Subscribe2 For Social Privacy’ plug in. My hosting company tech support was able to test the plugin and the email notification works just fine. Have spent hours trying to figure this out but failed…my tech support could not figure out either why.

    My site url is

    Any insight you may have on this? any other plugin that will make the email notification work (notifying subcribers of new posts)? (I also tried subscribe2, same problem).

    Many thanks ahead,

    Limin from Hawaii

    • Clive says:

      Hi Limin,

      I only use Feedburner ( now owned by Google) to achieve this. Go to and set up an account. Install the Feedburner plugin from Add your new Feedburner feed in the Feedburner plugin’s Admin area in your blog. This has the added benefit of tidying up your RSS feed too.

      You can then add a ‘Subscribe’ box in a Text widget in your sidebar (using the code you generated in the set up process). People who sign up are then informed via email when you publish new content – job done and all free!

      I have found that WordPress installations can be temperamental about sending emails from the installation and your hosting a/c so I tend to avoid this.

      BTW There’s a Feedburner video tutorial over here:

      • Limin says:

        Clive, Aloha,

        You really touched me. Thank you for your timely response. You deserve go far with your online business adventure. Thank you so much.

        I will follow your recommendation.


      • Limin says:

        Hi Clive,

        It is getting late here but I could not wait for tomorrow to try the feedburner. All set up went fine (I did watched your video first).

        I subcribed myself, but when I am testing it with a new post, I did not receive any email notice of the new post. It has been 25 minutes.

        Any thoughts? Thanks much,


      • Limin says:

        I forgot to mention that I also did not receive any email telling me as an admin that a new person has subscribed to my blog…

        • Clive says:

          OK well done for setting it up! 2 things:
          1) they are not subscribing to your blog they are subscribing, via email, to your Feedburner feed. Your account at will tell you how many subscribers you have. Either by Optin form or RSS Feed.
          2) I generally find, when I optin to my own site to test, that email notifications of new content arrive after 12-24 hours. Which makes sense to me as I often go back and edit a published post.

  2. Colm Mc Geever says:

    Hi Clive,

    These are great tutorials. I was trolling everywhere on the web trying to find this information before I discovered Blogbriefing. The Feedburner tutorial was especially useful. Thanks for giving us all this.



  3. chipatsua wenstan says:

    I am enjoying and greatly benefiting from your tutorial videos. They aren’t crappy in the least, they are perfect. Many thanks for allowing folks like me to learn so much from you.


    • Clive says:

      Hi Chipatsua,

      Thanks very much – I’m adding them as quickly as I can (lots more to do!) – right now I’m editing an audio conversation I had with another member where he was asking me questions about auto-responders, and how they work, and hope to have that on the site soon along with a tutorial video. Don’t forget to ask any questions you might have in the Comments section here or on any other tutorial page.

  4. Clive says:

    P.S. If you prefer you can ‘unzip’ the plugin folders and then upload the relevant folders to your hosting server using FTP and Filezilla – but the new WordPress plugin installation, as described above, kind of makes that unecessary now and you’re less likely to make mistakes doing it the way I describe in the tutorials.

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