WordPress Essentials, Today’s “W” in the AtoZChallenge

WordPress essentials can be your website’s best marketing tool

Wordpress.com is THE biggest blog hosting platform in the world. Use WordPress essentials to boost your SEO.I really, really don’t need to tell you why it’s vital to have a website if you’re serious about your business. Whether you write books, shovel snow, or sell eyeglasses, it’s important to have a website and blog to communicate with your customers. What you might not know is how much easier running a blog can be if you add a few WordPress essentials.

WordPress.com is THE biggest blog hosting platform in the world. It has a gazillion themes, plugins, and widgets that will do everything for you but wash the dishes. I used another platform that seemed more intuitive to use, but it had a fraction of the gizmos WordPress makes available.

Okay, you’ve decided to create a website. Go here for tips on how to set one up. This link offers more expert advice than I can ever give you. There are To-Do’s in this article even I need to implement.

WordPress Essentials for your site:


What’s a permalink? It’s the URL search engines use to find your site. It’s what you type in your internet browser’s search bar to go to a specific page.

Which will Google rank better?

  • www.cherylsterlingbooks.com/1104
  • www.cherylsterlingbooks.com/jao8jBB77650/product.aspx?ID=11526&IT=5f7d3d/show.html
  • www.cherylsterlingbooks.com/wordpress-essentials

I’m hoping you picked the last one. Let’s make life easy for Google. They want to find your blog and display it in their pages.

Go to WordPress->Settings->Permalinks, and change and save “Post name.” This will give Google the SEO juice necessary to find your blog.

WordPress plugins

Headers and Footers

Headers and Footers is a nifty little plugin if you (like me) don’t know code. When I’m instructed to “add xyz code to your header”, I might as well learn another language. With Headers and Footers, there’s two boxes, one for each to paste whatever code is needed.


Akismet aggressively kills spam. 55,993 spam attempts to get into my website have been killed by this WordPress essential plugin.


This plugin adds a bunch of social media buttons to your blog so readers can share your outstanding wisdom.

Huge IT Slider

See my books rotating on the right—> They’re a result of the Huge IT Slider. I can add my book cover and a link to Amazon. There are also boxes to add a title and description, but these overlay on the cover, obscuring the cover and title, so I leave the boxes blank.


This is #1 out of all the WordPress essentials I’ve implemented. Yoast has so many benefits, I’m writing a separate blog about it (Plus, I needed a “Y” subject for my AtoZChallenge). Look for a more indepth blog on the 29th.

WordPress Widgets

I honestly don’t know the difference between a plugin and a widget. They act the same to me, but here’s a few widgets you should consider using:

Goodreads  (Jetpack)

This WordPress essential displays my Goodreads TBR pile and automatically updates as I change my Goodreads information. I’ve displayed it in the footer section because I do not like sidebar clutter.

Blog Subscription (Jetpack)

Another widget in the Jetpack package. Why would you not try to capture the email address of visitors and have them subscribe to your blog?

Recent comments

Aren’t you curious about what other visitors say about the blog you’re visiting? By adding this WordPress widget, you’ll be able to read the last few comments.

Other widgets you can add to your sidebar and footer:

  • Calendar
  • Search bar
  • Latest posts
  • Archives
  • Visitor hit counter
  • Tag cloud
  • Upcoming events

There are others, but, like I said, I don’t like sidebar clutter.

WordPress themes

WordPress offers hundreds of themes for your website. If you want a nautical theme, they’ve got it. If you want something food-related, they have it as well. My theme is ProMax. I imagine I paid for it as it has the word “Pro” in the title, but there are many, many free themes to choose from. The best part is you can easily change them if you don’t like the look, or if you like variety.

WordPress themes sets the tone of your website or blog. If you write comedy, you’ll want something light and whimsical (as shown in my logo). If you write urban fantasy, you’ll want a darker theme. Don’t mix signals and confuse your viewer.

I hope I’ve helped a little in explaining the WordPress essentials you should install on your blog. I’m not an expert, and I don’t intend to be one. Muddling my way through the labyrinth of the internet is as frustrating for me as it is for you, but I hope I made a tiny difference. If you get stuck, do as I do—search for it on Pinterest!

Tomorrow’s AtoZChallenge will be about the letter “X”.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge

Until then, blessings,


If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the AtoZChallenge* and to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about WordPress essentials, including theme, plugins, and widgets, use the buttons on the left to share this post.

*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.




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2 Responses to WordPress Essentials, Today’s “W” in the AtoZChallenge

  1. Kalpanaa says:

    Excellent post and full of useful advice. Thank you so much for writing it.

    Xenophobia #Lexicon of Leaving

  2. Pingback: Yoast SEO, A Tool for Everyone - cherylsterlingbooks.com

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