Behind the Blog- The Platform and the Plugins

 

I love chatting with newer bloggers as they ask me tons of questions, in which I love being able to pay it forward! Most recently, I have been asked about the technical side of my blog, in which I felt a blog post about this was warranted. If you are new to this site, I also run The Curvy Fashionista- a plus size fashion and lifestyle blog heading into its fourth year!

Over the past few years, I have switched platforms, broken my site, changed layouts, bought themes and plugins, and deleted most of theme- all to find what works best for me and my goals! Throughout those years, I have found my die hard favorites and those I chose to leave behind and today, I share my favorites with you!

The Platform:

wordpress logo

WordPress.org  (Self hosted, which is different than the WordPress.com) . I started out on Blogger, as it had the easier interface to me at the time. However, through my research I realized if I was going to do this full time, I needed to get down on WordPress. I have not looked back nor regretted this change at all! Why WordPress? Check out the articles here, here, and here for why!

The Plugins:

If you want your blog to do a specific function, then plugins are a great place to start! I must advise, using too many plugins will slow your site down and not all plugins are compatible with others! While some are free, there are quite a few of really cool ones that you have to pay for! I use a few of those!

Plugins can create widgets (the functions that sit on the sidebar or footer of your site) or functions within your post! I absolutely love them! Here are a few of my BASICS to start out with and then when you are done, check out Jeff Bullas’s post on the top 10 WP plugins for 2012!

My MUST HAVE Plugins at the MINIMUM:

  • Askimet- This is the spam collector!
  • Platinum SEO- Want your site to be found? This is one of the options to allow Google and other Search Engines to find you!  There are other options to play with, but this is what I have been using and I have no complaints!
  • Disqus Comment System- I love this for creating and keeping a conversation going! Share options, easy integration, and constantly supported!
  • Digg Digg- In today’s sharing space of social media, the easiest way to get your site out there is by having social share options! It kills me when I cannot share or do not know where to find it! Make it easy for your readers! THIS is one of the newest and fastest growing adds I LOVE.
  • Contact Form 7- Want to embed a form into your site for people to contact you with? Contact form does the job! There are others that offer options and some even premium, but this does its job quite nicely!
  • W3 Total Cache- Nothing worse than your site crashing, overloaded, or bloated… Caching allows your site to load faster, purges old data, and keeps it user friendly! A MUST! If not this one, then a system that allows for this!
  • Widget Logic- Sometimes you do not want a plug in to show on all of your pages. Widget logic allows for you to choose which pages, categories, or posts to allow a specific ad, note, function to sit on! LOVE!

These plugins above are just a few of the basics that keep my life right! Please note that I am using WordPress.org, self-hosted and not WordPress.com which has completely different (although familiar) functionalities and limitations.

This is just a bit behind the blog and I thought I would share!

As a blogger, I would love to know which platform you use and some of your favorite plug ins!

  • James Derek Oliphant

    Hi Marie, what theme are you using on your blog?

    • http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com Marie Denee

      Hello James! I am using Genesis, The Runway Theme :)

      What’s up!?

      • James Derek Oliphant

        Thanks for the prompt reply, I’m looking at moving my photography blog over to wordpress from blogger, just weighing my options. I like the clean lines of your blog…. thanks again…www.oliphantphotography.net

        • http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com Marie Denee

          Ohhh good luck! Genesis does offer a few photog options!

  • Amie

    I have been blogging for a few years and just start a new one only a couple days ago using wordpress.com which is completely foreign to what I’m use to! I don’t understand the difference in wordpress.com and .org.

    • http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com Marie Denee

      .com is hosted or lives on wordpress’s server and .org is hosted by you or another company that manages it for you… you have more freedom on the latter! I hope this helps???

  • Ashley Nicole Parks

    I can’t wait to try these tips!!! Thank you

    • http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com Marie Denee

      You are quite welcome… how are they coming along now???

      • Ashley Nicole Parks

        its coming… I haven’t had the time to get totally back in the blogging grove just yet (just got married and now moving) but in the near future I plan on revamping my blog totally! I am currently using wordpress.com so I’m thinking I want to make the switch to .org and also I want to change the name of my blog and some more stuff. I got the ideas now I just have to make the time!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharelle.d.lowery Sharelle D. Lowery

    This was awesome Marie!!!….I am tuned in!!!!