Month: May 2017

How to add featured image column to all posts listing page in WordPress

How to add featured image column to all posts listing page in WordPress

If you want to check if any of your post is missing a featured image, the following plugin will add a column to your All posts listing page (wp-admin/edit.php) to show the posts’ featured images for your convenience.

The plugin is  Featured Image Column by Austin Passy. After you install and activate it, your All posts will be added with an extra column showing the featured image of every post.

Do you know that you can also automatically set the featured image for your post using the first image in that post?

What are your favorite WordPress plugins? Share with me in the comment! 😀

WordPress: How to auto set featured image using the first image in post

WordPress: How to auto set featured image using the first image in post


If you are a heavy editor in WordPress, you may find out that most of the time, you just set the first image of your post to be the featured image. Here’s a quick and handy way to help you skip the tedious work and save some labor.

Use Easy Add Thumbnail plugin

The easiest way to automate this is to install the Easy Add Thumbnail plugin by Samuel Aguilera.

Just install, activate it and you’re good to go.

Once activated, this plugin will automatically set the post’s featured image to be the first image in your post content if your post doesn’t have a featured image yet.

If you want to select your own featured image, it will leave the featured image untouched and display your selection instead.

How this works

Let’s take a look at the plugin’s code, which is very simple.

if ( function_exists( 'add_theme_support' ) ) {

    add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' ); // This should be in your theme. But we add this here because this way we can have featured images before swicth to a theme that supports them.

    function easy_add_thumbnail($post) {

        $already_has_thumb = has_post_thumbnail();
        $post_type = get_post_type( $post->ID );
        $exclude_types = array('');
        $exclude_types = apply_filters( 'eat_exclude_types', $exclude_types );

        // do nothing if the post has already a featured image set
        if ( $already_has_thumb ) {

        // do the job if the post is not from an excluded type
        if ( ! in_array( $post_type, $exclude_types ) ) {
            // get first attached image
            $attached_image = get_children( "order=ASC&post_parent=$post->ID&post_type=attachment&post_mime_type=image&numberposts=1" );

            if ( $attached_image ) {
                $attachment_values = array_values( $attached_image );
                // add attachment ID
                add_post_meta( $post->ID, '_thumbnail_id', $attachment_values[0]->ID, true );

    // set featured image before post is displayed (for old posts)
    add_action('the_post', 'easy_add_thumbnail');

    // hooks added to set the thumbnail when publishing too
    add_action('new_to_publish', 'easy_add_thumbnail');
    add_action('draft_to_publish', 'easy_add_thumbnail');
    add_action('pending_to_publish', 'easy_add_thumbnail');
    add_action('future_to_publish', 'easy_add_thumbnail');

What this code does is that it creates a function called easy_add_thumbnail, which checks if a featured image has been set for your post, and then if a featured image hasn’t been set, it will scan through the images in your post and assign one of them to be the featured image.

Next, this code hooks that easy_add_thumbnail function to the post editing events so that the function will be called every time the post is published or displayed (for old posts).

If you don’t want to install the plugin, you can just add this code snippet to your theme’s function.php file or create your own plugin, whichever you prefer.

Does Easy Add Thumbnail plugin work well with Image Teleporter plugin?

If you don’t know it yet, Image Teleporter plugin helps you upload all the external hosted images in your post to your WordPress hosting and then change the images’ url correspondingly.

Fortunately, Easy Add Thumbnail works well with Image Teleporter. This means that even if the images in your post are hosted externally, when you update or publish your post, the Image Teleporter will first upload them to your hosting and attach the new internally hosted images to your post; then the Easy Add Thumbnail plugin will pick the first among those internal hosted images and set it as the featured image (if you haven’t specified a featured image by that time).

Bonus tip

If you want to check if your posts have featured image or not right in the “All posts” page, try the plugin in this post. Once installed and activated, this plugin adds a column to the posts listing page with the featured image if it exists.


Did you find this post helpful?

What are your favorite WordPress tips? Let me know in the comment! 😀

How to schedule tasks in Linux using crontab

How to schedule tasks in Linux using crontab


Crontab is an utility in Linux that allow us to run jobs or commands on a specific schedule, just like Task Scheduler in Windows.

What is crontab

The crontab (cron derives from chronos, Greek for time; tab stands for table) command, found in Unix and Unix-like operating systems, is used to schedule commands to be executed periodically. To see what crontabs are currently running on your system, you can open a terminal and run:

sudo crontab -l

If you have never used it before, the system may tell you that there’s no crontab for your current user.

To edit the cronjobs, you can run

sudo crontab -e

How crontab works

Each user in Linux system has a file located at


containing a list of commands that will be executed on a timely basis.

The content of a crontab file looks like this:

# Edit this file to introduce tasks to be run by cron.
# Each task to run has to be defined through a single line
# indicating with different fields when the task will be run
# and what command to run for the task
# To define the time you can provide concrete values for
# minute (m), hour (h), day of month (dom), month (mon),
# and day of week (dow) or use '*' in these fields (for 'any').#
# Notice that tasks will be started based on the cron's system
# daemon's notion of time and timezones.
# Output of the crontab jobs (including errors) is sent through
# email to the user the crontab file belongs to (unless redirected).
# For example, you can run a backup of all your user accounts
# at 5 a.m every week with:
# 0 5 * * 1 tar -zcf /var/backups/home.tgz /home/
# For more information see the manual pages of crontab(5) and cron(8)
# m h dom mon dow command
0 */3 * * * /home/myname/scripts/

Notice the last line

0 */3 * * * /home/myname/scripts/

That line tells the system to run /home/myname/scripts/ every 3 hours.

A crontab file can have multiple entries, each of which represents a cron job.

Note that this file is not intended to be edited directly, but rather by using the crontab command.

Don’t worry, we will go into detail how that works in a couple of minutes.

Structure of a crontab entry

As you can see in the last section, a crontab entry has a syntax like this:

# m h dom mon dow command
0 */3 * * * /home/myname/scripts/

For each entry, the following parameters must be included:

  1. m, a number (or list of numbers, or range of numbers), representing the minute of the hour (0-59);
  2. h, a number (or list of numbers, or range of numbers), representing the hour of the day (0-23);
  3. dom, a number (or list of numbers, or range of numbers), representing the day of the month (1-31);
  4. mon, a number (or list, or range), or name (or list of names), representing the month of the year (1-12);
  5. dow, a number (or list, or range), or name (or list of names), representing the day of the week (0-7, 0 or 7 is Sunday); and
  6. command, which is the command to be run, exactly as it would appear on the command line.

A field may be an asterisk (*), which always stands for “first through last”.

Ranges of numbers are allowed. Ranges are two numbers separated with a hyphen. The specified range is inclusive; for example, 8-11 for an “hours” entry specifies execution at hours 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Lists are allowed. A list is a set of numbers (or ranges) separated by commas. Examples: “1,2,5,9“, “0-4,8-12“.

Step values can be used in conjunction with ranges. For example, “0-23/2” can be used in the hours field to specify command execution every other hour. Steps are also permitted after an asterisk, so if you want to say “every two hours”, you can use “*/2“.

Names can also be used for the “month” and “day of week” fields. Use the first three letters of the particular day or month (case doesn’t matter). Ranges or lists of names are not allowed.

The “sixth” field (the rest of the line) specifies the command to be run. The entire command portion of the line, up to a newline or % character, will be executed by /bin/sh or by the shell specified in the SHELL variable of the cronfile. Percent-signs (%) in the command, unless escaped with backslash (\), will be changed into newline characters, and all data after the first % will be sent to the command as standard input.

Note that the day of a command’s execution can be specified by two fields: day of month, and day of week. If both fields are restricted (in other words, they aren’t *), the command will be run when either field matches the current time. For example, “30 4 1,15 * 5” would cause a command to be run at 4:30 am on the 1st and 15th of each month, plus every Friday.

How to use crontab examples

List current crontab

crontab -l

Edit your crontab

crontab -e

This command will open up the crontab in a editor (usually vi or vim). Edit and save your cron jobs as you wanted.

Remove your crontab (un-scheduling all crontab jobs)

crontab -r

Back up your crontab to my-crontab file

crontab -l > my-crontab

Load your crontab from my-crontab file

crontab my-crontab

This does the same syntax checking as crontab -e.

Edit the crontab of the user named “charles”

sudo crontab -u charles -e

Note that the -u option requires administrator privileges, so that command is executed using sudo.

View the crontab of user “jeff”

sudo crontab -u jeff -l

Remove the crontab of user “sandy”

sudo crontab -u sandy -r

Check if your crontab is working

If you want to check if your cron job is executed as expected, or when it was last run, check the crontab log as following.

On a default installation the cron jobs get logged to


You can see just cron jobs in that logfile by running

grep CRON /var/log/syslog

If you haven’t reconfigured anything, the entries will be in there.

Examples of crontab entries

Run the shell script /home/melissa/ on January 2 at 6:15 A.M.

15 6 2 1 * /home/melissa/

Same as the above entry. Zeroes can be added at the beginning of a number for legibility, without changing their value.

15 06 02 Jan * /home/melissa/

Run /home/carl/ every hour, on the hour, from 9 A.M. through 6 P.M., every day.

0 9-18 * * * /home/carl/

Run /home/wendy/ every Monday, at 9 A.M. and 6 P.M.

0 9,18 * * Mon /home/wendy/

Run /usr/local/bin/backup at 10:30 P.M., every weekday.

30 22 * * Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri /usr/local/bin/backup

Run /home/bob/ every 3 hours.

0 */3 * * * /home/bob/

Run /home/mirnu/ every minute (of every hour, of every day of the month, of every month and every day in the week).

* * * * * /home/mirnu/

Run /home/mirnu/ 10 minutes past every hour on the 1st of every month.

10 * 1 * * /home/mirnu/

Special keywords

For the first (minute) field, you can also put in a keyword instead of a number:

@reboot Run once, at startup
@yearly Run once a year "0 0 1 1 *
@annually (same as @yearly)
@monthly Run once a month "0 0 1 * *"
@weekly Run once a week "0 0 * * 0"
@daily Run once a day "0 0 * * *"
@midnight (same as @daily)
@hourly Run once an hour "0 * * * *"

Leaving the rest of the fields empty, this would be valid:

@daily /bin/execute/this/

Storing the crontab output

By default cron saves the output of /bin/execute/this/ in the user’s mailbox (root in this case). But it’s prettier if the output is saved in a separate logfile. Here’s how:

*/10 * * * * /bin/execute/this/ >> /var/log/script_output.log 2>&1


Linux can report on different levels. There’s standard output (STDOUT) and standard errors (STDERR). STDOUT is marked 1, STDERR is marked 2. So the following statement tells Linux to store STDERR in STDOUT as well, creating one datastream for messages & errors:


Now that we have 1 output stream, we can pour it into a file. Where > will overwrite the file, >> will append to the file. In this case we’d like to to append:

>> /var/log/script_output.log

Mailing the crontab output

By default cron saves the output in the user’s mailbox (root in this case) on the local system. But you can also configure crontab to forward all output to a real email address by starting your crontab with the following line:


Mailing the crontab output of just one cronjob

If you’d rather receive only one cronjob’s output in your mail, make sure this package is installed:

$ aptitude install mailx

And change the cronjob like this:

*/10 * * * * /bin/execute/this/ 2>&1 | mail -s "Cronjob ouput"

Trashing the crontab output

Now that’s easy:

*/10 * * * * /bin/execute/this/ > /dev/null 2>&1

Just pipe all the output to the null device, also known as the black hole. On Unix-like operating systems, /dev/null is a special file that discards all data written to it.


Many scripts are tested in a Bash environment with the PATH variable set. This way it’s possible your scripts work in your shell, but when run from cron (where the PATH variable is different), the script cannot find referenced executables, and fails.

It’s not the job of the script to set PATH, it’s the responsibility of the caller, so it can help to echo $PATH, and put PATH=<the result> at the top of your cron files (right below MAILTO).

How to add a blank line at the end of the post while editing in WordPress

How to add a blank line at the end of the post while editing in WordPress

This tutorial will show you how to add a blank line at the end of a WordPress post.

During editing in WordPress, sometimes after adding an image (especially an image with a caption) or a “blockquote” at the end of the post, you may find it difficult to add another “normal” line at the end. If you hit ENTER, the editor just add another line of the current image caption or current blockquote, which is definitely not what you want.

If you face the same problem, this simple trick may help you:

  • Switch to Text Editor mode.
  • Scroll to the end of the post in Text Editor mode (you should see your image or your blockquote there
  • Make a new line and type or paste this code at the end of your post (should be after the image or blockquote mentioned above): &nbsp; (including the & in the front and ; at the end)
  • Switch back to Visual Editor mode, you should see a new line as you wanted.

How it works

&nbsp; stands for non-breaking space, a common character entity used in HTML.

Non-breaking Space

A non-breaking space is a space that will not break into a new line.

Two words separated by a non-breaking space will stick together (not break into a new line). This is handy when breaking the words might be disruptive.


  • § 10
  • 10 km/h
  • 10 PM

Another common use of the non-breaking space is to prevent that browsers truncate spaces in HTML pages.

If you write 10 spaces in your text, the browser will remove 9 of them. To add real spaces to your text, you can use the &nbsp; character entity.

In our case, &nbsp; tell WordPress to insert a new blank space at the end of the post. And, because &nbsp; stays outside of the previous image or blockquote tag, WordPress takes it into a new line. That’s how the trick works.


For example, if you have a blockquote at the end of your post, when switching to Text Editor, you’ll find something like this

<blockquote>This is the quoted content</blockquote>

Then you after you insert &nbsp; the editor should look something like

<blockquote>This is the quoted content</blockquote>


Then if you switch back to Visual Editor, a new “normal” line should appear after your blockquote.


What are your favorite WordPress tricks? Tell us in the comment! 😀

How to insert a responsive iframe into your WordPress post

How to insert a responsive iframe into your WordPress post

Inserting an iframe to your WordPress post can be somewhat troublesome, but still can be done if you know some tricks. In this post, I’m going to show you how to embed a responsive iframe that can work with your responsive WordPress website beautifully.

To make things more understandable along the post, let’s try to embed the famous game to our post. is a multiplayer game written in HTML5. If you click on their website here, you’ll find out that the game is responsive to most of devices and browsers currently.

Now let’s say we want to put that game into our post as an iframe.

First try

Switch to Text Editor and paste in the iframe linking to the original website.

<iframe src=""></iframe>

When I switch to Visual Editor, the iframe is there but is very small.

Moreover, the game doesn’t seem to be able to response to the resolution that small and the UI starts to break.

Second try

Switching back to Text Editor, I find out that WordPress has kindly added the width and height for my iframe.

I changed the width and height to 600 and 400 in that order, and the iframe appears better.

<iframe src="" width="600" height="400"></iframe>

Third try

Now to make the iframe centered in the post, I apply the same trick I used to insert and center a YouTube video in WordPress in a previous post, which adds an extra wrapping div as below.

<div style="text-align: center;">
    <iframe src="" width="600" height="400"></iframe>

Everything works perfectly until now.

However, this set-up does not response well every screen resolution. I want it to always takes 100% the width of the parent container. The problem with this is while I can set the width to 100%, I can’t specify the appropriate height of the iframe.

  • If I set the height to a percentage like 50%, I can’t tell the height of the game when it appears, it can be half the screen or it can be larger than the screen, or it can be 0, depending on the parent container.
  • If I set the height to a fixed height like 400px, the iframe won’t response well on some devices, especially mobile devices when the user experience on the portrait mode and landscape mode differ a lot.

The working solution

After some research, I came across this article and ended up with the solution below.

<div style="position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 25px; height: 0;">
    <iframe style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;" 
        src="" width="100%" height="100%" frameborder="0" 
        scrolling="no" seamless="seamless" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">

What this code does is that it set the div’s width to 100%, and then make the div’s resolution to always be 16:9 ratio by setting

padding-bottom: 56.25%;

Setting the wrapping div’s position to be relative and the iframe’s position to be absolute also plays an important role here.

Now the div always responses to the parent container and always keeps the resolution ratio at 16:9.

You can change the ratio by changing the "padding-bottom: 56.25%" to the ratio you want (notice that 56.25/100 == 9/16).

If you want to make your code more beautiful, you can add a custom CSS to your site (by altering the theme’s code files or adding a custom Text Widget) as following

.responsiveWrapper {
    position: relative;
    padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */
    padding-top: 25px;
    height: 0;
.responsiveWrapper iframe {
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;

And then, just add your iframe like this

<div class="responsiveWrapper">
    <iframe src="" frameborder="0" 
        scrolling="no" seamless="seamless" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">

It should work now:


Side note. The iframe does not appear on my website because of the mixed content policy, where my website uses https but the iframe source only supports http. Other than that, everything should work fine.

That’s it. Does this solution work for you? Do you have any tips on this? Let me know in the comment! 😀

How to insert and center a YouTube video in WordPress

How to insert and center a YouTube video in WordPress


With these tips, you can insert and centre a YouTube video in your responsive WordPress website to fit all the devices flawlessly.

In our editing life, there are times when we have to insert an iframe into our WordPress posts, where the most common case is inserting an embedded YouTube video.

For example, I want to embed this video in my post

On the YouTube page of that video, I click on Share button and then click to Embed tab. YouTube provides me with the following html code to put on my website

<iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

Now it’s time to embed this iframe to my post.

First try

If I post the whole code to the Visual Editor, nothing happens and the raw code just appears there.

And when I switch to the Text Editor, I immediately know why: the html tags I pasted in have all been decoded.

Second try

Yeah you’ve got it! Of course I switch to the Text Editor and paste the code.

However, this video is placed on the left, while I expect it to be placed in the center.

So, I try to select the video and click on the Align Center button but it doesn’t work.

The working solution

Again, I switch to Text Editor, put in an wrapping div like below

<div style="text-align:center">
    <iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

What this code does is that it put a div that spans 100% across the width of the post, and then the code:


makes the iframe stay in the center of the div, which also means the center of the post (because the div spans 100% across the width of the post).

Now the video goes in the center of the post, just as I want.

Now the video is aligned in the center of the post.

Do you have any tips on this? Share with us in the comment! 😀

How to add Featured Posts Widget in wordpress using List Category Posts plugin

How to add Featured Posts Widget in wordpress using List Category Posts plugin


In this post, I’m going to show you how to add a Featured Posts widget to your WordPress using List Category Posts plugin.

1. Create a category for featured posts

Some people on the internet implement the featured posts functionality by adding a custom field to posts, marking if a post is featured or not. This method requires no coding but still makes you do some “code pasting”, which may sounds a little bit “scary” to some WordPress users.

While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, I myself prefer using a special category for marking a post as featured. I name my category Featured Posts but you can choose whatever name that works for you.

2. Install List Category Posts plugin

  • In your WordPress back-end menu, go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for List Category Posts plugin by Fernando Briano.
  • Activate the plugin.

3. Drag the plugin to your website

  • In your WordPress back-end menu, go to Appearance > Widgets.
  • List Category Posts widget should now available for you to select.
  • Drag that widget to wherever you want on your website. In the following screenshot, I dragged it to my Sidebar.

4. Configure the widget

  • Extend the widget you’ve just dragged in. You should see a list of configurations for that widget.
  • Input the title you want to display on the website for your widget. For me, I use “Featured Posts“.
  • Select the category of the posts you want to display for your widget. For me, I choose “Featured Posts” category that I created in Step 1.
    • If you cannot see some of your categories in the drop-down list, it may be because there aren’t any posts in those categories yet. Try adding a post to the category you want and retry.
  • Select the number of posts you want to display in the widget.
  • For now, you can fill in only these 3 options and  keep the others default.
  • Click Save and you’re done.

5. Check your website for the featured posts

The widget should now appear on your front-end.

Bonus tips

  • You can add multiple instances of this widget on your website can configure them differently. For example, you can add another one for Editor’s Pick at the footer.
  • You can add this plugin as short-code inside of your posts to insert a list of posts like this: [catlist id=1 numberposts=10]. Take a look at this video for more information.
  • For full documentation on the plugin, check out the official wiki here.



Hope this can help you! Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comment! 😀

[Solved] Dell Precision M3800 sleep issue: does not wake up after sleep

[Solved] Dell Precision M3800 sleep issue: does not wake up after sleep


If you own a Dell Precision M3800, you may have faced the common Dell Precision M3800 sleep issue, where your laptop freezes at a black screen when you try to wake it from sleep.

The symptoms

I bought my M3800 and upgraded it to Windows 10. Everything worked fine until one day. I believed that after some Windows Auto Updates, the problem began.

At first, I noticed that if I left the laptop sleep through the night, when I opened the lid the day after, sometimes it froze at a black screen. This happened more and more frequently over time.

Then after some other Windows Updates, I believe, the problem became more serious. Whenever the laptop went to sleep, it wouldn’t wake up even if I opened it only several minutes later. If I held the power button for 10-20 seconds, it might wake up if it wanted to, or just kept staying dead if it decided that it needed some more sleep. Then I had to hold the power button for 10-20 seconds several times to do a hard shutdown, then started it up again.

Some approaches

Obviously, I went to ask Dr. Google for the solution. Good thing was a lot of other people had the same issue as mine (Am I a little bit mean to think that it’s good because people have problems? :D).

Here are some of the solutions:

  • Some said that turning “Allow hybrid sleep” in “Edit power plan” to either On or Off worked for them.
  • Some said that upgrading the BIOS solved their problem.
  • Some said that after upgrading the Display Driver (both Intel and Nvidia), the problem disappeared.
  • Some said that rolling back the Nvidia Driver to a previous stable version fixed their problem.
  • Some said that disabling the Nvidia Display Adapter (in Device Manager console) fixed their problem.
  • Some said that Dell told them the problem was because of the motherboard, and they sent their laptop to Dell for motherboard replacement. After that, the problem was fixed.

Unfortunately, none of the solutions above worked for me. However, they may work for you, so you may want to give them a try.

What worked for me

Too desperate, I went to BIOS settings to see if there’s anything that I could do. Surprisingly, I came up with this solution which worked for me:

  • Go to BIOS settings (press F2 at the boot screen).
  • Find the Option “USB Wake Support” and change it to “Enabled” (from the manual: this option allows you to enable USB devices to wake the system from Standby).
  • Save and quit (press F10).

Then when I restart the laptop, the wake-up thing is back to normal.

I did try to disable that option later on just to be sure, and the problem really happened again.

So, I re-applied the solution and the laptop woke up perfectly again.

Now when I restart the laptop, everything works beautifully, except for one thing: the laptop wakes up whenever I move my mouse.

The laptop wakes up every time I move my mouse?

Now that I enable “USB Wake Support“, another headache appears. Whenever I move my wireless mouse, or click on it, the laptop wakes up.

Fortunately, I can turn that feature off for my wireless mouse and still keep the BIOS setting enabled.

  • Go to Device Manager
  • Expand Mice and other pointing devices
  • Find your wireless mouse and right click, choose Properties
  • In the mouse properties window, click to Power Management tab
  • Uncheck “Allow this device to wake the computer

That’s it. Now my laptop works normally again.

If your mouse does not have the Power Management tab, you may have to turn off your mouse every time you put your computer to sleep.

Do these tips work for you? Let me know in the comment! 😀

Most useful WordPress plugins

Most useful WordPress plugins


WordPress is no doubt the most popular framework for building a website. With WordPress, you can build a website from scratch within 5 minutes. If you are a WordPress beginner, the following plugins may help you get started even faster.

1. Insert Headers and Footers

Developed by WPBeginner

Insert headers and footers configuration screenshot

This plugin lets you insert JavaScript, meta tags, html tags, etc. in the header or footer of all pages in your website. While the concept is simple, this plugin becomes super handy when you want to add 3rd party services to your website via html or JavaScript.

Adding Google Analytics tracking script

If you don’t know it yet, Google Analytics is the best analytics tool out there for your website and what’s even better is it’s totally free. I believe almost every website in the world is integrated with Google Analytics. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you have your website integrated with this amazing tool.

When you want to integrate Google Analytics tracking script into your WordPress website, just copy the script provided by Google and paste it into the footer slot in the plugin configuration page. That’s it! Done! No additional plugin needed. No HTML editing needed. Your site is now fully integrated with Google Analytics.

Adding Webmasters Tools (Search Console) verification meta tag

While Webmasters Tools provide a lot of ways to verify your ownership of your website, the easiest way would be adding the verification meta tag to your website’s header. With Insert Headers and Footers plugin, it is as easy as copying and pasting the verification meta tag into the header slot in the plugin configuration page. Save the configuration and now you can go to Webmasters Tools and ask Google to verify your website.

Adding other 3rd party JavaScript

As your web building journey goes on, you will find yourself integrating a lot more 3rd party services to your website via JavaScript. In most of the cases, the 3rd party tells you to add a tracking script to the header or footer of every page in your website.

With this plugin installed, you just have to go to the plugin configuration page and add the new script to the existing other scripts that are already there. Oh! Did I forget to mention that you can add multiple scripts to the same slot (header or footer)? You can do that just by pasting the scripts one after another in the slot you want (header or footer). The whole slot’s content will be rendered into the html of every page in your website.

Header or footer?

In most of the cases, 3rd party scripts can be inserted into either header or footer and still work perfectly. However, whenever it’s possible, you should put the scripts in the footer because that will make your website load faster as your website will have a chance to render the content before loading the JavaScript.

2. Yoast SEO

Developed by Team Yoast

This plugin makes your SEO life a lot easier, especially if you are a beginner to SEO.

After this plugin is installed and activated, it will give you a configuration page with several tabs. The configurations are very easy to understand and the default settings are good enough, so you can just leave the default there and you’re good to go.

Now your website front-end already has the following features:

  • Auto generated meta description, social sharing meta tag (based on configured template),
  • Auto generated meta title (based on configured template),
  • Auto generated sitemap xml (default to yoursite/sitemap_index.xml).

And your back-end is provided with the following tools:

  • A dashboard on SEO performance,
  • Titles and Metas configurations,
  • Social platform integrations,
  • XML sitemaps configurations,
  • Robots.txt editor.

Yoast SEO also adds a form in your regular post editor, where it allows you to specify a keyword that you want your post to focus on, and then it uses some best practices’ rules to score the SEO performance of your post versus that focused keyword and also score the readability of the post. It also tells you what you did well and what you can improve to make your score better.

Yoast SEO has more than 1 million active installs (as of 2016). The number says it all. I would definitely recommend this plugin, especially if you are new to SEO.

3. Image Teleporter

Developed by Blue Medicine Labs

When you copy the image from another web page to your post editor, the image URL is still from the original host, not your WordPress website’s host. This plugin turns images in your posts that are hosted externally into images that are uploaded to your Media Library.

When you finish editing your post and hit Publish or Update, this plugin finds images that are still hosted externally in your post, downloads them, uploads them to your Media Library, changes the image links of your post to the Media Library version and saves the post again.

By changing the external linked image to your Media Library, your website performance will not be affected by the external host performance. Moreover, if the external host goes down, the images on your posts will still load beautifully.

Imagine the workload you would have to do without this plugin: downloading, uploading, inserting the image for every image in your post, multiplied by the number of posts you have; not to mention the troubles when the external host goes down several years later. Now, while this brilliant plugin is doing all the hard work, you can go out and drink beers with your buddies!

4. Jetpack by

Developed by Automattic

Jetpack provides us with a lot of cool features out of the box. Below are some of those:

  • Photon – free CDN hosting service by Jetpack. Jetpack automatically cache images on our website on their CDN and serve static contents like images on our website to our visitors from their CDN. This feature helps releasing stress to our server, with no cost at all.
  • Site stats: traffic, visitors
  • Infinite scroll: Load more posts as the reader scrolls down
  • Social: Add social sharing buttons to your posts, automatically share your posts to your fan page

There are a lot more waiting to be discover. I would recommend that you give this awesome plugin a try.

5. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Developed by SiteOrigin
Also install SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle by the same developer.

SiteOrigin Page Builder is the most popular page creation plugin for WordPress. It makes it easy to create responsive column based content, using the widgets you know and love. Your content will accurately adapt to all mobile devices, ensuring your site is mobile-ready. Read more on SiteOrigin.

With SiteOrigin, your editors immediately become professional html designers. All of the layouts, components like google maps, carousel slider, etc. that you can think of, can be done with SiteOrigin using only drag-and-drop. No single line of code or html editing will be necessary.

I would strongly recommend that you install this plugin and give it a try.

6. WP Super Cache

Developed by Automattic

If your website content does not need to be 100% real-time, this plugin can help a lot with your hosting cost, because you can now use only one tenth of your hardware resources to serve the same amount of traffic. Moreover, the settings are pre-configured out of the box. You can install the plugin and just use the default options, yet everything still works perfectly.

This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

The static html files will be served to the vast majority of your users, but because a user’s details are displayed in the comment form after they leave a comment those requests are handled by the legacy caching engine. Static files are served to:

  • Users who are not logged in.
  • Users who have not left a comment on your blog.
  • Or users who have not viewed a password protected post.

99% of your visitors will be served static html files. Those users who don’t see the static files will still benefit because they will see different cached files that aren’t quite as efficient but still better than uncached. This plugin will help your server cope with a front page appearance on or other social networking site.

7. WP Mail SMTP

Developed by Callum Macdonald

Some cloud hosting, including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Cloud, won’t let us send emails via SMTP from within the web server. To send emails, we should use some 3rd party email services like SendGrid, MailGun, etc. that allow us to use some custom SMTP port, that can get through the cloud firewall policy.

This plugin helps us configure SMTP and also test the configuration easily with only one page of configuration. Without this plugin, configuring SMTP settings and testing them would be a pain, especially if you don’t have ssh access to the hosting server.

The plugin configuration page is so simple that an average user can do it by himself.

8. Contact Form 7

Developed by Takayuki Miyoshi

If you are looking for a contact form for your website, look no more. Contact Form 7 plugin provides a contact form out of the box. It also integrates well with Google’s ReCaptcha service to prevent your websites from spams. The configurations are simple yet very flexible.

If you already have SiteOrigin plugin installed, SiteOrigin also comes with a very powerful contact form in their Page Builder feature. In my opinion, SiteOrigin’s contact form and Contact Form 7 are equally good. It’s only a personal preference matter when it comes to choosing which to use.



In this topic, I have mentioned the plugins that I find useful and install on all of my WordPress websites. Hope they can help you, too!

What are your favorite WordPress plugins? Let me know in the comments! 😀