RT Cunningham

WordPress Static Site Generator, Part 4 – Configuring Plugins

Your WordPress static site generator will work without any plugins at all. Unfortunately, it’ll be just like WordPress fresh out of the box.

The plugins you’ll be using will help to enhance and minimize WordPress. In some ways, they’ll increase the payload and in other ways decrease it.

You can add each of these plugins from within WordPress. The “Plugins” menu item is where you need to go.

Disable Embeds and Disable Emojis

No one will be able to embed your posts. Static sites don’t work that way. Also, you’re not going to use emojis or smileys while composing your masterpiece.

These plugins will disable both functions and remove the code WordPress automatically inserts in each page or post. There are no configuration options.

WP Smush

This plugin will reduce all of your image sizes, if they can be reduced. The settings page is under the “Media” menu item. The pro version will let you do a bit more, but the free version is really all you need.

WP-Sweep

Although you need to clean up your database, you really don’t need to do it that often. I use this plugin maybe once a month. Create a database backup before using it. I’ve never had a problem with it but you never know.

A bloated database slows everything down.


Broken Link Checker

Your visitors won’t come back if they encounter broken links all the time. This plugin will help you repair bad links. Go to “Settings” and then “Link Checker” in the admin menu to configure it.

You shouldn’t need to check for bad links more than once a week. Therefore, check each link every 168 hours. Enter that number in the correct place in the “General” tab. All the check boxes on that page should be blank except the last one.

In the “Look For Links In” tab, make sure only the “Pages”, “Posts” and “Published” check boxes are checked. Make sure the first two check boxes are checked in the “Which Links To Check” tab. In the “Protocols & APIs” tab, make sure they’re all checked.

In the “Advanced” tab, make sure all the check boxes are checked, except “Enable Logging”.

Schema

The settings option is under the main “Schema” menu item. In the “General” tab, fill in everything except “Use Yoast SEO markup?”.

Create a directory from the root of the website (and at the online server) to house special files. I call mine “assets” because it houses CSS and JavaScript files as well as what I use it for here. This is where you’ll put your image file.

Skip to the “Knowledge Graph” tab and fill in everything. In the “Search Results” tab, there are two links below the tab title. Fill in both areas but leave “Site Alternate Name” blank.

Yoast SEO

The settings are split into separate menu items under the main “SEO” menu item.

General:

In the “Features” tab, turn everything on and then turn off “Cornerstone Content”, “XML Sitemaps” (we’ll make our own), “Ryte Integration” and “Admin Bar Menu”. In the “Webmasters Tools” tab, fill in the verification codes for those you use. I only use “Bing” and “Google”.

Search Appearance:

In the “General” tab, make sure the “Force rewrite titles” is disabled and ignore the rest. In the “Content Types” tab, makes sure %%title%% is the only thing in the input boxes for “Title Template” (in two places). “Yes” and “Show” for everything but “Date in Snippet Preview”. Leave the rest of the tabs alone. I’ll explain why in an upcoming article.

Social:

In the “Accounts” tab, fill in those you use. In the “Facebook” tab, make sure it’s enabled and filled in. This is for your visitors, not you. I use Facebook comments, so I have a Facebook App ID.

In the Twitter tab, make sure it’s enabled even if you don’t use Twitter. Again, this is for your visitors, not you. If you’re not a Pinterest member, you can skip that tab. If you don’t have a business, you can skip the Google+ tab as well.

WordPress Static Site Generator and Contextual Related Posts, Easy Updates Manager, External Links to New Window

I recommend using them, with reservations. If you use Google Matched Content, don’t use Contextual Related Posts.

By using Easy Updates Manager, you can keep from upgrading anything. Since this isn’t an online WordPress site, you may want things to remain as is.

It’s a good idea to open links to external sites in a new tab. Visitors sometimes want to see the link you provide without leaving your site.

These plugins aren’t necessary with the WordPress Static Site Generator, but they can make some things easier.


April 21, 2018
Web Development

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