WordPress is a website creation and blogging platform that I have used for a number of websites (including this one). It’s very quick to install, highly customisable and well supported. You can find out more and download an installer from WordPress.org.
Or you can use their hosted version at WordPress.com. This requires no setting up but is less flexible.
There are lots of themes available for customising the appearance, and plugins to add new features. One of the problems with WordPress is searching the thousands of themes and plugins to find the best one.
This is a list of some of the plugins I use regularly. In most cases, I have tried several alternatives and ended up using these. These are all free. A few have paid-for versions with extra features.
- CMS Tree Page View: Adds a tree view of your pages and posts on the admin pages. Makes navigation easier on large sites.
- Easy FancyBox: The simplest pop-up image plugin I could find, but it still includes a useful level of configurability. All links to JPG, GIF and PNG images are automatically opened in the Mac/Gnome-style lightbox that floats over the web page.
- Easy Table of Contents: Adds a user friendly and fully automatic way to create and display a table of contents generated from the page content. The ToC can be placed in the page/post content or in a widget.
- Gmail SMTP: Easily send email from your WordPress site via Gmail SMTP server. Use secure OAuth authentication and TLS/SSL encryption.
- Google Authenticator: Two-Factor Authentication for WordPress using the Google Authenticator app on your phone to generate a one-time code.
- Google XML Sitemaps: Having an XML sitemap can improve indexing of the site by search engines.
- iThemes Security: Checks the security of the site. Provides multiple ways to improve security from the basic WordPress installation. There is a paid version with more features.
- WP iCal Availability: Show the availability of your holiday home by importing an iCal feed from Airbnb or Google Calendar.
- WP Sitemap Page: Adds an automatically generated sitemap page to the site. Highly customisable.
- WPForms Lite: Very simple contact form.