Plugins For Every WordPress Website

Plugins For Every WordPress Website

Building a WordPress website from start to finish
Plugins For Every WordPress Website – (You are HERE)
Mobile first, lightweight Theme for WordPress
Additional WordPress Plugins used on Permian Trader
Specific Tweaks for Permian Trader

 

What plugins, and what functionality should every WordPress website have?

Obviously, the list below is based on my particular preference, and your needs might be different. I find that this is a pretty decently standardized configuration to meet the usual needs. As pointed out in part 1, even this basic list was modified somewhat for the Permian Trader project.

There is a constant battle with plugins. There are new ones that sometimes offer better functionality, old ones sometimes are no longer maintained. There are also security concerns. WordPress itself changes, sometimes meaning certain plugins are no longer relevant.

This means that every plugin is constantly evaluated. My goal is to use what I think I need, while keeping in mind – always – performance.

  • Advanced Cron Manager – This plugin allows firing of specific events at different times/frequency. I recently moved to this one. This one offers more granularity in the configuration. So far, so good, still evaluating.
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall – This is a great Security and Firewall tool.
  • All in One SEO Pack – Every single site needs some type of SEO plugin in order to configure SEO Meta and Descriptions. This plugin offers significant configuration options. Additionally important, this plugin configures Open Graph (used on Facebook, LinkedIn), Sitemap, Robots.txt and will connect to your Google Console to update your sitemap.xml. I did not use this on Permian Trader, as both the Classifieds and The Business Directory were written to use Yoast. Having used Yoast, I STILL prefer All In One SEO Pack.
  • a3 Lazy Load – This delays loading images on your webpage until needed. This in effect makes a webpage feel like it loaded in a snap, and as you scroll down, the images will load as needed just before they are displayed. See my article about lazy loading, using BJ Lazy Load. I just switched to this one, as BJ Lazy Load had a conflict with classifieds. a3 Lazy Load allows URL exception, works better, so will be using this one going forward, standard.
  • BackWPup – This is used for backup. I like it because it can backup to Dropbox. This is NOT the most configurable, but it is free and works. As your site scales in size, an alternative might be desired.
  • Better Admin Bar – Right now, this is still in my default list. This removes the admin bar for logged in users. If you don’t need it, then don’t install. I did not use this on Permian Trader, I am testing “Remove Dashboard Access”. I will likely be switching, but not through with evaluation.
  • Block Bad Queries (BBQ) – This is just additional security attempts. NOTHING is 100% secure. Don’t even pretend. You just do the best you can, there is ALWAYS someone smarter out there.
  • Classic Editor (Disables the new Gutenberg) – The new default editor for WordPress is one that is a complete change. It would currently be a complication to switch, so this keeps things as they have been with the editor. Until I see a compelling reason to switch, I’ll be sticking with classic.
  • EWWW Image Optimizer – This helps dramatically control image size. The first thing it does, it resize all images to a maximum pixel size. In my case, I have it set to 1200 pixels. If an image is uploaded that is 4500 pixels wide, it gets resized proportionally to 1200 pixels, with the original discarded. I also use the option to remove metadata from the image.
  • Force Email Login – This means, Email ONLY, no username, in order to login. It is harder to guess an email, and later, if an email is changed, so does the login. Usernames (in general) cannot be changed. This is a bit of security by obscurity.
  • Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) – Connects your website to your Google Analytics account. Not only does this allow Google to chart your traffic, you can also see the basics in your website dashboard.
  • Google Captcha – This adds the “I’m not a robot” to various forms.
  • Post SMTP – This adds a couple of things. One, rewrites the email “from address” and “reply to” sent from your wordpress website. Two, allows you to use a third party SMTP server.
  • Redis Object Cache – Redis stores database queries. Database lookups can be quite expensive with regards to time and machine load. Using redis really helps load webpages quicker.
  • Regenerate Thumbnails – This plugin recreates thumbnail images. It isn’t used often, but seems like it DOES get used often enough to include in my installs.
  • Shortcodes Ultimate – This is just additional features that can be inserted using shortcodes. Usually, I use it for Youtube embedding, and table type layout with DIVs. This one may disappear from my default install in the future.
  • W3 Total Cache – Caching, caching, caching. The more you cache, the less the server has to rebuild each page, the quicker pages are returned. This is a MUST.
  • WP Add Custom CSS – Some themes may or may not provide an easy way to add CSS. This plugin allows you to add CSS that is across the entire site, or on a specific page, and it matters not what theme you are using. Powerful.
  • WP Edit – Adds additional features to the WordPress editor. Also easily allows adding/removing/arranging buttons.
  • WPForms (Lite) – Basic forms. From simple to more complex contact forms, request forms. Although this is the current default, I’m looking for a good alternative.
  • WPS Hide Login – Once a new site is created, it still isn’t ready for public consumption. This provides a password protected window that restricts access. Once a site is officially launched, this plugin gets deleted.

Building a WordPress website from start to finish
Plugins For Every WordPress Website – (You are HERE)
Mobile first, lightweight Theme for WordPress
Additional WordPress Plugins used on Permian Trader
Specific Tweaks for Permian Trader

 

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