Every website, every company, is going to have a different list of requirements when it comes to functionality. That’s a given. However, there are a few plugins I’ll typically install on any website I create for a client. These are WordPress plugins that tend to give immediate advantages. So, what are my 5 top WordPress plugins I use on every site?
I’ll tell you…
I won’t go into detail to explain how to set these up at this stage. I may write another article on setting up and optimising these plugins. This is just a list that includes my reasons for using them.
I’m sure this is on everyone’s list. There’s a reason it’s at the start of my 5 top WordPress plugins list. “Content is king” is a phrase bandied around a lot, and I completely agree. You should be confident you’re providing value in your content and that should be your first consideration.
However, once you’ve written your awesome content you also want to make sure it’s optimised for SEO. It’s important because you want to get that awesome content in front of the people that you really believe are going to benefit from it.
There’s also a few extra add-ons for YoastSEO that extend the functionality to things like Woo-Commerce and Advanced Custom Field (which I use for creating more complex website layouts).
YoastSEO has some great features that make it easy to use for any level of user. It doesn’t just analyse your SEO potential but it also gives advice on the writing itself. It’s a really useful extra because you want your readers to get the most out of your content once you’ve managed to get them to the page.
As of writing this, I cannot remember what EWWW stands for. But that’s not important.
It’s very well accepted that large image sizes can slow your website down. Many people won’t be sure how to optimise their images. EWWW can automatically optimise any image you upload to WordPress. This is a great timesaver, and it’s why I will install this for my clients. It helps my client’s websites run as well as possible. I’m a big fan of optimising a website for speed as much as possible.
Things can go wrong. Things can break. Nothing is perfect, and that’s part of the beauty of the world.
However, if you’re running a business website (or even just a personal website) then things breaking can be a big problem. UpDraft allows you to backup your files and your WordPress database, and restoring is pretty straightforward if you need to.
You can set automatic backups, and link those with things like Google Drive too. Set it and forget. You’ll be glad you did if something ends up going wrong.
No one wants to spend lots of time each month manually backing up their files. UpDraft makes that a thing of the past.
This one is more down to personal preference.
You could spend time creating social sharing buttons yourself (or having me do that for you). However, Sumo has made that easy and it’s what I use on my own site. Well, you can see I use it on my website because you’re on it right now.
Part of getting people to your website is being active on social media. Making it easy for visitors to your site to share your blog posts can boost your traffic. It’s as simple as that.
Sumo also has options to show email sign up popups. The word “popups” does fill me with dread slightly, but so long as they’re not overused I think they’re fine. Not only are you getting social sharing buttons with Sumo, but you’re getting easy to set up things like popups that you can link to your MailChimp subscriber lists (or whatever other email list service you happen to use).
So you’re writing blog posts. Good. It’s a great way to show your expertise, and perhaps, more importantly, to engage with your audience.
Part of that engagement is your comments section. I love getting comments on my blog posts because it tells me people are really engaging with what I’m writing. That suggests I’m writing things that are useful to people.
However, you can also get comment spam. Whether just a bot or someone posting manually to promote something that’s not relevant, chances are you’ll get a few comments that are spam. If those comments aren’t adding to the conversation then you don’t want them (probably – moderate wisely).
Antispam Bee is easy to set up, and done wonders for me by marking spammy comments so I can moderate them if need be.
There are plenty of other WordPress plugins that do this as well. But, I’ve found Antispam Bee easy to set up and use and it’s been working really well for me.
I’m sure there are plenty of other plugins that are useful and just as great. These are just the top 5 WordPress plugins I’ll typically install for a client for their new website. I’ve found they help me and my client manage website more effectively. They also streamline the “busy work” part of our jobs so you can get down to the truly important parts of running your business or personal website.
As well as optimising your workflow with these 5 top WordPress plugins, if you’d like to optimise your WordPress site for speed too here’s one I wrote earlier.
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