Plugins and add-ons—they make life easier and better. You simply download, install, and reap the benefits.
Thankfully, WordPress has a great collection of plugins that extend the power of our favorite CMS. Of course there are a few essentials that stand out from the crowd. So without further ado, here are five of IT Consultis' favourite WordPress Plugins.
Must-Have Plugins for WordPress
WordPress SEO by Yoast
SEO should be a major focus for all websites, that’s why WordPress SEO by Yoast comes in at number one in our list. While WordPress itself is already powerful in terms of SEO, this plugin further improves that functionality. It lets you write better content, gives a good page analysis with regards to focus keyword and meta descriptions, optimizes your RSS feed, and generally ensures your website is picked by major search engines.
W3 Total Cache
As the only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework, W3 Total Cache was designed to improve user experience and website performance up to 10x with some fine tuning! It speeds up loading time, increases server performance and improves conversion rates...even your site's rank on SERPs can be positively affected by this plugin. Do you want to know the best part? You don't have to change anything you already do or have in place, including your content, other plugins or your chosen WordPress theme.
With most of our clients developing their websites to target multiple country areas and visitors nationalities, WPML is a must! What makes this plugin so indispensable is that it allows you to translate everything on a website - from page content to menus and even the theme's strings - and is powerful enough to work on an e-commerce site just as well as on a small personal blog.
Making it as easy as possible for your website visitors to contact you is incredibly important but can be a challenge. Fortunately, with Gravity Forms you can build contact forms as simple or complex as you want, easily and quickly, even if you don't have any knowledge of programming. You can even integrate Gravity Forms with online services such as Paypal and Mailchimp to take its functionality to the next level!
This plugin is a life saver if your website is image heavy! For every image you upload, WP Smush.it automatically reduces its file size in 3 ways: by optimizing JPEG compression, converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs and stripping colors which aren't being used from indexed pages. If you already have a website, but hadn't heard of this plugin before and would like to try it, you can run any images already in your media library through the smushing process and get the same great results!
As the name suggests, Backup WordPress automates the process of backing up your entire WordPress website - databases and files included - based on schedule that suits you and will even email you the backed up files if you wish. If there are files you'd rather not back up, you can exclude them with a click, and with nothing to set up, it is super easy to use. It works on shared hosted environments, in Linux and Windows servers, and in over 10 languages, so now you have no excuse for losing data ever again!
It’s 2014, and we still haven’t completely eradicated spam mainly because spammers continue to exist (Spamming is a lucrative job). If your website has a blog or allows comments in any way, it's a good thing you’ve got a defense system with the WordPress plugin Akismet. Its job is, you’ve guessed it, filter comments so you won’t have to constantly verify if a comment is legit or simply spam. Annoying propaganda for blue pills and marketing comments are automatically deleted, but you can still moderate them if you’re feeling hands-on.
There you have it! Our 7 favourite plugins to share. Now, we carefully select and test all plugins we use on any website extensively, from the plugin's security to its performance and fine tuning, so you can be sure they work for our clients. We hope they will be as useful to you as they are to us! As usual don't forget to backup your website before adding any plugin, as some of them might be not compatible with each other. Checking the plugin changelog, age, number of downloads and rating is always a good indication on the plugin's quality.
Do you have any plugins you love? Any that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!