WordPress is a very powerful engine for your site. For those who design your own WordPress sites, you may know that plugins are a great way to add easy upgrades to your site.
I’d like to provide a list that I believe are excellent plugins and benefit myself and my clients greatly. I have found the simpler the better! These are very easy plugins to work with and so far, I have not found any problems with compatibility for my uses. I will continue to add as I find others that I can recommend.
All in One WP Security – I recently tried this out and have found it to be quite beneficial. It addresses everything from Brute Force attacks to firewalls to black listing to spam as well as many security issues. Install and go down your list that it gives you to customize the installation to areas that you would like stronger security in.
Companion Auto Update – I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember to log in to the back end of all of my sites every week to make sure that plugins, themes, and wordpress is updated. It is extremely important to continuously update these as when there are security problems, the plugin makers and theme makers release updates to combat these problems. This plugin auto updates for you.
Really Simple SSL – Have an SSL certificate but you don’t know how to install it on your site? This is your answer.
Social Media Plugins
AddToAny Share Buttons – This is incredibly easy to add to your posts and pages to allow the public to share your content through social media…. and you can simply check boxes if you do not wish these buttons to go on certain posts or pages when you are designing them.
Instagram Feed – This allows you to customize a list and link to your Instagram feed right on your sidebar. It’s extremely easy to work with.
Search Engine Optimization
Yoast SEO – This is an all-in-one SEO plugin that is tried and true. It allows you to create sitemaps and integrate many areas of SEO. This is truly a must have. When you are creating pages or posts, it will help you tremendously.
All 404 Redirect to Homepage – Google hates 404 not found codes. If you have redesigned your website, your ranking can go down if you have changed page or post addresses which result in 404 errors – even if you simply delete them, they will become errors. This plugin allows all of your 404s to redirect to your home page or a custom page.
Not many people seem to be a fan of Google Adsense anymore but if you are, I have found Adsense Integration through WP Quads to be really nice for me. It’s easy!
Contextual Related Posts – If you want to keep your readers on your site, you need to have post recommendations for them. This plugin places similar themed posts or pages at the bottom for viewers to see and want to read more.
Disable Comments – If you have a site that you do not wish to have comments on, this is the plugin for you. This will globally disable commenting.
Image Widget – I still don’t know why WordPress doesn’t include a simple image widget that doesn’t require html. This is a must have for sidebars.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization – I recommend this for every site, whether you have a lot of images or only a few. This will help your site load faster.