When it comes to WordPress, the right plugin can make a night and day difference for what you are trying to accomplish. However, the opposite can be said when installing the wrong plugin. Knowing what will work with your theme and deliver the results you are looking for can oftentimes be overwhelming. And sometimes this can cause a week-long headache when trying to figure out what crashed your site and trying to recover everything from backups(always a best practice to test in staging mode before installing a plugin). Don’t worry though we went through these headaches multiple times already so you don’t have to. Here are our 13 favorite WordPress plugins we use:
1. WP Rocket
Have you checked your site’s performance score recently or ever? Running your GTMetrix report can give you some free insight into how your site is performing and most of us could use some improvement. This app does just that. Without having to deep dive into your site and figure out what elements need to be fixed, WP Rocket handles the cleanup for you. So far we haven’t run into any issues with any themes it can’t handle, but as we said before it is always good to test something like this in a staged version first.
Pricing: $49 for 1 site per year
–Quick setup – 80% of web-performance best practices are automatically applied, no need to touch the code.
–The most powerful features for web performance – Caching, LazyLoad, Preload, Delay JS, Remove Unused CSS, just to name a few.
–eCommerce compatibility – No matter what eCommerce plugin for WordPress you’re using, they’ve got your back.
When it comes to customizing pages for WordPress, Elementor hands down is our favorite tool. This plugin simplifies customization, while still having a TON of advanced features for each customized element you want to add. Even if you are a website developer by trade with advanced HTML and CSS skills, this plugin can save a ton of time and yet still deliver a professional-looking and functioning site. If you are thinking about using Elementor for a new site we found the Zakra Theme to work excellent with it!
Elementor also has some amazing integrations with custom post types and Advanced Custom Fields. (Check out plugins 11- 13 on this page )
-The leading website & page builder
-Faster. Much faster.
-Professional features right out of the box
-Responsive live editing
3. Safe SVG
Most of you reading this have probably heard of PNG or JPEG when saving an image. But have you heard of SVG? It turns out in the world of web design SVG (scalable vector graphic) is actually the preferred image format for both web design & SEO purposes. Natively WordPress doesn’t handle SVG images, that is where SVG comes into play. This plugin not only allows you to use SVG images but also ensures that there are no security holes in the SVG file being used.
–Sanitised SVGs – Don’t open up security holes in your WordPress site by allowing uploads of unsanitized files.
–View SVGs in the Media Library – Gone are the days of guessing which SVG is the correct one, we’ll enable SVG previews in the WordPress media library.
4. Yoast SEO Premium
There are many SEO courses, tools, guides, and plugins out there. We find Yoast to be our favorite to work with. Though it helps to have some underlying knowledge on the rules on how your site ranks, Yoast does an excellent job to help you keep your site under those guidelines. Another reason we recommend the premium over the free version is that it includes Yoast Academy. Staying up to date monthly on the latest rules and training videos on best practices for SEO is a must and Yoast delivers.
The automated tools included with premium are also worth the money. It will crawl your site and list out any errors that need to be fixed. Linking and the right keywords are another major component in today’s SEO world. Yoast Premium can help make suggestions that you are picking the right key phrases for your industry and linking to the best pages internally.
Pricing: Premium – $89 for 1 site per year
–Optimize for related keywords
–Full access to all Yoast SEO academy courses
–Internal linking suggestions
–Prevent your visitors from ending up on a dead link with the redirect manager
5.Enable Media Replace
This came in handy for us when Zoho changed all their logos with more modern “logoism” designs recently. Rather than having to find every article that used certain images and replace them this plugin manages all of them for you in just a few clicks. Whatever the use case, this can save a lot of time for bulk image changes along with links that are associated with them.
–Bulk file management
–Update properties or replace images with just a few clicks
6. Image Attributes Pro
Have you been updating your Alt Descriptions for every image on your site? If you haven’t you should be. Believe it or not a big ranking factor for SEO when it comes to Google crawling your site is Alt Descriptions on images. If you fall in this category and have a WordPress site this WordPress plugin is a lifesaver. It will go through all images on your site and handle all of this for you once configured!
Pricing: FREE or $49 per year for Premium for 1 site
–Auto Image Attributes
–Fast Bulk Updater
–Filename v/s Post Title for alt name
7. Content Views Pro
Are you a content driven site? If so, Content Views Pro is an excellent choice for a filter and grid for your content. Easy to use and manage to categorize your content on pages to display by however you see fit. With dozens of layouts and controls to choose from, finding a unique look and feel for your site is easy to accomplish without having to have any CSS knowledge.
Pricing: FREE or $39 per year for Premium for 1 site
–Support custom post type, custom taxonomy, custom field
–Front-end filter, search, and sort (by category, tag, custom taxonomy, custom field, text search) for any post type
–Show multiple content types in one view (for example: show posts, pages, products in one grid)
8. GTMetrix for WordPress
As mentioned above in our first favorite WordPress plugin, WP Rocket, this GTMetrix plugin for WordPress. Just set up your free GTMetrix account and every time you sign in you can see your score. Also great to receive alerts if it ever falls below certain criteria or notify you when your site goes down.
-Alerts on key metrics for your website’s health
–Advanced reporting and scheduled tests
9. Zoho SalesIQ
If you are a Zoho user, having this WordPress plugin on your site is a must. Getting analytics on who is visiting your site is a powerful tool and Zoho SalesIQ delivers that. Not to mention their built-in chatbot has come a long way and is more intuitive than ever with the recent launch of SalesIQ 2.0. Program these chatbots with the right help article responses and give your website an edge over your competitors while taking customer satisfaction to the next level.
-Website visitor insights
-Live Chat & Remote Access
10. Page & Post Clone
The title says it all. This plugin can save a lot of time when creating multiple pages with similar formatting structures. By being able to rapidly clone pages or posts just edit the content and you’re ready for the next page.
-Create a page clone preserving all the content and title
-Create a post clone preserving all the content and title
11. Custom Post Type UI
Our favorite way to build product information pages and service pages, this plugin sets up the architecture for deep customization. CPTs are basically posts but with a specific intent, like a service or product. This adds an item to the WP-Admin menu. It’s basically the same as a post, but now we can target just this type to attach our Elementor templates and Advanced Custom Fields.
Example Custom Post type of Zoho App.
–Best way to organize your site
–Opens up wordpress and elementor to very advanced customization quickly and easily.
12. Advanced Custom Fields
Once you have you CPT and your Elementor template built you can create custom fields for whatever content you need to be dynamic. This creates fields within custom post type admin pages. In 2019 Elementor bought this company and has done some amazing integrations with it. Each field is then callable in the elementor UI. ACF Fields include images , text, urls, numbers, color pickers, and a bunch more.
Example of adding data to back end.
Selecting the field within the Elementor UI integration
Pricing: FREE ( Pro version starts at $49 )
–Create form like pages to create the posts
–Fields can be fed to anywhere you need them to go (with some more plugins)
-Data added to fields can be used as search criteria
13. Search and Filter Pro
OK cool, we have our Custom Post Types, with ACF fields, and Elementor templates built. Now what? Let’s make all of those ACF fields fully searchable. This plugins allows us to create filters to sort through all of the ACF fields. Drop downs, radio buttons, all of the options that are standard to any robust filter, even multiple filters at once.
Pricing: 1 site $20
–adds the ability to search Custom Fields
–adds filter settings to the url
Ready to take your site to the next level?
If you are intrigued by any of the WordPress plugins mentioned above and want help taking your site to the next level with them we are here to help. Feel free to visit our new Web Services page and schedule a free consultation. Or if you just want to stay in the loop with other great news and applications subscribe to our free newsletter with weekly updates!