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Our Favorite WordPress Plugins

March 12th, 2015 by

Two sites can look completely different from each other, but still be built from the same basic components. There are a handful of client and user needs that we see on almost every site we build, no matter what the page is for. Luckily for us, there’s a WordPress plugin for each one.

These are some of our absolute favorite plugins (and some of the tools we leverage in our WordPress Foundation Site Packages), covering everything from SEO to site maintenance. Enjoy!

wordpress-plugins

1: Gravity Forms

You can see this awesome little plugin in action on our contact page, and across the site. Yes, it’s a paid plugin, and worth every cent! I can’t think if a single thing we’ve needed to do that Gravity Forms as not be able to accomplish.

2: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Keep in mind that this plugin isn’t a substitute for good SEO; but it’s an excellent tool to help implement your plan of action. Yoast’s SEO tools lets you:

  • manage keywords and meta titles + descriptions,
  • edit robots.txt and htaccess right from the site admin
  • manage attributes for all content and taxonomies (including no index of custom post types)
  • bread crumbs, social meta data, and more

It’s a 100% must have for any WordPress site.

3: Google Analyticator

Google Analytics is a great way to keep tabs on the traffic to your site. The Google Analyticator plugin installs the JavaScript code for you; all you have to do is log in and connect to your Google Analytics account.

4: Backup Buddy

Backup Buddy is the best backup plugin we’ve found yet: peace of mind, support, and automation all in one handy tool.

  • Schedule automated backups
  • Check on server status
  • Migrate with just a few button clicks
  • Restore to previous version (even just selected files if you choose!)

5: Advanced Ads

A plug in for ads? Wait, not all sites have ads on them! Exactly — but most sites do have specific widgets or other area’s of content that can really benefit from this little gem. With a little creative thought, this plug in provides a fantastic interface for creating content that has various version for mobile vs. desktop display, set specific content to expire at a given date, and all other sorts of clever options that go above and beyond “ads”. And yes, it also handles ads really well!

  • creating ads (content) is as easy as creating a post
  • group ads to create ad rotations
  • create drafts or ads only visible to logged in users
  • set a date for when to publish the ad
  • set display conditions, visitor conditions, and more

p.s. the plug in author,Thomas Maier, is super responsive and wonderful to work with.

6: Social Locker

I found this plug in about a year ago, and it’s the end all be all for gating content across social networks. Just create your gated content, create a locker, and then wrap your gated content in shortcodes. And, the support team is very responsive.

7: Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

This one made me to a little happy dance when I stumbled across it. It’s a widget WITH THE VISUAL EDITOR! Yup, just turn this little guy on and style away in your widget. Drop in an image, style text as a headline, or bullets, or anything else you need. Saves hours of time coding, and allows clients to have more control over their sidebars.

8: Absolute Privacy

Need a super fast, super easy way to block google from indexing your development site? Get Absolute Privacy! While you will NOT want to leave this enabled on your live site, it’s the perfect solution for your development environment.

9: WordPress Related Posts

Increase readers’ engagement and quickly (and easily) display related posts. It includes some default “themes”, or you can code up your own css for the display.

10: WP Optimize

Ever need to delete 2,000+ spam comments off of an aging site? Want to optimize your database to clean out old posts drafts, autosaves, and trashed comments? Do all this and more to keep your database tidy, without logging in to PhpMyAdmin.

11: WP Fastest Cache

This one is creeping up on the must have list. Depending on your hosting account, how your site is structured, and other variables, this little gem can help you resolve many of the optimization issues that might be pulling down your page speed. We’ve used it on a few sites now, and with a few settings adjustments it’s performed it job quite well.

About 

Kandra is influenced in her design by everything from Hubble Space Telescope imagery to the strawberry plants in her garden. Her concepts are known for their characteristic combination of warmth, simplicity and functionality, and for their strong resonance with her clients’ brand and corporate identities.

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