What WordPress plugins should I have?
I get asked this question a lot so thought I would write a post about my most recommended plugins.
I try to keep sites lean. There is nothing worse than opening a WordPress dashboard and seeing a list of pink boxes screaming for an update. Even a seasoned developer hates this because there is no guarantee that an update to a seemingly innocuous plugin, won’t break a site.
Plus, it doesn’t make sense to load a bunch of files to just do something I can code in 10 lines. And that happens alot.
So I don’t load plugins to do little things. Instead I create a custom plugin specific to that site and add small snippets of customization there. So you get what you need and even if you change your theme, the code remains. How cool is that?
However, there are some plugins that handle big jobs and do it so well, I almost always recommend them.
Here are my most recommended plugins:
- Gravity Forms: Gravity Forms is such a great plugin. And their API (the way their code talks to other code) just rocks. I think if you gave me a hammer and Gravity Forms, I could build you a house. There are other popular Form plugins out there. But for my clients, the simplicity of creating forms and managing form entries is paramount. So Gravity Forms gets my vote.
- Yoast SEO: Yoast just works. And it is so simple that even my most tech challenged clients can use it. (And I might add, are amazed by the results.) What is there not to love? If you have loaded Yoast but aren’t seeing green lights, please get in touch. I love doing this!
- Dropbox Backup & Restore: Honestly any backup plugin you are comfortable with and using regularly is a fantastic plugin. Keep up the good work! I’ve found this one to be pretty simple and your backup can be stored off your server – which I highly recommend! You have to spring for the paid version to update your database separately. But for basic catastrophic protection, this works well.
Of course this just covers some basic functionality that almost everyone needs. But every site is different. So I will recommend plugins if they make sense for your site and it saves you money. But rest assured, I do not load up a bunch of plugins then leave you with a big headache. What kind of developer does that? Unfortunately, the average one… So if you’re having some plugin anxiety, get in touch. I’m happy to have a look and make recommendations. Your site should work for you and not the other way around.