One of the best things about WordPress is all of the wonderful, free plugins that make site ownership easier and extend the functionality of your site. Unfortunately, too many site owners install plugins based solely on benefits without really knowing how to set them up, or inadvertently causing a conflict with a plugin they already have. Here are tips on plugins that will help you get just the right ones and avoid site performance issues.
Basic Plugin List
There are several plugins that every site needs. Check your plugin list to ensure you have at least one in every category. The most common/popular plugin for that category is in parenthesis.
- Spam filter for blog comments. (Akismet)
- Login limit protection. (Login Lockdown)
- Database backup. (WP-DB Backup)
- SEO enhancement. (WordPress SEO by Yoast , All-in-One SEO Pack)
- Analytics (Google Analyticator , Google Analytics)
- Contact Form (Fast & Secure Contact Form, Contact Form 7)
- XML Sitemap. (Google XML Site Maps, XML Site Map by Yoast)
Now, keep in mind that many premium themes, like StudioPress, have their own SEO enhancement and XML map apps built-in. So, count those in your plugin list if you have them.
Other plugins that are popular fall into the following categories.
- Bookmarks/Share buttons (Sexy Bookmarks, Add to Any)
- Email capture (MailChimp, Aweber)
- Advanced Text Editor (TinyMCE Advanced)
- Social media feed (Twitter, Facebook)
- Caching (WP Super Cache)
- Comment threads (Disqus, Comment Luv)
So, how’s your list look?
- Do you have all of the above plugins?
- Are all of your plugins properly configured?
- Do you have multiple plugins doing the same thing?
- Do you have plugins that you don’t really know what they do?
- Do you know if any of your plugins are affecting your site performance negatively?
- Are all of your plugins up-to-date?
You need to pay particular attention to that last one. Most plugin updates are either to patch a security hole or to keep pace with the latest WordPress revision.
Need a Little Help?
If you’re not sure you have the best plugins for the job, or might have plugin conflicts, or just need some advice on proper settings, contact me for a live site review. Let your geek buddy have a look and help you better understand your plugin arrangement. You’ll be amazed at how confident you’ll feel about your site knowing that you really are getting the most out of it.