WordPress has become a de facto standard when it comes to creating a web site. A web site, not only a blog. Part of this wide use is the ability to customize the WordPress platform down to your very specific needs. Numerous plug-ins are available to help in this task.
We all have our subjective or objective favorites. Here are mine:
- Yoast’s WordPress SEO. The most complete and efficient plug-in to handle SEO related tasks as well as managing the meta data needed for proper relaying of the posts through various social networks.
- Wordfence. Making sure your WordPress installation remains unharmed is the goal of this plug-in. If only one feature is to be highlighted, it would be setting up the rules to ban users from keeping on try to guess passwords with numerous connections attempts.
- EWWW Image Optimizer. When it comes to speed, keeping images as light as possible is the purpose of this plug-in. Optimized compression and removal of unneccesary header information is the way it achieves it fairly well. The beauty of its design is that it operates completely in background and you can just forget about it.
- Mailjet. This plug-in handles a simple function, sending emails using a reliable platform. The added value are the enhanced deliverability and tracking features. If your activity relies on emails, making sure they are delivered properly should be a concern that is nicely addressed by Mailjet.
- Jetpack. Provided by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack adds numerous features previously only available to WordPress.com users including customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools. Based on modules, it allows to select only the modules needed. Among others, it includes a super easy CDN for your pictures. It requires creating a wordpress.com account.
- Last but not the least. The no-plugin. I mean the plug-in that I will not install. Installing numerous plug-ins introduces stability and security hazards and potential load time issues. While very useful, some plug-ins can easily be replaced by a few lines added in the source code of your template. The most obvious is probably Google Universal Analytics. Unless you need some very sophisticated analysis (Be honest, do you really take the time to dig into the amount of data available?), the default Google Universal Analytics snippet can rapidly be added in your template source code. For better compatibility with templates updates, make sure to create a child template.
This is obviously a short list. Plug-in usage depends on the purpose of your web site and the level of technical skills of the WordPress environment and the underlying PHP language you have.