wordpress pluginsSomething I like about WordPress is that you can pretty much find a plugin to do anything you want, so if WordPress doesn’t quite carry out a function you need for your website, look for a plugin, there’s bound to be one that does exactly what you want. And something I like about wordpress.org is that I can log in and mark my favourite plugins to use across all the sites I manage.

So here’s my top-five (in no particular order) favourite plugins:

1. BackUpWordPress

We’re always being told to back up our work, our photos, etc. but you should also be backing up your WordPress database and files. If you tweak something and it breaks your website, then having a backup enables you to restore from a predefined list of back ups.

You can set it up so that it keeps a selection of back ups and backs up automatically and if you want piece of mind that it’s actually done the back up for you, it will even email you to tell you that it completed a back up successfully. If you upgrade to the premium version then you can also auto back up to a cloud service.

True story: A friend of mind deleted some redundant users from her site, didn’t pay attention to the options for what to do with content assigned to those users and managed to delete significant pieces of content from her site; thankfully she had BackUpWordPress installed and so we were able to recover her site to a pre-delete state and avert a total disaster!

I believe we should be backing up by default, which is why I’m now installing this plugin as standard for any of my WordPress installs, so my clients (usually without realising) have the piece of mind that they have back ups taken – some web designers will charge you a management fee for this!

2. Google Analytics by Yoast

A really simple plugin to add your Google Analytics to your website without fiddling with code or your WordPress theme files.

3. Jetpack

Gives your wordpress.org site many of the features offered to wordpress.com users such as visitor stats, security services and speeding up images. It has over 30 different options, my favourites:

  • quick stats – if you’re looking for a quick stats solution without digging deeply into Google Analytics, then this might be the basic stats package you’re looking for
  • easy CSS editor
  • tiled galleries
  • share buttons and options

4. Yoast SEO

Whilst other great SEO plugins are available (e.g. All in One SEO), Yoast SEO seems to be the go-to plugin for ensuring your posts and pages (and your site in general) are in tip tip SEO condition. It comes with an excellent traffic light system and an intuitive interface to ensure you’ve got meta-data in the right places, of the right length based around your SEO-focused keyword. It also takes care of your sitemap for you and you can even integrate your Google Search Console into your WordPress dashboard too.

5. Contact Form 7

A really easy to use web form generator which using shortcodes enables you to quickly integrate to contact form into any post, page or sidebar widget. It’s also the go to web form for a lot of ‘one page’ themes where contact form integration is built into the theme.

So those are my five favourites, what’s yours?

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