I’ll be updating this blog post from time to time with my list of essential WordPress Plugin’s. These are the plugins that I find myself using time and time again on different sites because they are reliable.
Page Builder : Divi Builder from Elegant Themes
This is a great page builder for easily creating professional websites. There are alternatives but I’ve found that the Divi Page builder has a good support eco-system online and Elegant Themes are constantly developing and adding new features.
I have also started to hear good things about https://generatepress.com which takes a different approach. Instead of the traditional page builder approach, it works with the Gutenberg blocks and creates highly optimised sites. The main drawback being that builders like Divi have a much bigger support ecosystem around them at this time.
Child Theme Configurator By Lilaea Media
When working with third-party themes it’s essential that you don’t directly change the vendor’s theme files because any changes you make will be wiped out when you receive updates.
The correct method of making local customisations is to create a child theme. You can do this manually but I find it really helpful to use this great little plugin.
Site backup and migration
I recommend All-in-One WP Migration by ServMask. I use this for creating offsite backups and for transferring between hosting providers. It works well and has never caused me any problems.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to create backups that get stored away from your hosting company.
Table of Contents Generator
It’s helpful to your readers and beneficial to your SEO to have a table of contents within your longer blog posts. I use Easy Table of Contents by Steven A Zahm
Image Size optimisation
To ensure images are as small as possible to minimise page load times I recommend ShortPixel Image Optimizer. There are free alternatives but this one works and saves me time so is worth every penny.
WordPress Security / Web Application Firewall
I always recommend WordFence and set this up on all my clients websites. They are a good company that detect new security issues and respond quickly.
If you want to sell more than a handful of products then the obvious choice is WooCommerce. With this, you will be in good company as it is one of the most widely used eCommerce engines on the internet today. My main problem with WooCommerce is that I almost always find myself needing one or two additional plugins to fill small functional gaps. There is a wide range of these available from WooCommerce themselves and a wide range of third parties.
In the last couple of years, Divi has also added extensive support for WooCommerce, allowing you to highly customise the whole customer experience.