What’s a Plugin? WordPress Plugins are add-ons that can be used on the back end to make your site function smoothly. I’m a native WordPress user; for a brief moment I tried WIX because I thought drag and drop was for me, but it turns out it wasn’t and I’m back to WordPress. 2 years back and I still love the many options and features I’m afforded by way of plugins.
Most of the WordPress plugins that I use I’m familiar with, others I became familiar with when I paid to have my site moved from Wix to WordPress. Pip Dig which is the company I bought my theme from, for sure set me up. If you’re not looking to do it yourself, look for an expert to help you bring things to life. That said lets get in to the 11 WordPress plugins I currently use.
If you read my post 7 Things You Need to Improve SEO for Blog Posts this is the most important plugin in TO ME. Search Engine Optimization is key to making sure your blog gets the traffic it needs and deserves to help you become successful. Yoast SEO is an all in one system that includes on page analysis and in real time will tell you things you need to improve or handle in order to set your post up for good. If you don’t use any of the other plugins listed below, this is the one you will always need to have installed.
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is a cloud based plugin fitted for self hosted WordPress sites. I’ve mentioned before that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are not the same thing in the literal sense; each of them boasts different opportunities or lack thereof, but Jetpack allows features on .com to be integrated for .org. Jetpack allows you to connect your social channels so I can keep an eye on my growth; it collects stats for page views, traffic and the likes.
Boxzilla is the plugin I use for my pop up box that promotes my newsletter. The thing I love about Boxzilla or maybe that I love about my theme, is every plugin I use integrates and matches my theme style. I was initially concerned that I would need to do a lot to modify the pop-up box, but I don’t. I plug in my info, connect to my Mailchimp account, choose my settings and I have a beautiful pop up. 10/10 would recommend, I would like to say it should work with any custom theme, but always make sure to check with the theme developer.
MailChimp for WordPress
Mailchimp is my newsletter provider and in order to make sure things connect from site to my newsletter list, this plugin in a must. If I for some reason did not have this plugin, when people subscribe to my newsletter, their emails and such might get lost in translation, which is what you don’t want. There are other plugin options for other newsletter platforms (I’m sure), but since I use Mailchimp, this plugin works for me.
WordPress has two editing modes; standard where you input your content, piece by piece and Beaver Builder. Beaver Builder is a drag and drop plugin that allows you to create/upload as a live page meaning you can create and edit from a position of seeing what it will look like. I’ve used this feature once or twice and while it does work good, when I need a quick edit, I feel like more has to be done to ensure that you don’t completely wipe the entire page out. Nonetheless it works with most themes, but isn’t a required plugin.
Is a plugin that comes with Jetpack and it helps prevent spam and protect your WordPress website from spam as well. From your Jetpack dashboard Askimet keeps a count of the number of spam comments blocked as well as the number of malicious attacks that have been attempted to your website. There are a few other upgrades you can make through Jetpack, but so far the free version does A LOT.
Imsanity is a plugin that helps prevent oversized image uploads. The very first thing I struggled with my first run around with WordPress (pre Daily Dose of Luxury) was resizing images. This was before Canva and other sites would do the resizing for you; thankfully technology has come around and plugins like Imsanity help keep things together. This is also the other reason why I mostly use Stock Photos; they are usually already sized to something manageable.
Meta Box is a plugin that allows for custom fields in WordPress. I’m pretty sure this was set up when my theme and site was transferred over.
A 404 page will pop up when there is an error on a certain page on your site. This plugin allows that error to reroute people to a page that is similar to what they may have been doing so that way it isn’t a complete crash. If anything this plugin does the dirty work to make sure that people still get somewhere on your website and I appreciate that.
Woo Commerce, which is a common platform is a plugin that allows WordPress users to sell things nicely. It integrated really well with my theme, but I’m not currently using it at this time. It’s pretty easy to set up and when I was using it, I personally did not have any issues.
Mailchimp for Woo Commerce
Mailchimp for Woo Commerce is a way to integrate your newsletter to your sales, run campaigns and the like. I also do not use this right now, but installed and ready to go is perfect for when I’m ready to use it.
I hope this was a helpful post for you; if you are not having someone build out your site and want to understand more of how your back end functions then these will always be helpful for you AND if you only choose one off of the list because everything else is too much, choose YOAST Seo.