A List Of Useful WordPress Plugins To Make Managing Your Site Easier
August 17, 2019 | By Jeff | In Products & Tools
I’ve been using WordPress for close to 15 years and I’ve learned a lot on how to get the most out of it. As a NJ SEO consultant and web designer, I need to know how to bend the most popular CMS out there to my will. Chances are, you are probably also using WordPress as your website content management system as well. I’ve come along many plugins that make managing your site a whole lot easier. If you’re just getting started, here are a few I would highly recommend you install to make your life easier.
This is by far one of the most useful plugins out there for your WordPress website. It makes managing your plugin and theme updates a snap. You’ll never have to worry about your plugins becoming months or years out of date, especially if you run a site that doesn’t get updated very often. This is especially useful for “set it & forget it” sites. You can set and customize how often everything automatically updates in the background and get optional email updates as well.
Instead of creating the same post and layout over and over again from scratch, simply create a new duplicate of it with this plugin. It’s extremely useful if you want to mess around with the layout and coding of a live page, but don’t want to break anything. Simply just duplicate the page, and experiment with the duplicate. It’s also great for when you have a large amount of pages with the same layout, but slightly different content that you have to create.
If you care about your site’s search engine optimization and appearance in Google search results, this is the plugin you need. By default, WordPress only adds very basic tags to each of the pages you create; a basic title tag with the post name, and your site title. Once you install this plugin, you can customize all of your title and description tags for every page and post you create. It also has very helpful guidelines to help you write titles and descriptions that are appropriate lengths and keyword density. If your post is too sparse of content, Yoast will also let you know. It’s quite a boon to people like myself that run an NJ SEO company.
I’ve used several caching plugins over the years, and I’ve found that WP Fastest Cache is the easiest and most compatible plugin to get your site loading faster. This plugin basically creates static versions of all of your pages & posts so that they will load faster in your browser. Normally without caching, wordpress will have to perform several database queries to put together and load your pages when you want to view them in your browser. This can sometimes take a while. Using this plugin will change that, and have your pages load much faster than without.
This plugin is a must for your site. Create automatic daily “one-click” restore backups of your site. By far, one of the easiest free backup plugins I’ve ever come across. If you ever happen to break your site for some reason or another, simply restore it to it’s last working state, and toss your worries aside.
This plugin has come in handy several times when I’ve had to move a WordPress site from one hosting company to another. Simply create a backup file of the entire site, install a blank WordPress site on the new host, install this plugin, restore your backup site file, and Bob’s your uncle! The free version works for smaller sites, but the paid version has unlimited size limits. It’s worth it.
If there is only one plugin on this list that you install, it should be Wordfence, PERIOD! This plugin is pretty much essential unless you are hosting your site on a premium hosting service like WP Engine that has its own firewall. This plugin protects you from hackers & scans your site for malware on a regular basis. You can also lock out and block users that try to hack passwords or send malware injection attacks into your site. See my post on Why Your WordPress Site Needs Security to learn more.
While the paid version of Wordfence also comes with the option to block entire country IP addresses, this plugin does it for free. Generally speaking, if your website only does business in your home country and you want to greatly limit the amount of site attacks from notorious hacking countries, this is the plugin for you. It makes it even easier by allowing you to set the countries that ARE allowed and blocking the rest, instead of selecting from an endless list of countries to block. There is a minor file upload setup to make this plugin work…which leads to my honorable mention…
If you don’t have FTP access to your site, then this plugin makes managing and uploading files to areas other than your “uploads” folder a snap. Be careful though as you can break your WordPress website if you mess around with your core files too much. But that’s what the previous plugins, Updraft Plus and All In One WP Migration are for. Please make sure you create backups of your site with both before you mess around with it. I’d also recommend disabling this plugin if you are not planning on using it on a regular basis. With those precautions in mind, this plugin can be a major time saver.
There you have it. I hope that my suggestions in this article will help with your productivity and make managing your new WordPress website an enjoyable one. Keep checking my blog for more useful articles on how to get the most out of your personal or business website.