WordPress Plugins 2016
10 Must-Haves for Any WebsiteBy
WordPress Plugins are one of the greatest and worst features of the overall framework. Most WordPress plugins can help you build your website quicker and with more impressive features. Here at Media Sociale we have a base list of plugins which we apply to every website we manage and build.
While there are a few good SEO plugins for WordPress, year after year Yoast has been our stand out favourite. Yoast provides all the stable features needed for SEO, automatic metadata, sitemaps, etc. Yoast also adds some very nice features which allow you to target a particular key phase on each page and assess your performance.
Not many people have heard of this one, but WP Smush is probably my favourite WordPress plugin. It automatically optimises each image uploaded to your site, minimises and allows you to optimise all existing images as well. It may seem like a little thing, however we have seen sites media library decrease by as much as 50mb because of WP Smush.
We take security very seriously and dedicate a lot of resource to ensuring that our servers, networks and out systems are as secure as possible. To continue the trend of security into WordPress sites, we use the iThemes Security plugin. The iThemes plugin automatically provides a number of improvements and always for easy configuration of advanced features such as blocking malcious activity and reporting on any detected threat.
W3 Total Cache
WordPress is not known for performance optimisation without aid, most sites we see take 3-6 seconds to load, are over 4mb in size and have upwards of 160 different files to request. Our favourite solution is to use W3 Total Cache (and some server side magic) to setup and configure all our caching, minification and CND performance tweaks. Not trying to brag but we get some remarkable results with this one.
AMP by Automattic
AMP pages are Googles mobile incentive to make pages load as fast as possible using a special version of HTML, this can be quite a lot of effort on top of an existing SEO and content campaign, however with a little help from the AMP WordPress plugin, every post is instantly turned into a AMP page for Google to enjoy.
Broken Link Checker
The Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin keeps an eye out for broken links on your website. Keeping track of broken links is very helpful when managing SEO for a client and makes it easy to be proactive with their campaign.
Have you got 300 images on your homepage and have to wait 10 seconds for it to load? Or throughout your website? The Lazy Load plugin blocks images from loading until they would be visibile on the website. This allows the page to appear much quicker without sacrificing import visuals through it.
Query Strings Remover
Basically if you want to get a really good performance score, install the Query String Remover WordPress plugin. Definitely not essential, however forcing the removal of the query string (?3243543) on all page elements has a large influence on how cachable a page is and its performance score.
The Redirection plugin handles all redirection of URL capabilities you could need and automates the redirection of regularly visited broken links.
- Records every 404, 303, broken link and user attempts to access
- Automatically redirects some links to reliant pages
- Allows you to manually create redirects for individual pages or groups of pages
The Simple History plugin records every change made by a user, which allows you to track who has done something. The additional visibility provided by Simple History allows for efficient reviews and prevents witch hunts from occuring.
Bonus WordPress Plugin
Instant Articles for WordPress
Facebook has created a very similar product to Google’s AMP pages, which is called Instant Articles. The Instant Articles WordPress plugin works by generating an Instant Article from every blog post, which once setup in Facebook will get published to your Facebook page.