How does one limit their plugin choices when it comes to building or owning a WordPress site?! There are so many to choose from it often makes users anxious to try them all. However,
This Is Pretty Awful For Your Site.
In order to help those out there piling up their plugin directory like hoarders, I’ve put together a list below that gives you the essentials for any site. Not only that, but the combination of these plugins in one site leads to a faster, organized, beautiful site. Before I go off too far, let’s jump right in:
1. WP Fastest Cache
I know what you’re thinking… “Caching plugins are too difficult for me!” or “I heard W3 Total Cache is the best…” WRONG. WP Fastest Cache is a recent find of mine, and I use it for every site I build. The settings are easy, the performance is consistent, and you don’t have the extra baggage you get with W3TC. Often times (especially now with HTML5, Ajax and CSS3 in play) W3 has a hard time working with the best themes and frameworks. I’ve found that WP Fastest Cache rarely has any conflicting properties. The cache is clean with one click, and my site doesn’t collapse under the weight of most other caching plugins. You can find WPFC here.
2. BWP Minify
Tired of your site loading extremely slow? Feel like you can’t find a single solution amongst the infinite amount of products claiming they can increase your performance? Trust me, I felt the same when I first started out in WordPress. It’s more important than ever to improve page load times, so what is the best way to do so? BWP Minify, or Better WordPress Minify.
BWP allows you to combine and minify your CSS and JS files to improve the page speed and load times. The plugin settings are comprehensively customizable, and the author offers numerous resources to getting started. Best of all, BWP uses an enqueueing system rather than an output buffer to increase compatibility with themes and other plugins. Minimize your files today!
3. EWWW Image Optimizer
One of the most tedious aspects of being a web developer or website owner is optimizing your images. In fact, most people don’t even know to do so. A huge reason why cool websites fail is because their images take too long to load or don’t load at all. EWWW Image Optimizer is the all in one solution.
Rather than having to use Photoshop or a third party program to optimize your images, EWWW automatically does so as you upload new images to your site or blog. This is revolutionary! If you;re not using EWWW, than you’re falling short of an optimal version of your site. It’s free, takes no setup, and is extremely effective. Get EWWW here.
4. Visual Composer
Hailed as 2015’s best, most improved WordPress plugin, Visual Composer is basically the company that advanced WordPress before WordPress could do it themselves. If you’re a beginner, an experienced developer, or just looking for a better solution to building pages, then Visual Composer is for you.
The VC interface injects itself into every WordPress page, giving you a plethora of drag and drop elements. This is extremely efficient as a developer, and easy to use for beginner. Visualize what you want to build, choose from the list of shortcodes, and implement. Easy as 1, 2, 3. As a bonus, all of VC’s templates are simply stunning.
5. Yoast SEO
And lastly, Yoast! My best friend in the world of working in a digital marketing atmosphere. I myself am not well-versed in SEO, but Yoast is the go to WordPress plugin for everyone. It used to just be useful because you could paste your title tags, keywords, and descriptions into an easy to use form. Now it’s a full time SEO consultant who lives within your WP backend.
Yoast is constantly updating and improving, and is confidently the most widely used WordPress plugin on the market. The guys who made it are industry leaders, are willing to help where needed, and offer many add-ons and complementary products to help you perfect your site’s metrics and performance. Yoast is free, and I have NEVER built a site without it. Get it here.