Our must use WordPress Plugins
One thing that makes WordPress standout above other opensource platforms is how easy it is to customise and adapt with plugins. While we try to avoid using a lot of plugins on websites that we build, opting instead to create functions ourselves, there are a few plugins that we enjoy using.
So here are our top picks for plugins that help us when designing and building custom websites for our customers.
Advanced Custom Fields Pro
We cannot sing the praises of ACF Pro enough here at Team Valley Web and truly believe that it is the best plugin when it comes to developing custom themes for WordPress. ACF gives developers full control over the editor and also allows for admin sections to be created for site wide editing.
The end result is an easy to use customised CMS that makes editing and maintaining content a lot more intuitive than the basic WordPress editor.
Yoast SEO helps boost your on-site search engine optimisation by allowing you to manage page titles and meta descriptions on a per page basis, as well as adding the ability to create breadcrumb navigation and an auto generating XML sitemap.
What makes this standout from the 100’s of other seo based plugins is it’s page analysis tool that uses a traffic light based system, as this makes the user think about the content that they are writing on each of the pages.
It also understands how important Social Media is to a site, which is why it allows the user to control what is seen when someone shares the page on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, including the ability to upload a unique image for each social platform.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a flexible solution for creating and managing multiple forms on a website. Its simple to use interface makes it easy for anyone to quickly develop a contact form for their website, making it ideal for our customers who wish to create their own forms for special offers and promtions on their sites.
Bonus Plugin: Contact Form 7 Honeypot is a small extension to Contact Form 7 that adds basic anti-spam functionality to help prevent spam submissions without the need of the user filling in a captcha.
One thing missing from a base WordPress install is the ability to regenerate previously uploaded images if their dimensions are changed, this is where Regenerate Thumbnails comes in.
When installed this lightweight plugin runs through all the existing site images and recreates all of them in the sizes required by the website, potentially saving the user time, as with out it they would have to reupload all the images again.
Created by WordPress.com, Jetpack is a collection of functions that can be found as standard when using the wordpress.com blogging platform, but are not included on the self hosted platform we use when building sites. Each of the functions included can be switched on and off depending on the sites needs, meaning the site doesn’t need to have any additional functionality that it does not require for that sites build.
We especially like the publicise option that allows the site to be connected to various social media websites and will auto-publishes news/blog posts to these social accounts automatically.
Feature Image : Evan Lorne / Shutterstock.com