Here at NextLOGiK, we preach the ease and functionality of WordPress. All the websites we develop for clients are on WordPress along with our own internal sites. I am currently writing this blog on the platform, and only started using it a few months ago. The interface is intuitive and you can navigate around your site tweaking things here or there without any formal training. I got together with our top WordPress developers to put together this list of plugins that we could not live without.
While WordPress offers a ton of features and flexibility, there is still a lot of functionality missing from the core software. The best way to fill in the missing pieces is to get the right plugins. Plugins offer all kinds of customization for site admins, however, with almost 40,000 options to choose from, the WordPress Plugin Directory can be difficult to sort the good from the…well, not so good. Choosing the best plugin for your WordPress site will help make your day-to-day life easier and deliver a better experience for your users as well.
This is a collection of free and premium (paid) must haves, the plugins that can help take your site from good to great. We’ve included options for everything from layout builders, security, and widgets.
Visual Composer ($34)
With a frontend and backend page builder this is truly the easiest way to create and modify pages in your site. Out of the box you get 40+ content elements that you can drag and drop, move and customize right in your site. This plugin is fully responsive and will integrate into any theme you are using. You can create templates of content for similar pages so you can create full content pages in minutes – hassle free. You can’t beat the functionality and support for this price. Visit their site – there’s a great intro video.
Slider Revolution ($19)
Everyone wants sliders of all types and this plugin delivers. Totally responsive it will integrate into any theme your using seamlessly. From a simple slider to carousels, hero scenes or whole front page this visual drag and drop editor will add life to your site in no time. You have unlimited options like; custom slide content for different devices, can add text, images, videos, shortcodes or HTML layers, and full control over styles, animations and transitions. If you want any type of slider on your site this one is worth a look. Visit their site
Remove Widget Titles (FREE)
by Stephen Cronin
Everyone uses widgets, either a pre-built widget with your theme or a custom text widget but sometimes you don’t always want the widget title to show. When you place a text widget in your sidebar and don’t put in a title it will say “Text”. This can become quite confusing if you have let’s say 5 or 6 of those on your site through various sidebars. This will allow you to give the widgets a title in the backend for convenience so you can quickly see which widget is which – without having to show the title on the front end. Once the plugin is installed you can hide any widget title you don’t want to appear on the frontend of your site but adding the “!” character to the widget title. It’s the simple things that make all the difference. Visit their site
WordPress SEO by Yoast (FREE/Paid)
by Joost de Valk
The absolute top SEO plugin for WordPress hands down. Since it’s first inception this plugin has been rewritten from the ground up to improve all aspects of your site’s SEO. They do all of the technical optimization which will help you write better content by forcing you to choose a focus keyword when writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. If you are confused by SEO and want to jumpstart your site, this is your best bet getting off the ground. For free this plugin offers so much more that the average user would use, but can truly elevate your search engine rankings. Visit their site
Login LockDown (FREE)
Site security is a number 1 priority these days. Out of the box WordPress does not allow you to change the default login location. That means anyone can go to your site “/wp-admin” and try to login. This plugin will help defend your site by recording the IP address and timestamp of every failed login attempt. You set the limit of attempts and if that limit is reached within a short period of time from the same IP range the login function will become disabled for all requests from that range. By default the plugin starts at a 1 hour lockout of an IP after 3 failed attempts within 5 minutes. This can be changed in the options and the admin can release a locked IP manually if need be.
Visit their site
Did we miss any of your favorite plugins? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. If your site needs some help or a complete overhaul – see how we can help. Our developers have over 11 year’s combined experience in WordPress and can tackle challenges like outdated design, mobile un-friendly sites, and navigation issues.