What are your must have plugins?

Discussion in 'Wordpress Support' started by stender, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. stender

    stender UKBF Regular Free Member

    461 56
    Do you have a list of must have plugins that you include on every site you create whilst not bloating it out. What are they? Examples contact form plugin, security plugin, seo etc...
     
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: stender Member since: Jul 9, 2008
    #1
  2. I_DO_MARKETING

    I_DO_MARKETING UKBF Regular Free Member

    411 109
    wp-fail2ban is the only plugin that I think is on every site of mine.
     
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: I_DO_MARKETING Member since: Oct 24, 2015
    #2
  3. TargetICT

    TargetICT UKBF Contributor Free Member

    69 11
    Not really a fan of plugins,
    Most CMS's are already heavy on their own.
     
    Posted: Aug 24, 2018 By: TargetICT Member since: Feb 26, 2018
    #3
  4. Daniel-MD

    Daniel-MD UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    There are several plugins that I install on all my websites. I will describe them briefy:

    - Akismet Anti-Spam
    - Broken Link Checker (email you when you have broken links on your site)
    - Contact Form 7
    - Easy HTTPS (SSL) Redirection (redirects all traffic to HTTPS version of your site)
    - Jetpack by WordPress.com (many useful functions including stats, auto posting on social etc)
    - Schema
    - UpdraftPlus - Backup/Restore (backups your blog regularly)
    - Wordfence Security
    - WP Mail SMTP (configure your blog to send emails through Gmail, MailGun etc)
    - WP Rocket (caching)
    - Yoast SEO
     
    Posted: Sep 30, 2018 By: Daniel-MD Member since: Sep 28, 2018
    #4
  5. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,241 815
    Does your host not offer HTTPS as standard or backups???
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    @Daniel-MD

    - Akismet Anti-Spam - Only needed if you allow comments
    - Broken Link Checker (email you when you have broken links on your site) - Totally unnecessary
    - Contact Form 7 - A bloated plugin with a poor UX
    - Easy HTTPS (SSL) Redirection (redirects all traffic to HTTPS version of your site) - Unnecessary, should be done server side
    - Jetpack by WordPress.com (many useful functions including stats, auto posting on social etc) - A dreadful plugin, all it does is slow down your site
    - Schema - not needed
    - UpdraftPlus - Backup/Restore (backups your blog regularly) - Should be a hosting function
    - Wordfence Security - OK
    - WP Mail SMTP (configure your blog to send emails through Gmail, MailGun etc) - Should be a part of your contact form
    - WP Rocket (caching) - Not needed if the site is properly configured
    - Yoast SEO - A bloated and poorly performing plugin.

    A well configured site with the right theme should only need a minimal number of plugins.
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
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  7. Daniel-MD

    Daniel-MD UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    1) Yes, but you need to make sure all the internal links and pictures redirect to HTTPS version of the site. If you started with HTTP and switched to HTTPS, internal links to other posts and images are with http and you need a way to redirect. You may use Better Search Replace plugin to automatically convert all http links or use this plugin. Your choice.

    2) I use backups at server level done by hosts and I also want to keep backups at wordpress level done by this plugin.
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: Daniel-MD Member since: Sep 28, 2018
    #7
  8. Daniel-MD

    Daniel-MD UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    @fisicx I see where are you coming from and I agree with you that some of the functions achieved by these plugins can be done manually or using different methods, keeping your server light.

    Let's take for instance contact forms. I use Contact Form 7, WP Forms or Gravity Forms. Or I could code the main plugin functionality in the theme HOWEVER the plugin is very easy to use and its also easy to configure. I always try to keep a balance between time spent and functionality

    Broken Link Functionality... You can do an SEO audit every now and while and discover broken links or use this plugin. I prefer to use this one ;)
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: Daniel-MD Member since: Sep 28, 2018
    #8
  9. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    Great, but they aren’t must have plugins.

    Every time you install a plugin there is a performance penalty. If you don’t need a plugin then don’t install it.
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. Ian J

    Ian J Factoring Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    5,954 1,900
    Blimey, I've got 19 on my main site:-

    AddToAny Share Buttons
    Akismet Anti-Spam
    Better WordPress reCAPTCHA
    Duplicate Post
    Dynamic Widgets
    Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
    Google XML Sitemaps
    Header and Footer Scripts
    Hummingbird
    Menu Override
    No Fuss SEO
    Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
    Really Simple SSL
    Smush
    String Locator
    Testimonials Widget
    UpdraftPlus - Backup/Restore
    Wordfence Security
    WP-PostRatings

    Some of them I haven't a clue what they do as they have been installed by people designing and maintaining the site.

    I also have 19 plugins on my blog but oddly enough they are mostly different ones. I have the dreaded Jetpack on my blog because it has a subscription module in it
     
    Posted: Oct 1, 2018 By: Ian J Member since: Nov 6, 2004
    #10
  11. jazperson

    jazperson UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    27 1
    These are my favorite plugins:
    1. Contact Form 7
    2. Yoast SEO
    3. reCAPTCHA
    4. Wordfence Security
     
    Posted: Oct 10, 2018 By: jazperson Member since: Jul 14, 2018
    #11
  12. Neromare Works

    Neromare Works UKBF Contributor Free Member

    58 4
    Yoast SEO
    Simple SSL
    Gutenberg (included in the latest versions of WP)
    Google Analytics (the simple one, just to administer the code)
    WP-Optimize
    LOCO Translate (if the website is not on English)

    Sometimes I use a drag and drop plugin for reordering posts, pages and taxonomies. That's basically it. Everything else is a bloat.

    All the security plugins like Wordfence and such are a huge hit on the speed of the website. They are heavy, have one tonne options, and most of them 'security plugins' scan the website all the time for 'threats'.

    That's why my websites load for 1 second, and yours – do not, and will not!

    Wordfence is used by mainly novices who can't protect their websites and don't even realise the damage they're doing to their speed ranks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Posted: Feb 4, 2019 By: Neromare Works Member since: Feb 4, 2019
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    Mine loads in a second and it uses wordfence.

    On a busy site Yoast can seriously affect performance. It's also mostly pointless, SEO has moved on a lot.

    And there are far better Analytics packages than GA.

    PS: can't even find your website to test your 1 second claim.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. Neromare Works

    Neromare Works UKBF Contributor Free Member

    58 4
    I'm not trying to prove anything, to anyone. My customers know it. And by the way, I'm testing all websites on a ~2,000 km server, not like 100 km away from me. Go and test your website on a Russian server, or in Greece, and come back. Thanks.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2019 By: Neromare Works Member since: Feb 4, 2019
    #14
  15. crackerjackcommerce

    crackerjackcommerce UKBF Contributor Free Member

    96 6
    If your WP has many plugins which would impact performance of site then would having a higher grade host offset this i.e. paying more to the host company for a better performing server?
     
    Posted: Aug 8, 2019 By: crackerjackcommerce Member since: Aug 1, 2019
    #15
  16. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    Probably not. All a faster host will do is reduce the TTFB, the browser still has to sort out all the scripts, external resources and other detritus.

    Best solution is to clear out the plugins. Most of them can often be replaced with a couple of lines in your theme functions.php
     
    Posted: Aug 8, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. BuildAWebsite

    BuildAWebsite UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    9 0
    • Advanced Custom Fields - Custom fields for advanced layouts
    • Gravity Forms - Custom contact other forms
    • Yoast SEO - definitely not pointless. Helps webmasters to optimise their content, set meta titles and descriptions, opengraph data and much more.
    • Better Security - protects your site against hackers
    • Autoptimize - optimise file delivery and website speed
    • ShortPixel Image Optimizer - image compression
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: BuildAWebsite Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #17
  18. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    @BuildAWebsite
    • Advanced Custom Fields - Custom fields for advanced layouts - Is this really a must have plugin?
    • Gravity Forms - Custom contact other forms - why Gravity? There are plenty of alternate plugins?
    • Yoast SEO - definitely not pointless. Helps webmasters to optimise their content, set meta titles and descriptions, opengraph data and much more. - It's mostly pointless. The content optimisation is very misleading
    • Better Security - protects your site against hackers - It's just one of many alternatives. The best security is done at server level not with a plugin
    • Autoptimize - optimise file delivery and website speed - gzip on the server is far better
    • ShortPixel Image Optimizer - image compression - or optimise before uploading
    They are all good plugins (except Yoast) but I wouldn't say they are 'must haves'.
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #18
  19. BuildAWebsite

    BuildAWebsite UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    9 0
    @fisicx

    These are MY MUST HAVE plugins... not yours.

    • ACF - I use it to create custom templates and allow my customers to easily edit their pages.
    • Gravity Forms - of course there are alternatives. I use Gravity because you can do pretty much anything with it.
    • Yoast SEO - sorry I completely disagree with you. For users who don't have a complete of understanding of SEO, Yoast is extremely helpful.
    • Better Security - again of course there are alternatives and of course security is done at a server level but most Wordpress users don't have an understanding at a server level.
    • Autoptimize - I'm recommended plugins that are useful for WordPress users. The majority won't know how to edit htaccess and activate gzip.
    • Shortpixel - why would i optimise before uploading when something can do it automatically? It also converts images to webp, something that would take you an age to do and serve manually...
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: BuildAWebsite Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #19
  20. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    32,348 9,570
    But why even use ACF? The new Wordpress blocks are pretty for good for most layouts - no need for a plugin. Especially as we are in a 'mobile first' world.

    As the site developer, you would set up htaccess and gzip for them - negating the need for a plugin. Same with security, you do it all for them - that's why they pay you.

    I'm not saying don't use the plugins, that totally up to you, it's just that Google is becoming more and more performance driven and the fewer plugins the better for performance.

    And Yoast is misleading. Their traffic light system for example and 'focus keyword' can lead you in the wrong direction. Google tells you this: https://static.googleusercontent.co....com/en//searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf
     
    Posted: Sep 10, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #20