WordPressWe think WordPress is a wonderful tool but is so much better with some of the best WordPress plugins. Here are our essentials and some favourites.

Essential

1. Backup Buddy

You may think that your server or web host is running a backup of your site and database but a recent experience with one of our clients can prove this to be wrong. Use Backup Buddy to back up to a remote server on a schedule then you should be covered.

The free Updraft Plus is also very good.

2. RankMath

Our new favourite SEO plugin is great to use with some amazing features like a keyword suggestion tool right in the page or post.

3. WP Forms

We feel this is better than Contact Form 7 as it has a way to display a page after a form is sent, which can be tracked in Google Analytics. The only downside with the free version is a lack of BCC, only CC.

The paid Gravity Forms are amazing if you want a more robust form builder.

4. Yoast Duplicate Post

You know, small can be beautiful and this one just saves time! Have multiple posts? Use this to quickly duplicate an existing one that took you an hour to create then off you go.

5. Redirection

If you move/delete a page/post or change its web address (permalink/URL), you need to make sure that your visitors can find it and just as important, the search engines. Add your “301 redirects” to this plugin and you’ll be covered.

6. Tablepress

Creates amazing tables with sorting capabilities, alternate row colours and much more.

7. Post Snippets

Create common elements then easily add them to your site in multiple places. Want to make a change – do it in one place. Nice!

8. Envira Photo Gallery

A really nice photo gallery plugin, which correctly uses the Media Library. Great popup lightbox effects too.

9. WP Sweep

Cleans out old database tables, making your website much faster.

10. Easy WP SMTP

When your email is hosted on a third party (like G Suite or Microsoft 365), this plugin will solve your Contact Form 7 (or Gravity Forms) sending problems.

Security

It’s important to keep your site as secure as it can be. These tools add another level to harden your website.

11. Wordfence

Amazing tool with a built-in Firewall, malware scanner and removal, and hardening. You can track all of your sites in Wordfence Central and have templates, which can be applied to all of your sites in once place.

12. Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner

From those great guys at Sucuri, this one can scan your site if you have a malware attack and get the dreaded red screen of death by Google. You can also “harden” exposed directories with one click! It won’t PREVENT malware but will help you remedy a bad situation.

Just Cool

13. Shortcodes Ultimate

An outstanding plugin, which gives you so many cool features to easily add – columns, accordions, drop caps, tabs – all responsive too!

14. Menu Icons

Adds small icons to your navigation bar.

15. Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by Seedprod

A handy tool for adding a holding page with a place to put your Google Analytics tracking code.

16. CryptX

Email harvesters are the scourge of the Internet – they grab visible email addresses from websites and add them to spam lists. This plugin automatically encrypts any visible email address (adds the words “at” and “dot” but leaves it clickable) so the address can’t be recognized by those damn harvesters.

17. Child Theme Configurator

A “child theme” (template) allows for customization to your website, which are not affected by future updates to you “main mother theme”. Create “child themes” with the click of a button. Easy.

18. LDW Mobile Contact Optimizer

Unbelievably cool tool, which easily add links (phone, email address and location map) available at all times at the bottom of your pages in a mobile device.

19. Post Expirator

With WordPress, you can easily schedule a post to publish on a future time and date (just add a future time and date, funnily enough) but you can’t bring it down on a future time and date. Use this one to do just that.

20. Embed Any Document

Want to display a PDF or Word document visibly in your site rather than via a download link? This will do it.

21. Better Search and Replace

This one is incredibly useful when you need to change links across your entire site, especially if you have just moved from one domain to another. It won’t, however, change links in your widgets so you’ll need to do those manually.

22. Plugin Notes

We discovered this one when we did not want to update a specific plugin but kept forgetting. Very handy notes plus different designs.

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Don’t forget to make a donation to these fine plugin developers. Need help you with your WordPress site?

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