WordPress is one of the best website development and content management tools available today. What makes it appealing for many is the ease of use, and that its open source. This means developers from all walks of life can create templates and themes – of which there are now thousands – and plugins which enhance the functionality of a WordPress site. If you’re not a handy WordPress developer and you’re looking to enhance your sites functionality, you can usually find a plugin that will do the trick for you. Here are five WordPress plugins you should be using if you’re not already.
1. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is used to speed up the load time for your website among other benefits. Essentially WP Super Cache takes a snapshot of your website pages, caches them (stores them), and serves them up when a visitor comes to your site. This allows for less stress on your server and database as they don’t have to run through your code and render each of your pages every time a new visitor comes. WP Super Cache has been known to decrease load time by more than double. This is especially useful for larger sites and has a ton of advanced caching options as well for more familiar users.
Keep in mind, however, that when using WP Super Cache or any other caching plugin that your website updates may not appear right away until you clear the cache. You can look into the WP Super Cache documentation for more details on how to properly use the plugin.
2. All-In-One SEO
The All-In-One SEO plugin is a great way to get your page titles and descriptions up for Google and other search engines and a great start to reaching your SEO goals. The plugin alone is not a recipe for search engine success, but has a lot of great features to make things easier including:
- Create titles and descriptions from Post or Page area
- Add relevant keywords manually or automatically
- Social integration
- Easy Sitemaps
- Automatics Canonical URLs
- Easy Robots.txt file creation
Of course, there is a whole lot more for the advanced user as well. All-In-One SEO plugin is one of many SEO plugins out there today, but in our eyes is one of the better ones as far as functionality and ease of use.
Duplicator is a great tool for moving WordPress sites from one location to another, and is also ideal for backing up your WordPress site. Duplicator takes a lot of the complicated backend processes and simplifies them for the user. In order to move a website, you simply create an Archive and Installer file through the plugin interface, then upload those files to the server via FTP. You then access the installer file using your browser’s address bar, follow some simple instructions and voila! Your site is moved to a new location.
4. WordPress Importer/Exporter
Afraid you might lost all of your WordPress posts or pages in a crash? Not great about backing up your site? Need to move some already created posts from one site to another? The WordPress Importer and Exporter are great tools for you. These can be installed by going to the Tools area on your Admin dashboard. The Exporter allows you to export all your WordPress content including posts, pages, media, etc., while the Importer allows you to import those pages, posts, media, and formatting into another WordPress installation (or the same one if you’re backing up). While the Import/Export method is not ideal for backing up your site, as you’d have to export every time you changed or added to a page or post, but it does makes things easy when moving content or re-uploading content. This is also helpful when installing new themes and inserting “dummy” data so that you can get a feel for how the theme works.
In fact, there are several others plugins that can be used through the Tools area as well, including a category and tag converter among others.
5. Simple Custom CSS
These five WordPress plugins can go a long way to helping you make your website experience better not only for you but your visitors as well. We recommend doing a quick browse of the plugin repository in WordPress to see what’s out there, and of course a trusty Google search can always find great results as well. Before giving up on grand plans for your website make sure to see if there is a plugin for your desired functionality. But it’s also important to be careful, plugins can “butt heads” with one another causing problems with your site, and having too many plugins can slow your site down. Keeping the right balance and doing some testing first will help you steer clear of possible problems. Go get em!