In this post, I’ll share my 5 favorite WordPress plugins either recently added or ones I have continued to benefit from for a long time. After my initial redesign of my website, I reevaluated all my WordPress plugins. It was time to clean house and get rid of the ones I didn’t need and maybe look into adding new ones.
Here’s My 5 favorite WordPress Plugins
1. Wordfence Security
A few months ago I was in a webinar by Alex of Foreground Web where he talked about WordPress security. Wordfence Security plugin was highly recommended by Alex so I thought I would give it a try. My new website host liked it so much he put it on all his client’s websites, including his own. Alerts are sent to your email address when your plugins need updating. I like this feature because it helps you to stay on top of them.
The dashboard for Wordfense within WordPress, shows me information and other tools available. It’s nice to get a weekly email highlighting some of this information. It’s kind of creepy too because it shows attempts to get into your website login. I only have the free version, but I’m guessing the premium version would be worth having with more robust features as well as protection.
Imagify is a great little plugin that optimizes your images to help speed up load time on your website pages. I started with the free version. This would be alright if you just had a handful of photos per month to optimize. Several of my images that were already in my Media Library needed to be optimized. I quickly exceeded the monthly limit. I decided to pick up the Lite plan which is 1GB of data per month to crunch.
One thing that is nice while optimizing the images is that you can compare the unoptimized version side by side with the newly processed image. I swear I can’t see the difference, but the file size compression is so much more smaller! Since I’ve seen other free plugins that will compress images, I know that Imagify has some features the others don’t have. When I look at my Media Library, I can see a column for Imagify on the right of each image. It tells me the files size, etc.
WooCommerce is a free open source plugin that allows you to sell products or services through your WordPress website. There are many extensions you can purchase separately to extend WooCommerce’s capabilities over on their website. I’m using WooCommerce currently to sell my ebook, print books, and calendars. You can choose from a couple of payment processors, I’m using PayPal.
WooCommerce has a large community of developers so it does have regular updates. There is also a ton of documentation on their website. Their customer service is pretty great if you have any questions or problems you can’t figure out. Like most WordPress plugins, WooCommerce can be set up quickly and easily.
4. NexGen Gallery Pro
NexGen Gallery by Imagly is another free plugin for displaying your photography galleries on your WordPress site. In order to have ecommerce capability for selling your prints, you can purchase their NexGen Pro version for an annual fee. I decided to install the pro version because it just made things simpler for my customers to purchase.
I really love NexGen Pro’s beautiful interface and how easy is to set up different galleries. Their team of developers and support staff are helpful if you ever need support.
5. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a very popular WordPress plugin for optimizing your website to be search engine-friendly. It’s another free plugin that has a premium version you can purchase. I do have the free version and maybe will upgrade at some point in the future.
Yoast SEO isn’t perfect but it’s pretty darn good. Over the years, there have been some bugs that have caused some problems on my website. I’ve had to disable until an update came out. All in all, I find it helpful in writing blog my posts.
Tutorials & Other Resources
- Wordfence Security Tutorial by Darrel Wilson
- Yoast SEO Tutorial by Darrel Wilson
- WooCommerce 2018 Tutorial by Darrel Wilson
- Documentation for WooCommerce
- YouTube Channel Videos for WooCommerce
- WordPress Security: The Ultimate Guide To Secure Your Website In 2018 via CloudLiving
Let me know what are your favorite WordPress plugins are and how they benefit your website!