I’ve been looking forward to writing this one as rambling about tech hardware is all well and good but I want to show I know what I’m talking about on the software front also. To do that I’m going to tell you all about my top 7 WordPress plugins of 2017. Again, this is not a top to bottom list, they’re in no particular order and all provide different services – so not really comparable.
There is not much else to say on this front so we’ll just drive right into the list. I was going to provide links to the websites for each plugin but I thought that might be a bit pointless given most of you will simply search for the name of the plugin as desired via your own WordPress admin panels. So here we go –
W3 Total Cache
If you’re serious about site speed (and user experience) then you need a good caching plugin. Especially if you’re using WordPress coupled with a complex theme and lots of plugins. W3 Total Cache is the best (and easiest to use) out of all of the caching plugins out there. It also has some fantastic settings for minifying your JS and CSS files as well as traditional file and image caching to boot.
I’ve tried lots of social plugins over the years but Sumo seems to be the best of the bunch at the moment. It really has too many features to list but I use it for all of the sharing buttons you see around the site and also the mailing list popup (I know it’s annoying, sorry). But it does much more than that. I will say though it is not without issue. You have to reconnect it every now and again which can be tedious but feature wise, it’s great.
Contact Form 7
I’ve lost count how many contact form plugins I’ve tried and I always seem to go back to CF7. Fast secure contact form is a close second but for me the simplicity and right out of the box functionality of CF7 trumps even the likes of NinjaForms. All you need to do I activate it, grab the shortcode that is displayed and paste it into the page where you’d like the form to appear. That’s it. The default e-mail address it sends to is your admin user.
Revive Old Post
This is a great one if you want to keep your Twitter feed active but don’t want to tweet each day (or don’t have anything new to tweet). As the name suggests, it’ll run through your previous posts and grab one to tweet out thus keeping your feed fresh and keeping visitors flowing in to your content. If you have a blog with hundreds of posts and set this baby running, I guarantee it will bring traffic.
All in One SEO
This is my go-to SEO plugin for WordPress. You can control all aspects of your SEO related content from titles to meta tags from one quick and easy screen. You can also control your permalinks and decide which pages should be made available to the likes of Google and which should be hidden. If you’re serious about SEO and want to keep your pages optimised you need a plugin like All in One SEO.
If you’re worried about your site running slow and are not quite sure what the issue is then GTMetrix is definitely the plugin for you. It checks over every aspect of your website and will report on issues that you need to improve. Anything from bad code, images too big, slow loading pages etc. You’ll get a nice quick and easy report and a guide on how to resolve the issue at hand.
I’m not using this yet on TTT as it’s not big enough but when it is I will most definitely install it. If you don’t know what a CDN is it’s a content delivery network and basically helps serve your websites content to your visitors. This makes it faster for the page to load etc etc. MaxCDN is one of the industry leaders in the CDN arena and this fantastic little plugin makes utilizing their services a breeze.
There are obviously many more plugins out there that do highly specific tasks and it’s obviously not for me to say whether or not you should install them or not. It will all depend on your blog, it’s subject, the traffic it receives and ultimately how you want your blog to perform.
With that said, the above 7 plugins are good all rounders and regardless of your blog subject, size and expectations you should really consider trying them out.
So, until next time!