Every website I create has a core set of plugins installed behind-the-scenes to help make your website awesome. What are they and what do they do? Let’s dive in and explore!
What is a plugin?
First, let’s make sure we know what a plugin is and what they do. A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to a web browser and gives the browser additional functionality. (Source) These add-ons provide security, functionality, enhancements and much more.
Free vs. Paid
Some plugins are free. I like those ones 😉 but some professional level plugins come with a price tag. While there are plugins that have a one-time cost associated with them, most have a recurring annual payment in order to keep the plugin active.
My Top 10 List of Plugins I Install On Every Website
- Elementor: The number one page builder plugin for WordPress. It’s amazing. It’s what allows me to create awesome websites for small businesses. They just celebrated their 5 year anniversary and I recently wrote an article on it here.
- Elementor Pro: The free version of Elementor is great … but the Pro version is fantastic. Oh. My. Goodness. There’s so much included with this paid license that takes Elementor to the next level.
- iThemes Security. Not just a plugin to keep your safe … but a paid, professional level security plugin. While no site is ever 100% secure, this one should put your mind at ease with 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site.
- Envato Elements: Another paid plugin that allows me access to templates, professional stock photos & videos, graphics, etc.
- WP Rocket: This paid plugin adds speed to your website. Fast load times are important to your potential customers and this plugin helps kick your site into overdrive.
- Antispam Bee: Say goodbye to comment spam on your website. Antispam Bee blocks spam comments and trackbacks effectively, without captchas and without sending personal information to third party services. (Source)
- Easy-Hide Login: WordPress websites typically are accessed by /wp-admin at the end of the URL. This is an easy back-door for hackers. Instead, I use this plugin to hide that wp-admin with a series of (customizable) letters. Bottom line: Another way to keep your site safe.
- Manage WP: Simple plugin I use for updating plugins, themes, WordPress and backing up your site.
- Astra Pro: I use the Astra theme to build your site. This is a paid, professional add-on that enhances the functionality and customization of your website.
- ReSmush.it: An image optimization tool. When you upload images to your site, it automatically optimizes them and reduces their size to keep your website load times fast.
Google Analytics: Because it’s awesome to see how many people are coming to your new website and what pages they’re visiting.
But Wait … There’s More!
Those are just the core plugins that I use for every site. I have a host of others – free and paid – that I have ready to go if needed. Does your website require appointments? I have a booking plugin! Selling good or services? I have an awesome collection of e-commerece plugins starting with WooCommerce.
I try to keep the number of plugins I use on a website at a minimum to help keep your site running smooth and efficiently. Speaking of running smooth – plugins are updated by their manufacturer from time to time with new features, enhancements and security updates. It’s important that you keep them updated. Failure to do so may result in your site crashing or being hacked. You can update them yourselves … or you can hire me to update your plugins each week, update WordPress when available and create monthly backups for just $4/month (billed annually).
I love plugins. I love that if you need something done to your website, there’s probably a plugin out there that will do the trick. I have the tools and resources to create an amazing website for your small business.