My Go-To List of WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are a great way to enhance a WordPress powered website. HALE.GROUP codes and develops custom WordPress plugins and we also research and use the best and most well known and reputable WordPress plugins to secure the site from hackers and enhance the site’s features as well as solve common issues known in the WordPress community. This is our go-to list of plugins made by both the WordPress core team and other 3rd parties.
Notes: I’ve heard some good things about this plugin. At this time I’m only looking into it and have not officially used it or tested it so I cannot provide much insight about it. The plugin is for spam prevention on website forms which is a huge problem with WordPress sites for things like contact forms, registration forms, comment forms, etc. I’ll post more about it once I’ve used and tested it. Until then use at your own risk.
Notes: This plugin is free. It is safe to use and made by the WordPress Core Team. If you are running WordPress 5 or later (aka Gutenberg), it re-enables the classic WordPress editor. This plugin is great because the new Gutenberg block style editor is still in its infancy and many sites and users of WordPress prefer to have the option of continuing to use the classic editor made by TinyMCE.
GA Google Analytics
Notes: This is a great plugin if you just need a fast way to plugin in a google analytics property id for tracking and general website stats. Simply create a free google analytics account and install the plugin to add the id and you have a state of the art and instant stats reporting platform.
Notes: This plugin has both a free and a premium version. It is well known among the WP community to be a safe and reliable way to secure WordPress websites from hackers. WordPress powers at least 30% of all websites on the entire internet and that makes it a target for hackers to try and exploit common pathways known in WordPress. Using a high quality and reliable website hosting service and a reputable WordPress security plugin are crucial to the success of any professional level WordPress website. HALE.GROUP installs and maintains WordFence in all client sites that run WordPress.
Notes: This is another security plugin that I hope to look more into in the near future. Some say that sites perform better with then plugin when compared to WordFence.
Notes: A free SendGrid account and the SendGrid WordPress plugin are used in most of the WordPress sites we (HALE.GROUP) develop because it solves WordPress’s most common and annoying problem of WordPress by default using the related server’s local mail server functionality to power all outbound email notifications sent by the website (ie from contact forms, registrations, sign-ups, purchases, etc). Depending on the site’s hosting service, this is often unreliable and problematic leaving the site’s outbound messaging to uncertainty. To summarize, we use and rely on SendGrid and Twilio to ensure the reliability of outbound email and SMS messaging for the sites and applications we develop for our clients. Learn more by visiting the SendGrid website.
Broken Link Checker
Notes: We use and like this plugin to keep site links valid and up to date and get alerted when a broken link is detected.
Enable Media Replace
Notes: A free, lightweight and easy to use plugin that allows you to seamlessly replace an image or file in your Media Library by uploading a new file in its place. No more deleting, renaming and re-uploading files! Supported by the friendly team that created ShortPixel. HALE.GROUP uses this plugin in our client owned websites to allow us to easily replace any image or other media in a WordPress site quickly, easily, and most importantly without any need to update related code, pages, or posts.
Notes: A freemium easy to use, comprehensive, stable and frequently updated image compression plugin supported by the friendly team that created it.
White Label CMS
Notes: The White Label CMS plugin is for WordPress developers and consultants who want to give their clients a more personalized and less confusing content management system. We really like the plugin and use it to brand and customize the WordPress dashboard for our clients to make it more intuitive and easier to understand.
WP Migrate DB
Notes: I recently had an interesting but kind of a common issue cloning a specific WordPress site where the base URL’s from the development and testing versions did not convert using our normal WP development platform (Pantheon). We have no explanation why our normal tool didn’t handle the job in the first place and I was under a time crunch so Pantheon support, our dedicated WP hosting partner suggested using the WP Migrate DB plugin to quickly update the base URL of all the links, images, and other elements to the correct live base URL. Using a plugin for this purpose is very handy as opposed to manually going through an entire site updating links and images manually.
WP Speed of Light
Notes: I’ve heard some good things about this plugin in one of the user groups I regularly participate in. I’ve yet to use it but I do plan to do some analysis and testing with it in the near future. Feel free to try it and let me know what you think.
All 404 Redirect to Homepage
Notes: I once got a call from a WordPress editor and product manager that they had deleted some products from their WooCommerce powered WordPress site and they were greatly concerned because the permalinks to the products were indexed to their site and the site now had lots of broken links indexed in search engines. Time was of essence to them and I was in the middle of a very full scheduled day so I used this very simple plugin to simply redirect all 404 errors (page not found) to their homepage thus resolving broken all broken links that may be indexed.
WPS Hide Login
Notes: WPS Hide Login is a very light plugin that lets you easily and safely change the url of the login form page to anything you want. It doesn’t literally rename or change files in core, nor does it add rewrite rules. It simply intercepts page requests and works on any WordPress website. The wp-admin directory and wp-login.php page become inaccessible, so you should bookmark or remember the url. Deactivating this plugin brings your site back exactly to the state it was before.
IP2Location Country Blocker
Notes: This plugin enables site owners to block unwanted traffic from accessing the frontend (blog pages) or backend (admin area) by countries or proxy servers. It helps to reduce spam and unwanted sign ups easily by preventing unwanted visitors from browsing a particular page or the entire website.
About the Author
I'm a professional photographer and website solutions consultant living in beautiful Tamarindo, Costa Rica for over a decade. It is my joy and pleasure to serve others using my creative and technical skills in the digital industry.
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