A Few Of Our Favorite WordPress Plugins.
As an agency that specializes in building custom WordPress sites, we’ve been getting quite a few people asking about how to get more website traffic, how to perform an SEO audit and more recently: what our favorite plugins are.
We recently wrote articles that addressed the first two and hopefully you’ve found them helpful, and now we are going to share our five Top WordPress Plugins, which by the way are all free!
Number 1 – WP Smush
Faster sites both rank and convert better, one of Google ranking factors is page speed.
One of the things that can slow down a site is file size, while high-res images are often a must, you don’t want to have your site weighed down needlessly.
Enter WP Smush, a superhero-themed plugin who’s mission is to “Smush the Internet”.
“WP Smush meticulously scans every image you upload – or have already added to your site – cuts all the unnecessary data and scales it for you before adding it to your media library.” It will also Smush all your existing media and if your site has a lot of images this will dramatically improve your load time.
Number 2 – Bulk Updater
This plugin goes hand in hand with WP Smush, but lesser known.
We love it and think it should be in every developer’s toolbox, it’ll save you from painstaking manually entering in image alt tags, titles, captions and descriptions.
Picture this, you’re building a site for a real estate agent, they have gallery upon gallery of featured property listings.
This could easily be several hundred photos, which will need to have Alt Tags added to ensure you don’t end up with any crawl errors.
Big Commerce explains what Alt Tags are and their importance for search engines in their article here. To summarize their post, search engines cannot interpret images, and alt tags provide the text that can be read by search engines so they can determine the content of the page.
For more information on what SEO elements are critical when optimizing your site, check out our article on the 13 Most Important On-Page SEO Factors.
What Bulk Updater plugin does is it will automatically input all the information from the image tags when you upload them or you can run a bulk session on existing photos.
This will save you a ton of time. Pro Tip: Alt Tags are especially important on websites or pages that are image heavy and light on text, you want to make sure search engines can get an understanding as to what the page is about and how to index/rank it.
Number 3 – Insert Headers & Footers
Another plugin that is a great time-saving tool, time is money as they say.
Insert Headers & Footers does just that, it allows you to quickly input snippets of code into the header and or footer on all pages.
If for example, you need to place in Google Analytics tag code, you simply install the plugin, activate it and paste in the code.
Number 4 – Updraft Backup
Okay, so this one is pretty popular, but we feel it should get a mention, for new web designers and developers this should be your go-to site back up plugin. Brands such as Forbes, NBA, WPBeginner and even GoDaddy trust it’s powerful platform to reliably backup their sites.
Note: if hosting on a platform like WP Engine (which we do) you don’t need a backup plugins or cache plugins, their robust solution takes care of all these factors.
Number 5 – Advanced Custom Fields
This plugin from developer Elliot Condon allows you to add customized fields to any page with just a few clicks. Elliot has done an outstanding job with this plugin, devoting over two years to its design and development and it shows.
You can create complex fields with ACF’s user-friendly interface, you can use it anywhere on a site and it unlocks a lot of missed potential found in WP’s default custom field platform.
It’s so easy that your clients will be able to use it in the dashboard to edit their fields quickly to align with the needs of their business.
One Plugin We Recommend You Don’t Use (or use with caution)!
If you are experienced than proceed with caution and follow this guide from Medaivine that goes through the step by step on how to use it.
If you don’t pay attention to the proper method to use this plugin you can end up with some serious issues with your WordPress site.
That’s a wrap, our Top 5 WordPress Plugins! The ones we shared will save you and your end users time. If you’ve got a plugin you think would be helpful to us or our blog readers, please leave us a comment and share your favorites.