I’ve chatted with WordPress designers and developers about the standard plugins they install on WordPress sites.
You know, the common plugins you install to set up a default WordPress site.
After hearing from several friends and colleagues, and sharing my default setup in online forums and chats, I thought it would be good to share with my blog readers the plugins I use.
What I Always Install
- Better Plugin Compatibility Controller: Lets me quickly know if a plugin is compatible with the latest WordPress version (a lifesaver for anyone updating to WordPress 5.0+). I wrote about Better Plugin Compatibility Controller earlier this month.
- Classic Editor: Restore the Tiny MCE editor (pre-WordPress 5.0 editor) to WordPress sites with 5.0+ installed.
- Contact Form 7: Create contact forms and other forms quickly. Includes ability to modify the HTML and add form labels to create a more accessible form.
If you don’t want to dive into the HTML, you can install Joe Dolson’s Contact Form 7: Accessible Defaults plugin to add the form label code.
- Contact Form 7 Honeypot: Add basic honeypot anti-spam functionality to keep spambots away. I’m not a fan of CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA; the honeypot has done a good job of thwarting spambots.
- iThemes Security: Keep the WordPress site secure.
- ManageWP: Manage sites from one dashboard. I can update WordPress core, themes, plugins as well as monitor, backup, optimize the database, and check analytics (for sites that use Google Analytics) across a number of sites. Best feature for me: cloning sites.
- Media Library Assistant: Adds several enhancements for managing the Media Library, including enhanced media search options.
- SEO Framework: Easy to set up search engine optimization on your site, with no ads.
- Simple CSS: Add custom CSS to your site (without having to work in that small-width window in the Customizer).
- Simple History: Track changes to the website in a log. Helpful for troubleshooting.
- WP Rollback: Quickly rollback WordPress.org themes or plugins to a prior version.
- WP Sweep: cleans up revisions, drafts, deleted comments, and a range of other temporary changes.
Plugins I Often Install
- AntiSpam Bee: If a site has a blog, I always install an antispam plugin. I’ve been moving away from using Akismet, since some clients don’t want to use Jetpack.
- Email Address Encoder: Protect text email addresses and mailto links from being harvested by robots.
- Lightweight Grid Columns: Easily create columns on a page or post. You can specify widths for phone, tablet, and desktop display.
- Lightweight Social Icons: Include social media icons on your site.
- Redirection: For sites that have moved content or changed post/page names.
It’s a lot easier to get started with your web project by setting up your WordPress site with standard plugins that provide features and functionality you need on a site.
While I may add or replace a plugin from my standard setup, overall the plugins I’ve included have served me well over the years.
What about you?
What plugins do you include in your standard WordPress site set up? Share your thoughts in the comments.