Consider These Key Enablers for your Next Website
Websites today come in all different shapes and sizes. Rather than slug it out on my own, I elected to use WordPress as the foundation for one of my websites in part due to the abundance of plug-ins both internal and third-party. Nothing screams utility more than having one’s website framework backed by a gigantic community of diverse developers.
Without further ado, here are my favourite plugins in no particular order:
- Updraft Plus
- WP Forms
And the runners-up:
- Yoast SEO
- WP Mail SMTP
My Top-4 WordPress Plugins
I use Wordfence for a number of reasons, first and foremost is their two-factor authentication which was high on my list when I was shopping around for a website firewall. Nothing in life is certain when it comes to security but having an extra authentication step during the log-in process helps. Wordfence is good at identifying intrusion attempts. I also enjoy the advanced settings including their lock-out policies for those nefarious types out there attempting brute-force attacks.
MonsterInsights is a decent dashboarding and analytics tool that gives you pertinent stats about your website. Knowing things like number of new visitors, bounce rate and a host of other stuff is a really great step towards understanding behviours of your visitors both new and returning. I like the free version and I suspect I will like their pro version even more. Some day, some day…
Updraft Plus has saved me a number of times when I needed to restore my website from a back-up. I like the fact that it allows me to save back-ups to a cloud provider. Nothing worse than finding out that both your website and its backups resided on the same server that also happened to be on the receiving end of a major catastrophy!
WP Forms is great for elicting feedback and lead generation, there are both free and payed versions. The free version has *just enough* customization to allow me to make useable and more importantly user-friendly forms. At some point I may upgrade to their payed version as it comes with a buch of attractive features such as further customizations and integrations with other marketing tools.
I put Yost SEO in this category as it is a background plug-in for me. I find the ‘SEO checkup’ feature useful when preparing to publish one of my posts. Seeing the Yost SEO face emoji turn from sad to happy is a good sign that my post will gain the traction I am hoping for once it is published.
MaxButtons is a handy plug-in that allows you to create a custom set of buttons and then use HTML short-code to place them as desired around your website. What is great is that you can customize the look and feel to make a particular button stand out, say for instance, as a Call to Action.
Patreon is another useful plugin and I find that it integrates well with the majority of my website, there are log-in options, although their free version does not allow for tiered pledges at the time of this writing which is why it is in the Runners Up category.
Last but certainly not least is WP Mail SMTP, a ‘bread and butter’ plug-in that does a lot of heavy lifting in the background when it comes to e-mail.
There you have it: my favourite plug-ins as well as runners-up. What are your experiences with WordPress plug-ins, good, bad or otherwise?