WordPress 101 – Best Free Plugins, Developer Tips

Tips form our developers

 

We create bespoke websites using the WordPress framework, allowing us to utilise third party extensions from the community, we create our own specific themes for our clients, and depending on the requirements, bespoke plugins. We want to share our experience and years of trial and error with you so that you can make the most from your WordPress installation.

 

 

Plugins that we recommend

There are several plugins we seem to come back to again and again, essential features that we like to use to enhance the original WordPress framework. They are all free to download and use with some having premium features.

 

Classic Editor – https://wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/

Restore the previous classic content editor and the edit post screen with this plugin. Anyone with a WordPress version of 5 or more will experience the new Guttenburg block editor, still in its infancy many WordPress users have opted to continue to use the old one. (One of the most popular plugins – says it all).

 

Formidable Formshttps://wordpress.org/plugins/formidable/

Extend your site beyond a contact form, this plugin can literally do anything you want a form to do and more. Surveys, quiz forms, registrations, payments, email marketing, the list goes on.

 

iThemes Securityhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/

Probably the best security plugin for WordPress, packed with over 30 ways to protect your site. If you have any security concerns we can’t recommend this one enough.

 

Simple Page Orderinghttps://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-page-ordering/

A simple drag and drop for your posts and pages so you aren’t restricted to ordering them by date. Limited to only administrator oe editor user roles, this plugin can save lots of time getting the posts you want in the right place.

 

Yoast SEOhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

Search Engine Optimisation made easy with this plugin, once activated it will boost your SEO immediately, adding facilities to improve your site SEO on pages and posts in the backend.

 

 

Things not working as you expected? Refresh the permalinks

Permalinks, or permanent links, are the individual permanent URLs to your blog posts. They allow other users to link to your site or section of your site. When updating your website or making changes to the way it functions a good rule of thumb is to update or refresh the permalinks.

Its advisable for the permalink structure to be set to “Post name”, instructing WordPress to show the title of your blog post in the website address. There are other settings that will show the date or numeric values. For best results set it to include the post name, making it easier for users to identify pages.

 


Word of Caution

 

Be wary as things can go seriously wrong when you play around with the structure of a website. It is advisable to activate one new plugin at a time then check that the site still works as you expect.

“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.”

Warning: Too many plugins may slow down your site speed by making too many calls to the server

Warning: Some plugins can conflict with each other causing unexpected outcomes

Warning: Some plugins can’t be uninstalled easily

 


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