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For those of us who build WordPress websites, we tend to have a list of default plugins that we use right?  I know I do.  I’ve built over 40 WP Sites and all of them I tend to use the same plugins for various reasons.  Even when I am maintaining WordPress or performing WordPress maintenance services, I will install the same plugins.   Some of these plugins range from helping me with installing security, to SEO, stopping spam, and even helping me to simply build the site without having to do much web coding.  Below is a list of ten plugins that I have under my belt and I think you would enjoy as well.

  1. iThemes Security   –  This plugin is on the top of my list.  I install it on almost every website.  Folks either use this plugin, or Wordfence.  I prefer this plugin over Wordfence because of the more proactive security features it has that Wordfence currently does not.   Wordfence can be used alongside iThemes Security, however. ( I’ll be writing an article about the difference between the two soon and will update this page to the link.)  Now, one thing I will stress is for you to please do research.  Most folks think that just activating and clicking on a few options will automatically protect your WordPress website.  There are many ways for your site to get hacked, or get code injected into your site.  So please research and learn more about how you can protect yourself.
  2.  Simple Custom Css – Ever need to customize the visual aspect of your website via CSS?  Sometimes the theme does not include the ability to add custom css, or the theme’s css input functionality is not dependable.   I always rely on on the Simple Custom Css plugin, because it’s separate from the theme, easy to work with and straight to the point.
  3. Visual Composer – (PAID)  This is a super affordable, and super powerful plugin.  Ever want to have a drag and drop editor to customize the look and layout of your pages?  I use this plugin for all of my clients because it’s easy to use, allows me to customize any WordPress pages, and get creative with how my site looks.  There’s tons of awesome functions that are included with this plugin to make your site look and act awesome.
  4. Gravity Forms (PAID) or Ninja Forms (FREEMIUM) – These plugins are defaults for me when it comes to adding contact forms, or other complex forms.  I would say Gravity Forms is a bit easier to use and easy to add extra functions, but you have to pay for them.  Ninja forms, I use if I don’t want to buy Gravity Forms, and just need a very simple contact form.  Regardless, both are very powerful and highly recommended.
  5. Monarch Social Media Sharing – Developed by the ever-awesome group from ‘Elegant Themes’, this plugin is a must for adding social sharing icons to your website.   The similarity between all of these plugins that I’m listing is; simplicity, and this plugin is simple.  It’s easy to add, and get social share + follow icons up and running.  Recommended to take a look!
  6. YOAST SEO – This plugin is a default for many.  If you’re looking to upgrade and improve your Search Engine Rankings, then this plugin has almost everything that you would need.  Of course, this isn’t just a plugin you can activate and expect it to do what you want.  You have to do some work a long to way to optimize your website, and this plugin will help you to do so.
  7. Master Slider (Free and Pro) – I also use this plugin for almost every website.  This is a very powerful slider plugin that can be customized to whatever you would need.  I use the slider for creating interactive stationary images, to creating a common featured slider.  I can’t explain this plugin well enough, so take a look and see what all it can do.  You’ll find it amazing, just as I do.
  8. Backup and Restoration –  If you aren’t backing up your website, stop what you’re doing and do it now.  Some folks think their website will be fine if they have security installed.  I’m telling you, do not trust anything and always be sure you’re backing up your website.   Many things could happen such as; Web Host failures, accidentally deleting files, web hacks… the list of possibilities go on. This plugin will help you backup your site through ftp, Dropbox, Rackspace, Google Drive and more.
  9. POST MAN SMTP – Let’s face it, one of WordPress’s weakness is sending mail and getting sent as spam.  One way to get by is by using SMTP.  There’s plenty of great plugins that let you use SMTP.  SMTP basically let’s you send mail from your website through your current email provider such as Google’s GMAIL.
  10.  Stop Spam – Another downfall of using WordPress is the amount of spam we all get.  That’s why I recommend using ‘CleanTalk’.  They offer a great plugin to stop that nuisance and enjoy your website spam free.

Well that’s all that I have for you!  If you have a list of plugins that you have under your belt, I’d like to know about them.  Please comment below and start listing them off!

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