Anyone who does a lot of WordPress installation and configuration will have developed a set of plugins that they install on every new site. We get to know the quirks and functions of our default set as well as we know the back of our hands. It’s a useful productivity habit.
I’m always happy to try out something new, but if you have a core selection of plugins, it’s easy to keep track of security issues and monitor the progress of development. It also allows me to construct a well-worn workflow so that WordPress installations can be completed quickly and efficiently.
I know my particular set of plugins inside out, and I’d like to share them with you. While there are certainly going to be those who say: “Why is he using X instead of Y?”, keep in mind I’m making no claims that my selections are the best in their categories, just that over the years I’ve found that they provide almost everything I need to be satisfied with the new site’s functionality, SEO potential, and workflows.
There are many SEO plugins out there, but WordPress SEO from Joost de Valk has exactly the right mix of ease-of-use and feature richness. In my opinion, it has the most sane defaults and most of the features can be understood by even SEO neophytes.
Speed is of the essence in modern web design, and WordPress is more of a Sherman tank than a Ferrari; it’ll get yourything you need to survive whatever the web throws your way, but 0-60 in 3 where you going and has eve seconds is not in its nature. W3 Total Cache is hugely configurable and I appreciate its ability to hook up with a wide range of content distribution networks.
As you might expect, Simple URLs is a URL management tool that lets you keep a tight rein on outgoing links.
I don’t use everything JetPack has to offer, but I find the comment features, contact form, publicize feature, CSS editor, and push notifications very handy.
I occasionally forget to add alt tag content to my images, and this plugin helps me make sure I’m not completely missing out on the benefits.
Majestic SEO’s backlink checker is an awesome tool that every SEO and website owner should at least be aware of. This plugin brings all that majesty right into your WordPress dashboard.
Not much needs to be said about this one. It provides a simple way to add the Analytics snippet to your pages and also includes several widgets for displaying analytics data in the admin dashboard.
Editorial Assistant By Zemanta
Editorial assistant improves my writing workflow by suggesting related posts and images that I can include in my blog articles, as well as suggesting tags.
Pro-Tip For WordPress Plugins
It’s a bit of a chore to install these by searching for each of them in the WordPress dashboard, but there’s a way to make that easier. If you have an account on WordPress.org, you can “favorite” plugins. When you’re installing plugins, you can click on favorites, enter your WordPress.org user name, and it’ll import a list of the plugins you’ve favorited.
You’re probably itching to tell me why I should be using your favorite plugins instead of the ones I’ve listed here, so hit the comments and give us your go-to plugins for WordPress.