Every web designer has their own set of preferred tools – software for optimising images and editing website code, and for WordPress websites the themes and plugins they use to achieve the look and features each website needs.
We’re no different at Webfooted Designs. We’ve got our toolkit of go-to plugins for websites we build. Plugins which we know do the job and are actively maintained so that they continue working with each WordPress update. Here are our Top 5 Go-To WordPress plugins:
Pretty much every website we build has Yoast SEO installed. This plugin allows our clients to fine-tune the search engine optimisation for their website as a whole and for each individual page and post on the site. And it also adds an XML Sitemap to your website which is a must-have for making sure the seach engines (yep, I mean Google) index all the content on your site.
And while we’re on the subject of Yoast, we’ve started making quite a bit of use of their Duplicate Post plugin. This means that you can make a copy of an existing page or post and then repurpose it. Not only does this help in the initial build of the site because we can carefully craft one page layout and then make copies for subsequent pages, but it also makes adding new pages and posts super-easy for our clients as they continue to develop the site over time. Cool, right?
Now, this one really is an old favourite. It allows us to create contact forms and insert them wherever we need to on the site. Contact Form 7 has been around for a long time and is very well supported.
We’ve tried many different tools for creating ecommerce websites over the years and the combination of WordPress with the amazing WooCommerce plugin is by far the winner. Out of the box WooCommerce allows you to build an ecommerce site with a product catalogue, shopping cart and checkout. And with the vast selection of addons for the plugin you can customise it to do what you need. These days we wouldn’t consider using anything else.
Now, Matomo is a new addition to our toolkit but has rapidly become a favourite. If you want to track visitors to your site but want to keep your data to yourself (rather than sharing with Google) then Matomo is a great solution. See my recent post about problems with Google and GDPR-compliance.
You know what? It was really hard to pick just five plugins for this post. This really is just a glimpse of what we use when building websites. Whatever features you need your website to have, there is a very strong chance that there will already be a WordPress plugin out there designed to do just that for you. And part of the fun for us is finding the perfect solution and adding to our toolkit.