Hey fellow WordPress users, if you have your blog setup or you are in the middle of setting it up; are you using the necessary plugins you need to have your blog running smoothly? I am making a list for you of the plugins that I use and the ones that I highly recommend and why I recommend them over the others.
This plugin comes out of the box with your WordPress installation, I listed first because you NEED to use it, if you want to control all the spam comments that you are getting this is your #1 go to for that. You can sign up for an API key at the Akismet site, copy and paste it in when you activate your plugin and let it do its thing.
All in One SEO Pack
I have been using this plugin for about 5+ years and have tried others, I highly recommend this over Yoast which is the other leading SEO plugin for WordPress. Personally I find Yoast to be extremely heavy as a plugin, what do I mean by that? Let’s put it this way, there is a plugin out there to slim down the Yoast plugin (I am not even kidding) I think Yoast can be a bit overwhelming for some users, especially if you are new to running a site and dealing with SEO. All in One SEO is a really light plugin, and does what it needs to do.
Setting up forms can be a pain period, luckily Gravity Forms has a very easy to use UI and also seamless integration with tools such as MailChimp, Paypal, and more. It is however a premium plugin, if you are not a tight budget and cannot afford the license then I would suggest using Contact Form 7. I used Contact Form 7 before getting acquainted with Gravity Forms and it’s great for simple form usage.
If you are making WordPress themes, this should be one of the first plugins that you install. Trust me you will thank yourself for installing it. Once you change the thumbnail sizes in your functions.php file be sure to run this tool after, it will save you a lot of hair pulling trying to figure out why your thumbnails look crazy blurry or skewed.
This is a very basic list of what I recommend and the plugins I use when getting my development sites set up. I will write another blog post with more theme developer type plugins and what I use to push my development forward.
Here is a list with links to all the plugins listed
If you have any questions regarding these plugins, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section 🙂