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WordPress is the most popular and powerful content management system available, and around 25% of all websites in existence use it… and somehow people still think it’s ‘just for blogs!’
The power of WordPress is not just with the tool itself, but with the endless amount of functions and integrations available through plugins! There are certain plugins I find we use on every single client website; Some for the client’s convenience, and some for ours.
1. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP — If you don’t have a Google Analytics for your website, do that now. This is our favorite plugin to connect Google Analytics to your WordPress website, with a nice little summary of your stats the appears right when you log into your WordPress Dashboard so you don’t have to go to the Google Analytics site to see how you’re doing at a glance.
2. Akismet — We set up Akismet on every site to help control comment spam. It’s made by the creators of WordPress so it’s always up to date with WordPress core which is kind of a big deal.
3. Post Duplicator — This plugin helps us as much as it helps our clients… To put it simply this plugin is a time saving hero. You can make a copy of any page, post, event, product, you name it! Doing this is a great way to save time while you’re creating content.
4. Enable Media Replace — We find this great for the ‘oh shoot, just one more revision to that document, sorry!’ situations. Instead of uploading a new file (image, pdf, whatever) and having to go update all the links to that file, the process is as simple as clicking a button and choosing your new file. YAY!
5. Jetpack by WordPress.com — Oh man there are so many features in Jetpack. It’s also built by the same company as WordPress so it just WORKS. Some of the features we always turn on are the security features, the ability to limit login attempts, automatic image resizing, and monitor to keep track on site downtime if there is any.
6. Google XML Sitemaps — This one’s easy. Install it, and your site now has a sitemap auto-generated that helps search engines like Google read your site and index it better.
7. Contact Form 7 — While many themes come with a built in contact form, installing a separate plugin like Contact Form 7 allows customization of forms and the potential for easy integration with email management tools like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
8. Contact Form DB — This database plugin stores a record of each submission from your individual contact forms (created using Contact Form 7) on your website so if your email notification gets stuck in spam or you accidentally delete one, you can easily refer back to this section in your website’s dashboard and find it.
There are countless plugins, and each website is unique, but this set of 8 seem to make the cut for ever website we build!