WordPress useful Plugins
When developing a WordPress site or theme, there are certain plugins that I tend to favour. Below are the basic plugins I use to start developing my WordPress site. I’m sure there are more plugins out there that would do a better job depending on the needs of the site but these are the basic ones I find very helpful.
- What the file – Adds an option to your toolbar showing what file and template parts are used to display the page you’re currently viewing.
- Contact form 7 – Manages multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.
- Custom Post Type UI – This provides an easy to use interface for registering and managing custom post types and taxonomies for your website.
- Advanced Custom Fields – The perfect solution for any WordPress website which needs more flexible data like other Content Management Systems.
- Duplicate Post – This plugin allows users to clone posts of any type, or copy them to new drafts for further editing.
- Regenerate Thumbnails – Regenerate Thumbnails allows you to regenerate the thumbnails for your image attachments. This is very handy if you’ve changed any of your thumbnail dimensions
Here are a couple more plugins that would be very useful for your site.
- Askimet – checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
- Jetpack – The one plugin you need for stats, related posts, search engine optimization, social sharing, protection, backups, speed, and email list management.
One of the things that Wes had taught us is to use what is called a Starter-WordPress folder. Not to be confused with a starter theme. To find out more about WordPress starter themes, WPBeginner has a great post about starter themes for developers here.
My Starter-WordPress folder would include the following.
- The WordPress download from wordpress.org
- Your choice of WordPress Starter-Theme. (I use the HackerYou starter theme provided to us in class).
- Your preferred WordPress plugins
This is meant to simplify and eliminate re-downloading of your plugins every time you start a new WordPress project.
Now, how do I create my Starter WordPress Folder?
Step 1: Do a fresh install of WordPress on your (WAMP, MAMP, etc.) root folder. I renamed the folder to “starter-wordpress”.
Step 2: Copy your starter theme (I used the HackerYou starter-theme provided to us in class) and paste it to the themes folder of your WordPress Install.
(WordPress Folder > wp-content > themes)
Step 3: Go into the back-end (dashboard) of your freshly installed WordPress Site by typing on the address bar localhost/hyportfolio/wp-admin. You will need to sign in using the username and password you provided at the installation of WordPress in Step 1.
Step 4: On the left hand side, go to Plugin > add New. Search for the plugins you want on your starter folder and install it.
That’s it. Keep this folder as is and when you are going to start a new project you will be duplicating the folder, rename it to the project you’re working on and no need to re-download your plugins again.
- If there are any updates to WordPress itself or its plugins, just update it on the dashboard and it should be fine.
- This is important! – When starting a new project, you will need to go into the wp-config.php file and change the database name to the new database you created for your new project. Otherwise, it will use the existing database you used when setting up the starter folder.