Where do I plug it in?
We couldn’t do our job properly if it wasn’t for plugins. Although WordPress is a really good base to start with, using a plugin or three (or twenty) makes a website much stronger! We use them to our projects help us maintain our security, or even to speed things up – and you can too!
Sharing is caring, so we’ve decided to share the plugins we use day-to-day. Hopefully, your job will get a whole lot easier, thanks to us. You’re welcome!
Search engine optimisation
First up is Google XML Sitemaps. It creates a sitemap which can be uploaded to Google’s Search Console, helping Google understand a site’s structure and indexing all pages. This is useful because it also notifies search engines every time you post about new content, and is great for keeping track of SEO. It’s also free!
Submitting a sitemap when you first publish a site is a great way to force Google to recognise it. Without submitting a sitemap, it could take weeks or even months before Google takes notice. By submitting a sitemap, you can often reduce this to just a few days.
Our other go-to for SEO-related plugins is Yoast SEO. This plugin analyses the SEO score for the website and provides tips to improve readability, as well as giving a traffic light rating – just to make things nice and easy. You can have a free version, or a premium version – but both are extremely helpful!
WP Code allows you to insert headers and footers, as well as code snippets, to further improve your website. You can also connect with analytics services, like CookieBot or Google Analytics, so it has additional SEO applications.
Wordfence Security boasts a firewall to block any malicious attacks coming your way. But that’s not all – it also monitors the security of your site, and notifies you of any changes that need to be made to improve security. It’s 24/7, 365 days a year – and we love having the peace of mind that we’re protected.
Out-of-date plugins can often have security vulnerabilities. Wordfence sends you an email as soon as a plugin needs updating, which give us the reassurance that our sites are as secure as possible.
- WordPress 2 Factor Authentication
With the power of Google Authenticator, 2-factor authentication comes into play. You have an extra step of security when logging into your site, meaning there is less risk of a breach or leak having disastrous consequences.
This changes the default login URL from WordPress to a more obscure URL, unknown to the public. All it does is intercept page requests, meaning that you have another layer of security added onto your site, without harsh changes to the whole page. It’s a yes from us!
By default, login URLs are website.co.uk/WP-admin. By changing the /WP-admin, hacking bots are much less likely to find where to brute force attack.
Autoptimize optimises images, code and other elements to help the website load quicker. Improving site performance and user experience is a surefire way to keep those clicks coming, so we’d highly recommend using Autoptimize.
Contrary to the name, we’re not disgusted by EWWW IO. It compresses images without losing quality, making pages load much faster. Loading speed is important – as if pages don’t load fast enough (within 3 seconds), people will lose interest and leave. This is also a free plugin, and they offer help should any issues arise.
Litespeed caches web pages to help them load faster. This acceleration plugin also boasts additional optimisation features, as it’s vital that page load speed doesn’t turn people away. It’s got rave reviews, and many people swear by it – us included!
This plugin is used for backing up sites and moving them from one domain to another. It’s a time-saver (and a life-saver!) otherwise, you’d have to do it all manually! It’s also very easy-to-use, even for total newbies, and supports custom uploads, plugins, theme folders – and more!
Similarly to All-in-One WP Migration, you can move sites from one domain to another. However, this plugin boasts an extra benefit – you can schedule backups for a set period of time. This is an incredibly useful feature and ensures that you can have automated copies of your site.
Well, there you have it. We hope your insight into our business processes was enlightening. Now you can see how we put together our client websites – and why we choose to use these helpful plugins!