Plugins most often used for my WordPress Sites

Published by Vyas Amar on

Introduction

In this post, you will find the most common or frequently used plugins for WordPress on the websites that are managed by me. The collection is not huge, after all, it is always prudent to limit the number of plugins. But you will find these helpful for your WordPress blogging experience.

Background

One of the first plugins I came across back in 2014 or 15 were Akismet and Hello Dolly. This was the time when I had just moved my sites from GoDaddy to HostGator Shared Hosting. Looking back, neither were great choices for web hosting, but we all have to start somewhere. Anyways, coming back to the topic… over the next few years, I read about, experimented with, and used several plugins. Many of these are paid subscriptions, others are freeware. Many are experimental or provided by third party providers like Storychief or Content Studio. Without further ado, let us look at the WordPress plugins most frequently used by me. The active links will take you to the Plugins site on WordPress, or the website for that plugin. 

Name of the PluginType of Plugin and utility
1GumletImage CDN or Content Delivery Network
2Content StudioSEO optimised content and social media scheduling. Premium
3Site Kit by googleVisitor analytics and data. Free
4Web Stories by googleCreating Instagram story-like experience for blog. Free
5HappyFilesOrganizing the images and files into multiple categories for better indexing, and search. Freemium
6MetatagsTags to posts for SEO. Premium
7Minimal Coming Soon and Maintenance ModeShowing the “Under construction” or “Under Maintenance mode” to visitors. Freemium
8Security NinjaWebsite security plugin similar to WordFence. Freemium
9SEOPress (and SEO Press Pro)Suggesting SEO optimised content similar to Yoast or Rankmath. Freemium
10ShortpixelImage compression and optimisation. Freemium (On a standalone site, I also use Shortpixel Adaptive Images )
11StencilImages for posts, etc. Premium
12StorychiefSEO optimize content and social media scheduling. Premium.
13UpDraft PlusFor backing up the WordPress site to Google Drive.
Occasionally Used
13BrizyPagebuilder plugin for WordPress. Premium
15Elementor Essential AddonsPagebuilder plugin for WordPress. Premium
16OtterUtilities plugin recommended for Hestia WordPress theme.
17Neve ProUtilities plugin for WordPress theme. Premium
18Gridpane Redis CacheCache plugin for sites that are managed by Gridpane. Premium
19Inline Related Posts (and Pro)Suggesting posts similar to current post. Freemium
20Async JavascriptOptimizing page size for better speeds. Freemium
21AutoptimizeOptimizing page size for better speeds. Freemium
22Play.htConverting Text to speech. Premium
23WP Fail2banWebsite security plugin. Freemium
24Others (experimental)e.g Flying Scripts: currently testing for page optimisation; Siteorigin page builder; WP Fastest Cache
Plugins typically used for websites by Amar Vyas

Management of plugins: Problem of Plenty

Image compression plugins on WordPress including Optimole, TinyPNG, WP Smush and Shortpixel

If you run a search for a particular plugin on the WordPress plugins site, you will sometimes see more than one option for the same name or function. For example, when you search for backup, you might find All In One WP Backup, Updraft Plus, and so on. For Image Optimisation, you will see results ranging from Optimal, WP Smush, Tinypng, Shortpixel, and so on. Sometimes, you need to try a few plugins to find what suits your needs the most. For example I prefer Shortpixel, but I have a great respect for TinyPNG. In addition, I also use imgbot a lot. The last is not a plugin, but it is an excellent image compressor.

Management of plugins: Upgrades

The above list is in no way all-encompassing or exhaustive. Bit it gives you a fair idea about the types of plugins. One element to bear in mind here is, that often a single plugin may break your either site. Therefore, it is extremely important to take these bare minimal steps before installing or updating a plugin:

  • a. Do your homework. read the reviews, check for any security issues. Stay away from scripts or plugins you are not familiar with.
  • b. Make your backups before installing or updating the plugins.
  • c.Turn off auto updates of plugins. This will also minimise the changes of sites getting broken.
  • d.Create a staging site and test out your plugins on that site before installing on main site.

Summary: Plugins for WordPress sites

Plugins are a necessary evils for your WordPress site, in order to improve the functionality, user experience and your productivity while creating content. From pagebuilders to security, there are several thousand plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. Some are available on the plugins site of WordPress. Others, you have to download and install manually. The key is to find the right set of plugins to meet or suit your needs, and this will remain an evolving list as your blog grows.


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