18th January 2021
Every other website I have worked on over the last 5 years has been a WordPress website. I do recommend using WordPress, as it is quite a robust platform and ideal if you are planning on adding and updating the website yourself.
Over the 6 years that I have configured WordPress websites, these are a handful of the plugins that I insist on adding along with the basic platform:
I have used other security softwares in the past, but I find that WP Cerber is quite literally the guard dog of your website. It defends against hacker attacks, spam, trojans and viruses.
Among its other many features, it also gives you an insight into intruder activity onto your website and hardens up WordPress with comprehensive security algorithms, spam protection, bot detection and reCaptcha.
NinjaScanner and NinjaFirewall is another plguin I use to protect websites. NinjaFirewall is a web application firewall that stands in front of WordPress. It can hook, scan, sanitise or reject any HTTP/HTTPS request sent to a PHP script before it reaches WordPress or any of its plugins. It also gives login protection with either a code or logging in twice.
Even directories, sub-directories and scripts outside of WordPress are protected. It can also sync seamlessly with NinjaScanner which scans your blog for malware or viruses.
WordPress in its core form, has no Search Engine Optimisation features. Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for SEO. You add a page title and meta description for every page, post, product or testimonial on your website. It can also analyse your SEO and readability for each page, Generate XML Sitemaps and verifies your Google Search Console account. There’s also an education center where you can learn to get more out of promoting your web pages.
The premium version’s main features help you rank better with synonyms and related keyphrases, gives real time suggestions for internal links and comes with a redirect manager for deadlinks.
The free software with the basic settings can improve your Google PageSpeed score by about 7 points. The premium version goes further with mobile caching, image optimisation and allows you to delete cache logs.
If your web template doesn’t have one already, an arrow that allows the user to get back to the top of the page with one click goes a long way (especially on a mobile device) WP Front is a simple no-nonsense plugin that enables an arrow at the bottom of each page. It comes with a library of preset buttons or you can upload your own custom button or create one using FontAwesome
Last but never least, UpDraft Plus backs up your web files and database, very handy if you need to undo a change on your WordPress site or if an update breaks your website (this does happen unfortunately). You can also restore previous backups from their control panel.
The free version should serve you well. The premium upgrade gives you automatic backups, a migration feature and automatic backup before updates.
There are many great plugins available to make your website experience better or more adaptable to your needs. I could name many more but these are the essential plugins that tackle, security, SEO and basically cover your back. But a word of warning: Too many plugins on your website will slow down your site performance and makes it vulnerable to security breaches. A rule of thumb would be to not exceed 20 plugins. If however you are on shared or budget hosting, this should be reduced down to 5.
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8 Coopers Crescent
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