I’ve been building WordPress websites for customers a while now. Over time I've discovered the essential WordPress plugins that improve WordPress websites functionality and security. See below for my definitive list :)
ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS
Advanced Access Manager
Control which admin menu items are visible for various user roles including admin.
AMR Shortcode For Any Widget
Create shortcodes for any type of widget quicky.
All In One WP Migration
In my opinion this is the best WordPress backup system going.
All In One WP Migration Unlimited Extended
Additional paid plugin that allows backup of sites larger than 512MG.
Quickly rollback to any previous version of plugin or WordPress without having do perform a full website backup.
Contact Form 7
Create great looking forms for your website using this plugin.
Disable All Comments
Prevent comments being posted on your website.
Determine the pages where widgets are shown in sidebar. A great widget manager.
Enhanced Media Library
Organise media files into categories. This comes with a filter too making it super quick to find images in your library.
Load your website faster.
MailChimp For WordPress
Integrate your MailChimp list and signup form.
Postman SMTP Mailer
Use SMTP to send system emails instead of PHP mail. This will ensure emails are not flagged as spam.
Simple Custom Post Order
Re-order posts to display in the order you want instead of date order.
Smush Image Compression
Compress / optimise images for faster load times.
Sticky Menu (or anything) on scroll
Great for making a sidebar element sticky on scroll.
Allows the use of SVG images for sharp rendering of logos. Better than using jpegs or png files for logos.
Visual Composer - The best bage builder for WordPress
Create complex page layouts visually and intuitively.
Improve your websites SEO on pages, posts and categories.
Cache your websites content to load as static HTML page to improve page load speed.
ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGINS
Limit the number of login attempts to prevent hackers.
New User Approve
Admin must approve all new user registrations on the site. Maybe avoid using if you have an ecommerce website.
WPS Hide Login
Change the default login URL to prevent hackers accessing the login window. If they can't access this window, they cannot run programs to guess usernames or passwords to your website.
Provides a Firewall that prevents malicious bots & hackers accesing your website and also scans your site for malicious software. Every site needs this!
Create a free account to prevent spammers registering accounts or posting spammy comments on your website.
Display logged in users in the WordPress dashboard.
WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart
Follow up abandoned carts with a discount coupon to encourage people to come back and buy.
Wooextend - Category Discount
Apply discounts to products in specified categories.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
Automatically add PDF invoice attachment to order emails.
WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts
Dynamic pricing structure depending on what products are placed in a customers cart.
Export WooCommerce Oders CSV
Export order data as CSV file.
WC Password Strength Settings
Override the default password strength set in WooCommerce.
WooCommerce New Customer Sales Report
Display new customer accounts in dashboard. These are the customers that have bought for the first time in your online shop.
WooCommerce Extended Coupon Features
“WooCommerce Extended Coupon Features” adds functionality to the WooCommerce coupons and allows for automatic discount rules.
Perfect Audience Retargeting
Your adverts follow visitors who left your site without buying.
Facebook Conversion Pixel
Add your Facebook tracking pixel to pages & posts. Retarget website visitors on Facebook with your adverts.
Nextend Facebook Connect
Allow visitors to register on your website using their Facebok account instead of creating a new account.
When it comes to creating WordPress websites for cleints I recommend only using a few choice themes that can easily be customised to create unique layouts and designs. This makes administering numerous websites much easier than trying to remeber how to admin various template themes etc.
Elegant Themes - Divi