We have been building WordPress websites for customers a while now. Over time we've discovered the most essential WordPress plugins required to improve WordPress website functionality and security. See below for the definitive list.
ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS PLUGINS
Advanced Access Manager
Control the admin menu items for various user roles including admin.
All In One WP Migration
The best WordPress backup system.
All In One WP Migration Unlimited Extended
Additional paid plugin that allows files larger than 512MG.
All In One WP Migration Dropbox Extended
Automate WordPress website backups to your Dropbox account.
Child Theme Generator
This plugin allow to generate a child theme, and all related files
An easy, clean and simple way to add code snippets to your site. No need to edit to your theme's functions.php file again!
Contact Form 7
For creating forms.
Contact Form CFDB7
Save and manage Contact Form 7 messages. Never lose important data. Contact Form CFDB7 plugin is an add-on for the Contact Form 7 plugin.
This plugin allows you to customize the appearance and branding of the WordPress admin interface.
Disable All Comments
Prevent comments being posted on your website.
Enhanced Media Library
Organise media files into categories.
Intuitive Custom Post Order
MailChimp For WordPress
Integrate your MailChimp account and forms.
Postman SMTP Mailer
Use SMTP to send system emails and customer order emails to ensure they are not flagged as spam.
Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails
Small and fast plugin to display in the sidebar a list of linked titles and thumbnails of the most recent postings
Moves scripts to the footer to decrease page load times, while keeping stylesheets in the header. Requires that plugins and theme correctly utilizes wp_enqueue_scripts hook. Can be disabled via a checkbox on specific pages and posts.
Smush Image Compression
Compress all images for faster load times.
Sticky Menu (or anything) on scroll
Great for making a sidebar element sticky on scroll.
Use SVG images instead of jpegs or png files.
Visual Composer - The best bage builder for WordPress
Create complex page layouts visually and quickly.
Output widgets using a simple shortcode.
Make WordPress load fast with this caching plugin.
Quickly rollback to a previous version of plugin or WordPress.
Cache your websites content to load as static HTML page to improve page load speed.
Improve your websites SEO on pages, posts and categories.
ESSENTIAL WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGINS
Create a free account to prevent spammers registering accounts or posting comments on your website.
New User Approve
Admin must approve all new user registrations on the site.
WPS Hide Login
Change the default login URL to prevent brute force login attempts.
Firewall prevents malicious bots & hackers.
Scan your site for malicious software.
Display logged in users on the WordPress dashboard.
AfterShip - WooCommerce Tracking
Add tracking number and carrier name to WooCommerce, display tracking info at order history page, auto import tracking numbers to AfterShip.
Export WooCommerce Oders CSV
Export order data as CSV file.
MailChimp for WooCommerce
Add a checked opt-in box at WooCommerce checkout page.
WC Password Strength Settings
Override the default password strength set in WooCommerce.
Woocart Popup Lite for WooCommerce
Use this plugin to show lightbox popup cart for add to cart action.
WooCommerce Extended Coupon Features
“WooCommerce Extended Coupon Features” adds functionality to the WooCommerce coupons and allows for automatic discount rules.
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 PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
Automatically add PDF invoice to order emails.
WooCommerce Product Image Gallery Options
Switch on/off WooCommerce 3.0+ Product Image Gallery options on a per product basis. Turn off product image lightbox settings.
WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart
Follow up abandoned carts with a discount coupon to encourage people to come back and buy.
WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts
Dynamic pricing structure depending on what is in a customers cart.
Adds ability to sync inventory between WooCommerce and Square POS. In addition, you can also make purchases through the Square payment gateway. SSL required.
Wooextend - Category Discount Pro
Apply discounts to products in specified categories.
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 we 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.