Plug-ins are like boxes of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get. They promise you language translation, and you get some mysterious cream you can’t quite identify. Or maybe you’re expecting little chocolate turtles, and you get the ones with the cherry in the middle.
You get the idea. I’ve taken a bite of many chocolates. And I can save you the time and trouble – if chocolates were WordPress plug-ins. To me, they are. I’m that nerdy and obsessive, in a good way, and it matters to me that clients are happy.
So what is a WordPress plug-in? Last time I checked, there are well over 50,000 (yes, fifty thousand!) in the WordPress repository. I think a new one is born every 7 seconds. Well, they’re kind of like apps. There’s an app for everything: weather, social, banking, anything.
Likewise, there’s a plug-in for all the things in the WordPress world. First, there are the usual suspects: Woo-commerce, Yoast SEO, Easy Digital Downloads, and powerful stuff like that. Then there are the ones you hear less about, like Instagram feeds, image reduction, or security options.
What is a WordPress plug-in? It’s code, that’s all. And we all know what code is. The plug-in code adds functionality or features to our site and integrates them. And Extensions superpower the core functionality of plug-ins and trick out their capabilities.
These plug-ins have that extra something and are the go-to solution for many WordPress creators for a reason. Whether it is automatic backups, SEO, or security. I want to point you in the direction of some things that I’ve learned about WordPress plug-ins that I think can make your life a little easier—a quick jumping-off point when you’re starting fresh. There are a couple whose functions overlap, so you’ll need to find which suits your needs best.
*In the interest of transparency, I do not receive any compensation and am not an affiliate for any of the plug-ins we discuss.
Woo-commerce- e-commerce built for WordPress
Yoast SEO-Yoast offers SEO plug-ins for different needs. Several great SEO options, but this is a go-to choice.
Ninja Forms-Drag and Drop WordPress form builder. Used on this website and very popular, rising above other options
W3 Total Cache-increasing website performance. Another you must check out.
Jetpack-Security, performance, and marketing tools. A mixed bag of tools that is indispensable
Smash Balloon Instagram Feed-Other feeds, too. Fun to incorporate with a clean interface.
WPMU DEV – All-in-One WordPress Platform (the Hub to monitor plug-ins for many websites-love it. See below)