It is very rare that I will post or comment on “must have” items. But since we proclaim to be WordPress Rockstars then I figured I better make a mention or two in regards to WordPress development. My list by no means is gospel however I find them to be absolutely necessary if not mandatory for all WP sites. In no particular order here they are.
1. Yoast SEO Plugin – This is an absolute must. Regardless whether or not you want to do well in SEO this plugin hands down will make your site much more SEO friendly. This sexy plugin incorporates everything from a snippet preview for Google and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to optimization options. You can find out more here.
2. W3-Total Cache – Quite simply this plugin helps your website load much faster. It does this by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site and reducing the download times. I highly recommend you make use of this. Get it here.
3. WP Online Back-up – If there is one plugin you choose not to ignore it is this one. This ingenious plugin backs-up your database and content on a schedule set by you. Not only does it back-up your database but you can also have it save your “hard” content. I refer to hard content as your images, PDF files, zips and ect. Check it out.
4. Akismet – This comes by default with your WP install. This thing is a[highlight color=”yellow”] spam ass-kicker [/highlight]. It works beautifully to keep all those nasty spam messages out of your blog. However you need an activation key to use it. Back in the day this little sucker was free to use. As of right now it can only be used commercially if paid for. For those of you only running one WordPress then you are safe for a free and single use.
5. Google XML Sitemaps – I know what you are thinking. Boring right? Yes it is boring but extremely important. Especially if you are running a blog and/or care about SEO visibility. I strongly recommend you add it into your arsenal. Get it here.