Ant and I have put our heads together and come up with our top six WordPress plugins we can’t live without. WordPress is hugely popular as a website platform and yet it’s the plugins that make each site operate exactly how the designer and developer want it to. Selecting and installing the right plugin can transform usability and functionality for both the site manager and users.

The Teapot Creative developers building WordPress sites day-in-day-out know their stuff so if you want the low down on what’s helping to make the sites we’re building to look smart and work well then read on.

Here they are – Ant & Nick’s Top 6 Word Press Plugins…

wordpress plugins

1. Yoast

Why use it?

A must have SEO plugin that enables page by page optimisation of your site using simple to activate tools and procedures. Good for the rookie and more advanced SEO bod alike.

Premium or free?

Both – premium & free are available

Brief summary:

This is number one in our list for a good reason. SEO is vital to a website’s success as no matter how good it looks, if it performs poorly when it comes to visibility in search engine results pages then you need to get hold of this plugin.

It makes managing optimising each page of your site straightforward and simple to get to grips with for users not familiar with SEO. Immediate feedback on all actions is a feature that never fails to be helpful. The on-page analysis is provided by Linkdex with all sorts of checks carried out including keyword density checks in your meta description, titles, the post or page itself and the URL. In short you don’t have to be an SEO boffin to start optimising your pages with this plugin.

Once you get to grips with these basic features (or right from the outset if you’re an experienced SEO practitioner), then you can access a host of advanced features to explore for instance setting up no follow or follow links or creating an XML site map.

Each page is given an SEO score with continuous suggestions made as to what you can do to improve your optimisation techniques. All of these tips, it goes without saying, are completely white hat. As you implement the changes, your SEO score will gradually improve.

At Teapot Creative we take pride in building sites that are search engine friendly and the use of Yoast makes this that much more achievable. This is a plugin that works for the hardcore SEO enthusiast and the entry level alike.

2. Wordfence

Why use it?

If you’re after a site security plugin that provides your WordPress website with a sophisticated layer of protection from attack by hackers and general security breaches then this is the one to go for.

Premium or free?

Both – premium & free are available

Brief summary:

Wordfence is the most popular WordPress security plugin. It gives you control over your site security and makes you less vulnerable to a range of security risks including – personal detail and financial information theft; invasion leading to the site being taken down or defaced with unwanted content; attempts at phishing.

All sites are at risk not simply ecommerce or other sites holding information so don’t be fooled into thinking that you needn’t worry as your site doesn’t handle financial data.

Wordfence provides an extensive armoury of features that keep your site and the information held by you secure. The presence of a reliable firewall; the ability to scan it manually and automatically; visitor checks and user transparency; downloadable metrics and data – all of these give users peace of mind and an advantage in the ever more complex fight against cyber crime.

3. Visual Composer

Why use it?

To customise your WordPress themes and create original looking pages.

Premium or free?

Premium

Brief summary:

A drag and drop page builder that enables even a WordPress users without any coding ability to add buttons, images, columns, rows, boxes into their pages. Designed to be simple to use it puts the controls firmly in your hands so that the particular theme your using needn’t have to be the only way your page looks.

The ability to set up templates means that once you’ve put together a particular page style you can then save this and use it in the future. This is a handy trick for a blog or news section for instance, or if perhaps you want to set up a corporate theme.

Making your site look good is only one step to a successful site but it is a big one and Visual Composer will certainly make this easier.

Available from:

Code Canyon

4. Contact Form 7

Why use it?

Another incredibly popular WordPress plugin. If you’re running a contact form on your site then this is the plugin to give the task to. 

Premium or free?

Free

Brief summary:

With Contact Form 7 installed you can then place a contact form on your site and control the resulting information submitted (email addresses, names, telephone numbers). Site visitor messages submitted are emailed directly through to your chosen email account making managing replies an efficient process.

Users have the choice to keep the contact form either in a standard ‘off the shelf’ format or it can be customised to include images or extra text in between data fields or present in certain colours or fonts.

Security and simplicity are what website owners and users both want. Contact Form 7 provides this together with the all-important ability to modify and improve for users looking to match the look of their contact form with their overall site. Another thumbs up from Teapot.

5. Contact Form Database

Why use it?

Conveniently saves all the contact form information submitted by site users to an easily managed WordPress database.

Premium or free?

Free

Brief summary:

The Contact Form 7 plugin (our previous recommendation in this top 6 list), works even better when it is synced up with the Contact Form DB. All names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails and any other information is saved into the database. Rather than having to trawl through an inbox manually with this plugin you can trace individual enquiries. This is particularly beneficial if you handle large numbers of enquiries and traffic through your contact form page.

Data can then be exported to Excel and CSV for analysis and further use or displayed on the site using shortcodes. Ultimately this plugin will save you time and is far less hassle than the alternative approach to managing your contact form data.

6. Revolution Slider

Why use it?

Sliders are a stylish addition to a website if used correctly. Revolution Slider offers a wide variety of features aimed at helping novice and advanced users to create fantastic sliders.

Premium or free?

Premium

Brief summary:

Users can either custom build their sliders or integrate existing options from an extensive range available. Set up to be responsive, you don’t have to worry about incompatibility with mobile devices. The slider will react to the size of the screen automatically.

If you’re looking for a slider that turns heads then perhaps your thinking about a full screen option. Revolution Slider lets you do this and can handle videos too. The custom option gives you control over the height and width and you can adapt the time delay for each slide, position of the slider and the type of arrows and buttons. Sliders are saved so that next time you want to run it, you can track it down and upload it.

One of the features we like about this plugin is the time-limited slider. This might suit your site if you run competitions; product launches; seasonal sales or time limited offers. No more rigging alarms or scribbling reminders in your diary!

Available from:

Code Canyon

The world of WordPress plugins

WordPress sites have a hefty chunk of the web, so much so in fact that there’s a good chance that your own site is powered by WordPress.

There’s a huge variety of good plugins out there but we recommend trying out the six we’ve outlined here in this blog.

Each one will suit different skill and experience levels starting from the rookie and finishing with the boffins like our web team here at Teapot. What’s more important than that though is that the plugins will help to make your WordPress site more visible, secure, attractive, interesting and successful.

Teapot are here to help!

For more information about Teapot Creative’s web design work and the type of sites we build then either take a look at our website portfolio or get in touch with us for a chat.

  • SBA 2016 Winner
  • chamber