Some plugins we use and recommend.
As fans of WordPress optimization, these are some of the things we use and recommend as best practices due to its good performance and functionality.
As you may already know, the Internet is full of spam and in WordPress is common to receive a lot of spam through comments. If you take some time managing your blog or website, you’ll know how annoying it can be to have to deal with this situation, in addition to the risks of the content – sometimes malicious – of these messages.
Akismet is installed by default with WordPress and definitely is one of the best tools to mitigate this problem.
We all know how important it is to make backups periodically; It is a fact that we can get out of trouble and avoid to lose the information on our website, which you’ve probably invested a lot of time to generate. Whether we suffer some type of attack or malpractices end up damaging them, we will always be sure to have a backup to restore our site and minimize data loss.
BackWPup Plugin, even in its free version is one of the most complete options for backup.
My advise is always store at least one backup at an external service or server, for example, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Most websites use contact forms to facilitate its users a quick and easy way to communicate with them.
Contact Form 7 is simply an easy and reliable way to manage these forms, their integration with Akismet and Google reCaptcha make it a very convenient option for simple applications.
There are many benefits we gain by optimizing the images shown on our website, improves the speed of loading pages, reduces the use of bandwidth, etc. With several options available in the WP Plugins ecosystem, we opted for EWWW for several reasons:
- It is the only or the few options that do not send the images to external services or third parties for processing.
- The image processing is performed on our own server, depending on the amount of images, available resources and server features, could result in significant CPU consumption.
- No limits on the size of the file to be processed.
- No limits on the amount of images that we can process.
- Easy to set up and it has options for different levels of processing depending on the image format.
- Can process existing images.
- Option to automatically process new images when uploading to WordPress library.
Very simple and useful, this plugin allows us to use different sidebars on each page or post, even with a little trick/hack can extend its use to support Custom Post Types.
Compatible only with Genesis Framework.
This plugin allows us to integrate the Google Analytics tracking code with some additional benefits, one of the most interesting is the possibility to add tracking to events or clicks on external and internal links in the content of each page or post. In addition, it give us a quick look at key metrics without leaving the WordPress dashboard.
If your site is deployed in more than one language, Polylang is definitely the best choice to manage different languages easily and with very convenient options to keep in sync different versions and elements of each page depending on the language.
A small and simple plugin of our creation, very useful to show your latest tweets anywhere on your site, whether in the sidebar, footer or even within the content of your publications. In addition, it is very easy to customize to integrate with the design of your website.
It replaces the native WordPress search engine so it is not necessary to make any changes to the code of your theme. Significantly improve the results your visitors get with more accurate and relevant searches. It is worth mentioning that it allows you to modify various aspects of the search engine to adapt it to your needs and has interesting features such as a function similar to Google’s “Did you mean”.
With a huge amount of options to choose from, Soliloquy is one of the most popular and for good reasons, it is easy to set up, does not require flash to run, is responsive, search engines friendly, only loads the JS / CSS on pages where the slider is displayed; further that integrates natively with WordPress using CPT’s, making it a very reliable, safe and fast option.
There was a time when Yoast was the obvious choice, but nowadays we are lucky enough to have a lot more and better options to try.
As a plugin that offers a plethora of cool features despite being completely free, Rank Math is threatening to become a serious competition to other popular SEO plugins. However, it still needs to stand the test of time in order to earn the title of the next best SEO plugin.
PROS – Nobody can beat what they offer in their free version, all the schema markups, redirection manager, WooCommerce, bbPress and AMP integrations, the 404 monitor is awesome and they also have a FAQ and How-To blocks.
CONS – It may have a lot of things you will never use and I don’t really like the idea that they ask you to create an account to use some services (that implies that you will send content and data to their servers to be processed).
It’s simple, this is what we are currently using!
PROS – Very nice and clean interface and easy to use, the Google Analytics module is awesome and their pricing strategy is very convenient. No footprints in the source code, no ads, no anonymous data sent, white label, even in the free version.
CONS – Even the most basic schema markups like “Article” and “FAQ” commonly included for free, here are only available in the paid version. In my first test I found some minor issues like “@” included in Twitter URL’s and some sitemap index included even if is empty, none of these have a negative impact but details always matter when you’re building a brand. Also, you will find 2 or 3 surprise elements like the “author metatag”.
This is the perfect solution if you know what you’re doing. It’s the most lightweight solution for people that don’t need any kind of automated SEO analysis, it just includes everything what you need in a very simple and clean way.
PROS – Lightweight, secure, with no fancy things included, built with experts in mind, it perfectly follows white-hat SEO best practices and it never induces their own ideals. No ads, no branding and no fake magic.
CONS – Migrating an existing site can be hard, not all the data can be imported. The premium version can be expensive and only one schema markup is included “Article” (premium). The structure they use including an “extension manager” can be unnecessarily confusing.
* It worths mentioning that each one of these SEO plugins has a very different implementation of the schema markup, all of them are technically correct, but it would be a great discussion to make a fair comparison.
** The “All-In-One SEO” plugin was not included because at least for us, it has a very big limitation, taxonomies (categories, tags, etc) are not supported in the free version.