WordPress started off as a blogging tool back in 2003. What started with less than 10 users has now grown to be the largest self-hosted CMS in the world.
In November last year, Marketingland.com announced that it now powers 25% of all sites on the web.
So, it comes as no surprise that WordPress is Fireworks’ CMS of choice. As well as custom programming, Fireworks specialises in WordPress website builds.
WordPress is still sometimes seen as a DIYers website building tool as it’s so simple to use with its WYSIWYG tool. But what you can do with WordPress is almost limitless in terms of design and development capabilities, it just acts as a really solid base to build from.
Another great thing about WordPress and all of the popular CMS’s is that they support specially built plugins. These additional pieces of software fit onto your site (just like pepperoni on a pizza) and open up a whole world of doors to your website’s capability.
Today we will focus on our favourite FREE WordPress plugins. A lot of the below have paid options in order to access all that the plugin has to offer, but why pay for something if you can get what you need for free? This list, compiled by Fireworks developers, was not an easy list to create, as each developer had their own preferences and opinions. But we’ve managed to narrow it down for you, these are our favourite, most commonly used plugins:
Best SEO plugin – Yoast SEO:
Yoast is by far the most preferred plugin provider for all things SEO and with over 1 million active installs it’s easy to see why. it’s the most complete SEO plugin available on WordPress and allows you to easily add your meta descriptions, title tags add xml sitemaps and more.
Best Analytics plugin – Google Analytics by Yoast:
Makes it easy to see your website’s traffic in real time and pulls almost all the data you want to see, directly from Google Analytics and displays it in an easy to understand dashboard.
Best Caching plugin – WP Super Cache:
Produces static HTML files and displays these to users instead of the often heavy WordPress PHP scripts. Great plugin to have installed as it can help to improve page load speed, especially for high traffic sites.
Best Gallery plugin – NextGEN Gallery:
Undeniably the most popular gallery plugin for WordPress with over 13 million installs. It allows the user to easily upload and manage multiple galleries and albums with lots of options including size changes, transitions, styling, effects and more.
Best Contact form plugin – Contact Form 7:
A very easy to use contact form generating tool. Lots of flexibility with simple markup and ability to support Ajax submissions, CAPTCHA, spam filtering and more.
Best security plugin – WordFence Security:
As the most downloaded WordPress Security plugin, WordFence provides enterprise security from website hacks, malware and has custom blocking features.
Best custom plugin – Advanced Custom Fields:
Easily take full control of your edit screens and custom field data with this must-have plugin.
Best Slider plugin – Soliloquy:
Soliloquy’s design is focused on efficiency, usability and reliability.It’s easy to use and always mobile responsive.
This list is by no means extensive, and with almost 43,000 plugins available on WordPress, it’s important to look around until you find the one that’s right for your needs. Also, see if you can find a free plugin that suits your needs before purchasing one. A good web development company will choose and be able to provide assistance with selecting the right plugins for you.