We love WordPress, you probably already knew that. We also really like plugins, there is a plugin for almost anything you can think of. There are currently over 54,000 plugins available for download at WordPress.org; however, we are also firm believers in quality over quantity. Spurred on by the excellent The Periodic Table of WordPress Plugins by SpinPress we felt empowered to detail our favourite WordPress plugins and how they fit into our bespoke development process.
Ys – SEO Yoast
First up is the go-to for SEO optimisation, SEO Yoast. We all know that WordPress out of the box is an excellent platform for SEO. Keywords in URLs, automatic generation of sitemaps, page keyword analysis, RSS feeds, bread crumbs, social integration, multi-language and multi-site are handled gracefully.
However, when we are looking to take a client’s website to the next level, we start by leveraging Yoast’s fantastic easy to use the plugin. Our clients want to develop rich content to ranked within the search engine’s, and SEO Yoast forces you to focus on the keywords that matter when creating content. It also provides the flexibility to change and adapt advanced settings like the title and meta tag values, set 301 redirects (premium version only), add nofollow or noindex to a page, just in case advanced SEO optimisation is needed from the marketing team.
Developed in 2010 Yoast is now the go-to staple for website and SEO optimisation efforts with over 5 million active installs. Client’s love Yoast as it’s simple to use for beginner or advanced marketing teams, recent updates have improved the social media offering on top of the core SEO features. Social media previews have been introduced to display how your posts will look like when they are shared on Facebook and Twitter.
You can read more about the plugin on Yoast’s website or download this WordPress plugin.
Ac – Advanced Custom Fields
Advanced Custom Fields is a plugin we use every day at Moove Agency; we love the way you can add lots of custom data to any post/user/category and much more. Please note: We use the Advanced Custom Fields PRO, the PRO version allows us to also use a couple of useful sections like Google Maps, Flexible Content and Clone field.
Read more about ACF Pro in the the full documentation.
The feature we love the most, is the creation of local JSON files for each field groups created on the site. This means that the field groups are not saved in the database as normal, they are now stored in a JSON file. Now we have the JSON file, ACF will load the relevant field group and field settings from this file which reduces the number of database calls during the all-important page load! Faster websites and a quicker load for the users!
You can read more about the plugin on the ACF website or download this WordPress plugin.
Rt – Regenerate Thumbnails
This is a great time saving plugin which can recreate your images after a Theme change or a new image size implementation. This is useful if you’ve changed any of the thumbnail dimensions on the media settings page. Old thumbnails will also be kept to avoid any broken images being shown to the end user due to hard-coded URLs.
You can change the thumbnail sizes in your CMS > Settings > Media. If you need a bigger size for the default “thumbnail” size which is 150px by 150px you can increase the size to 200px by 200px. But the thumbnails will need to be re-created otherwise WordPress will load the wrong image dimensions (the full-size image will be loaded instead of the 200px by 200px thumbnail). You can also regenerate specific images (rather than all images) from the Media page. Just hover over an image’s row and click the link to resize just that one image or use the checkboxes and the “Bulk Actions” drop-down to resize multiple images. Thumbnail regeneration is not reversible, but you can also just change your thumbnail dimensions back to the old values and click the button again if you don’t like the results.
Once the plugin is installed and activated the tool will be easily found here: CMS > Tools > Regen. Thumbnails. We find this plugin so useful, and our clients love that time consuming tasks are taken away and automated for them!
Download this WordPress plugin.
Our WordPress Plugins
In the spirit of giving back to WordPress and sharing our knowledge with the community, we have released several WordPress plugins that are all open source:
- Have you got a web development project you need help with? Get in touch.