Having built plenty more than a handful of WordPress websites, we’ve utilized quite a few plugins over the years. Over the course of installing, testing, and customizing plugins — to handle an array of functionality requirements — we’ve landed on a few solid go-to plugins that we implement on almost every website we create. We come back to these plugins because of their unmatched reliability, clean code-base, active updates, and the added functionality they offer to the WordPress install.
We’re not the only ones to use these plugins. In fact, other web development companies and individuals make use of these as well. Their popularity has increased over the years. As a result, these plugins simply continue to improve over time.
Our List of Go-To WordPress Plugins
Arguably the best form builder for WordPress, Gravity Forms comes with an array of input field types and conditional logic — for an if this, then that ability. All submission entries are stored in the database and multiple types of notifications can be sent when a form is filled out. It’s both simple and very robust at the same time.
While it’s considered a premium plugin (not free), it’s well worth its price. The Elite License comes with some seriously useful add-ons too, such as accepting payments from the form. Adding additional functionality to Gravity Forms is often a breeze.
For quite some time, realfavicongenerator.net was the place to go if you were looking to create a favicon for an array of browsers and platforms. So, when they built their website functionality into a WordPress plugin, it wasn’t hard to adopt this into our arsenal.
Sure, WordPress and most themes offer the ability to add a simple favicon to your website. But, none are as comprehensive as this favicon plugin, which includes optimized icons and color settings for all major browsers and operating systems.
By default, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in method of easily duplicating existing pages or posts. That’s where this Duplicate Post plugin comes in handy, especially when initially building-out a new website for a client.
This allows us to create one page with a certain element and structure, which we can then duplicate to create a similar page. As a result, pages are more consistent and less time is required to re-create similar layouts. With over 3 million active installs, this is quite a popular plugin choice for this task.
Over time, we’ve come to love the features offered by the Jetpack plugin and service. The free plan still offers some nice features, but we opt for their premium solution. Some of the perks it includes are downtime monitoring, malware scanning, spam protection, security fixes, content delivery network (CDN), and automated backups.
Perhaps it’s the automated backups that we love the most. Yes, their WordPress security and performance offerings are a game-changer. But, as a WordPress development company — where clients have access to the backend of their websites — it’s essential to have seamless backups that occur both nightly, and also on-the-fly as content changes/updates are made.
Code Snippets is a plugin we don’t use as often as the others, but it’s still worth a mention. When extending the functionality of a WordPress website, oftentimes PHP code snippets are added. Rather than adding these custom snippets to the theme’s functions.php file, this plugin allows us to organize and mange the code based on functionality.
The other large reason for utilizing such a plugin, is its graphical user interface (GUI). We can toggle individual PHP functions on and off to test them. It also offers a full-featured code editor with syntax warnings and error-checking.
The WordPress plugins mentioned above may be considered our 5 favorites, but we also have many more that we love. It all depends on the task at hand. In rare cases, when we can’t find a reliable solution to functionality requirement, we’ll craft our own.
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