If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress plugins, they are the bread and butter of WordPress and can make your website so much easier to manage. Just don’t overdo it because too many plugins can slow your site down, make your site feel buggy, or even crash your website. Too few and you’ll find yourself wasting a lot of time with your website.

There’s a balance. Check out our top five plugins that we implement nearly every time and we can’t live without.

Akismet WordPress Plugin

If your site is live, I can guarantee that you’ve got bots crawling your pages and filling out your forms. Your inbox is likely filled with them. Fortunately for WordPress, Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that prevents excessive bots from abusing your site. It blocks submissions that are known to be bots. If you’ve got a paid media campaign running, this is one plugin that you’ll want to prevent false conversion and targeting for your ads.

WP SMTP Mail WordPress Plugin

If you’ve got contact forms, then expect to be notified when a customer fills out one of your website forms. Enter WP Mail SMTP. It’s a free plugin that can quickly automate email notifications to be triggered anytime someone fills out a form. It integrates with your email service provider to send emails to your inbox.

This plugin is a must when launching your site. There are limits to the number of email triggers per month but you’ll likely not reach it in the early stages of your site. If you do, there’s a pro version that will increase that limit.

All-in-One Migration WordPress Plugin

If you’re thinking about a way to backup and restore your website, this is the plugin for you. You’ll never know when an update can completely corrupt and/or crash your website, which fixing could take weeks! With backups, restoring your site only takes minutes, reducing disruptions to your digital presence and business.

Depending on your plugin configurations, you can automate daily backups in the cloud provider of your choice for later use. All-in-One also offers other plugins, but for us, this is the most useful and is a lifesaver. Just make sure when you’re restoring your site, to allocate enough server computing power to quickly process the import. Otherwise, you may face a corrupted website or incomplete website restore.

Flamingo WordPress Plugin

Have you ever wondered whether a contact form was submitted but ended up getting lost in the process? This plugin automatically stores all form submissions on the server database before anything is done. Behind the scenes, it stores metadata, such as the submission page, time, and contact form details, among other things. You can review all form submissions within your WordPress instance. You’ll find that this plugin comes in handy and provides the peace of mind that lead details aren’t getting lost.

Make Paths Relative WordPress Plugin

This plugin forces all website pathing to ignore the domain portion of a web address (example.com) and to reference everything after the domain. I’ll try to explain how this can be a problem. Without relative paths, moving content or templates from staging.com to production.com would retain all staging.com links in the content and templates. Therefore, any staging content that makes it to production would maintain the staging link, and clicking any link would redirect away from production.com to staging.com.

This plugin is super handy when you’re dealing with multiple environments, restoring your website, moving your website from one domain to another, or if you’re working on website optimizations. So, it’s useful for every website imaginable! As a bonus, it’s also easy to install.

The Bottom Line / TLDR

Plugins make WordPress worth using. Akismet is a great one for blocking spam while WP SMTP Mail unlocks email notifications. Make sure to install All-in-One Migration to back up and restore your website. You’ll also want to look into Flamingo for storing all contact form submissions in your database and Make Paths Relative for easier management of URL paths.

Unsure whether you need the above plugins or need help implementing them safely on your website? Reach out to Uplancer for a free consultation! We do everything digital, the common sense way.

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