Heads up: These are just personal recommendations, and very much still in the works. I’ve divided this article into two sections on plugins that are really applicable to every Wordpress install, and then extra additions that may or may not be helpful for your case. I still have a bunch to learn about Wordpress and am in no case an expert. So use this advice at your own fucking risk lol.
Ah the love vs hate relationship. This list is just getting started and I’m basically going to be going over some plugins that I find absolutely essentially to any website that I’m running. This is just for my own purposes so I’m not going to be bullshitting about any plugins. These are the plugins that I’ve found myself using time and time again for Wordpress operations.
▶︎SPEED THAT SHIT UP
If you’re talking about immediate results in terms of speed, this is hands down the plugin that’s going to do that for you. I literally find Wordpress so sluggish and frustrating to use, until the moment I activate Perfmatters and enable the right options. The difference in speed in performing normal functions on your Wordpress is actually crazy. This plugin was I believe created by one of the creators of the platform Kinsta, which I’ve been wanting to transfer to forever. I’m on WpEngine now tho and they’re Support is unmatched really. Like if you compare it to some shitty hosts like Bluehost, there is no comparison.
Until recently this feature was in Beta. These aren’t the plugins on my website is just a image of script manager btw. So script manager is like an added powerful addition that enables you to go and then trim out even more of the bulk surrounding your website.
One peice of advice for this tho is to actually leave this until after you’ve finished all the major structure and visual parts of your website, basically the same thinking as Caching plugins.
Just you don’t want to make sure your website is finished structurally first. Otherwise your going to start Script Manager and start cutting our things sometimes that effect your designing as you go.
With script manager you can manage your websites scripts lol it’s pretty straight forward but extremely powerful because you don’t realize that many plugins actually load scripts on ALL or many parts of your website where you don’t need them to be running, and where you could be saving all those http requests and providing a faster experience for both you and your guests on you website. As we all know Google and other search engines factor in your websites speed immensely when ranking.
DESIGNING FOR MOBILE ON MOBILE
So I actually have used iOS completely for designing websites and I don’t use computer at all. Mainly cause my MacBook broke but because I’ve read this post actually from a developer who just recommends using mobile to design mobile it makes sense. The downside to this is sometimes I’ll load the desktop version of the website and be like wtf, it looks like that? Lol.
With HTTPBot you can actually view the HTTP requests that are being made to your site when you load your page. I’ve seen similar apps that show a Waterfall cascade of your http requests similar to GTMetrix, but it was like 100 dollars so fuck that, we ain’t got that kinda bling. So use this to see if there’s any requests being made that are unneeded and which ones are taking the longest and reduce that shit.
This app enables you to view the actual source code of your website. So I use this for looking at Schema basically to ensure that the correct Schema is actually being implemented on articles and posts, and as well to check headers, which you can also do in the above app as well.
So with my host at least, if you’re on manager hosting or your running and managing your own VPS or a similar setup you have to be able to remotely connect to your MYSQL database so that you can view tables and look at what’s actually going on in your tables. Don’t go fucking around with it if you don’t know what your at because you can literally destroy your Wordpress by just messing with MYSQL if you don’t know what you’re doing. I chose Navicat because there were a bunch of apps that enable you to connect to MYSQL but very few that enabled that over iOS with SSL Verification and not just password authentication.
Actually I have Transmit from when I used it on my MacBook so that’s why I had their mobile apps as well, but lately Coda has become somewhat of a pissoff, because they just abandoned Transmit for iOS and I used to love that app. Also sometimes it just randomly won’t open .zip files, it doesn’t unzip TAR or GZ extensions ever, and one other bug is when uploading certain extensions to WebDAV, it will just continue uploading mb , or perhaps it’s not it’s just a bug but visually it keeps on uploading data past the file size to the point where you have to force quit the app.
Nonetheless, those bugs aside I use this for SFTP to upload plugins and make edits to the wp-config or .htaccess files, or others depending on what access you have, if you’ve got shell access you can use Prompt from them as well.
So all of my websites are on Cloudflare, and having to login to their website repeatedly on mobile is annoying as F, and there aren’t that many mobile apps for iOS that let you manage your Cloudflare, but to my knowledge at this time, this is the best app I can find for doing so.
I’ve been a huge fan of Cryptomator from the start and I still love it. I use Teracloud for WebDAV storage and All my files are encrypted through Cryptomator vaults. This is especially good if you setup a shared vault on whatever storage to collaborate or share files with whomever. Keep in mind tho that there’s really two levels with that, if way you setup a shared Google Drive storage and then setup vaults to share files, that person also has to have credentials to login to that storage as well as the password for the vaults you create. Anyways I die for the app and I highly recommend it to anyone.
This one is pretty straight forward, view your SSL certificates setup across your domains as well as certain http security headers.
The plugin comes in at under 50kb. That’s insane right? When you think of plugins that add functionality to your website your kind of leveraging having the least amount of plugins, and having the most functionality and performance on your website. You can be sure that Perfmatters isn’t actually bogging down your site only making improvements. And it’s cheap too.
One thing about choosing plugins that you really have to factor in as well is how long that plugin has been around. The biggest piss off is when some developer will just ditch some plugin or theme and then you’re having to search alternatives, or make huge changes to your site then. Yoast has been around forever and one of the plugins that I just to have and are always enabled.
Always go with the following extensions: Premium, Local, Video. These are arguable depending on what kind of website your running obviously. They also have other extensions like News, Woocommerce and Local Woocommerce - I use these on some of the other websites I’ve made like for my parents shop because there actually doing Woocommerce so it’s really dependent on what kind of website your running.
▶︎For the schema obsessed
So Schema App actually compliments what Yoast does. But in terms of structured data, Schema App just slays everything. You’ll see so many plugins like WpRichSnippets or others that do enable Schema.org markup, but for like six or seven types. Actually tho this is totally dependent on what your goal is, Google only uses a limited amount of Schema.org types for search results, but Schema.org is actually like a whole community that has so many extensions that are maintained and constantly updated.
How does Schema App work?
So they have other integration methods but I’m just going to talk about their Wordpress plugin since that is the topic today lol.
▶︎THEN AMP IT UP $ - $$$
So it’s pretty much a requirement to have AMP versions of your website these days and if you don’t have an AMP version, this may differentiate for bigger companies and websites who are already more visible on Google and other search engines but, at least if your starting out you want to have an amp version of your site.
The free version honestly does more then enough, and they also have their premium add-ons a couple of them on the Wordpress plugins directory. Which is confusing as fuck because they have Schema add on, as well as PWA and ADS, and those are ones that they charge $$$ for..confusing.
Anyways I use the free version of AmpforWP. Mainly because in most cases, amp is ugly as fuck and strips most of the elements form your website, in the case of this site, it’s only a cname to the.media.jp which is owned by Ameba and I have no control over making .css or other edits. So when you view the amp version of this post , you’ll notice it’s just plain white and kind of fugly.
▶︎Schema For AMPFORWP
So anyways yeah, free version of AMPFORWP, then I purchased the Schema Data extension. Why? Because I wanna get all the schema data from what’s being created in Schema App on the main website into the Amp version. There’s probably other applications for doing this but the add on was like 30 bucks and we already use AmpforWP so I said fuck it.
You’ll see a toggle after you upload the zip file and then activate it with your license to add the Schema App by Hunch Manifest comparability, and then really that’s all you should have to do. You can confirm then through viewing the source code of your website either through an app that I’ve listed or by using Googles Structured Data Validation Tool. Dammit I have so many errors to fix on this lol.
Although I don’t like the rest of the plugins from WPMUDEV cause I feel like there’s just to many and too much going on, this plugin for image compression is awesome because Pro allows you to compress the image 2X of what you normally can compress them with the free version. If your on managed hosting, most of them have a cap to how much data you can store with them in addition to how much bandwidth you can use monthly and in WpEngines case, a cap on how many visitors as well before you have to upgrade to another tier. So you want to be compressing as much as you can server side.
So these are just additional plugins which you may or may not want to use based on the format of what your website is and what it’s purpose maybe, like its a personal blog, or a news website, things like that.
Adding additional custom fields
▶︎ADVANCED CUSTOM FIELDS
So in the case of WWS, and this is a currently ongoing process, we wanted to include different post types and custom fields. There are other additional plugins that will enable this functionality as well, most noteably Advanced Custom Fields and if that’s within your capability then go ahead and get that on the go. Initially I started using Custom Post Type but then about 5 minutes later I realize what we wanted wasn’t custom posts but extra custom fields lol.
This as well obviously works with Schema App + Ampfor WP allowing you to create custom post types, and then associate those post types with specific schema types from Schema.org guidelines, using Schema.App to then automatically deploy that markup to those custom post types. You still obviously have to upload that content lol. And this might be overkill for some.
For example, Medical Scholarly Articles is an extension of Health-Lifesci-Schema on Schema.org, so it’s probably NOT going to create any additional seo or anything for your website, and also your half taking a risk because these extensions are still unstable, In the sense that they haven’t been added to the official schema.org database and they’re still subject to debate and changes by the Schema Community.
So unless that’s something your comfortable with, and you just want to up your SEO or some shit, just go with the outlined types that Google looks for and what all the normal plugins like WpRichSnippets and SchemaPro will help you create without having to do much of anything.