Starting a new WordPress site may seem daunting at first, and well, it is, especially if you’re not getting any assistance in the form of plugins and themes.
While it’s more than possible to design your site without any plugins, it’s definitely not recommended as plugins can enhance both your designing experience as well as your viewers’ user experience. And while it has been some twenty-odd years since WordPress was founded, the number of plugins keeps increasing exponentially. That’s why some newcomers may find starting their sites to be quite a difficult task. But don’t worry, here are some of the best plugins that almost any new website developer should use. These plugins can range from crucial in terms of functionality to optional ones that can aid in improving your user experience.
So without further ado, here are the best plugins that newcomers should include in their sites.
Let’s start with the most important part of any website, the backend. Ensuring that your website is functioning properly should come as an imperative above any and all cosmetic and stylistic features. After all, you can have the prettiest website in the universe, but if you can’t get it to load up, is it even a real site then. That’s why you should use WP Reset, as it is the best development tool currently on the market. It offers a huge number of tools to help you properly start up and secure your websites, such as the snapshots tool that ensures you have got stable backups before you do any major changes, or the bulk plugin installation tool called Collections. If things go badly and you mess up, it even offers the Nuclear Reset button that gives you the ability to start anew. The Collections feature is an especially important feature as you can use it as a basis before you install any other plugin as a sort of backup plan. You see, sometimes plugins can be incompatible with each other, and then they may cause problems and even crashes. After a crash, you may need to reinstall all of your previous plugins, which is a real pain to do one by one, and thus bulk installing them with the Collections feature may help you out tremendously.
But by far, the best feature WP Reset has to offer is the Emergency Recovery Script. This script can save you from some of the worst mistakes possible when it comes to managing websites, and that is forgetting your password or getting a white screen of death. By essentially locking yourself out of your website, you lose all the capabilities of fixing your problems, but with Emergency Recovery Script, you can ensure that you’ll never be locked out of your website ever again. In simple terms, Emergency Recovery Script is a specialized single-file script that can put your website back into your control as well as offer you a multitude of solutions in case other less critical problems arise.
Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
But before you launch your website, why not have a coming soon page? It has been proven that these types of prerelease pages and content hype up your future viewers (it’s like movie trailers, but for your website, a little taste before full release). That’s why you should use Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode, as not only does it provide a simple site builder that you can use to quickly build a prerelease page to hype up your viewers, but you can also use it for covering up maintenance mode. All websites have to go down sometimes, but taking your website down completely may be disastrous for your viewership numbers and SEO. Instead, you quickly build a “sorry we’re under maintenance, we’ll return soon” page, and voila, your viewers will know that your website isn’t gone from the internet, and you’ll be able to take care of your website in peace. Another cool feature of this plugin is the newsletter signup option. There’s nothing better than having a coming soon page that also doubles as a newsletter subscription promoter.
Out of all the plugins in this article, WP Sticky is by far the simplest to install and easiest to use. WP Sticky serves a simple and unique purpose, and that’s to make elements of your website “stick”. You know those menus that are at the top of a website that keep sticking to your screen even if you scrolled past them? Well, that’s because the developer used WP Sticky on that particular element. In just a couple of steps, you can make your elements stick to the screen so that your viewers have an easier time navigating your website. Or, for a more practical and creative solution, you can use WP Sticky to stick images and maps on your travel blog so that your viewers can both follow your texts and visual aids at the same time, making your story more coherent and interesting.
WP 301 Redirects
Good SEO dictates that you should have plenty of interlinking connections, or in other words, links on your website. But what happens when those websites change their address, and your link becomes null and void. Well, then you should use WP 301 Redirects as it can track the health of all the links you have on your website, and in case of a 404 error, you’ll be able to quickly create a redirect to the new address that works properly. This plugin becomes especially useful when you’re migrating to a new site as you can easily transfer your viewership base from the old site to the new one. For example, if someone bookmarked your old site and wants to visit your site after it migrated, you can create a 301 redirect link that, when they press on their bookmark, redirects them to the new website.
Google Maps Widget
Do you have a physical store, or are you just an avid traveler? Well, either way, using Google Maps Widget can really come in handy if you need to show some directions or even show off a location on a map. It’s super simple to use and install, it simplifies the process of map creation, and it’s fully customizable with various themes and options so you can have the map fit your website’s style. Not only that, but you can apply as many pins as you want, which is perfect for people who, for example, are making a “best to-do” list while traveling in a city and need to put multiple pins across many locations. Also, considering how lightweight and mobile-friendly it is, if you need a cartographic representation, there’s no reason not to try it out.
So, these were the must-have plugins that are near crucial to the functionality of WordPress websites. Another reason why all of these plugins got on the list was their ease of use that’s crucial when you’re just starting out and need some simple plugins whose purpose is clear and straightforward. And while definitely there are more complex and detailed plugins out there, why make your life difficult when these do the job. In the end, if you still feel unsure about some of these plugins or are a bit stuck in the process of installing them, they all provide excellent support that can help you get on your feet in a flash.
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