WordPress is a modern CMS (Content Management System) written in PHP, utilizing MySQL for storage. WordPress is a fantastic foundation for a modern website because there is a large selection of templates and plugins. This allows website designers to focus on the areas that matter: content and design. Users no longer have to worry about the inner workings of managing and displaying that information. In this article we will discuss the benefits provided by what we call the “Essential WordPress Plugins”.
However, all of that flexibility comes with a rather high cost when it comes to resources. For most sites, with low traffic, this isn’t a problem. But as your traffic start to increase, the resource usage of WordPress can impact the performance of your site.
The following are a list of plugins for WordPress that, we feel, are essential for any WordPress installation regardless of size:
- Automatic Updater for WordPress: If you have a WordPress installation then you need to keep up with the latest updates to WordPress. WordPress security has had a spotty record in the past, but it has improved by leaps and bounds. The update system that is currently utilized by WordPress works extremely well, however it is the responsibility of the site owner to keep the site up to date. This process can be beyond some users comfort level, or just not a priority when maintaining their website for fear of breaking something. Automatic Updater takes care of applying updates to WordPress and WordPress plugins (not by default) for you. It will periodically poll the updates for your WordPress version and download and automatically apply the updates for you. The system will even send you an email when this has been completed so that you are aware that an update was applied.
- WP Super Cache: This plugin is absolutely a requirement for any WordPress site (big or small). While WordPress’s performance is fine for a relatively low volume site, we still recommend that customers install WP Super Cache. The reasoning is… Even if your site has no traffic, the internet is a dynamic place. If you make a post that goes viral and you suddenly have a massive influx of traffic, it is better to have the cache installed before that traffic arrives, rather than after. We have had this happen numerous times to clients. They have a very small blog with hardly any measurable traffic, and then suddenly they are mentioned on a major news outlet. The amount of traffic proceeds to crash the site, and all of those potential readers of your site are left unable to read it, many may never return again. You never get a second chance at a first impression. WP Super Cache ensures that your site is online so you at least get to make an impression.
We hope that you find these plugins as useful as we do. WordPress is a fantastic piece of software, but it needs a helping hand to be all that it can be. Hopefully these plugins will help you get the most from WordPress.