Every experienced WordPress web designer knows that the plugins that you use are oh so important to a smooth operating website for the client. I have a list of my “always install” plugins below, along with a few “most time” plugins. If you have some to add to this list, post them in the comments, and why you use them. That is probably the most important part, WHY do you use that particular plugin.
So here we go:
Gravity Forms. This one goes without saying. It is the best form plugin out there for WordPress. No, it is not free. It is worth the paltry sum in time saving alone. There is just so much that you can do with this plugin. It is simple and easy and drop dead beautiful. Yeah…
Admin Color Schemes This is a new one, it just allows me to easily set the admin to a color scheme in alignment with the client’s color scheme. Just a little sniggly thing of mine.
Backup Buddy This little gem is installed on every site I create. When I am done with the job, I make the final backup for the client, and if they decide to sign up for my site assurance plan, they get it configured to do their backups and sent them to my AmazonS3 account. If they don’t choose an update plan, well, I store the backup on my account, and remove the plugin. It gets the site from my local desktop to the testing server and then to the client’s server. Easily. No fuss. I also show them VaultPress for easy backups, but not having used it yet, I really don’t know how complete a restore is, with BuB, all you do is click restore and then the whole site is restored to what you had before, no need to fuss with plugin configs, or widget setup. bing bang boom. There is also BackWPUp, a little plugin that gets the job done. The pro version of it is much better.
Custom Meta I like to be able to show only what I want in the admin meta link area.
WP e_Cart This plugin is so simple to use for e-commerce. There is a free version that works with PayPal, and is very simplified, this version is super good, and can be for physical products as well as digital ones. This goes on many sites that I do.
Yoast SEO There are two very good SEO plugins that can get your meta info, titles etc running on WordPress. Yoast is my current fave. There is also All in One SEO. Up to you, I like Yoast’s. The reasons expressed here are close to mine. http://www.inkthemes.com/wordpress-seo-yoast-vs-all-in-one-seo-plugin/08/
And there are some of them, I’ll find more that I use regularly the moment I hit publish, but for now, why don’t some of you add some other plugins you use?