It is very important to use only the best plugins for a WordPress website. Each plugin must be actively maintained and developed by professionals. It is also important to minimise the use of plugins as much as possible for better speed and even security. And lastly, it is much better to find a plugin that ticks many boxes, rather than to use multiple plugins that tick the same boxes separately – even if you have to pay a small fee.
I’m very discerning when it comes to installing WordPress plugins. I don’t install any plugin that doesn’t pass a high level of scrutiny. This page lists the plugins I use and why I find them useful – especially in relation to alternative digital marketing.
Generate Press (Premium)
GeneratePress is a very well made lightweight WordPress theme that never gives me any trouble and comes with a suite of very useful extras such as a heap of templates to get you started. I use it for its speed and stability and speed. It’s paramount that my websites load quickly. One of the primary reasons I use GeneratePress is that they’re not stingy with their pricing. For only $59 you can buy a license and use GeneratePress on pretty much as many websites as you like.
Some related advice: If you’re serious about building a blog, you absolutely have to purchase a decent theme that’s actively maintained and being improved to work with the latest developments in the space. Free themes will almost always give you problems before long. I’ve been there, done that – go the the T-shirt. If you don’t know whether $59 is a worthwhile investment, let me save you some trouble and vehemently insist that it is. You can try GeneratePress out for one year for only $59 or you can purchase a lifetime license for $249.
I use the free version of GenerateBlocks, which allows be to use containers, grid layouts, dynamic images, headlines and buttons. It’s a very useful plugin.
With features such as goal tracking, split testing, uptime monitoring, heatmaps, campaign tracking and a very long list of other amazing features – not to mention being ad free and privacy friendly, Clicky Analytics is a fantastic option for those that don’t want to use Google.
I don’t use anything related to Google with the librelenny.com website or any subscription, tool or service associated with it. In spite of being very well versed with Google Analytics, I refuse to use it. And to be quite frank, I am not missing out on anything. Clicky Analytics does an amazing job of telling me what I need to know in relation to traffic flow though my website. I highly recommend this plugin.
I use the free version of Meta Slider to show links to my social media accounts, as well as other groups of links. It’s simple to use, hassle free and does a fantastic job.
When using affiliate links on a website, it’s very important to know how many times they’re getting clicked. I use Pretty Links on libreLenny.com so that affiliate links are beautified and shortened. I am also able to share these short links on social media and from videos, which makes things a lot easier.
The SEO Framework
There are heaps of SEO plugins for WordPress and most of them are great. I have experience with them all from working on client websites. However, the main reason I stick with The SEO Framework is because of its simplicity. As I am not SEOing for Google on this website, I don’t need all the Google integration that a lot of plugins come with (and charge for, accordingly). I don’t use Search Console or Google Analytics for librelenny.com. All I want to do is adhere to basic SEO best practices and make sure my website is well SEO’d for any search engine – not just Google. And The SEO Framework does a great job of that.
Having said the above, The SEO Framework does indeed come with webmaster integration settings for Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu and Pinterest. I just don’t use them. The SEO Framework does an amazing job of automatically making sure that a site is automatically SEO’d, using the data you’ve already added to a post, such as Open Graph, structured data, etc. You can then fine tune the parameters of the SE if you wish. It also handles 301 redirects for when you need to redirect a particular page, which is very handy. Fantastic plugin. Highly recommended. Great and fair pricing structure too. You can start for free and get all the functionality. You can’t beat that.
Every time a build a new website, I always use WP Maintenance to make the site inaccessible to visitors until I have the site ready. It’s a great, simple to use, hassle free plugin.