Last update on : 9th Mar 2019
WordPress is the most widely used content management system(CMS) out there. There are many famous blogs, news sites and even large companies using WordPress.
WordPress is a great platform for building a variety of websites. Its versatility makes it a very powerful publishing platform for many kinds of websites like Blog, e-Commerce, Business, Photography
WordPress allows its users to customize it. In fact, you do not even have to know how to code to be able to make changes to WordPress. One of the important changes you can make to WordPress is it’s look and feel. There are countless themes available that allow you to design the site to your specifications. WordPress.org is a great place to look for free and paid themes.
Another great feature of WordPress is its ability to use plugins. A Plugin is packaged code which adds functionality to your WordPress site. These plugins make it super easy to add new features or change the way your site renders, without you having to program or write code or hire a skilled PHP programmer. I think its fair to say that without plugins WordPress would not have become so popular.
Once you launch a new WordPress site, you will realize quickly how important it is to add plugins to your site and there are tons of plugins out there for WordPress. A large majority of these plugins are free, but quite a few of them come with paid or premium version which also give you access to their support and help. My suggestion is to install the free version first and evaluate it and if you feel you need features from the paid version then only upgrade.
Depending on your version of WordPress you are most likely to have at least a few out of the box installed plugins. To add more plugin, you can navigate to the Plugins link and search. Navigating to the Installed Plugins link will show you the ones you already have.
A poorly written plugin can have an impact on your sites rendering, therefore I always test my page load time using https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ before and after I install a new plugin. There are many other resources available that can help you check your page speed. It would be a good idea to use at least one of them.
I am not promoting any of these plugins nor am I getting paid to list them here. The views are my own and this post is just to highlight the ones I currently use. I am not doing a plugin review here, I leave that to you to read and research. You will find many websites that do in-depth reviews of plugins. It is possible that I may not have listed all the plugins I use as I am constantly looking at ways to improve my site and add new features. The list is in no particular order.
Insert Headers and Footers
This plugin allows you to modify the header or footer or both of your WordPress site. I use this to add Google Analytics code to my website. Read more at https://wordpress.org/plugins/insert-headers-and-footers/
Jetpack by WordPress.com
You need an account on WordPress.com for this plugin to activate. I use the image lazy loading feature, commenting module and to show related posts on each post. Two other features I like are the Social Share buttons and the Scroll to top button.
I am still in the process of integrating it into my website. There are many different configurations that I have to explore. Read more at https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
This is another recent install on my site. Th
The plugin also allows me to add a focus keyword and meta description for each of the posts that are published.
I am still learning how to use all the features it provides. Read more at https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Redis Object Cache
I installed Redis on my server and activated the necessary extension for PHP to load it. After which I installed this plugin which starts using Redis as an Object cache. It has cut down the number of queries to the database and page load times also have improved quite a bit. If you want to install Redis on an