Basic Wordpress plugins for most Websites

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I’ll describe very briefly 9 of the Wordpress plugins I use, from security and SEO related to GDPR compliance (the last two).

Here we go…

Smush

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Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality. It's a very easy to use, well designed image optimization plugin for WordPress.

It allows you to set a maximum width and height and large images will scale down as they are being compressed. It also gets rid of hidden bulky information from your images and reduce the file size without losing quality.

I discovered the plugin a long time ago when I was trying to figure out why my website was doing so poorly on audits like google's Lighthouse. Loading time of my homepage was bad until I realized I was making people load a 3.4 MB background slider picture. After compression and size reduction, It went down to 160 kb.

Yoast SEO

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Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin according to every page I’ve found, It has been installed millions of times. With Yoast, you get a awesome toolset that helps you aim for that number one spot in the search results.

Yoast SEO allows you in a very easy user-friendly way to add the meta description and titles to every page/post with the right length and correct keywords.

The more I learn about SEO, the more I appreciate Yoast SEO plugin. It created a XML Sitemap for my pages when I didn't even know what that meant (And its important!) and it allows you to set canonical URLs.

Wordfence Security

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Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe.

I can't go into all the benefits it provides (dont have the knowledge to explain many of them) but go to their plugin website and check them out.

I don’t know much about cybersecurity but I’ve heard from many professionals that wordpress is not bulletproof and that you have to be careful. After much deliberation, I started using Wordfence and it has been working very well and now I use it for every website I build.

Really Simple SSL

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Really Simple SSL automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https. It's a super practical and simple plugin. If you have a website that doesn't have an ssl certificate, meaning https on every page, fix it. It's a must now days.

Comet Cache

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It’s about the speed of your site, Comet Cache is one of those plugins that helps because it takes a real-time snapshot of every Page, Post, etc. and stores it so they can be referenced at any time.

The plugin has a variety of settings that are very easy to navigate. And its also important to comment that it does not store administrative pages, login pages, POST/PUT/DELETE/GET requests of your site.

This plugin was recommended to me by various high level SEO consultants and Ive been using it without a problem for a long time now.

Autoptimize

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Autoptimize makes optimizing your site really easy. It can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, injects CSS in the page head by default, moves and defers scripts to the footer and minifies HTML. As such it can improve your site’s performance even when already on HTTP/2.

This one has more settings than the rest but are very user-friendly.

Contact Form 7

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I added this one to the list because it can manage multiple contact forms and you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, etc. I know is one in a bunch that do the same but for me this one is simple, free and very widely used so it keeps getting updated and never fails (at least so far).

Just by installing it, the plugin already track users by stealth, adds any user data to the database, send any data to external servers and uses cookies.

And, for the ones that have European visitors / customers and want an easy way to implement GDPR on your wordpress:

GDPR Cookie Consent.

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NOTE: INSTALLING THIS PLUGIN ALONE DOES NOT MAKE YOUR SITE GDPR COMPLIANT.

This plugin is a very simple one that allows you to

  • Show a notice with Accept and Reject options.
  • Add cookie details from the backend. The list of cookies can be displayed in your cookie policy page by using a short code.
  • Add a subtle banner to your website either in the header or footer so you can show your compliance status regarding the new EU Cookie Law.

It allows you to fully customise the style so it fits in with your existing colours, fonts, styles, the position on the page and even how it behaves when you click. It also has the disappearing option and accept on scroll option (not accepted everywhere)

It also has a Cookie Audit module so you can easily show what cookies your site uses and display them neatly in a table on your Privacy & Cookies Policy page.

WP GDPR Compliance

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NOTE: INSTALLING THIS PLUGIN ALONE DOES NOT MAKE YOUR SITE GDPR COMPLIANT.

I chose this plugin because its very easy to use and supports Contact Form 7, WooCommerce and WordPress Comments.

This will help you create a GDPR compliant WP website and will be even more important in the near future with the ePrivacy regulations that will change existing cookie law.

Please share this with all your Medium friends that might find it useful and hit that ♥ button below. Also add any other wordpress plugins, tips or tricks that you use for your websites below in the comments!

Written by

FROGO | Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Logistics. @ajchocron

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