What Are the WordPress Plugins That Make Your Site Tick?

If you didn’t know by now, Raconteuse – and all of my associated sites – are powered solely by WordPress (WP for short). The basic script is speedy and the team is always on top of it.

I don’t claim to be a guru, but I get by. I mean, I’ve been designing sites for over 21 years. I better have something to show for it!

Besides the ease of use in design, my favorite part is the plugins. It extends the basic functionality of the script. It can change the whole UX (user experience), depending on what you want it to do.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that technology only does what you want it to do. It’s not sentient (yet, haha). It does what you tell it to do. If there’s not an easy way to explain it, then 9 times out of 10, you probably shouldn’t attempt it. Otherwise, you could have a blast doing this yourself.

I’m not a fan of sites that own or control your content nefariously or prevent you from being creative. I’m looking at you, Tumblr. Facebook. Tsk-tsk.

Saying you want to stand out from the crowd is easier said than done. But if you put in the sweat equity, I guarantee that it’ll come back around for you. So why not use WordPress to help you do it? Of all the blog scripts that have come and gone, WordPress is at the top of the food chain for a reason.

So, here you go….

My Favorite Plugins for 2019

  • Akismet: favorite of the anti-spam options. I’ve never had an issue with spam even on the free plan. I started using it in 2006. If anything, it’s gotten better over the years.
  • Lazy Load for Comments: people don’t always leave comments, and that’s fine! This saves my lurkers some page loading time by not loading the comment box until they’ve reached almost the end of the page.
  • Link View: over the years, the team at WordPress began deprecating the way links are shown. I’m a little old-fashioned since links pages have gone the way of the dinosaur, but I do like to promote my friends and my favorite charities and things on mine.
  • miniOrange 2 Factor Authentication: I am a BIG fan of 2FA (two-factor authentication). If any site I use offers it, they bump up a notch so quick in my book. In terms of security, this is one plugin you’ll find on all my WP sites.
  • Ninja Forms: I really don’t know why I wasn’t using this sooner. This is a fairly new discovery for me but damned if I don’t love it. It’s so customizable. Granted, there is a learning curve, but the drag and drop vibe is easy to pick up on.
  • Regenerate Thumbnails: sometimes, your thumbnails get wonky. This is an excellent way to refresh them and save some server space in the meantime.
  • WP Broken Link Checker: to me, it’s a handy thing to have. I’ve had Raconteuse for over 11 years. Links go bad occasionally! It lets me prune without having to manually check them.
  • WP to Twitter: as much as I love the functionality of Jetpack, I noticed it was making my site insanely sluggish. That’s been the main complaint of the plugin for years. I finally sat down and tried to figure out what I liked about it. There were a lot of features that I could live without, but I do miss being able to hit all the popular social media streams if I posted something new. Twitter is my most developed stream and this plugin makes it easy to publish a tweet when the blog is posted as well.
  • XML Sitemap & Google News: Google – hell, pick any search engine – loves sitemaps. This plugin is so simple to get it generated, which is easier for them to crawl. Which means more traffic to your site in the magical way that search engines work, haha.

Let me know in the comments if you use WordPress and what your favorite plugins in are too. Subscribe to Gilly Gram for immediate access to the Repository for that good-good.

love, peace, & adobo grease, Guilliean

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