In a previous blog post, I gave tips on how to choose a WordPress plugin. Now I would like to share some of the core WordPress plugins that I use on my website and my clients’ websites.
Wordfence (free and paid)
I use this plugin to protect my site (and my clients’ sites) from hackers. Wordfence is updated multiple times a month. The free version tracks login attempts and can send email alerts when someone logs in to the WordPress admin section.
Wordfence can lock someone out after a specified number of login attempts or forgot password attempts. The time period for tracking these attempts can be set to as long as a full day or as short as 5 minutes. Wordfence allows you to specify how long a user is locked out as well, and that period can be as long as 60 days or as short as 5 minutes.
The paid version has more features such Cellphone Sign-in which makes you sign on a second time (if you entered the right credentials the first time) with a code sent via text message to your cellphone. You just append the code with a preceding space to your password. The paid version also allows you do a password audit on all WordPress administrator accounts, block people who are in specific countries, and schedule scans.
Both free and premium versions have more features than what I mentioned here.
Yoast SEO (free and paid)
Almost everybody who gets web design services from me gets SEO services from me. It’s like getting fries with your burger. You can’t have one without the other. This plugin has been a huge time-saver when I’m performing SEO services for myself and my clients.
The free version of the plugin does plenty. The Yoast SEO Plugin allows you to specify the title tag, meta description, and meta keyword text on every WordPress post type (posts, pages, media attachment pages, categories, tags, etc) in the WordPress admin panel. With this plugin, telling search engines what pages not to index and/or include in your XML sitemap is a breeze. Speaking of sitemaps, you can have one automatically created by just checking a box. In the Yoast SEO section, you can specify what post types, posts, and taxonomies to exclude from your sitemap. You even have the plugin tell the search engines to not use DMOZ’s description on search engine result pages.
The paid version comes with a redirect manager, so you don’t have to fool with your .htaccess file. It also comes with tutorial videos for the entire plugin. Both free and premium versions have more features than what I mentioned here.
Migrating a WordPress website can be a pain because you not only have to move the website files, you have to move the database as well. If your website URL changes during the transfer, you’ll have to do a search and replace on your website’s database to update the old website URL to the new website URL. With BackupBuddy, you don’t have to worry about that any more. BackupBuddy lets you create full backups or database only backups.
The backups can be stored in another remote location such as your Dropbox folder or Google Drive. You can even schedule daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly automated backups, so you don’t have to manually create the backups. To migrate a WordPress website with BackupBuddy, you just need to upload the full backup file and an importbuddy.php file to the new server. Once both files are uploaded, you would start the process of migrating your website by typing in yoururl.com/importbuddy.php. If you specified a password for the importbuddy.php file, you would enter that password, and then follow the directions to migrate your WordPress website. This can be done in 15 minutes or less.
BackupBuddy can be used to roll a file, plugin, or theme back to a previous version by selecting the appropriate folder or file and clicking the “Restore Selected” button. BackupBuddy starts at $80/year. I install it on websites for clients that use my WordPress maintenance services.
If you work on WordPress websites, what are some of your must have plugins?