At the WordPress Meetup in St. Petersburg, Jim True (moderator) pointed out that he won’t install/use a theme or plugin unless it is available on the WordPress.org repository.
The WordPress team reviews everything that is available through WordPress.org ~ THEY DO NOT CHECK FOR QUALITY OR IF IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR A USER. Instead, they verify that the internal coding meets the WordPress specifications, and that it doesn’t contain any malicious code or “malware.” At least that’s something for a user to begin their due diligence.
When new admins discover how varied plugins are (and how easy they are to install) the admins go shopping and add as many plugins as they can. Not a good idea. Plugins can introduce vulnerabilities and slow your site (sometimes dramatically according to Neil Patel). “Best practices” is to de-active any that you don’t use, and eventually delete them from your website.
Log into your WordPress Dashboard with your admin account. Go directly to Plugins, and click on the “Add New” button. On the far right of the page is a “Search Plugins…” box. You will be using that to find and add the following plugins:
- Some YouTube videos suggest removing the default plugins added when you installed WordPress. I don’t recommend keeping them, but you may chose to do so, for now. (See “best practices” above.)
- Your first plugin should be a security tool to protect your new website from hackers. Below are three choices. All have free and premium modes. Install and activate immediately!
- Search word: “Security“
- WordFence (by WordFence)
- iTheme (by iThemes)
- Cerber Sercurity (by Cerber Tech Inc.)
- Clean Talk (by Cleantalk)-you can add this later, and it won’t conflict with one of the above.
- [Clean talk is premium only, but runs $8/year]
- You next plugin should be one to hide your website while you’re building it.
- Search word: “Maintenance“
- WP Maintenance Mode (By Designmodo)
- Coming Soon Page (By SeedProd)
- The Elementor plugin has a Maintenance Mode option. If you plan to eventually load the Elementor block editor plugin, you may want to use that, instead. You will have to design a template using Elementor before putting your site into Maintenance Mode.
- Next, add these utilities:
- Classic Editor (by WordPress contributors) ~ Search: “Classic Editor“
- Health Check & Trouble-Shooting (by The WordPress.org community) ~ Search: “Health Check“
- Child Themify (by John Bolch) ~ Search: “Child Themify“
- Google Analytics Dashboard (by MonsterInsights) ~ Search word: “Analytics“
- WP-Edit (by Josh Lobe) ~ Search: “WP Edit“
- Updraft Plus WordPress Backup Plugin (By UpdraftPlus.com, david Anderson) ~ Search word “Updraft“
- Yoast SEO (by Team Yoast) ~ Search Word “Yoast“
Plugin tools are an ongoing learning process. Plugins change; some plugins get abandoned. For example, at one time I had a weather plugin added to my community’s website.
Another example, Easy WP SMTP is plugin that integrates with your Google/GMail account!! It lightens the load for your web hosts server. Specifically I discovered that ABCIn-Domains hosting limits outgoing mail to 50 messages at a time. That’s not good when using a membership plugin that sends 200 renewals at a time…
Here are more plugins I’ve used, but I haven’t taken the time to explain them here…
- Elementor ~ This plugin is a free page builder that integrates with WordPress 5.x block editing….!!
- Anti-Spam by CleanTalk
- Contact Form 7 (and the Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin)
- MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress (Mailchimp is a email marketing tool, much like constant contact)
- MailPoet Emails & newsletters will probably required Easy SMTP
- I’ve use WP eMember and WP eStore premium plugins for site membership and and a storefront
- TablePress to present searchable data from a spreadsheet
- Easy Google Fonts for artistic developers
Some themes have a recommended suite of plugins they recommend you add to your website
You may find more information at my blog Building a WordPress site ~  WordPress Plugins (https://webtools.abcinc.pw/2019/01/install-wordpress-plugins.html). I am slowly cross-posting that information here!
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