Here at Design Office we love WordPress, In fact we build all of our websites with it. Due to the flexible nature of the platform it allows us to quickly develop eye catching websites that are both easy to maintain by ourselves and clients alike. One of the best features of WordPress is the huge catalogue of plugins available to you. In this article we will outline our top 5 favourite plugins and why we love them.
5) WP Smush
First on the list is WP Smush, this plugin is ideal for websites that have lots of images on them, it works by compressing all of the images that are uploaded into your WordPress Medial Library. This “smushing” reduces the file sizes by around 10%, in some cases it will reduce file sizes by 25%!
The main benefit to this is keeping the amount of data a browser has to load down, due to the reduced image sizes they have to render. Site speed is now a key factor when it comes to your websites ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) so by compressing all of your images you will in turn speed up your website and improve your ranking.
4) The Events Calendar
This plugin is great for displaying calendars, organising events and booking tickets. We mainly use it for its amazing front end calendar interface, you can choose between various views if you want to display a month view, a list view or a weekly view. Another key benefit to this plugin is how easily customisable it is, we can easily overlay your branding and show or hide different events depending on the requirements of your calendar. Lastly it has an amazing import option, this allows your website to automatically take the events from any other calendar you may have already set up and then drops them into the calendar on your website for all to see.
3) Yoast SEO
If you don’t know what Yoast is then you really need to come and see us! This plugin is built with the sole purpose of improving your SEO ranking, within the plugin it allows you to input keywords, meta titles and descriptions. It then takes this information and assess your page for 2 things, SEO and readability, the SEO element of the plugin is looking through the details provided to ensure you have complied with the basic rules of SEO. The readability element is looking through the text you’ve used to assess how easy the text is to read, checking paragraphs and sentences are the correct length and the tone of the writing is to a high standard.
As well as assessing the on page content Yoast will connect with your Google Console to alert you to any errors that Google throws up as well as creating a Google bot friendly sitemap. This plugin really is key to ensuring your website has a better ranking in the SERPS as well as ensuring the content your create is to a high quality, so really using this plugin is a win win situation.
2) Gravity Forms
Coming in second place is the Gravity Forms plugin, this plugin, as the name suggests, allows you to create forms that can be used on your website to capture a number of things. Whilst you might think second place is a lofty position for a plugin that just creates a form you may also be surprised to know that this plugin is installed on every website we create.
You can do a lot more than create a simple data capture form for your website by using Gravity Forms, for example we created a simple maintenance fee calculator for a Timeshare Release company that you can find here. By having the ability to use it’s core features to make some pretty clever calculations is the reason we hold this plugin in high regard.
Here at Design Office we lover sliders and fancy imagery, we also video and clean websites, Layerslider allows us to embrace all of these items in one easy to use plugin. When using Layerslider your creativity really is the limit, with more transition options than Power Point the ability to control timings to a millisecond and the options to dynamically fetch content there isn’t a lot that can’t be done with Layerslider.
We would go as for as saying that you could create an entire web page with just Layerslider and not many people would know the difference, not that we would do this as Layerslider allows us to input smooth transitions through sections of websites as well as allowing our clients an easy way to update there imagery. The number of features available with Layerslider are endless, in fact that would be a complete blog post by itself which is why it ranks at the top of our list.
So there you have it, the list of our favourite plugins. If you don’t have any of these on your website then we suggest you come and speak to us to learn how you can get more out of your website by using a few simple plugins.