Over the past month, I've received as many questions about various plugins on my blog as I haven't received in the entire past year. Have you all decided to do the technical part of blogging in the new year? 🙂 Since my plugins do not really change, or rather change, but similar in functionality are used, I decided to tell you about my list, I think it will be relevant for a long time. Perhaps other bloggers (including travel bloggers) will find something useful. This, of course, is only about WordPress.
True, almost half of the plugins are not visible to site visitors, but simplifies the life of the administrator by performing some actions in automatic mode. That is, if you are used to doing all this with your hands, then you will not need them..
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Please note that each plugin, a little, but starts to load the blog, so do not get carried away. I periodically review my plugins and think about what I can refuse, for example, if a plugin has new functionality and another separate plugin can now be disabled. Also, sometimes, when choosing a new plugin or when sorting through old ones, I check the load that each plugin creates separately, turn them off alternately (on the test site), and choose the one with the fewest requests.
Or, not so long ago, I specially went through the plugins and saw what scripts they include and CSS. For example, the popular Contact Form 7, despite being used on only one page, includes several scripts and styles on ALL blog pages. This is not the case! So I put a feedback form on the page «Contacts», where one and a half people visit a day, but his scripts are loaded from everyone else too. Not good.
From time to time they ask, so I will write here separately. I recommend to all novice bloggers and site owners. Hosting Beget. He has very low prices, but at the same time a rather convenient control panel and technical support helps in solving various issues. I went through several hosts before moving on to them. And by the way, some plugin compatibility issues are gone. As you know, a lot depends on the libraries that are installed and any restrictions on the server. Before that, some plugins (for example, a backup plugin) refused to work at all.
I have been on Beget for 4 years and I still use it for my small projects. But if you already have a highly loaded site, like mine now, with a lot of traffic, then you need a VPS or VDS. I have been using Fastvps VPS for the last years and am completely satisfied. Again, the server has a good response speed, support sometimes helps even when it is not required, and the tariffs are quite at the level.
At the moment, the blog has 32 active plugins, and several are used occasionally and disabled. To some, this figure will seem too large, but I personally am not a fan of replacing plugins with code in a template, this is less universal for a non-programmer (it used to be even more, I get rid of it slowly). And plugins are the same code, and if it is written normally, then there will not be much difference. Considering that now all blogs have social media widgets, comments from them, buttons «Share this», all sorts of affiliate widgets, then it is they that affect the speed of loading the site, and plugins are more likely to be the load on the hosting. This issue is solved by switching to the same Beget (if you had a very bad hosting and a small attendance), or to VPS, if the attendance is high.
I will not describe all the plugins directly, since some are known to everyone, while others are too individual to be needed by anyone. Nevertheless, most of them are present here, both active and inactive..
Akismet is the most well-known anti-spam plugin, which is used by many because it comes with WordPress. Once upon a time I used additional plugins for spam (all sorts of captchas), but I completely left them and left only Akismet, it is enough. And captcha, on the contrary, only dares visitors, I, for example, only because of it I can not leave a comment, because I don’t want to peer and write some kind of numbers. My Akismet does not allow spam to pass at all, and very rarely marks normal comments as spam.
BackWPup is a backup plugin, convenient in that it was one of the first to have a backup in Dropbox. Now, probably, there are already a lot of such plugins, I use it out of habit.
Broken Link Checker is a useful plugin for checking broken links and redirects. Usually I have it turned off, and I use it once every six months. He always finds about 10 crooked links in which, either I made a mistake in due time, or they became invalid. It would be good for everyone to do such a check, otherwise both visitors and search engines may not like such links. I also remove or change the redirect links if they appear. Just be careful with the plugin, it can damage the blog, make sure to make backups.
Contextual Related Posts is a related posts plugin at the end of a post. I do not know how necessary it is, because all the same, all these plugins select not quite similar posts. The inconvenient thing is that you have to adjust the CSS styles in your theme if you decide to use the output of similar posts with pictures.
Display Future Posts - Shows scheduled posts. You can make a block «future posts» and schedule a few. At the moment, I removed it, and I write in the widget with my hands, since I release posts almost immediately after writing.
EWWW Image Optimizer is a really necessary plugin to reduce the weight of images. Even if the photo is saved with 60-70% jpeg quality and all meta-information is removed from it, it still somehow compresses it, reducing the weight by 10-20% (sometimes more). For photoblogs and travel blogs may be relevant. Although I ran through it the images embedded in the template.
Float Ads Fixed Position - floating widget in the sidebar. The plugin is a little crooked, but on the new template only he wanted to work. Before that I used Q2W3 Fixed Widget.
Formidable - a feedback form instead of Contact form 7. By default, only one CSS is loaded on all pages, and scripts only on the page where the form is. Perhaps there is something even easier from ready-made solutions, but after testing about 5 plugins, I did not find anything, only if the contact form is a paid version.
FV Gravatar Cache - cache for those who use gravatars. I would not say that it is directly necessary, but if there are 200 pieces of comments on the page, then the page loads rather slowly, and the browser does not cache avatars. Moreover, each empty avatar (when a person does not have a gravatar) for some reason goes as a separate file, but it can be done using a plugin so that only one file is.
iThemes Security is a plugin to protect your blog. There are a lot of functions, quite heaped up. But you can only use basic functions that are done by writing to htaccess. That is, you can write it down and turn it off. I will list some useful things that it does: hide the admin panel (log in at different addresses), ban IP when brute-force passwords or with a large number of 404 errors, prohibit access to engine folders and files, change the name admin.
Maps Marker Pro is the best blogging map plugin for WordPress, I don't even know if it has analogues. It was such a plugin that I missed in 2010, and so I waited for it, watched it from the very beginning of its development. I use the paid version because of import / export, grouping of points, lack of links, adaptation of the map for different screens. But for most, its free counterpart - Leaflet Maps Marker will be enough. Of the minuses - there is a lack of filtering points, you have to think about how best to organize the entire collection of points. The author promised to make filters too, we wait.
New Adman is an old plugin, which seems to be not even in the official repository, but very simple and convenient because of this. Places advertisements (Adsense, Direct or any other) at the beginning of the post, at the end of the post and approximately in the middle. Only one of the blocks can be shown, and all three blocks can be different. I tried to find a replacement for him a year ago, since he calculates the middle incorrectly (he places it somewhere closer to the beginning), but never found.
NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster - automatic posting to all social networks. Saves blogger time! I planned a post and it was distributed on social networks automatically.
Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions is a completely optional plugin, but it also saves a little time. Optimizes the database by first removing spam comments, post revisions and deleted items. I used to do it manually, now he does it without me once a day (maybe less often).
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) is a plugin that you can occasionally enable to compare the load of all plugins in a pie chart. I don’t know how it shows everything correctly, but probably you can use it as a guide..
PHP Code Widget - if you need php code in the widget, then you can use this plugin or an analogue.
Post Editor Buttons Fork is another optional plugin, but I'll tell you anyway. Since I usually use an html editor instead of a visual one, it is inconvenient that h2 h3 h4 tags have to be written with pens. And with the help of this plugin, you can make yourself buttons for these tags. Naturally, you can create any buttons (the interface is elementary).
Posts Character Count Admin - maybe you will laugh, but I just can't get used to the fact that WordPress shows the number of words, and not the number of characters in the admin panel when you write a post. I have already turned it off several times, but I still return to it later 🙂
ReplyMe is a plugin for replies to comments without a subscription. A very controversial plugin. On the one hand, it is convenient that there is no need to tick the box, on the other hand, not everyone likes to receive answers to their comments later (although why write then?). In my opinion, it is more convenient than those plugins where there is a subscription only to all comments in a post. IMHO, this is generally inconvenient, you write a comment, subscribe, get an answer to your question, and unsubscribe, there are so many unnecessary actions. ReplyMe is used for me in conjunction with the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin, which just subscribes to all comments (in fact, very few people need it, I may turn it off).
Table of Contents Plus - I got 3 or 4 questions about him this month. Has it been with me for six months now, what has no one asked before? 🙂 Makes automatic post content, super thing! Makes by headings (h2-h3-h4, etc.).
Tako Movable Comments is rarely a useful plugin, so it's usually disabled. With it, you can transfer comments from one post to another or from post to page, and vice versa.
W3 Total Cache is one of the popular caching plugins. The darkness of settings, but it works, reduces the load. Tried 3, chose this one in the end. However, if you use VPS on ngnix, then browser caching of static elements must be configured in the nginx.conf config on the server.
Webmaster Yandex - I don't know how effective it is, but there are recommendations to use «Yandex original texts», so that the type of authorship is better defined. IMHO garbage, but when you put the plugin, sending the text to the service is one click, that is, it does not take time at all, so I use.
Widget Logic - allows you to set the conditions for displaying widgets for certain pages. That is, using it, you can show the widget in the sidebar only on the selected page / post / category. It's a good thing, but I don't use it, because now there is all this in the template itself. Of the minuses - you need to know all sorts of is_single (), is_page (), etc., but there are analogue plugins where everything is much simpler.
WordPress SEO by Yoast - switched to it from All in One SEO Pack, now nothing is buggy, there is a meta ogg for Facebook and sitemap.xml, for which two other plugins were previously used. One plugin replaced 3 at once.
WP Ajaxify Comments - Allows you to add comments to visitors without reloading the page. It has long been in trend and is used by all social networks. But the plugin can work crookedly and not with all templates, you need to check and test. I am trying to remove it, as it creates some load, but it is convenient to burn.
wp-jquery-lightbox is a common such plugin for lightbox windows (a photo is shown on a click in a pop-up window). Nothing worse or better than others. I'm trying to turn it off, since my photo is not enlarged, but then the photo will generally open in a separate browser tab, which is not good at all.
Panel Load - occasionally I turn it on to see the number of requests and used memory on a particular page.
P.S. Now I use Dashamail for email newsletters, I can also recommend it. I have already gone through a few, using for 1-2 years, and so far this one for me has turned out to be the best.
P.P.S. In no case do I pretend to be universal, but maybe someone will find this infa useful, otherwise they ask and ask. By the way, if you have any cool find plugins, then share, pliz, in the comments. Or maybe, on the contrary, you think that something cannot be used by the type of redirects.