Useful WordPress Plugins


With me now working on the shop for our site, I thought I would wind up the development series of blog posts with a summary of what useful WordPress plugins are still in our design (in alphabetical order):

  • Autoptimize. This plugin helps optimize your site loading time. It concatenates (joins) all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page head, and scripts to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight. There are some advanced options too, but I have left it with the default HTML, CSS and Javascript optimization set to ‘on’. One of the things this plugin does is to move Javascript to the footer, but beware, some plugins don’t like this. I have avoided using any plugin that has this issue.
  • Avatar Manager. I have switched off Gravatars. Whilst our site has a blog, comments are disabled and I do not think many of our shop customers will have Gravatar accounts, nor want one. The functions.php code (see our previous blog post) we have switches off loading of the the Gravatar assets. Avatar Manager for WordPress is a sweet and simple plugin for storing avatars locally and more.
  • Dequeue Font Awesome. Does what it says, and removes all Font Awesome stylesheets added to your theme by certain plugins, to not be loaded by several times, if your theme already make use of Font Awesome (as Ultimatum Themes do, which is what we use). Use also with the next plugin, Enqueue Font Awesome CDN.
  • Enqueue Font Awesome CDN. This plugin automatically enqueues the Font Awesome CSS file from the MaxCDN CDN. This means our theme no longer loads a local version, but uses the MaxCDN version instead.
  • Responsive Lightbox by dFactory. This plugin allows users to view larger versions of images and galleries in a lightbox (overlay) effect optimized for mobile devices. Note that some custom code is needed in the functions.php file to work with WooCommerce, again see our previous blog post. Also note that as Ultimatum Theme also loads PrettyPhoto, I had to dequeue the Ultimatum PrettyPhoto style and scripts. I have this set to PrettyPhoto with Facebook style.
  • Use Google Libraries. A number of the javascript libraries distributed with WordPress are also hosted on Google’s AJAX Libraries API. This plugin allows your WordPress site to use the content distribution network side of Google’s AJAX Library API, rather than serving these files from your WordPress install directly.
  • Wordfence Security. The first paid for plugin on this list. Wordfence provides real-time distributed protection for your site, and I also use the basic cache that is included, but not the Falcon engine.
  • ZWoom – WooCommerce Product Image Zoom. A rather simple plugin, allows image zoom on mouse hover.

And a few more I am considering:

That’s all for now.

Categories: WordPress.