Importance of Natural Resources

7 Must-Have WordPress Plugins Your Business Needs

Today I am going to talk to you about
the only plugins that your business needs for your WordPress site. I’m asked
about this a lot: what plugins should I add and a lot of people fall into the
trap of wanting to install millions and millions of plugins. I’m exaggerating
slightly but they want to install loads and loads of plugins onto their website because they feel a
little bit like a child in a sweet shop and they see all these wonderful
wonderful plugins that you can add and they all do something a little bit
different and it’s bit like having lots of toys! The downside of installing too many plugins is that it will inject new code
into your site and it can slow the site down. So that’s why we need to be really
really careful about the plugins that we install into our WordPress website and
only choose the ones that we absolutely need and make sure that they are well
coded and aren’t going to disrupt the site’s functionality. The other thing to think about is that
every time you inject new code in the form of a plug-in into your website
you’re adding a new variable and there’s no guarantees that it won’t be one that
may conflict with what you already have installed on your site. Plugin conflicts can
cause all sorts of weird and wonderful things to happen and stop your website
performing as it should. So, we need to install plugins with caution but there
are some that I highly recommend and they really are must-haves. So, what I
want to do is go ahead and share my screen and just talk you through the
different plug-ins that are installed in one of my demo sites. For those people who’ve just joined us, the purpose of this particular
tutorial is to have a run-through of the plugins that are must-haves for your
WordPress website. What I was saying previously was that you
can be a little bit like a child in a
sweetshop when it comes to plugins when you realize how many are out there. There can be a tendency to want to install as many as
you can and play with them all! The problem with that is that every time you
install a new plugin you’re basically injecting more code
into your website which can then slow your website down. Worse, it can result in conflicts with other
plugins. When you consider just how many plugins there
are out there, it’s impossible for one plug-in developer to test how their particular
plugin interacts with all the millions of other
every single other formula or plugin combinations there are on the
market, and ascertaining whether it’s compatible or not. So the more plugins you have installed, the
more risk you have of compatibility issues and that can result in some very
strange behaviors with your website on the front end for visitors. So, proceed
with caution. I’m now going to share my screen with
you and I’m going to just show you my top pick of plugins and the reasons why
I have chosen them. I’m sharing my screen with you now. Okay here we go. So what you can hopefully see here is
my list of plugins. While I’ve been talking, I have been going
through the process of just updating some of the plugins that need updating. And that’s a really important thing to do because those updates are generally
there because the developers of the plugins have found that either there are
security vulnerabilities that need patching, conflict issues, or changes need
implementing to maintain compatability with WordPress core updates. WordPress has an update than the plugins It’s really really important to keep your
plugins up-to-date and if you don’t then you risk your site being
hacked as you may be exposed to security vulnerabilities that the plugin updates have been written
to prevent. Something I’ve actually noticed with
one of my e-commerce sites, is that if I don’t keep things up to date
then the links through to my products from the shop page disappear, which means that I lose
business because people can’t click through when they see products. So it’s really important to keep on top of updates and maintaining your site. Okay, so I’ve gone through and
I’ve updated the plugins. I seem to have an issue with UpdraftPlus for some
reason and I’m not sure why. But we can try and reinstall that one now. It says the plugin file does not exist. Let’s have a look. So, we’ll go into “Add New” and I am
going to try and re-install the UpdraftPlus plugin now. It may not let me. If the file exists in the
cPanel File Manager it’s not going to let me, but I’m going to give it a go
because it’s a it’s a good plugin that I do recommend. There are other ones but I
like this one because it’s maintained and a lot of others aren’t as well-maintained
as UpdraftPlus. Here we go. I’m going to give this a go. You can tell it’s a popular plugin as it’s
got two plus million active installs and its last update was three weeks ago. So you know it’s a good bet from that information
alone. That’s installing now and hopefully it won’t
take too long. I’m getting a notification that the installation
failed and that is because the destination folder is already there. So
what I can do – and I might as well take this opportunity to demonstrate this for you, is to go to my host and provide an impromptu demonstration. I didn’t plan on doing this, but it’s a great
teaching opportunity, so let’s dive in and do this now. So this particular site is hosted with InnoHosting. I’m going to go into the back-end for
my web hosting and I’m going to find that file and delete it. And then WordPress will allow me to reinstall
the UpdraftPlus plugin. So this is the cPanel. And if I go into my File Manager in cPanel,
it lists all the websites that I have installed. I have sites installed for all the people doing the WordPress 30 Day Challenge for Non-Techies,
and also for all the people who have taken on a free website. Their free hosting is coming to an end now
and those that don’t want to take over the hosting costs, just to let
you know I will need to close down your
hosting. It’s on my to-do list so do let me know if you want to continue and take
over the hosting. Alright, so here’s my demo site now. My demo site has three
main folders: “admin”, “content” and “includes”. I’m going to go into the content folder, as
this is where the plugins are stored, along with the themes and various other bits
and pieces. Now, I need to go into the plugins folder and as you can see
this is where all of the plugins that are installed on the website are listed. I’m looking for the UpdraftPlus folder. For whatever reason, UpdraftPlus isn’t working,
and I can’t reinstall the plugin via WordPress because the corrupted file is
still there, and there is no space for it to be re-installed until we delete this corrupted
folder. What I have to do is come in here,
to UpdraftPlus and if I right-click I can delete that folder altogether. Gone. Okay, if I now go back to my demo site, there’ll be no trace of that plug-in and
so in theory – remembering we’re live and anything can happen when you’re live – that
should have completely gone. So now, in theory, I should be able to go “add new”. I
should be able to go in and type in “UpdraftPlus” and when that comes up I should in
theory be able to install it now and WordPress should find that there is
space for that folder to be installed in file manager which is in cPanel as you
saw before. You will recall, that this is accessible through your web hosting company. Ok, so it’s certainly trying to install the
plugin, so that is a really good sign. So what we see is that WordPress has correctly installed the plugin
because we’ve made room for it by removing the old folder in File Manager that
contained the corrupted files. I’m going to activate that plugin now. Now that we’ve done that, let’s just go through
and have a look at the different plugins that I have got installed. So the first
one I have installed is the Classic Editor and that basically makes the
pages much easier to navigate and the posts much easier to navigate than they
otherwise are since Guttenberg. Guttenberg was introduced in one of the relatively
recent WordPress Core Updates. What Guttenberg has done, is introduce a drag
and drop block system. It’s along the same lines as a lot of the page builders, but it’s fairly
rudimentary. It’s not quite there yet and I’m sure in subsequent updates it will get better
and be more manageable but at the moment it really isn’t. So let’s say I go to my
blog page and I click “Edit” I can show you what it looks like once you’ve got the Classic
Editor plug-in installed and compare it with how
it looks without the plugin. This is how the editor looked before they
introduced Guttenberg into WordPress. So, you have the ability to edit a page, or add a new
page – you can type whatever you like here, with your “What You See Is What You Get” or
“WYSIWYG” editor, and it’s all pretty simple. Your visual editor is here. Clicking on the text tab displays the HTML
that your visual editor is converted into. Let’s just add a few things so you can see
the difference between the visual and the text editor views. If I even just add a few carriage returns
in the visual editor, you can see that this is what the HTML markup looks like. So what you write in the visual WYSIWYG editor,
gets converted into HTML. This interface is what we, as
designers and developers are used to seeing. So when they introduced Guttenberg, everything
looked very foreign. In addition to the WYSIWYG visual editor,
we have the featured image option displayed here, and everything else is pretty simple and familiar
and it’s what we are used to working with. If I go back into the plug-in
and I deactivate the Classic Editor plugin, and I go into the LiteSpeed Cache plugin and
purge everything from the cache, and then I’m just going to go back to that page that
we were on, and what we see now is something completely
different. These are the joys of Guttenberg! “Welcome to the
wonderful world of blocks!” Click the ‘+’ (‘Add block’) button to add new blocks” and
so it goes on. Now, because I use Flatsome as a page builder, I don’t need to use
Guttenberg’s really really rudimentary block system. It’s just not what I want
to use and it’s not particularly user-friendly. It’s not intuitive and most of us just don’t
like it. It’s just not what we used to, so the first
thing we do as standard, generally, is
install the Classic Editor Plugin, to restore the layout to what it was pre-Guttenberg. So, I’ll go back there and I’ll just reactivate that one. So, that’s the
Classic Editor, and it’s most definitely a must-have as far as anybody who has been building for a
while is concerned. The next plug-in that I recommend is Contact Form 7, which is a way of adding
contact forms into your website and that one again is it’s a pretty standard
plug-in for contact forms. By contact forms, I mean where you enter your name
and your email address or you sign up for a newsletter. Any of those sorts of opt-in forms, generally
we use Contact Form 7. It’s a free plug-in and simple enough to use There are pros and cons and some of us
feel that it can place a fair load on resources. And it’s not for people who need a contact
form working out of the box because it does need some CSS
(Cascading Style Sheet) coding added to it to customize it as you need and
it’s not that straightforward if you’re a beginner. So it’s one that a lot of web designers tend to use
and I can do a tutorial on the customization and coding that you can
use to get it as you want. Just leave a comment in the comment box below
if you would like me to do a tutorial on this. The other alternatives are really going to
be either an integration like MailChimp but I’m not a fan of the forms that you can
integrate via MailChimp at all – they are really hard to get looking nice. There’s also MailerLite which I am playing with at the
moment. That one may well be a good option to use and, like Mailchimp, it links straight
up to your newsletter or your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for
sending out newsletters, for collecting subscribers and all the rest of it. So
watch this space I’ll let you know how I go with MailerLite. So far I
really like it but Contact Form 7 is normally the plugin you find is pre-installed
with your theme. Rightly or wrongly it’s what people generally use. That’s not to say
it’s the best. Then you normally have a caching plugin. What this does, is for anyone that visits
your site certain resources are retained in
your browser. Thus, when you revisit the site, the static elements
are retained in your browser cache history and don’t have to be re-loaded from scratch, meaning a faster page loading
time. So it really is a must for visitors of the
site But you also need to be aware that when you
use a caching plugin, and you make edits to your site, those edits may not display until
you clear your browser cache. So you really need to be either deactivating your Caching plug-in
while you’re building your site or be aware and flush your browser cache. And with the Litespeed Cache plugin I have
installed here, you can do that with this. particular one This particular caching plugin works best
with the web hosting environment that this particular site is using. But you can
go in here and click “purge all” and that will clear the cache. And what you see is what
you have in live time rather than a historical view of things. So hopefully that makes sense Ignore this one as it is purely there
if you want people to be able to log into a particular site using Social
Networks like Facebook or Google. I probably won’t use this plugin on this particular
site so I’ll delete it. Now, we’ve talked about UpdraftPlus in the
sense that it was corrupted and we went through a process
of reinstalling it but we haven’t actually discussed the functionality of this plugin. UpdraftPlus is a backup plug-in and it’s
really good because you can set the plug-in to take backups automatically as
often as you like. Just be aware that if you are backing up to your web host servers,
you could fill up your allocated storage space very quickly. So what UpdraftPlus does is it gives you
the option to backup to Amazon, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace and some other
ones as well. And that would be a much better option than storing your backups on
your server. And obviously backing up your site is essential. We can ignore
site is essential infants this White-Label CMS – that’s very specific to these demo sites. WooCommerce is an absolute must if you are planning on having an online store, or
selling digital or downloadable products. We can ignore Woocommerce Sidebars which simply adds extra functionality but
I certainly wouldn’t class that as an essential plugin. I would
class WordFence as essential. And I’ve used lots of different ones and that one
is definitely my favourite. It’s basically an antivirus, firewall and malware
scanner and plug-in which you need for the security of your site. It can take a little bit of configuration
depending on the hosting environment but normally there are step by step instructions
to show you how to achieve that pretty easily. The only other one that I
always install as standard is WPS Hide Your Logon. The reason for that is that
your static standard login to get to the back end here is what you can see here
which is the site name and then wp-admin. So, by hiding this it stops bots and
hackers being able to try and get into your site because they can no longer
assume that it’s going to be the usual wp-admin in the URL in order to log
into your site. So that’s why that one is there and this particular plugin enables
you to pick whatever you like. So it might be “Sharon is awesome”. In this case, you’d gain admin access by using the url
be demo site doc k + WQ awesome. And no one’s
going to pick that one unless you announce it on a live! it’s not one I’m
using – it’s one I’ve just made up but it’s a way of preventing the bots and hackers from getting into your site. So it’s a really good plugin to have. I did have a
situation where I didn’t have this particular plugin installed and as a
consequence I had someone constantly trying to get into my site, and to cut a long story short what it did was completely exhaust all of
my credits for my current customer relations management software. So I had to install this particular plugin on my site and
then that stopped any more hacks. So that is a quick rundown of all the plugins that I would
recommend as standard on every website. You will have others as well depending
on the functionality extensions that are required but those are your absolute
minimum. Just one more word of caution. Just remember that the more plugins you have the more you’re draining your resources and you will slow down your
site and also risk compatibility issues. And it can affect how other plugins interact as well as your website’s overall performance. I have to say I really hope that next week when I go live again I
see some of you and can have a little bit of a dialogue because that is so
much better for everybody. If you’re watching this on the replay
thank you so much for tuning in and if you have any comments please leave those in the comment box below. I will be repurposing this content and sending it
out in various different forms so watch the space. I will sign out now, thanks so
much to everybody who watched and I will see you again next week. See you
later bye bye!

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