Creating sites with WordPress is not difficult at all, but still, there are some aspects that require a bit more maintenance and for that you need some additional tools. With the right set of tools, which are called plugins, you can immensely improve your site’s appearance, responsiveness, and efficiency, which will benefit yourself and your viewers, and will result in higher traffic numbers.
There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins, but obviously it is impossible to try them all, so I’ve created a list of worthy plugins that will transform your site without much effort on your side. Web developers know that WordPress sites require maintenance, especially when sites are starting and do not have all of the pages correctly filled out and/or listed. Launching a site is the easy part, but the process of keeping it working and updating the content can be troublesome if not addressed properly.
Must Have WordPress Plugins When Starting a New Blog
To save some valuable time, web developers use plugins, which grant them access to additional features for further tweaking the site’s settings to improve its ratings. With the right toolset (plugins) and some skills, you can make your site look and do whatever you want. Plugins can do a lot of work for you, and all you need to do is to install, active and set them up to your liking.
For example, let’s say you’ve messed up your whole site and you would like to revert the site to its original installation values. If so, you can install a “reset plugin”, which when set up, can reset the site to your desired specifications. You can choose which theme you want to it load, or whether you want certain plugins to be activated after the restoration.
Each plugin is different and has its purpose. The best thing about plugins is that they are simple to use and don’t require any additional coding skills to use them. Many experts agree that the key to knowing how to start a WordPress blog is using plugins to do the heavy-lifting for you, while you attend to other more important work. Plugins make web development much easier and not using them will only slow you and your site down.
Let’s see these plugins, shall we?
“Coming Soon” & “Maintenance Mode” Pages?
“Coming soon” pages notify visitors about the type of content which will be posted on the said page. The goal is to inform your visitors about your site’s progress and what content will be there after the launch. “Coming Soon” pages are very important when starting a site, as you need your viewers to know what is going on for them to come back, when your site is done. “Maintenance Mode” pages are useful when your site is scheduled for maintenance, as they display an “under maintenance” or “under construction” status, which is informative for your visitors.
If you are just starting your page and you are in the need of a “Coming Soon” or a “Maintenance Mode” page, then you’ve come to the right place as this (paid for) WordPress plugin is designed for that exact purpose. It won’t waste your time, and it has various useful features. “Coming Soon” is simple to use and has lots of different themes, no matter the type of your business. It is first in its class, as it comes highly rated and recommended by various web developers around the globe.
- 1 Million+ Free Images – high-quality images with Instagram filters
- 120+ Remarkable Themes –fully customizable themes for all business
- Best-in-class SEO Setup – built-in tests help you rank higher in search results
- Easy Access for Clients – Secret Access Link feature grants clients access to view their site while it is “under construction”.
- SEO Snippet Preview – a real-time preview of how the site will appear in search results
- SEO Analysis – over 20 tests on different aspects of SEO with advice
- Google Analytics Tracking ID – check your site’s stats and track it with Google Analytics
You can preview and activate themes from the plugin’s settings, and there is no need for any additional downloads – Themes list
Design – Layout
Try out various designs from 47 introductory animations
Design – Background
Use a static image background or an animated video background from over 400,000 images, or upload your own. You can set any background color instead of using images, if you want to.
YouTube videos will be played, muted and looped once you add them. These types of plugins will also come in handy if you are looking to start a Shopify store and don’t have any products ready for sale yet. Instead of having potential customers visit a dead page, they can see a ‘coming soon’ page.
Design – Logo
Choose from logos in the Media Library, or use your own. Easily change the logo size and customize to your own liking. If you have plans to start your blog today, then you should also be investing in a high-quality logo to make sure it’s also ready along with the launch of your site and first content.
Easily Revert Your Site To its Default Settings by Resetting WordPress
It is easy to start a blog or a site, but once you add a lot of content and some additional features, your site can lose its functionality or some pages can report errors, which in return requires additional maintenance on your part.
Most Common Reasons for Resetting WordPress Sites
- Rebuilding or repurposing the site
- Restoring the site to the default installation values
- Cleaning the installation and or leftover files from the database
These reset plugins come quite handy when you need to do some testing or debugging on your site. Also, they allow you to easily restore your site’s default settings, while saving you time and in some cases money as well. Many web owners and or developers use these plugins to switch between multiple site settings, or simply refresh or reset the site with just a few clicks.
WP Reset is an open-source plugin, which means it is free to use, and it has been installed over 100,000 times. More importantly, it is highly rated, 4.9 stars to be exact, and I think that the rating speaks for itself. This plugin constantly receives updates and is compatible with WordPress version 4 or higher, so no need to worry about compatibility as it supports most modern versions.
It makes resetting WordPress sites a walk in the park, as it is designed to quickly reset the whole database (if needed), and/or you can remove leftover files, themes, logos, etc. Your files are safe with this plugin, as it has multiple fail-safe mechanisms.
The plugin can also be used for various testing and debugging purposes. For example, you can switch between different designs and if needed, revert any changes by simply resetting the site trough the plugin with a few clicks, while also saving time.
WPC Webhooks plugin is integrated into WP Reset, and it securely connects WP to 3rd party systems.
WP-CLI is supported, and by default, you have to confirm the commands. You can use “–yes” to skip the confirmation part. Make sure to back up your files before resetting your WordPress site, just to be on the safe side.
Officially Supported WP-CLI Commands:
- “wp reset reset”
- “wp reset version”
- “wp reset delete”
- “wp reset snapshots”
One of the handy features allows you to take database snapshots, and you can use this to revert the site’s settings to any taken snapshot.
This save developers and designers a lot of time, and it speeds up the whole development process. The plugin can configure the site’s environment to your desired settings, meaning you skip the step of manually reactivating all of your plugins and themes (if selected) each time.
Easily create a list of desired WordPress themes and plugins, and upon selecting the list, the installation will start automatically.
What Are 301 Redirects?
Are you currently using some of the most important redirection tools and commands on your site? If not, you should be.
For example, 301 redirects are often used for managing various web content such as articles, websites, backlinks, etc. When the original URL is down, a redirect transfers (redirects) the user’s request to a working URL. This ensures that the user’s request is successfully executed. Upon redirecting a page, make sure to update your backlinks, so that they transfer the request to the working URL.
Simply put, they transfer users to a new working URL instead of them seeing 404 errors, due to the original URL being down as the content has been moved to another location.
301 redirects are often needed, because if you don’t maintain your content, it will negatively impact your SEO. No need to worry, as WP 301 Redirects can solve all your redirection problems in almost no time, and with as little effort as possible.
This WordPress plugin is more than capable of managing all your redirects and in return will improve your SEO, SER and overall site performance. With the help of this plugin, you can instantly take control over redirects & regain traffic in almost no time.
Easily fix the two most overlooked SEO issues, which are 404 Errors & Redirections. If some content expires, or you need to redirect your backlinks, simply redirect users to a working URL (link). This plugin is used to safely redirect traffic to desired pages, posts, and even other websites. Redirects increase traffic numbers and greatly improve the site’s user experience. Furthermore, you can also redirect your whole site if you wish to. It is, by far, the safest way to relocate any web content, while also improving SEO & SER along the way.
By posting empty pages or broken links, your SEO along with traffic numbers will suffer, and it will also negatively affect how search engines and their algorithms see your WordPress site. This is where WP 301 Redirects comes in handy, as it allows you to easily fix these annoying errors. Instead of users seeing 404 pages, it redirects them to the page they intended to see. If you are looking for a free version (though with less features), you can use 301 Redirects – Easy Redirect Manager.
WP Rocket is one the best (paid for) WordPress caching plugins. It can improve your WordPress site’s performance with no additional technical skills required.
It supports gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading. Also, it has optional features such as lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, etc., which further improve the site’s load times and responsiveness.
The best thing is that WP Rocket doesn’t wait for someone to request a page to save it in the cache, whereas it automatically crawls and builds your site’s cache, resulting in instant performance gains.
The point of “Caching” is to enable ultra-fast load times, which are crucial for improving SEO and overall site performance. According to many WordPress experts, WP Rocket is recognized as the most powerful caching plugin. If you are looking for a free caching plugin, you can go for W3 Total Cache, or any other caching plugin out there.
This (free) WordPress plugin allows the administrator to access the site for maintenance purposes. The administrator can put the site in maintenance mode by enabling the “503 Service temporarily unavailable” page, and/or by making a page with authorization, which can be configured in the plugin settings. Design your WordPress site by customizing the site’s appearance by adding a logo and/or background images, which is supported on all devices.
Collecting leads and subscribers through opt-in boxes and popups.
You get the MailOptin plugin free of charge, as it comes integrated into “Maintenance”, which can connect to desired autoresponder services.
With Amelia, a free events & appointments booking calendar, which adds events and bookings calendar to your maintenance page, you can start taking appointments immediately.
- Retina ready HTML/CSS layout
- Supports full-screen backgrounds
- Blur effect for chosen backgrounds
- Show your logo
- Customize headlines, colors, fonts, backgrounds, etc.
- User login (frontend)
- 503 Error – on/off
- Google Analytics
Exclusions for selected pages when in the “Maintenance mode”
With billions of users now spread across all of the major social networking platforms, it’s simply one of the best ways to get new audiences back to your site. However, once they get to your site, you are also going to want them to start sharing your best content as well.
An easy way to accomplish this, is through the use of the Sassy Social Share plugin for WordPress. With a quick install of the plugin, site owners and bloggers can add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and more) social sharing buttons right to their site and at the top and bottom of all posts. Visitors to your site then need to just click a button and the content will be pre-populated for them to start sharing on their preferred social platform.
The Sassy Social Share plugin include the following features:
- GDPR Compliant
- Compatible with Gutenberg editor
- Compatible with myCRED (append myCRED referral ID at the end of the url being shared)
- Around 100 Social Sharing/Bookmarking services
- Social Media follow icons (Redirect website visitors to your Social Media pages)
- Share counts are supported for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Buffer, Reddit, Pinterest, Odnoklassniki, Fintel and Vkontakte
- FREE Icon Customization options
- Options to specify sharing icon shape – Square, Round and Rectangular
- Options to specify sharing icon size – minimum 16 pixels, no upper limit
Make Your New Site Better with these Top WP Plugins
Starting or creating a site is the easy part, but managing and further developing it is the hard part. However, with the right toolset (plugins), you can cut your worktime in half by letting them do the hard work for you. These plugins are guaranteed to improve all different aspects of your site, and will definitely benefit its development in the long run.
As you continue to create new content and pages for your site, you will also learn more about your design and different ways to tweak it. Try and make the most of the plugins and features we listed above, but also make sure you don’t clutter and mess too much with the end-user experience.
For best results, be sure to visit any of the top websites and blogs online in your industry and compare your site design to what they have in place. This is always a good way to measure what’s working best and how big name brands are catering to their user’s needs.