10 WordPress Plugin Tips for 2020 I bloggerabc

WordPress without plugins is almost unthinkable. After all, the little helpers offer endless possibilities to expand your own website and blog with what feels like every functionality. There are over 55,000 of these small systems in the official WordPress plugin repository alone. In addition, there are countless other plugins that are usually offered for a fee on the product pages or other marketplaces. The question is, which ones are useful and why?

In this guest post, I want to give you 10 tips for free WordPress plugins that can be used on many sites. This list is a mix of my absolute favorites and useful extensions that make work easier when needed. I have added important tips for use to the relevant plugins.

Tip for you: before you want to install one of the plugins mentioned here, check your previously installed plugins. Perhaps you have already activated one that offers exactly this functionality. You should definitely avoid two plugins for the same purpose!

Antispam Bee

A WordPress plugin that I personally can’t do without on any site: Antispam Bee. In my opinion, this is the best plugin to keep annoying spam away from the blog. Unfortunately, the “Akismet” supplied as standard with WordPress does not comply with data protection regulations. Hence the recommendation: delete Akismet immediately, Install and activate Antispam Bee. The standard settings work wonderfully. If you like, you can also activate the dashboard widget and a spam counter under “Other”. These then show over time how much spam has been blocked by the plugin.

? Tip! Unfortunately, Antispam Bee does not work with Jetpack or Disqus. Unfortunately, both services do not comply with data protection regulations and do not technically allow Antispam Bee to block spam comments. It is therefore best to use it with the standard WordPress comment function.

Avatar Privacy

Let’s stay on the subject of data protection: The functionality of the gravatars does not comply with data protection either – this is the display of the user picture in the backend in the upper right corner or in the comments. As a user, you can upload your own profile picture in WordPress with the plugin. People who comment on your blog can consent to their profile picture being loaded once by Gravatar. This is then cached on your site to prevent further requests to Gravatar.

? Tip! You can find the settings for your own user avatar under Users -> Your profile.

Customizer Export/Import

The use case for this plugin is probably not very common, but when it is, it’s a real work saver. With Customizer Export/Import, as the name suggests, the settings from the Customizer can be completely exported and imported again. This can e.g. This can be helpful, for example, if you want to create a child theme for a theme that has been used for some time. Especially with many customizer settings, it is really tedious to transfer the settings. Of course, the export file can also be used on another installation.

? Tip! The plugin only works if the theme to be exported from is currently activated. If you have already changed the theme, you have to go back to the previous theme.

EmbedPrivacy

There is one more plugin on the subject of data protection in the list: Embed Privacy. Anyone who likes to add a tweet, a YouTube video or other so-called embeds to their own blog should make sure that data is not immediately sent to the social networks when the page is accessed. This can be easily solved with the Embed Privacy plugin. The plugin comes without further settings and is ready to use. Those who are fit with CSS can also adapt the overlay to their own needs with a few CSS properties.

? Tip! If you already have plugins like Borlabs Cookie or WP Rocket uses, you may not need this plugin. Both plugins also offer the functionality to block embeds in their settings. Other plugins can also cover this feature. If you prefer a lean solution, Embed Privacy is the right choice.

Limit Login Attempts Reloaded

It’s the plugin that shouldn’t be missing from any installation. It limits the number of possible login attempts and blocks further requests for a period of time. This makes so-called brute force attacks more difficult. If you’re thinking “oh, that doesn’t happen on my blog anyway”: install the plugin and let it run for a while. You will be amazed how often bots try to log into your WordPress installation.

? Tip! It is also common to rename the backend access via /wp-admin and /wp-login.php using an additional plugin. This can initially prevent access, but at the latest when the bots have recognized the new name, it is just as secure as without renaming.

redirection

What happens when a post or page is deleted? Then the most well-known error message of the Internet appears: “404 – Not found”. By default, WordPress does not offer to “redirect” from a previous URL to a new one. This can be solved with the Redirection Plugin. It offers various options and status codes for a redirect.

? Tip! Should you e.g. For example, if you use Yoast SEO Premium, a redirection feature is already integrated. Then this plugin would not be necessary.

Plugin report

I only recently became aware of this plugin. Plugin Report provides a clear but detailed table of all installed plugins. For each plugin, e.g. B. when it was last updated and the corresponding ratings. However, it only works with plugins from the WordPress repository. If a plugin is not found, a message will be displayed.

The plugin is great for checking from time to time which plugins have not been updated for a long time. That does not immediately mean that they no longer work. But maybe there is a better maintained alternative that can replace an outdated plugin.

? Tip! Even if paid plugins are not recognized, you should also check them regularly to ensure they are up-to-date.

Short Pixel Image Optimizer

It is often said that a picture says more than a thousand words. On the web, however, it is often the case that images contain many times more data than a thousand words. You quickly notice this when there are many pictures on one page and a bad internet connection.

While pre-processing of images is also important, you can save even more data by using an image optimization plugin. I’ve been using the ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin for a few years. It offers many features and is even free for 100 images per month. There is no size limit and the optimization process starts automatically when uploading images, but can also be triggered manually.

In the settings you can also exclude certain image sizes under “Advanced” at the very end. ShortPixel not only charges a credit for the original image, but also for each image size. Do you have e.g. B. nine additional image sizes, ten credits are used for it.

? Tip! If the free 100 credits per month are not enough for you, I recommend purchasing a one-time plan. You get a fixed number of credits that you can use. These can also be used on multiple WordPress installations!

Pro tip: You can always find updated image sizes at Allfacebook.de. Currently in the post “All image sizes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest 2020”.

Simple Image Sizes

If you are now wondering where you can actually see all image sizes registered in WordPress: by default not at all. Image sizes can be defined by theme and plugins. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read the entire source code of all plugins to find out the image sizes. With the plugin Simple Image Sizes you can easily display them. If you have activated the plugin, the list of all registered image sizes appears under Settings -> Media.

? Tip! The plugin offers additional functions, such as adding and also deleting existing image sizes. Deleting it in particular can lead to unwanted side effects. Therefore, you should only do this if you are absolutely sure.

Torro Forms

My personal favorite form plugin is Torro Forms. This makes it easy to insert the form fields using drag & drop. It offers e.g. B. multi-page forms, e-mail notifications, redirects for example for thank you pages or exporting the data as Excel and CSV. Many other features make the plugin a real all-rounder.

? Tip! When creating a new form, the selected title is displayed above the form by default. If you do not want this to be displayed, scroll down to the “Form settings” area in the form settings and uncheck the “Show page title?” Out.

Dani Schenke provides you with more tips for plugins in the article “8 essential WordPress plugins”.

Which plugins are still important in your opinion and which ones can you definitely recommend for blogs? Write your tips in the comments, I look forward to it!

Jessica Lyschik is a web developer at result. Her focus has been on WordPress since 2015, and she has known the system since 2006. She shares her knowledge of WordPress and web development on her blog and is also involved in the WordPress community. She is also the founder of the Gutenberg PrimerGutenberg Primer, the “Missing Manual” for the new Block Editor.