I’ve been using wordpress for a number of years now and it’s safe to say I have a small of love for it. Aside from a few issues it’s a super useful platform that gives you a large amount of control over your site and has a boat load of plugins that support the main platform. I have used many…….many plugins for different reasons and to different degrees of satisfaction.

The below list is something I wanted to put together for any curious soul and it is in no order of importance. There is only one plugin that I think everyone should have kids with…you’ll find that further down the page. This plugin is the ultimate super sexy wordpress plugin.

So here it is a list of plugins that I use on this site and the reasons why I use them. Some are premium, others are free and some are not here because they proved to be useless or didn’t work.


admin section wordpress plugins

Admin Collapse Subpages

If you have multiple pages and posts that sit underneath a parent category and you don’t want to use the default filtering system inside wordpress, then this plugin gives those categories a collapsible + and – sign. It has made shifting through pages a lot easier as there is substantially less pagination to deal with.

Duplicate Page

If you need to duplicate a post or a page, this does exactly that. Handy for posts and pages that have similar setups and saves you time recreating those setups.

Link Checker

If you have a large site with many internal and external links, manually checking links to see if they work is an impossible task. Link checker does this for you and gives you a list of broken links and where they are on your site for you to fix. Will save years of time. Download it, use it.

Envanto Market

If you own wordpress, then you more than likely will have an evanto account. This plugin links directly into your account and allows you to install purchases directly on your site as opposed to download and then uploading them. A simple time saving plugin.


If you run multiple sites outside of multi-site setup, you will know the pain of keeping everything updated. This plugin allows you to create a multi-site like setup that will check for out of date plugins, themes and wordpress versions. It’s a bit hit and miss with reliability but it has made updating the sites I run a much easier and less depressing task. It just requires some stability work to be done and it will be a download and use recommendation from me for people in the same boat.

Simple Local Avatars

Having to create a gravatar account for each user to simply have an avatar for that user is just pointless. It apparently has some SEO benefits, but I suspect it only benefits larger more established sites who became established because of their content, not their gravatar account. This plugin allows you to assign an avatar to a user on site. Simple. It works. Download, use it.

WP Hide Plugin Updates and Warnings

A now defunct plugin I use to hide the multiple plugin popup notifications that appear at the top of each page. There needs to be an actual fix inside wordpress to solve this as the more plugins you install the more notification you get and the further down each page you have to scroll to get to the actual content you want to work on.


content creation wordpress plugins

WPBakery Page Builder

Page builders. I remember when life was a shortcode mess. There was little difference between hand coding a page and using short codes. Pages were impossible to read and box model control was done on a separate section or via a child theme css file. This was mainly because wordpress never set out in life as a CMS system; it was a blogging platform that was competing with many other platforms for world domination. Shortcodes were the first solution to structuring pages for theme developers.

Then page builders came along and made working with wordpress enjoyable. Effectively they were a development of macromedia’s (now adobe) dreamweaver WYSIWYG editor, except useful. And functional. There are a couple now fighting for domination. I use this page builder as the UI is logical. I’ve tried elementor, and like guttenberg it’s a good idea with poor implementation. Trying to find options to control columns and then control the box model for each column required multiple Google searches. WPBPB I worked out how to use almost straight out of the can. It’s improved over the years and odds on it will slow your page with some unneeded code, but if your site is based on a decent platform like siteground (the one I use) then this additional bloat becomes meaningless. It has a vast array of supporting free and premium feature enriching plugins, but out of the can it works well.

Classic Editor

Guttenberg, the new block based editor/page builder from wordpress was supposed to give a ‘visual composer’ like experience. The reality for me is that it fails miserably as the layout of tools and options are confusing and hidden. It’s a good idea, but with extremely poor implementation. The classic editor plugin gives you the ability to select the classic editor from the point of both page and post creation and editing.


Iframes are generally old methods of presenting content on pages. The method is now largely frowned on. I use it for very select reasons as creating an iframe in-code on a can be a chore. This plugin creates a short code and does the work for you should you need an iframe.

iThemeland Button For VC

Websites and buttons go hand in hand. They let the user know what is clickable. Most page builders and theme come with some type of button builder. Most of them are utterly useless. This is the only one so far that I have found that is feature rich. The UI will take time to get used to, and is its only downfall, but the buttons it creates are superb and you have full control of effect style, colours/images and the box model.


This plugin is used specifically to display the virtual tours I have produced. Its years out of date, but it still works.

Smash Balloon Instagram Feed

If you want to display your insta feed like I have in the wedding section of the site, this will do just that and in a clean fashion. Simple to use, and I’ve had no problems so far.

TinyMCE Advanced

This plugin adds functionality to wordpresses classic text editor. You can use this plugin to control what you see in the navigation section of the text editor. It’s a staple of many wordpress sites. Download it, use it.

Social Snap

This little plugin creates the social share link you see right underneath this section. Super easy to setup. There is a free and a paid for version.


I use this on a client’s site. It’s a responsive timetable plugin that lets you create……timetables. It’s used for class times. It’s a little clunky under the hood and could do with more customisation features but it does the job.


seo wordpress plugins

Rank Math SEO

This is a new one for me, an alternative to Yoast SEO. The behemoth of wordpress SEO plugins. For SEO performance I have not had time to assess if it’s any good, but it does have some very nice sitemap and redirection features which mean I don’t need separate plugins for either. The sitemap itself also does not list wordpress core pages from what I can tell, which means the below plugin is not negatively affected by it. Download it, try it, let me know how you get on with it.


security wordpress plugin


Wordfence is one of the more well used security plugins. It allows me to lock limits and permanently ban (including myself on occasion) any ip attached to a failed login. Since I started using this plugin runs on my sites have virtually disappeared. There is a free version and a paid for one. If you are running a tip top business the paid one is worth the money.

Rename wp-login

Security. The default wordpress login page is known by anyone who has ever installed wordpress: Leaving this in place creates backdoor access for those wonderful arseholes, hackers. This mixed with a login limit/ban plugin will beef up the security of your site. There are other ways in, but a good security plugin will patch those holes.


website optimisation wordpress plugins

SG Optimizer

This is specific to anyone using the siteground hosting platform. It’s an epically wonderful plugin that boosts your site performance by tapping into siteground server features. If you are on siteground this gets auto-installed with each wordpress installation.

Stop Generating Unnecessary Thumbnails

Thumbnails. Holy effing christ. I didn’t know about wordpress’s obsession with thumbnails until I downloaded the media library from my old wedding site. WordPress will allow every plugin on your site to create any and all sizes of thumbnails the plugin authors think they need in order for their plugin to operate. Idiots (in the specific aspect, hero’s in others). This single aspect of wordpress will fill your site server allocation up faster than anything else. In some instances I had 60 replications of a single image on a site that had thousands of images. Once I had sorted everything out I worked out wordpress and the idiot authors of all the plugins i use (except this one, this person is a god to me) had turned 2 gigs worth of images into around 26gb.

This entire aspect of wordpress will ruin your server performance and severely limit your site if it’s based, like mine is, on large numbers of images. This one single plugin is the most important one for me when using wordpress. It does exactly what it says, it stops wordpress from filling your server with unnecessary images. Everytime I upload an image it creates a single 160×160 thumbnail for use in the admin section. I have not noticed any performance issues since using this plugins, only benefits.

Stop what you are doing, download it, use it, praise it, make a shrine for it……marry it.


media library wordpress plugins

WP Real Media Library

WordPress out of the box is absolutely useless at organising images. By default your images will be put into a month/year folder order that you can see via some ftp software. Logically this gives no structure to image storage and no url structure for seo. This plugin gives the ability to organise your media uploads into a file category similar to how most operating systems work. It will also create a url structure for those images based on the folder names. If you produce a large number of images that follow a sequential numbering system, then there is an option to organise those images by that number system which makes adding them to posts or page en masse much easier.

Physical Custom Upload Dir for Real Media Library

The meat on the bones of the above plugin. This I believe is a required and free plugin for WP Real Media library and does the task of creating the folders you add inside the above plugin.

Media Library Assistant

This is a work horse of tag generation. If you are files and on a large scale and you don’t want to spend three weeks writing alt tag description of each image, this plugin will act as a bulk updater for almost all fields that can be edited on an uploaded file. I use it primarily for alt tag creation for the wedding photos I upload.

WP Real Thumbnail Generator

Sometimes you may or may not need to regenerate thumbnails. This plugin does just that. This is a plugin that forms part of the WP Real Media library house of joy. It was recommended, so I purchased it. It’s functional and does exactly what it says it will do…..

Plugin Types I don’t Currently Use

Back-up plugins

I don’t use a backup plugin as my host does daily backups, and i don’t post daily to the site so if it was ever brought down, running a backup from cpanel is an easy task. HOWEVER! If you run a site that is generating content daily or uses woocommerce as an ecommerce platform, look into the multitude of back-up options available. Most of them now link with one of the many cloud storage options available.

Revision & Database Optimisation Plugins

Revisions occur whenever you save a page or a post and they get logged in the database. The more pages and posts you have, the more revisions there will be and the more your database becomes bloated and slowed. Ive just started using WP Sweep to clean revisions from the site and clean up the database in general. But, if you do use one of the many database optimisation plugins make sure you back your website up first because some of them have been reported to break peoples sites.

I am also trailing a code edit in the wp-config file “define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);”. I will assess if this is effective in the future.

As with all plugins, install them one at a time and test them. WordPress is notorious for plugin conflicts causing sites to break. Installing one at a time allows you to see if the new plugin causes are any adverse effects to your site.

Do you have any wordpress plugins that you use that you couldn’t live without? Post them below in the comments section and let us all know why you use them and what makes them so god damn awesome.

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