Our favourite WordPress plugins of 2018

Georgie Blumsom

One of the key features of WordPress is its use of plugins. WordPress holds a library of pre-written plugins which help you to enhance and scale the functionality of your website more efficiently whilst remaining cost-effective. Mallard and Claret use a variety of plugins when building websites for clients and our top 5 this year are as follows:

1. Yoast SEO (SEO)

Yoast SEO gives you a solid toolset to make your website as search-engine friendly as possible. It enables you to control titles and meta descriptions for better keyword optimisation across your site, helps avoid content duplication, makes breadcrumb management a breeze and also allows you to manage your URL structures.

At Mallard & Claret, we install Yoast as standard on all of our clients websites, alongside performing a more in-depth SEO optimisation process.

2. Wordfence (Security)

With over 28% of website administrators across the web using WordPress, its popularity comes at a price. WordPress is often targeted by hackers and spammers who aim to take advantage of insecure websites.

The Wordfence security plugin is completely free and provides a suite of security features to help protect our clients’ websites. Alongside an advanced Firewall feature, Wordfence also delivers instant email notifications to website administrators of any suspicious activity, automatically blocking their IP addresses. Furthermore, the plugin consists of a Live Traffic view which provides you with real-time visibility into traffic and hack attempts.

3. Sucuri (Security)

Sucuri is another security plugin offering website monitoring, malware removal, suspicious redirect blocking and prevention from iframe and link injection attacks.

In addition to its core security features, Sucuri examines all website activities including new post additions, file changes, user logging (and failed login attempts) as well as file uploads.

The plugin ensures your core WordPress files remain intact and prevents hackers from hiding malware inside them.

4. All in One WordPress Migration (Utility)

This plugin enables you to export all features of your WordPress website including the database, media files, plugins and themes at the click of a button, without needing access to the web server or database.

At Mallard & Claret we find this plugin particularly useful when we’re deploying client websites without access to their hosting server, or simply for the purposes of taking instance, manual backups.

With this plugin, the usual migration issues like URL naming and serialisation are handled for you, making site deployments a stress free process that takes minutes, not hours.

5. Advanced Custom Fields Pro (Build)

Last but not least, our favourite plugin that we couldn’t live without – ACF, short for Advanced Custom Fields.

Advanced Custom Fields is a WordPress plugin which allows you to add extra content fields to your WordPress edit screens. These extra content fields are more commonly referred to as Custom Fields and allow us to build websites faster and provide a better user experience for our clients.

With over 30 different field types to choose from, the process of creating editable pages has reduced our development time from days to hours, and using this plugin ensures that our clients are able to manage 99% of content across their websites, making them more efficient too.

Mallard & Claret are WordPress specialists based in London. We design and develop fully-functional, easy-to-use, scalable and secure WordPress platforms for start-ups, SMEs and enterprise organisations including BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Balfour Beatty, British Land, and Great Ormond St Hospital.

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