I have found that these 6 plugins are essential every time I begin building a new website. These are the very first plugins I install.
- Under Construction by Jeremy Massel
- BackupBuddy by PluginBuddy
- All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert
- Scribe SEO by Copyblogger Media
- WP-Optimize by Ruhani Rabin
- WP-Show-ID by PriMoThemes
What follows is an explanation of the plugin and why I use it.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years looking for a decent plugin that would enable me to build a WordPress website while displaying a “Coming Soon” page to all visitors. I have used several of the others, and even purchased one or two, but never found complete satisfaction in any. I wanted something simple, but elegant. And that is what I found with this plugin!
- HTTP Status Code
- HTTP 200
- HTTP 301 – Redirect
- HTTP 503 – Service Unavailable
I really like this option because with sites like the one we use for our development testing, http://test.eggbizdev.com, I can set up a redirect keeping people from being able to access the site. Which I did, if someone were to visit http://test.eggbizdev.com without being logged in, they would be sent to http://eggbizdev.com.
- Restrict by Role
Also a great feature if you have contributing authors or editors and you do not want anyone to access the site while you make updates or changes. Even if you tell everyone they may forget. With this plugin, they won’t be able to access the site if they tried.
- Display Options
- Display the default under construction page
- Display the default under construction page , but use custom text
- Display a custom page using your own HTML
Whenever I am building a new site, I never want the site to be visible to unexpected browsers until it is completely ready. So this feature makes it really easy to display a “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” page while I finish the site. Oh, and it has now restrictions to me while developing. I can do everything with this plugin activated.
Now, the default design is very simple and plain, but the 3rd option makes it easy for you to drop in your own HTML to create a really cool page.
I’ve used a number of backup plugins as well, but I’ve never felt as confident about the protection of my websites and my clients sites as I do now that I use BackupBuddy. This plugin does require a yearly investment, but it is well worth it!
Backing up your database and site files is very important when developing a new site. I’ve made the mistake early in my career of not securing a backup of my database and files, and lost everything after months of development. As a best practice, it is recommended that you backup daily when developing a new site, and then backing up weekly should be sufficient, unless your site has a large number of updates daily.
To learn more about BackupBuddy and some alternative plugins read this article I wrote a few months back:
All in One SEO Pack
I wrote an article some time ago about this plugin, I suggest you read through it to get a better idea what this plugin is really capable of…A simple SEO strategy for WordPress Sites: And a plugin that makes it even more simple
But the reason this is one of the first plugins I install is because it is important to get things setup right from the start. You may not know this, but WordPress, as soon as it is installed sends notification to search engines that you have a website for them to come crawl. So implementing this plugin and using it is important and essential to help with effective search engine rankings from the start.
Obviously when you’re building a new site you’re going to need to write some content for that site. And you’re going to want that content to be keyword rich, well written, and have links back to it. Scribe SEO does all of that!
SEO Made Simple, this is how scribe helps…
- Optimize content faster
- Choose great keywords
- Preserve reader engagement
- Build quality links
- Increase targeted traffic!
- Keywords: Scribe shows you the language searchers use before you begin to write. Once your content is created, Scribe reveals other profitable keywords.
- Content: Scribe analyzes your natural, reader-focused content, and tells you how to gently tweak it to spoon feed search engines based on 15 SEO best practices.
- Links: Scribe helps you build back links, crosslink the content within your own site, and identify influential social media users who want to share your stuff.
So with Scribe SEO installed from the start, you can be sure you content is optimized, well written, and sharable!
This simple but effective plugin allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin. If you do not know what phpMyAdmin is, it’s the application that enables you to access your database tables via a web browser. It’s not difficult to use, but WP-Optimize is even more simple.
I use this plugin mainly to clean the post/page revisions from my database. Every time you edit a post or page, a new revision is created in the database. And often, when I’m building a new site, I make several changes to the pages and post I create.
Why is it important to clean up the database? Simple, the more stuff you have in your database the storage you use. The more storage you use, the slower your website can get!
Shows IDs for Posts, Pages, Media, Links, Categories, Tags, and Users in the admin tables for easy access. This is a very lightweight plugin, takes up little space, does not require any setup, it just works.
This plugin comes in handy all the time. Many of the themes and plugins I use for development allow for the use of post, page, category IDs. I needed to be able to easily see those IDs so that I could use them when setting up the new site. I’ve used several others, but none are as simple and lightweight as this one.
What plugins do you use when building your WordPress websites? Do you have preferred alternatives to any of my 6 suggestions above? I’d love to hear them! Use the comments below to let us know!