We build several WordPress sites each month and our clients are always asking what plugins they should be using for their new WordPress site. Depending on the functionality of the site, the need for plugins vary. For example, if the client has a blog or plans to have a place for comments, I will always recommend Disqus over Intense Debate and the default WordPress comment system because I think it functions better overall. I like the interface for Disqus much more then any other comment system and they have an Android app that makes it easy for me to moderate comments on the go.
When it comes to site performance, there is only one caching plugin that needs to even be talked about and that is W3 Total Cache. This plugin is so complete that it is shocking. It is packed with features and accounts for every type of WordPress user. It is very easy to configure and it actually works! I run a Lacrosse news website where I recently installed W3 Total Cache. According to the Google Analytics Site Speed metric, from September 17 to October 16, the average load time was 3.47 seconds. From October 17, the day I installed W3 Total Cache, to November 16, the average load time was 2.36 seconds. That is a difference of 1.21 seconds! The plugin also shows your Page Speed Report on your Admin Dashboard so you can see how well your site is performing. Every time I visit the site I am pleased with the results. continue reading “Plugins Every WordPress Site Should Have Installed”