There are a lot of questions regarding WordPress and WooCommerce functionalities on social media. The idea of this guide is to give the reader a professional, unsponsored and a quick overview of the few of the plugins we often, and love to use. They are a staple on most of our installations and do not cause bloat or inconsistencies.
We know everyone has a hard time testing and getting used to plugins, simply because each and every one of them offers so many customization options you can get lost sooner or later without actually getting to the core of the problem the plugin was needed for in the first place.
- Flexible Shipping
- Checkout field editor
- User role editor
- Prices by user role
This plugin will allow you to manage your shipping efficiently worldwide. You can create „zones“, for which you can enable or disable shipping options, and manage them per your needs. It truly shines when pairing with Automated Taxes plugin, to enable automatic price and taxes calculation based on the user’s location. We highly recommend this plugin to be a regular in your WooCommerce eCommerce webshops.
Checkout Field Editor
This is a plugin that comes in handy if you need those extra options for the checkout. It’s often used for entering VAT numbers, and other fields that could be necessary. If you don’t need it, don’t use it.
User Role Editor & Prices by User Role
These two packed are what makes a difference when having separate B2C and B2B programmes. You can edit and add custom user roles and use them to edit their discounts. We use them when the client needs a wholesale option, as they are a simple and fast problem solver. They can make a big difference in managing large webshops.
We believe that this is the plugin every WordPress site needs to have. You have to understand that WordPress is an open-source Content Management System and the plugins and themes come from various authors. There are tons of unused database entries this plugin can get you rid of. It enables caching to save load times, and much, much more.
It automates the tasks that most of the novice and intermediate users would have to do by hand. There are a lot of customization options available, and you can set it up to suit your needs.
It approximately improves our website load times by 25% simply by installing it.
We recently switched to Imagify in spite of Smush. Imagify is another loading time-related plugin. It optimizes your image sizes and replaces them with <picture> tagged .webp images. It has 3 levels of compressing, but we recommend using the highest, ULTRA option since the human eye can barely notice the difference between them.
It saves around 70% of the image sizes on our WordPress installations. Which means it has a heavy impact on galleries and shops.
Contact form 7
There are a lot of contact forms out there. And we all know they are a staple today, especially when someone wants to hide his email address from nasty bots and spammers. We usually go with this plugin since we believe it’s the simplest one and never let us down. It’s highly customizable and has a lot of dependent additions on the WordPress plugin marketplace if they would be needed.
Mailchimp for WP
Mailchimp is loved by some, and hated by others. As most of our clients would like to implement a newsletter plugin at some point in their lifecycle, we advise them to go for Mailchimp. Why? because you can set it up in 5 minutes and it’s totally free. It’s user friendly so they can send their own newsletters and supplement their marketing campaigns.
A staple for creating beautiful hero sliders and carousels. It has a steep learning curve and can take a lot of time to be set up correctly. Parallax effects, hovers, animations. It’s a quick solution to advertise your brand, a product or just to put in some news.
What we especially like about it, is that with all that huge code, responsivity is a minor problem. It usually takes us 10-15 minutes from a ready-made fullscreen to a fully responsive slider.
What we dislike about it, is the fact that it can render in low FPS and cause long loading times, so be sure not to over-complicate it. It can be heavy on your CPU usage so be mindful.
Hands down the simplest WordPress migration plugin. It does require cPanel access, but it can migrate a <300Mb site in 10 minutes if you know the drill. Very useful when creating a local WordPress installation and when you need a reliable tool which will preserve everything the way it is.
Basically, it creates a .php installer file and an archive of your WordPress directory. You need to upload those files in the root folder of your new installation, and enter https://[yourdomainpath]/installer.php to start the installation. You will need to manually create a database and a user in your PHPMyAdmin panel and connect it to your new installation and you’re done!
A great solution for backing up your old iterations for security. Great for copying options (such as CSS and page options) when making template-copy pages. This is the one that saves enormous time when building similar design pages for our clients.
The correct way of translating strings in your theme files.
We often use the same theme multiple times. This plugin creates .po and .mo files that you can reuse. It’s very easy to handle. You can search for the phrase you want to be translated and then translate it respectively. It’s great when you want to localize your website completely and remove English phrases.
WordPress Multilingual Plugin
It does require tiresome translations of the content, but you don’t want to use google translate for that. It makes those multiple language websites super easy to organise and manage. It adds the neat flags on top of your page to easily navigate between languages.
All-In-One SEO pack
One solution for all of your SEO duties. It enables easy management of Google analytics, and tag manager.
What we love about it, is that it gives awesome event handling for Google analytics, so you can be sure that your visitors will be properly noted.
It enables the creation of sitemaps and easy meta titles and description input.
WP Hide & Security Enhancer
This one will help you with automated bot attacks by hiding your main WordPress paths and theme files. Pretty straightforward, but adds a lot of security. Plus the “What theme is that“ scripts won’t work on your site anymore.
GDPR for WordPress
It comes with a cookie pop-up if you already don’t have it.
Now you know which plugins we use when talking about custom WordPress and WooCommerce functionalities. The WordPress community and platform is amazing, and it continues to grow as of today. All of these plugins are duly updated and compatible with the latest PHP and WordPress versions.