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WordPress Plugin Checklist

WordPress Plugin Checklist

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While there are dozens of WordPress plugins you could install in your WordPress website to enhance the performance. The following plugin checklist focuses only on those plugins I consider essential to running, managing and maintaining your WordPress website from an administrative perspective.

In all of my WordPress websites, I always install these plugins to manage both small and large websites. I highly recommend you print this checklist and check off the steps as you accomplish them.

The next time you install WordPress and/or have a WordPress website built for you that you will ultimately manage, be sure these plugins are installed to maximize the site’s greatest potential.


1.0 ____ ADMIN PLUGINS

With every WordPress installation I work on, I always (first) install these plugins before I add pages, posts, create menus, etc. Many of these are must-haves with any WordPress installation.

  • ____ Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu — Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu moves all the dashboard admin links from the left side of your screen to a neat horizontal row of drop down menu items at the top of your screen.
  • ____ Admin Menu Editor — Admin Menu Editor is a WordPress plugin that will let you manually edit the Dashboard menu. You can reorder the menus, show/hide specific items, change access rights, and more.
  • ____ Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode — Sticky Widget Area is a WordPress plugin that helps you to engage your visitors in checking out your sidebar content while scrolling through your web pages.
  • ____ Admin Management Xtended — Admin Management Xtended lets you make quick edits and other modifications to pages and posts without having to click on the title for a full page edit. This is a real time-saver.
  • ____ Reveal IDs — This plugin (Reveal IDs) shows the IDs on admin pages and posts.
  • ____ Single Category Permalink — Reduce permalinks (category or post) that include an entire hierarchy of categories to just having the lowest level category.
  • ____ Duplicate Post — This plugin allows to clone a post or page, or edit it as a new draft. This is very helpful when you want to create a new Page or Post and there are certain elements, features or settings associated with the page or post that you want to maintain.
  • ____ Admin Slug Column — This plugin allows you to make a WordPress page or post link to the URL of your choosing, instead of a WordPress page or post URL. It also will redirect people who might go to an old URL versus the new one you’ve chosen.
  • ____ Bulk Move — If you need to move or remove posts in bulk from one category to another, or by tagging them, this is the WordPress plugin for you.
  • ____ Better Delete Revision — Better Delete Revision not only deletes redundant revisions of posts from your WordPress Database, it also deletes other database content related to each revision such meta information, tags, relationships, and more.
  • ____ Post List Featured ImageAdds a featured image column in admin Posts/Pages list.
  • ____ Quick Bulk Post & Page Creator A handy tool for batch creation of posts and pages in your preferred hierarchy.
  • ____ Upload Larger Plugins (Large File Sizes) — This plugin replaces the built-in WordPress plugin uploaded with one that allows you to upload a plugin of any size.


2.0 ____ USER PLUGINS

Depending on your “user” needs, consider these helpful plugins.

  • ____ Profile Builder Login, registration and edit profile shortcodes for the front-end. Also you can chose what fields should be displayed or add new (custom) ones both in the front-end and in the dashboard.
  • ____ Change Your Admin Username —This is a small WordPress plugin that will let you easily edit your username from within WordPress. It’s useful if you want to change it to something other than “admin.”
  • ____ Admin Custom Login — Customize your WordPress login screen amazingly.
  • ____ WP User Avatar — WP User Avatar is a WordPress plugin that lets you choose any image from your WordPress Media Library as a custom user avatar.
  • ____ WP Author Box (Pro) – WP Author Box gives you full control on your author profile box / agent box and gives identity to your single or multi-author WordPress blog websites.


3.0 ____ PAGE MANAGEMENT & PAGE BUILDER PLUGINS

Here are a number of page-related plugins I use to help working with pages go much easier.

  • ____ Visual Composer: Page Builder for WordPress — Visual Composer for WordPress is a drag and drop front-end and back-end page builder plugin that will save you loads of time working on site content. You will be able to take full control of your WordPress site, build any layout you can imagine with no programming knowledge required.
  • ____ TinyMCE Advanced — This plugin will let you add, remove and arrange specific buttons on your WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) Visual Editor toolbar.
  • ____ Shortcodes Ultimate — Shortcodes Ultimate is a WordPress plugin that provides mega packs of shortcodes. With this plugin you can easily create tabs, buttons, boxes, different sliders, responsive videos and even more.
  • ____ pageMash > Page Management — With pageMash, you can quickly and easily manage a multitude of pages with the slick drag-and-drop style interface. pageMash lets you sort, hide, edit, rename, and organize several pages at a time.
  • ____ CMS Tree Page View — This plugin adds a CMS-like tree overview of all your pages and custom posts so you can view them all at a quick glance. Within this tree, you can edit pages, view pages, add pages, search pages, and drag and drop pages to rearrange the order.
  • ____ Page Links To — This plugin allows you to make a WordPress page or post link to a URL of your choosing instead of a WordPress page or URL post. It also will redirect viewers that go to your old (or “normal”) URL to the new one you’ve chosen.


4.0 ____ WIDGET PLUGINS

These are some must-have/use widget plugins. 

  • ____ Black Studio TinyMCE Widget Adds a new “Visual Editor” widget type based on the native WordPress TinyMCE editor.
  • ____ Easy Custom Sidebars A simple and easy way to add custom sidebars/widget areas to your WordPress theme.
  • ____ Q2W3 Fixed Widget Fixes positioning of the selected widgets, when the page is scrolled down.
  • ____ Widget Logic — Widget Logic is a WordPress plugin that lets you control which pages certain widgets are / aren’t allowed to appear.


5.0 ____ TAXONOMY & CATEGORY ORDERING PLUGINS

If you create a lot of categories (whether for posts, products, etc.), consider these very helpful category ordering plugins.

  • ____ Custom Taxonomy Order NE — Allows for the ordering of categories and custom taxonomy terms through a simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • ____ Category & Taxonomy Terms Order — Order categories and all custom taxonomies terms (hierarchically) use a drag and drop, sortable javascript capability. No theme update is required.


6.0 ____ MEDIA LIBRARY / IMAGE PLUGINS

I would never use the Media Library without these media library / image enhancing plugins.

  • ____ Enhanced Media Library — Enhanced Media Library is a WordPress plugin that’s great when you need to upload and manage a lot of varying types of media files.
  • ____ Advanced Image Styles — Adjust an image’s margins (top, left, bottom, right) and border with ease in the Visual editor.
  • ____ Lightbox Plus Colorbox — Lightbox Plus Colorbox implements Colorbox as a lightbox image overlay tool for WordPress.


7.0 ____ EXPORT/IMPORT PLUGINS

If you ever have to move your WordPress website, you’ll be glad you have these import/export plugins available to help you move vital content such as menus, widgets, (post) categories, etc.

  • ____ WordPress Menu Exporter — This plugin only exports WordPress Menus (like Posts, Pages, etc).
  • ____ Widget Importer & Exporter — Widget Importer & Exporter is a WordPress plugin that helps you move your widgets from one WordPress website to another.
  • ____ Export Categories — Export Categories is a WordPress plugin that will only export your WordPress categories. It won’t export your posts or pages. For that you will need to use another type of plugin.
  • ____ WP Export Categories & Taxonomies — WP Export Categories & Taxonomies is a simple WordPress plugin that lets you export your Post Categories, Tags and Taxonomies into a WordPress .xml file. You can also import them into other WordPress websites, which is a tremendous time saver versus recreating them from scratch manually.


8.0 ____ SECURITY PLUGINS

While you wouldn’t use all of these plugins simultaneously, as they might cause conflict(s), consider choosing among these security plugins to help protect your WordPress website.

  • ____ All In One WP Security & Firewall — The All In One WordPress Security plugin will take your website security to a whole new level. It reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities by implementing and enforcing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.
  • ____ Rename wp-login.php — Change wp-login.php to whatever you want for security purposes and to prevent bulk spammers .
  • ____ Hide My WP Website — Hide My WP helps boost your WordPress website security and it also allows you to have more attractive URLs and permalinks!
  • ____ iThemes Security Plugin — iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site.
  • ____ BulletProof Security — BulletProof Security provides the additional website security protection that every WordPress website should have.


9.0 ____ SEO PLUGINS

While you wouldn’t use all of these simultaneously, as they might cause conflict(s), consider these SEO plugins to help optimize your WordPress website.

  • ____ WordPress SEO by Yoast — Improve your WordPress SEO by writing more effective content giving you a fully optimized WordPress site with one WordPress SEO plugin — Yoast.
  • ____ Google Analytics for WordPress — The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin allows you to track your blog easily and with lots of metadata such as views per author and category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and page views.
  • ____ SEO Ultimate — This all-in-one SEO plugin gives you control over your page and posts title tags, meta descriptions, keywords, no index, meta tags, slugs, canonical, auto links, 404 errors, rich snippets, and much more!
  • ____ Google XML Sitemaps — This plugin generates a special XML sitemap that aids search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog.


10.0 ____ VARIOUS PLUGINS WORTH MENTIONING

I also use many of these plugins as well. Check these out to see if you’d like to start using them too.

  • ____ Ninja Forms — Ninja Forms is a drag and drop WordPress plugin that lets you build custom contact forms, eMail collection forms, surveys, and other forms you might need for your WordPress website. Better than Contact7 and any other form creation plugin builder hands-down!
    ____ Global Content Blocks — These create short codes that you can add to HTML, PHP, forms, opt-ins, iframes, Adsense, code snippets, reusable objects, etc. to posts/pages and preserves formatting.
  • ____ Add To Content Add To Content is a WordPress plugin which allows you to add your own custom content, above and below every blog post!
  • ____ Print Friendly and PDFPrintFriendly & PDF button for your website. Optimizes your pages and brand for print, pdf, and email.
  • ____ Anti-spam Anti-spam is a WordPress plugin that blocks spam in your website’s comments area automatically and invisibly for users and for admins alike.
  • ____ WP Hide Post — WP Hide Post is a WordPress plugin that enables you to control the visibility of items on your blog by making posts/pages hidden on some parts of your blog, while still visible in other parts of your website/blog. 
  • ____ Drop Shadow Boxes — Drop Shadow Boxes is a WordPress plugin that provides an easy way to add a shadow effect to your images on posts, pages and within widget areas.
  • ____ Video Thumbnails Video Thumbnails simplifies the process of automatically displaying video thumbnails in your WordPress template.
  • ____ Opt-In Panda & Social Locker — Developed by the same company, these two plugins help you grow your eMail list and presence on social media.
  • ____ WP StatisticsComplete statistics for your WordPress site.


About Bart Smith

Bart Smith is the author of several books, professional marketer and self-publishing consultant, a personal coach, and a dynamite, motivational speaker. A self-starting, life-affirming, renaissance man, Bart is an entrepreneur at heart, who also bakes the world's best chocolate chip cookies at BartsCookies.com. He shares his insights, skills, training and knowledge here, on his training website, MyTrainingCenter.com, and helps people make money online with his online marketing shopping cart software, MyMarketingCart.com.

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Check out some of Bart's books on business, motivation, networking, coaching, checklists, and personal development.

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