Putting web design and lazy in the same sentence might raise some eyebrows, but being lazy is not necessarily bad.
It may mean the designer wants more efficient solutions, or to save client’s money.
It may also indicate a desire to spend more time designing websites and less working on technical and development issues.
In the WordPress universe, it seems there is a plugin tor just about every need or application. In the WordPress Plugin Repository alone there are just under 50,000 plugins.
Add to that the thousands sold my marketplace websites like Codecanyon, and the umber becomes staggering.
Plugins are wonderful devices that allow web designers to reduce development time. They are mini-software applications that enhance functionality and solve problems.
However, like too much of anything good, plugins can cause a problem. If a website uses too many, performance will suffer. It will talk longer for pages to load, and in some cases may cause more serious problems.
Knowing where to draw the line is essential. A good rule of thumb is if you are in doubt about whether you have reached the limited- assume you have.
If you have not reached the limit, and want to take advantage of the benefits offered by WordPress plugins, here are a few of our favorites.
Keeping track of visits from ads run on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Adwords, Google Re targeting, and more, is a requirement for digital marketers.
Learning as much as possible about those who visit your website is the only way to optimize and improve performance. But, tracking codes can be confusing and complicated to install.
Working with tracking codes from multiple providers adds additional complexity. It can easily become a time consuming and cumbersome process.
This is where Tracking Code Manager comes in to play. This plugin relieves you of having to place each tracking code in the <head> or <body> tag of your WordPress site. The plugin provides one location for all the codes, and you can designate their specific location.
There are immediate and long term time savings when you use Tracking Code Manager. For example, social media sites revise their codes, and often require replacements. Remembering where those codes were placed is not an exciting prospect, but it’s one you won’t have to face if you used Tracking Code Manager.
Speaking of time consuming, tedious tasks, is there anything as annoying as having to drop everything in the middle of a big design project to style a widget?
The TinyMCE Widget makes this a lot easier, and is therefore one of our favorite time saving plugins.
The plugin is as simple as it can be, but over the course of many developments, it can save a ton of time.
The TinyMCE Widget allows users to insert media objects and rich text directly into their editor, and while it may not be difficult to paste HTML into widgets, for example, it can sure be time consuming. The plugin’s WYSIWYG capabilities let’s you avoid that tedious task.
But there’s more. Here is a rundown of the features offered by the TinyMCE Widget:
- Directly insert from the WP medial library (videos and images).
- Move from HTML to visual mode.
- Edit in full screen mode
- Widgets accessibility mode support
- WordPress networks (multi-site) support
- WPML (multi-language) support
- Live preview
- 20+ language availability
From time to time, web designers are asked to do site migrations. They can be done at the sever level by uploading data bases, and at the WordPress admin level.
If you are not familiar with server technology, uploading files can be daunting. Even with the help of support offered by most hosts, it’s not an easy process.
This leaves the option of working at the admin level. There are many plugins that simplify this process, but in our experience, the best is All-in-one WP Migration.
The concept is simple. First, you download the contents of the site to a file stored on your local hard drive, or 3rd party cloud service like Dropbox).
Then you upload the new file via the dashboard to the new domain – and that’s pretty much all that’s needed.
The All-in-one WP Migration Plugin is also a handy way to save a backup copy of your site. You can save it on your desktop, or on a 3rd party cloud host like drop box.
The free version of the plugin is somewhat limited. It will handle sample sites, but an upgrade to the premium version is needed in most cases.
If you use a WordPress theme that includes a page builder, you can skip this plugin. But, if you are creating a custom development, or starting with the WordPress core theme, Shortcodes Ultimate may become your new best friend.
The plugin offers many of the exact same features you get with a premium theme builder – only for free. There is a premium version on Shortcodes Ultimate, but the basic plugin gives everything needed to save massive development time.
As the name implies, the plugin consists of a wide variety of development shortcodes (over 50). Additional features:
- Shortcode Generator
- Modern design
- Fully responsive
- Custom CSS editor
- Custom widget
- RTL support
- Works with any theme
- Easily extendable
The plugin is very easy to use, and has a handy ‘demo’ feature that enables short code viewing before it’s actually implemented.
We have used this plugin over, and over, and over again. We bought the premium version, but seldom find it necessary. We can’t say enough good things about Shortcodes Ultimate.
Local SEO is very different from regular SEO. It’s based upon the quality and quantity of listings (AKA citations). Locating the right listings is a time consuming process.
The Local SEO and Business Listings plugin makes this a lot easier. The plugin offers a tool to scan local business listings, and a way to create local listings on the largest business listings sites like YP.com and Yelp.
In addition, the plugin offers the following local SEO tools:
- Competitor Analysis
- Web Analytics
- Search Metrics
- Social Engagement
- Web Buzz Monitoring
- Website & Content Submission Tools
- Backlink Quality Check
- Competitor Backlink Spy
- Landing Page Optimization Tools
- Website SEO Audit
- Sitemap Generator
- Internal Link Audit and Optimization
All in all, a pretty great plugin.
There’s nothing more important to visitors and search engines than fast loading pages.
There are numerous plugins to help maximize site performance, but getting the most from them requires some degree of technical expertise.
One group of plugins that are easy to configure – and effective, are image optimizers. Among these, we particularly like ShortPixed Image Optimizer.
It’s super easy to use; you can optimize your entire media library with one click.
The plugin enables both lossy and lossless compression, and works for common image types (PNG, GIF,JPG) and PDF.
There is a free version (100 credits/month), and upgrades starting at $4.99 for 5,000 images.
That’s it for our suggestions. If you have any, please let us know!