August 2, 2018
What plugins do I need to install before I start developing my WordPress website?
This is a great question, and often left unanswered… until now! We’ve listed three plugins that everyone should install before they begin building their new WordPress website. We use these plugins on every site we build because they save our clients’ time and money.
Plugin #1 – Orbisius Child Theme Creator
The greatest issue we face as a web design agency here in Brisbane is when clients come to us with a broken WordPress website they’ve had built either locally by a freelancer or cheaply overseas and they don’t have a Child theme installed.
In a nutshell, a Child theme is a secondary WordPress theme that utilises the functional abilities from another WordPress theme, the Parent theme. A Child theme is important is because you use it to make customisations to the Parent theme. This prevents those very same customisations from being lost if you upgrade the Parent theme.
Usually when a client comes to us with their broken website, we run through a process of elimination to determine. We try to see what’s causing the issue and more often than not, it’s because their Parent theme hasn’t been updated in several years. This can mean the theme conflicts with the latest version of WordPress or a number of their Plugins.
As you might start to realise, we can’t just solve the issue by updating the Parent theme. If we did, it would overwrite all their customisations, and would send their website back to the default starting template. It would also be incredibly expensive for the client for us to trawl through their Parent theme to find the issue, so we generally suggest building the website again using a Child theme.
This is why we believe that the first order of business is to install and activate a plugin like Orbisius Child Theme Creator to create your very own Child theme.
How to create a Child theme using Orbisius Child Theme Creator.
Once you’ve activated the plugin, go to Appearances in your dashboard menu and find Orbisius Child Theme Creator. Find the Parent theme you’re using and click on the blue button labelled ‘Create Child Theme’. Simply scroll down to the Child Theme section below and select the blue ‘Activate’ link, and you’re all done!
It really is that easy yet you wouldn’t believe how many developers miss out on that simple step. So, if you’re looking to develop a website yourself or have an agency build one for you, make sure you have a Child theme installed and activated.
Plugin #2 – Yoast SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is incredibly important to 99% of businesses and should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. However, it’s often ‘too hard’ for the average website owner and they either give up on it or outsource it to an agency for a ridiculous sum of money.
We want to let you know it doesn’t need to be hard, or outsourced. You can simply install the Yoast SEO plugin and it will guide you through most of what you need to help rank your website much higher on Google than it already is.
Yoast SEO boasts a huge range of features like analysing your pages’ content. This can hep you improve your sentence structures to appease Google’s ideal requirements. You can also quickly add and edit meta data like Page Titles, Descriptions, your page’s URL Slug. To learn more about Yoast SEO, head on over to their SEO Blog and learn how to take full advantage of their free plugin – they do have a premium plugin but for now you only need the free option.
Plugin #3 – Duplicate Post
Our final plugin suggestion should make your life so much easier. It does for all our Brisbane WordPress clients and it will be something so simple you will be banging your head against a wall.
Have you ever built a page using a page builder tool like WPBakery (previously Visual Composer) or Divi? Ever thought, “I need that exact same layout for another page” then ended up building that new page from scratch? Cue the trumpets… introducing the Duplicate Post plugin. This plugin does exactly what it says, it will duplicate any page or post.
Once installed, you will notice ‘Clone’ or ‘New Draft’ links under your pages in the Pages dashboard. You’ll also get an option to ‘Copy to a new draft’ next to the blue Update button in the Edit Page window. Do you have other post types such as Projects, Staff or Portfolios that you’d like to be able to duplicate? Simply visit the Settings menu item in the dashboard of your WordPress website and select Duplicate Post. Now jump over to the Permissions tab and enable which ever post types you like.
Banging your head against a wall yet? It’s okay, we get that a lot. At least you know now and won’t have to waste any more time building out your WordPress pages.
But how do I install a WordPress Plugin?
Another fantastic question. Instead of boring you with the details, we’ve provided a quick and easy video below. It will run through three easy ways to add a plugin to your new WordPress website.
Well there you go, 3 free plugins that our Brisbane WordPress developers use to design the best possible websites for our clients. These plugins will save you more time and even more money in the long run than you could possibly imagine. And if you’re in Brisbane reading this and wondering how we can fix your broken WordPress website, get in contact with our friendly and experienced team here at DeeperLook Brisbane Web Design. It might be a really simple fix or something more. At the very least, we’ll give you the right advice and put you on the correct path to make sure your website gets back to working order as soon as possible.