The WordPress ecosystem is continuously growing. Every week a new business based on WordPress comes up. Whether it's a consultant developing an online paid course, a web designer crafting WordPress themes or someone who wants to create another news website about WordPress, there are plenty of ideas.
In many ways, Codeable is like one of these ideas but still it has something I happily enjoyed right from the beginning. The minute I started talking with both Codeable's Co-Founders Tomaz and Per, I was already hearing numbers, stats and having admin access to almost all of Codeable's online tools.
Way before me joining the team, Tomaz was already keeping up with his tutorials to help WordPress users learn new stuff and was also sharing some of his projects with the WordPress community. More: we share our side-project ideas and accomplishments in our Slack's main channel just to let the others know more about them.
You get the point: openness and transparency are kind of a big deal around here.
Even if company culture and shared beliefs are essential elements to a startup, one big piece of the pie is still missing: the tools we need to keep the business running smoothly. Since we get this question a lot, we're sharing all the WordPress plugins we use, along with the reason behind each of them, all to give you an inside look of all Codeable's gears.
Aren't you crazily curious? Let's dive in.
Codeable Exposed: our WordPress Plugins setup
Why we use it: A small but very convenient plugin from our friends at WPSiteCare; You often name your pages with SEO in mind so it can become somewhat tricky to figure out from the list view what a particular page is actually about. Admin Content Labels solves that problem - you can label each page or post based on your needs and make your life easier.
Why we use it: We don’t actually use Adminer that much, but it’s a nice replacement for PHPMyAdmin, which had so much security issues in the past that we decided not to use it - at all. We consider ourselves power users when it comes to server and DB administration, which is why we prefer fiddling with things the old-school way - through the command line.
Why we use it: This plugin completely changes the game when it comes to page administration. While it wasn’t built as a page-builder plugin, we use it primarily for this purpose. Its flexible content and repeater fields make it super easy to build a section of stats, tutorials, partners logo,... everything. Unlike most of page builders, it does not come with a frontend (HTML) which means we needed to develop that ourselves. And we did just that. You know, because we’re geeks and enjoy that kind of stuff :)
Why we use it: If you write a blog, this is one of the absolute must haves. Everyone likes when their content gets shared on social media (because it brings in traffic and revenue), and while share buttons are used everywhere, they don’t always work. This plugin adds a shortcode you can use to display a snippet of shareable text, making it easier for the visitors to click on.
Why we use it: Our content marketing efforts would be quite complicated without this amazing editorial calendar - it allows you to set up drafts, manage roles and have a complete overview of your publishing activities. Moreover, you can connect it to Google Analytics and Bitly for easy analytics and of course schedule all posts on social media as well. One dashboard to rule them all! While not a free plugin/service, it’s definitely worth the $10/month.
Why we use it: Not everyone likes this embeddable commenting system, reason being you don’t own the content (comments), but it’s a small tradeoff for ease of use, automatic spam prevention and possible sign in through social media. It’s one we gladly make.
Why we use it: The default WordPress media manager has a nice feel to it, but for some purposes, it’s just too basic. Enhanced media library adds media taxonomy which makes it possible to tag your uploads for simpler organization and more importantly - search. If you have thousands of media files this one is a no-brainer.
Why we use it: This plugin is the number one form builder for a reason; It’s easy to use, being actively developed and allows you to get your first form published in a matter of minutes. It supports multi-page forms and intuitive form builder and more importantly (at least for us), a ton of hooks you can use to extend further it.
Why we use it: Security is an often overlooked aspect of running a website - until it’s too late. We’re trying to be proactive in this area doing everything we can to keep our website up (and backed up) at all times, and iThemes Security is a great plugin for that. Moreover, it’s also an extensive checklist of tweaks you can do to get from easily-hackable WordPress to my-site-is-secure WordPress. We also have a tutorial written on the topic of setting it up.
Why we use it: Jetpack is the Swiss Army Knife of WordPress since it brings many useful features with it like markdown, enhanced distribution, JSON API to name a few. Jetpack is actually a bundle of modules that help webmasters with various tasks. For us the most important ones are: Markdown, JSON-API, shortcode embeds, site icons (favicon) and VaultPress. You can easily disable ones you don’t want, but what makes this bundle stand out is the fact it’s maintained by Automattic, which means it’ll be updated and taken care of for years to come. Because future reliability matters to us.
Why we use it: If you care as much about your website’s performance as we do, then you realize images need to be optimized before you serve them to your visitors. There are a few plugins for that, but we chose Kraken (which is a paid service) for its reliability and more importantly, ease of use - it automatically optimizes images on upload, so there’s nothing you need to do on your own.
Why we use it: there are plenty of social sharing plugins, but Monarch stands out with its design and ease of use. It adds nice social sharing icons to your posts; Be it in the footer, sidebar or above the article, it works everywhere, and they even offer a few distinct designs to boot. And its authors (Elegant Themes) are a reputable company with tons of experience and many years in the WordPress community, so they know what they are doing :)
Why we use it: If there’s one plugin that I think should be the top priority for website authors, that’s Rublon. It’s a great solution for two-factor authentication, and one of its strengths is that it goes out of your way and just works after you turn it on. If you’re unfamiliar with 2F-Auth - it’s a mechanism to log you in with two steps, meaning that even if someone guesses your password, they can’t log in as you have to individually authenticate your device either via email or their mobile app. I can’t stress how important this security approach is enough.
Why we use it: A tiny plugin that does one thing and does it well: It creates an additional input field below the title for you to use on pages or posts. This secondary title is most oftenly used as a teaser or an additional explanation of what a particular page is about. Very useful.
Why we use it: While not mission critical, Stream logs all the activity inside your WordPress so you can pinpoint a particular update in case one of your user messed something up. This plugin can be very useful when you have many registered users with high frequency of activity.
Why we use it: ToC+ is a nice user experience improvement for your blog posts as it automatically takes all the headings in the article and creates a menu out of them, most commonly positioned in the sidebar. This way, all your readers can get a rough feeling what the article is about and then decide whether they want to read it or not. User experience is one of the most often overlooked aspects of many WordPress sites, so this is a good start.
Why we use it: There are a few solutions for off-site backups and my personal preference is VaultPress. Their plans are cheap and configuration easy. They are also owned by Automattic, which makes it a no-brainer. You are doing off-site backups, right? If you’re not, then read this article by Sucuri, the leading WordPress security company.
Why we use it: The paid upgrade to one of the most popular WordPress plugins (WordPress SEO by Yoast) is well worth the money. Not only you get a powerful redirect manager, which is useful with sites that change a lot (URLs get added/removed frequently) you also get access to the Yoast support team, and let me tell you from first-hand experience, they are all a bunch of really friendly and helpful people!
Why we use it: We are very security-aware (which you might have figured out by now), so we don’t really like the default way WordPress sends out emails (PHP makes a call to whatever is available on the server). We prefer a more controlled environment, which also increases chances of successful delivery, tracking and decreases chances of your mail to be marked as spam. With WP-Mail-SMTP, WordPress connects with Gmail (or any other provider) and sends emails from there. Improved delivery ahoy!
Why we use it: we already talked about how much we think WP Rocket is worth. Ah, one of the newcomers on the market is taking it by storm. If you self-host your website but pulling your hair out either due to slow performance or complicated options of the competitors (WP Supercache and W3 Total Cache) then this plugin will feel like a breath of fresh air. The amount of options is minimal and understandable, their support very responsive and it works great out of the box. With some smart configuration though, you can make your website fly! Definitely a must-have plugin in any webmaster’s arsenal.Codeable exposed: all plugins we use to run our WordPress business Click To Tweet
WordPress entrepreneurs and startups (like us) have to choose the best tools upon which running their business. These are what we rely on. How about yours: which are your preferred WordPress plugins? Which plugins and tools are necessary to your business? And which aren't?