When just starting out with your first WordPress website, all the choices you have to make can be overwhelming. Once you decide on which premium WordPress theme you would like to use for your site, next comes plugins.
Depending on your project and what type of features and functionality you want to have will determine which plugins you end up using. It is not uncommon to test and tune, install, try and delete plugins until you find the ones that work for you.
Today, we'll just start with the basic plugins you will want to consider for your new WordPress website, including if you are doing eCom with WooCommerce.
Start with the Must-Have Plugins
There are a ton of great free plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository. When reviewing plugins look at their support ratings and make sure they have been tested up to the most recent version of WordPress. There are exceptions where not being tested to the latest and greatest will still work, but that should be the exception not the rule.
While free is always nice, many plugins offer a "Pro" version that offers enhanced features and support. Premium plugins can be relied on to promptly address any bugs and to keep up with WordPress updates. I use a combination of both and do not hesitate to upgrade to the Pro or Premium version. Not only for the added support but to help support the developers.
Free Plugins for Your New WordPress Site
- Ninja Forms
- Yoast SEO
- NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster
- Responsive WordPress Slider - Soliloquy Lite
Genesis Specific Plugins
I recommend StudioPress themes (read why here).
- Gravity Forms for More Robust Applications
- Testimonials Showcase
- Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress
WPMU Dev Premium Plugins
WPMU Membership provides access to over 100+ Premium Plugins. For a new site let's get performance covered first! Free versions are available in the WordPress plugin repository.
Woo has too many extensions and plugins to mention here. Here are the basics to look at for your new eCom site.
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
- WooCommerce Points and Rewards
- WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping
- WooCommerce Product Add-ons
- WooCommerce Product Faq Manager
- WooCommerce Shipment Tracking
- WooCommerce Order Status Manager
- WooCommerce PayPal or Stripe Payments Advanced Gateway
Don't Go Overboard
Be sure to be very selective with the plugins you add as plugins can be resource intensive and slow down your site. Once you get the basics in place, you can then determine if other plugins are needed or required.
At your service,
P.S. Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are "affiliate links." I may receive a small commission -- at no cost to you -- if you purchase or signup for services I recommend and use on my own sites. You can read my full Affiliate Disclosure Statement here.