WordPress is the most popular content management system around. Feature-robust right out of the box, and with solid security to boot, it’s no surprise that it’s the first-pick for most web design projects from simple blogs to full eCommerce websites. The platform is powerful, but such a complete system can also be daunting. Fear not! With the right plugins in your tool belt, any web developer can tame the beast.
5) Advanced Custom Fields
Templating for a front-end developer in WordPress can be a breeze. The mark-up can be laid out just how you like it – and you have full control of your HTML and CSS with custom page templates. It’s nice that you’re not limited by the layout expectations of your CMS, but now that your layout is customized, how can your end-user quickly edit content? You’d better hope your content wasn’t hard-coded (kind of defeats the purpose of using a CMS in the first place, doesn’t it)? That’s where Advanced Custom Fields come into play. With this plugin you can easily set content fields for each page, and call them through simple functions in your layout. Pages aren’t restrained to the single content edit box, and you need not bother with clunky, confusing custom meta box declarations in your functions.php anymore. Rejoice!
4) Regenerate Thumbnails
Development is moving along nicely, images are all set for your products…but wait! Your designer has been playing with the product shots, and decided that they look nicer in portrait rather than the landscape you’ve already setup. What’s a web developer to do? Re-upload all new images? Certainly not! Regenerate Thumbnails can run through your photos and automatically create new copies in your desired format.
3) Simple History
Throughout the development process, many changes can be made. Maybe you’re switching between numerous tasks, or maybe you’ve taken time off and you’re diving back into the project. Keeping track of your changes is made easy with Simple History, which displays a log of your recent changes right on the dashboard.
2) User Switching
Working on a website with many user roles? Do you keep four different browsers open just to switch back and forth between contexts? Put an end to such inefficiency with the User Switching plugin. This is a handy tool for quickly jumping back-and-forth between users. Swap out accounts with the click of a button – this is especially useful during the website testing phase.
1) WordFence Security
WordPress security is pretty solid right from the get-go, but as we can see with Windows vs. OSX, the most popular platform will always be the target of choice for hackers and spammers. Take your website’s security beyond the default, because with the popularity of WordPress, it’s not a matter of if someone will try to break in, but when. WordFence Security gets ahead of the game by implementing a firewall, malware scanner, and login attempt limiter, blocking out the chance for brute-force attacks. There’s even the option to scan for WordPress issues and plugin updates with no need to check in on your own, as WordFence can be setup to email the administrator whenever problems arise.
Keep It Simple.
At the end of the day, the best plugins to use at any web design company are all about keeping it cool. Automation is key. These are just a handful of the many tools we use along the web design journey, and while each of these plugins may seem minor on their own, together they contribute to a greater, more efficient process. If you want to learn more about website design, feel free to contact our marketing agency in Vancouver!