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WordCamp Miami 2015: How to Find the Best WordPress Plugins for You


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Find yourself lost in a forest of plugins and don’t know what to choose? Let Adam Soucie be your guide. He will take you through the same process he walks clients through at his agency and show you where to find the best plugins, how to tell the good from the bad, and give his recommendations on must-use plugins for your website.

Published in: Technology
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WordCamp Miami 2015: How to Find the Best WordPress Plugins for You

  1. 1. How to Find the Best WordPress Plugins for You Adam Soucie
  2. 2. Today you’ll learn... • What to look for in a plugin • Where you can find reliable plugins • Which plugins you should use regardless of your site content @adamsoucie
  3. 3. A little about me • Freelance Web Developer • Primarily focused on WordPress • Plugin author • WordCamp Orlando organizer @adamsoucie
  4. 4. What to look for in plugins
  5. 5. 3 things to look for 1. Actively supported 2. Does what it says it does - and nothing else 3. Easy to use/set up @adamsoucie
  6. 6. Actively supported?
  7. 7. Updates matter. • Only use current plugins • Because security. • Check the change logs • You may not understand them, but they should be somewhat helpful • Too many updates is a red flag • If it updates every week, STAY AWAY @adamsoucie
  8. 8. “A good plugin does one thing, and does that one thing well.” - Andrew Norcross
  9. 9. There is no single site solution. • Your mechanic is not also your vet (I hope) • Focused products keep your project focused • Distractions take time, which costs you money • Exceptions for complicated matters like SEO @adamsoucie
  10. 10. Is it easy to install?
  11. 11. One Click Installation is the goal • Plugin files should install with a single .zip file • FTP stands for “%&$# that plugin” because you should never have to FTP for install • All plugins on the WordPress repo have a one-click install button @adamsoucie
  12. 12. Is it easy to set up?
  13. 13. Settings Pages are the Devil. • The plugin should just work. • If the plugin does just one thing, why does it take so long to set up? • At most, you should only have to visit a settings page on the initial install • Again, SEO is the exception @adamsoucie
  14. 14. And the plugins are where?
  15. 15. Trusted Sources ONLY • repository • Recommendations • Friends • Colleagues • Meetups • Twitter @adamsoucie
  16. 16. RUN AWAY! (unless recommended) • Random finds on Google • CodeCanyon • Quality Control • Updating can be very tricky @adamsoucie
  17. 17. Case Study: Social Sharing
  18. 18. Our Checklist • Plugin Needed?: Yes • Goal: Increase social media reach • Problem: Sharing links manually is hard for users @adamsoucie
  19. 19. Our Checklist • Check the WordPress repo • Compare your options • Actively supported? • Does what it says it does - and nothing else? • Easy to use/set up? • Look at reviews @adamsoucie
  20. 20. Plugin Recommendations
  21. 21. Use these. • WordPress SEO • Gravity Forms • • Ninja Forms • Display Widgets @adamsoucie
  22. 22. Also use these. • JetPack • Akismet • Comes pre-installed. Activate it if you support comments • Post Series Manager @adamsoucie
  23. 23. For more info… • Check out the cheat sheet • Slides are on • @adamsoucie on Twitter • Happiness Bar @adamsoucie
  24. 24. Any questions? @adamsoucie
  25. 25. Thanks to… • Tina Fiume (illustrations) • Andrew Norcross (inspiration) • Star Wars Rebels characters are property of the Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm @adamsoucie