Building solid WordPress websites take more than great creative design and visuals. It also requires creating a manageable platform for your clients to guarantee quality over time.
It is worth noting that you shouldn’t use too many WordPress plugins if you don’t want to slow down your site. With that said, there are essential ones which will help you get the most out of your site. The following ones will help you create a solid system that can automate data across the site and make any content update a breeze for your clients.
In my opinion Elementor is the best page builder out there. With the free version you can make WordPress websites as customised as you want for desktop and responsive design alike. The pro version has few extra tools like custom header and footer and of course a popup builder. Designing dynamic templates is a great way to make a complex site easy to manage. I think this is definitely a must have tool for graphic and web designers. Over 4 millions installs to date.
One of the criteria in solid sites is the ability to set display conditions to elements so you can automatise your design based on context. This plugin is a great way to give this power to Elementor. You will be able to hide elements based on other elements, so you can show a login widget if users are not logged in for example. You can also set conditions based on your custom fields from ACF.
If you want to add custom taxonomy (categories and tags) to your WordPress websites, this is the plugin to use. This way you can reserve the WordPress taxonomy for your blog or news posts and use your custom ones for other types of posts, such as listings for example. It is easy to set up, and you can decide how to display your post types in WordPress admin menu and more.
Despite using the best theme, there will always be some things missing. With this tool you can create custom fields for your pages, posts, portfolio and products to suit your need. Those custom fields can be displayed wherever you want with some coding. It is definitely a pro user feature, but so popular that many great themes bundle it in their package. It has over 1 million installs to date.
Still part of my toolbox as web designer. This is probably the most sophisticated image slider tool out there. It is so popular that most quality themes will bundle it in their package. You can create amazing html 5 sliders, with images and animated texts for example. It also handles video embeds really well, and takes care of the responsive aspect perfectly. There is so much you can do with it, I feel I barely know all its potential.
This plugin helps you move around the Elementor option panel so it is no longer fixed on the left side of the backend view. Having the panel floating over the page is really helpful during page composition. Your design can be fully simulated and you can appreciate full width design before it is published. Although this is not directly linked to design, it is a great tool for your comfort during creation.
A good website will definitely privilege SVG graphics over raster images like jpg and png. By default, WordPress doesn’t allow SVG to be uploaded for security reason, so you’ll need a plugin like this one to enable them on your site. Check out a previous article I published If you want to know how to use an SVG with WordPress and CSS.
These 7 plugins will make your WordPress websites easier to manage and empower your design altogether. Page builders are a fantastic way to create solid WordPress websites that stand out, and website that are manageable for your clients. Elementor does this very well without slowing your site down. Combined with other tools it can seriously help you create solid websites that can scale up rapidly to the benefit of your clients.
I design and develop various WordPress website, from simple display ones to more complex e-commerce sites, all using Elementor and automated data management. You can get in touch with me to see how we can make your new website a safe solid business platform!
Feel free to contact me to get your free consultation. Let’s discuss your website project now. I am a freelance graphic designer in Hong Kong, building quality branding across media, from print to digital.
Read more on this topic:
Elementor page builder features by Elementor.
5 must have free ACF and Elementor Pro plugins by WPTuts.
WordPress popular plugins repository by WordPress.
20 Essential WordPress plugins for 2020 by Stan Diers.
* Cover image by Possessed Photography on Unsplash.com