How do I get ideas for WordPress plugins

WordPress without plugins is like pizza without toppings: simple, boring and actually inseparable. Anyone using WordPress will come into contact with plugins pretty quickly.

Table of Contents

What are plugins?

Plugins are small programs that expand the functionality of WordPress. Not to be confused with WordPress themes, which customize the appearance of WordPress. Plugins are installed in WordPress in a similar way to the app store, without any programming knowledge. There are already more than 55,000 plugins registered on WordPress. Many plugins are free, for some you have to (and should) invest money. But more on that later.

What exactly do I need plugins for?

WordPress itself only provides very general functions and, with the plugins, offers an interface for easy expansion. And there are really a lot of great options. Do you want your site to have a forum? Install bbPress! Do you want less spam in the comments? Install AntiSpam Bee! Would you like a contact form? Then upload Contact Form to your website! These are just a few examples of how you can expand your site quickly and easily.

Where can I get a suitable plugin from?

There are basically two sources:

How do I know if a plugin is "good"?

I always base this on four factors:

  1. How is the quality of the plugin? Does the plugin have good reviews (> 3.5 stars), is it updated often (last update not more than 3 months ago), and on how many sites is it installed (at least 5-10,000)? Fortunately, I can find all of this data directly in the WordPress plugin directory.
  2. What do other bloggers think of the plugin? I google for the name and then compare different options. Maybe I can also find a blogger who is already using the plugin?
  3. How well does the plugin fit into my site? If the first two points are positive, I test the plugin (first on a copy of backenmachtgluecklich.de, so as not to break anything, you can also do that with a plugin :-)). A no-go for me is when I cannot adapt the display or the developer has not provided any translations. Then I quickly look for an alternative
  4. How is the performance? We already had some website props through plugins that took up too much computing capacity. Unfortunately, it is difficult to test this yourself with a reasonable amount of effort. But if your site is unusually slow, remember which new plugin you installed last, because there is a high probability that there is a connection.

Helpful plugins for food bloggers

Now for the interesting part, which plugins do you need as a food blogger? The challenge is to find the really good and relevant ones among the many plugins.

Recipe management

WP Recipe Maker

Recipes are the linchpin on backenmachtgluecklich.de. We want to give our readers the best reading experience, and I think WP Recipe Maker is the best plugin for that. The plugin comes from Brecht Vandermissen from Bootstrapped Ventures.

WP Recipe Maker is optimized for Google, offers an enormous range of functions (in addition to the "normal" features, for example, automatic nutritional information, shopping lists, user recipes and more. There is a basic version of the recipe plug-in that is free. The 49 EUR We have invested well for the premium version, the plugin is financed by itself through the affiliate links on the ingredient links.

Brecht offers very fast and uncomplicated support and was able to solve all of our previous problems within 24 hours.

Community management

Antispam Bee

Spam comments are not as dangerous as hacker attacks, but they take a lot of time, so you don't want to see the unsolicited comments. Antispam Bee does the best job here of keeping the unsolicited texts away from you. An alternative is Aksimet, but I don't like the mandatory registration here.

Easy social share buttons

Maybe you've already seen them - our beautiful social media buttons at the end of each post, as well as the social media counter in the sidebar. The plug-in for this is called Easy Social Share Buttons and is available on the CodeCanyon plug-in marketplace for $ 20. We have had the plugin on backenmachtgluecklich.de since 2014 and it is impressive how the plugin has been developed since then. The biggest advantages for us: lightning-fast, compliance with data protection guidelines, and fully customizable design. It also handles URL changes very well.

An alternative would be the “Social Warfare” plug-in, which we tried as an alternative in 2018, but couldn't convince us.

SEO

Yoast SEO

In order to make your website more understandable for Google and bing, you can add further information to your posts for the search engines. Yoast SEO will help you with this. Besides all the technical optimizations of WordPress for SEO, the Yoast SEO helps to write better content. Yoast SEO evaluates all posts based on focus keywords, and shows you posts that it recommends for revision. You can learn more about Yoast SEO here.

Performance and security

WP Rocket

WordPress can be very slow at times. This is a bad experience for readers, and that's why Google rates slow pages worse than fast ones. More than 75% of our users come to us through Google, so a fast page is very important to us. WordPress is best accelerated with a caching plugin. There are now at least 3 good plugins. But the best plugin is WP Rocket. No caching plugin accelerates our site as fast as WP Rocket. Due to the positive influence on our visitor numbers, the 49 € per year come back in (If you would like to use WP Rocket, please use one of the links above or this one here - you will get between 10% and 30% discount).

We also tested Cache Enabler in combination with Auto Optimize. Here the results did not come close to WP Rocket, but if you are looking for a free solution to get started, I would recommend these two plugins as alternatives.

Before we switched to WP Rocket, we used W3 Total Cache. The plugin offers page-by-page configuration options, but interestingly, the result of WP Rocket was consistently better, especially on mobile pages.

All in one WP Security & Firewall

In the meantime we have had some unpleasant experiences with hacked websites. So that you don't have to share this experience, I recommend using a security plugin. This locks out unwanted users and prevents your site from being hacked. We used Wordfence for a long time and were very satisfied. I am currently testing All in one WP Security & Firewall.

And now?

So this is my list of plugins for food bloggers. I will expand it little by little, but of course I am curious to see which plugins you use. If you have a good plugin that should be on the list, just leave a comment.

Good luck with the plugins, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to help.

Jan