I currently have installed nine plugins. The experts say you should keep plugins to a minimum for performance reasons, but I consider all nine to be essential.

Here they are, in alphabetic order:

Antispam Bee

This is a simple, undemanding plugin that does what it’s supposed to do.

Graceful Pull-Quotes

For those longer articles, easy to use shortcode.

I’ve recently discovered Perfect Pullquotes, which is more attractive and flexible than Graceful Pull-Quotes, so I’ll be switching over to that soon.

Smart Maintenance Mode

When changing the structure of a WordPress site, putting it in maintenance mode is a courtesy to your users.


A neat widget that can use text, images, etc as snippets to be placed anywhere on the site. I use one in the sidebar and another in the footer.

Tiny MCE Advanced

Extends the visual editor with a range of useful features, including tables, lists, text colours, videos, text alignment, and so on.

W3 Total Cache

A heavyweight solution to caching. It takes up 75% of this site’s load time, but is worth it for improved overall performance. It’s compatible with CloudFlare, which is a content delivery network (CDN) I use to propagate the site to servers around the world.

Wordfence Security

This is good at keeping those pesky hackers from getting into the site. I’ve permanently blocked a number of hackers because of it. I’m using the paid version.

Yoast SEO

I’ve replaced WordPress SEO which replaced All-in-One SEO with this, because it’s more comprehensive. It’s a jungle out there and having good search engine optimisation is your only chance if you want to get noticed, even though I’m not too concerned about that.

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