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10 WordPress plugins that you must know in 2023

WordPress *PHP *CSS *JavaScript *HTML *
Review

Original published at medium.com.

List of plugins that change the game. Great mix of famous and unknown plugins, that will make your life in 2023 easier.

I’m an experienced WordPress developer and would like to share with you plugins that I use in development. These plugins are super powerful, but also easy to use, so can be used both by developers and by website owners without deep technical skills.

The list below contains only free plugins, each item has a short description, my personal comment and a link to download. Enjoy!

1. CPT UI

Provides an interface for registering and managing custom post types and taxonomies for your website.

I always create CPT and taxonomies using this plugin instead of adding via code, as it’s very simple, has all the necessary options and can be changed by clients later.

If you don’t know what is CPT, then you must learn it, as it is one of the main bricks in WordPress. Here is a good article about CPT and PostMeta.

CPT UI in the WordPress repository

2. Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)

Gives you full control of your WordPress edit screens & custom field data. Allows you to quickly and easily add fields to WP edit screens with only the click of a few buttons.

The most famous plugin in the WordPress universe. It’s the best wrapper for WordPress Meta fields that allows you to manage them without hassle.

By default WordPress Posts and Pages (and any other post types) have static set of fields. ACF allows you to add any custom characters to your Pages. ACF supports more than 30 different field types: strings, selects, checkboxes, links, images, maps and more.

Post Meta is the other main brick of WordPress. If you’re a developer, you must know how Meta fields work behind the scene, as ACF is only a wrapper on them. Here is a good article about it.

ACF in the WordPress repository

3. ACF Views

Allows to display selected ACF fields or Posts anywhere using shortcodes, HTML markup is created automatically by the plugin.

By default, ACF allows to add fields via UI, but requires coding to display them. This amazing ACF addon extends ACF and allows to display fields without coding.

This plugin saves a lot of time and efforts, and the main thing for me that his automatic generated markup has a great quality, the same as hand make. The difference that you don’t spend time to create it. As a user you won’t even deal with HTML directly, as plugin generates shortcodes that you paste in target places.

ACF Views in the WordPress repository

4. Admin Menu Groups

Allows to create nested menus in the WordPress admin sidebar navigation and organize all menu items in groups as needed.

WordPress has the great admin UI from the box, but after some time the left (sidebar) menu becomes overloaded, as it reflects all the website data: every Post Type, every plugin has its own menu item there. Navigation becomes a nightmare.

This plugin solves the issue and allows to create groups and attach every menu item to specific group. It means by default only groups are visible, and items are hidden in a submenu of the related group. For example, I always create 3 groups: WordPress, [Project Name], Plugins. The first contains all the built-in WP items, the second all project related things, like theme settings, theme’s Post Types and similar. The last contains plugin’s items.

Admin Menu Groups in the WordPress repository

5. Members

Allows to set permissions to restrict content on your site by providing a simple user interface (UI) for WordPress’ powerful roles and capabilities system.

I always add new roles using this plugin instead of adding via code, as it’s very simple, has all the necessary options and can be changed by clients later.

If you website must support any type of membership then this plugin will make your life much more easier. You can easy see list of roles that available on your website, unlike the code way, that requires you to research by theme files. Also you can change role’s capatibilies with simple checkboxes.

Members in the WordPress repository

6. WP Super Cache

Generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

One of the best cache plugins that I’ve used ever. Simple, free and very efficient. Easy to setup.

Using some caching plugin in WordPress is a necessary thing to decrease page loading time for your users, it’s also one of the main SEO factors.

WP Super Cache in the WordPress repository

7. Redirection

Allows easily manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This can help reduce errors and improve your site ranking.

Very useful plugin, whenever you’re changing a page or product slug (permalink), you must create a 301 redirect from the old url to the new one, to make sure that users that request the old url will be redirected to the new one. Also, it’s very important for SEO.

The plugin has a very clear UI, so you can easily create a new redirect rule or review already existing.

Redirection in the WordPress repository

8. Better search and replace

When moving your WordPress site to a new domain or server, you will likely run into a need to run a search/replace on the database for everything to work correctly. The task can be done easily using this plugin.

Every time I have a task to transfer a website, I use this plugin to update urls in a database. It works perfect regardless of amount of data on your website, and it’s the very important moment, as some my clients had large databases (usually shops), and other plugins weren’t able to perform the update.

The plugin has a great UI, clear report and allows to have ‘a dry run’, which allows you to see tables (and records) that will be changed, without performing the action by the fact.

Better Search Replace in the WordPress repository

9. Updraft Plus

Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click.

Business must be sustainable. Unfortunately your hosting vendor can have issues, regardless of his reputation and number of clients. There is no place that is guaranteed from fires or floods. You must not rely on your vendor only and regularly make backups of your website (database and files) to another place, like any Cloud drives.

This plugin allows you to make a setup and forget about this task. The plugin creates automatic backups and uploads them to the selected Cloud by schedule. Important moment for me, that the plugin is able to handle large backups, e.g. 20GB (usually shops have big number of images, that important for them like any other data).

Updraft Plus in the WordPress repository

10. All in One SEO

Improve your WordPress SEO rankings and traffic with comprehensive SEO tools and smart SEO optimizations.

As long your website isn’t a closed resource you must use some SEO plugin, that will make your website SEO friendly. There are so many things, that aren’t presented by default, like structured data, and SEO plugins take care of it.

There are several good and famous SEO plugins, but my personal choice is “All in One SEO”, it gives better results for my clients than others.

All in One SEO in the WordPress repository

Conclusions

I hope you’ve picked up something new from this list for your current and further projects. Share plugins that you use in comments, and we’ll make the article even more helpful.

If you found this article useful, don’t forget to ‘applaud’ and share with friends.

Good luck in the 2023 year.

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