We include a variety of plugins within the framework by default:
Better Search Replace
Better Search and Replace combined with Velvet Blues is a comprehensive way to change URLs site-wide. This is useful when transferring a site from one domain to another, or prepping a staging site for launch. It is best to use Velvet Blues FIRST when changing the URL of a site, followed by Better Search and Replace. Better Search runs through and changes URLs in the database, which means you will lose access to the site, so start with Velvet Blues first.
Gravity Forms is the plugin we use to build out forms on the site. Swiftmailer and Send Grid are both required as well to make Gravity Forms work.
iThemes Security is a great security plugin that should be activated AFTER the site has launched. It provides a lot of great security protections from brute-force attacks and such. Once the plugin is activated, click on Security > Settings > Notification Center > Configure Settings. Under “Security Digest” and “Site Lockouts”, uncheck the “Enabled” checkbox in both.
Imagify is an optimization plugin that scans your site and automatically optimizes all images that have been uploaded. Excellent plugin that should only be activated and run after the site has launched.
WP-Rocket is another site-wide optimization plugin that focuses primarily on caching. There are a variety of different settings, but typically we only turn on LazyLoading for images, caching and minifying for CSS and JS, and (sometimes) asynchronous loading for CSS and JS. Be sure to test the asynchronous loading first, as it is liable to break certain functionality. Install and activate this plugin after launch.
NOTE: This plugin caches CSS files and sometimes main PHP files, so if this plugin is active and you do not see a code change, be sure to hover over WP-Rocket in the top WordPress bar and click “Clear Cache”, then hard refresh.
Yoast is a Search Engine Optimization plugin used by our marketing team to update Titles and Meta descriptions across the site. As a developer, one of the only things within this plugin that you will have to worry about is the Breadcrumbs. To activate them, go to SEO > Search Appearance in the dashboard, then click the Breadcrumbs tab to modify the settings. Breadcrumbs are pre-built within the framework code, so be sure the Yoast plugin is activated and up to date to see the breadcrumbs displayed.
Other Plugins of Note:
We have a variety of plugins saved on the .test server in the /plugins/ folder. Other commonly used plugins are Relevanssi (a site search plugin), The Event Calendar (a calendar plugin), WP Google Maps and WP Google Maps Pro (map generator), as well as a variety of WooCommerce plugins for various eComm needs.