When setting up a new WordPress site it’s good practice to install the following plug-ins. I’ve found them to be stable with different versions of WP and different themes, they are relatively conflict free, and they are currently well maintained. And after you download and use the plug-in, please make a donation to the developer.
- User Locker. Simply put, don’t allow someone to hack into your web site via brute force guessing of your password. Also, if you manage users, you can put a limit on the number of guesses they have for logging in. Note: This plug-in does not always play nicely with your web server’s Apache security. If after installing the plug-in you find your IP address blocked from your site, this could be the culprit.
- W3 Total Cache. WordPress is based on a MySQL database and calls to it from your php templates. In sum, this is slower than a “flat” HTML page. But by creating and fine-tuning a cache of pages, scripts, and other files used to create your pages, you can greatly improve your web site speed. Note: This plug-in does not play nicely with all implementations of jquery. In particular, the minify function can break some jquery slideshows. In that case, deactivate minify and keep the rest of the plug-in running.
- Google XML Sitemap. Let people find your site via search engines. And while you are at it, get a Google Analytics account.
- Broken Link Checker. This plug-in won’t analyze the content of your links, but it certainly reduces the mind-numbing task of checking for broken links on your site. Broken links sends the message to your users that you are not monitoring your site content as well as you could.
And add your choice of “under construction” plug-ins for when you need to turn on your site and test it before allowing it to go public.