Here is a quick summary of the plugins that are included in the default framework install. It really should go without saying, but if you don’t use it, deactivate it. And if you really don’t use it, before you go live, DELETE it.
This is a ‘work in progress’ as I refine the framework and test various plugins!
Admin Columns Pro
Customises the columns, filters and functionality of the post types and page administration. This framework has been extremely heavily customised with it. It is therefore considered a critical plugin for correct operation.
Admin Management Xtended
Adds AJAX-driven options to some admin management pages with CMS-known functions without having to open the edit screens.
Makes some tedious tasks a bit less tedious when editing posts. One of its stand out functions is the columns of ‘Actions’ in each post type. The ‘visibility’ toggle will instantly publish or unpublish a post. If you don’t want something live on your site… just set it to not visible! Don’t go doing dumb things like disassociating sector usp’s from sectors, or software features from software to ‘hide’ them. You’re basically breaking the framework, and it’ll be much harder to repair if you later need to add them back in.
Anywhere Elementor Pro
Adds advanced templating and dynamic content widgets, simplifying inserting data from custom post types and custom fields etc
CRUCIAL PLUGIN. It’s kinda the framework for the whole site…
Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster
Unload Chosen Scripts & Styles from Posts/Pages using a rule based system to reduce HTTP Requests
Is handling specific rule based loading and unloading of various stylesheets and scripts and HTML cleanup. YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY NEED TO INTERACT WITH THIS. LEARN IT.
Broken Link Checker
Monitor broken links. Amazingly.
So USE it. Particularly if you update your permalink structure. Also, use it after go live to monitor for incoming links from Google you may not have caught, and 301 redirect them accordingly (using SmartCrawl).
Category Tag Pages
Adds post categories and tag taxonomies to pages as well as posts. Because extending the default page type into a CPT is probably overkill and maybe presents its own problems.
Child Theme Configurator
Creates child themes. It should not need to be active or included in a live deploy, and unless you’re starting from scratch with vanilla GeneratePress, you shouldn’t even need it. but is extremely useful to create a new, fresh child theme with all the files you require.
Do remember that I’ve added a bunch of functionality into the child theme that is active on this framework… if you do create a new theme, you’re going to break stuff.
Enables the WordPress Classic Editor and the old-style Edit Post screen with TinyMCE, Meta Boxes, etc. Supports the older plugins that extend this screen.
Because sometimes, you just want plain text content without all the extra overhead… Generally speaking, if you’re not using Elementor, you’re likely to be editing content, for which Gutenberg is just a distraction! All this documentation was written in it 🙂
Create a more intuitive admin interface for clients.
This should really be customised LAST THING before a client handover…. because new stuff doesn’t add to menus that have already been configured! As such, I can’t really enable and configure it for you!
Companion Revision Manager
Lightweight plugin that allows full control over post revisions.
Mostly used for deleting revisions during dev. Because if you’re using my wp-config (and you should be) it already limits and handles revisions.
Contact Form 7
Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
Activates conditions for dynamic tags to show/hides a widget.
The most advanced front end drag & drop page builder. Create high-end, pixel perfect websites at record speeds. Any theme, any page, any design.
The whole framework is based around it!
Elementor Pro brings a whole new design experience to WordPress. Customise your entire theme: header, footer, single post, archive and 404 page, all with one page builder.
Enable Gzip Compression
Offers you the power to enable and disable Gzip compression on your WordPress site.
Consider this plugin critical. It massively improves PageSpeed ranking. It does one job, and does it well with no fuss.
Enable Media Replace
Enable replacing media files by uploading a new file in the “Edit Media” section of the WordPress Media Library.
Essential Addons for Elementor
Even the light version adds 29 new widgets to Elementor, including contact Form 7 customisation, Twitter Feeds, Feature Lists and more.
Flexible Elementor Panel
Makes Elementor Widgets Panel flexible, draggable and folding, which is especially useful when testing full width or responsive designs.
The entire collection of GeneratePress premium modules.
Use as required/desired, but if you don’t use a feature that is enabled – disable it!
Imsanity stops insanely huge image uploads.
It also compresses and creates the necessary copies of media automagically. Just trust it and leave it alone.
Livemesh Addons for Elementor
A collection of premium quality addons or widgets for use in Elementor page builder. Elementor must be installed and activated.
Mostly because it does nice charts and graphs if you need that kind of thing! I haven’t even activated it by default… and if you don’t use it, then delete it!
Media Library Assistant
Enhances the Media Library; powerful [ mla_gallery ] [ mla_tag_cloud ] [ mla_term_list ], taxonomy support, IPTC/EXIF/XMP/PDF processing, bulk/quick edit.
Extends the media library massively. Is used to configure which file types (pdf’s etc) are allowed to be uploaded. Consider this a critical plugin to any wordpress install.
Add, edit and delete multiple notes and display them with icons on the Admin page or dashboard.
Useful for reminders, instructions, collaborative notes between developers and clients etc. As well as my threats to you about not breaking my framework.
Plugin Notes Plus
Adds a column for plugin notes.
Personally I find it extremely useful to jot down right there on the plugin page why that particular plugin has been used etc – I’ve jotted some notes myself, but by all mean add your own to remind yourself and other users what it’s doing within your particular site!
Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields
Pods is a framework for creating, managing, and deploying customised content types and fields
CRITICAL part of the framework! Handling all our custom post types and some of the shortcodes/templating to utilise them.
Adds ability to duplicate any and all post types, including taxonomies & custom fields.
Post Types Order
Posts Order and Post Types Objects Order using Drag and Drop
Premium Addons for Elementor
Premium Addons Plugin Includes 22+ premium widgets for Elementor Page Builder.
Possibly unnecessary – most of the non premium widgets are ‘duplicates’ of others, but choice is good.
Press Elements – Widgets for Elementor
Easy-to-use widgets that help you display and design your content using Elementor page builder.
In particular, does some good dynamic content type stuffs for Elementor and specifically designed to work with custom post types, and to some extent, directly integrate with PODS. I’d really like the premium version, but the support seems non existent and basically looks abandoned, despite working well. :/
Rank Math SEO
… is handling SOME of the SEO stuff. Mostly, the Schema Markup Rich Snippets on custom post types. I have preconfigured as much as I am able… I would encourage you to not screw with its settings too much, because otherwise you may make it clash with SmartCrawl which is handling much more of the SEO.
Really Simple SSL
Lightweight plugin without any setup to make your site SSL proof
One click SSL. DO NOT activate and enable it unless you really are live with an active cert, with urls pointing to the real domain! Or you may screw your site.
Regenerate the thumbnails for one or more of your image uploads. Useful when changing their sizes or your theme.
Like it says…if you should choose to use different default sizes for your ‘thumbnail’, ‘medium’, ‘large’ versions of imgs etc, regenerates them with a single click.
replaces WordPress search with a relevance-sorting search.
YOU WILL NEED TO INTERACT WITH IT. When your site is ready to go live, you will, at the very least, have to rebuild the search indexes.
Schema Markup Rich Snippets
Add Rich Snippets Schema Markup in the search results
Pretty much automagic; you just tell it what schema to apply to which post types. Which I’ve done for all the ones I’ve added. You can still override the default on individual pages if another schema type would prove more appropriate.
40+ shortcodes for all sorts of actions. Easy creation of tabs, accordions, lists, events, links, layouts, buttons, headers etc
They certainly are very pretty, in general, but tend to be a bit more manual to set up, and are less easy to make dynamic, but they’re there if you want or need them!
SmartCrawl SEO Tools
Comprehensive but simple SEO Tools.
Mostly low effort, but obviously requires SOME configuration! Also has tools for handling things like 301 redirects. When a previous site already existed and you’re about to orphan a whole load of permalinks that google already knows… why not redirect them?!
Adds a lot of quick jump links to the WordPress Toolbar helpful for Site Builders who use Elementor and its ecosystem of add-ons
Generally for development only – I wouldn’t leave this enabled on a live site, it’ll just confuse people. But while in development, it’s very handy! Also gives you in-site access to various Google testing tools.
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
Backup and restore: take backups locally, or backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, (S)FTP, WebDAV & email, on automatic schedules.
Whatever the backup policy going forward, this is the simplest built in solution while in development, particularly when it is necessary to update the core or plugins.
Velvet Blues Update URLs
updates all urls in your website by replacing old urls with new urls.
This is a very good search replace plugin! Its main advantage is being able to use it in custom post types and even templates. Find it in Tools > Update URLs. Tick all the boxes EXCEPT for the one about GUIDs!
View Admin As
View the WordPress admin as a different role or visitor, switch between users, temporarily change your capabilities, set default screen settings for roles.
Development only plugin – you can safely disable and delete it before deployment… after you have configured the client dashboard and custom roles!
Void Elementor Post Grid Addon
Elementor Post Grid in 5 different style by voidcoders for elementor page builder
For ‘Archive’ or ‘Portfolio’ templates, this has some very stylish and configurable additional widgets.
WP Custom Admin Interface
Customise the WordPress admin and login interfaces and customize the WordPress dashboard menu.
The intention is to fully customise the admin interface for the whole framework, and mostly reduce the clutter and reorder things logically – although this is very much a work in progress at the moment (partly because it needs to be one of the very last things we do)! This also handles role permissions. If you have a problem with the permissions, please check before changing the settings.
WP Mail SMTP
Reconfigures the wp_mail() function to use Gmail/Mailgun/SendGrid/SMTP instead of the default mail() and creates an options page to manage the settings.
Because there is a very good chance that the customers existing email will not allow mail sending as wordpress for security reasons.
WP Prefix Change
Change the WordPress prefix
A very simple way to change the database table prefixes to a custom one for each deploy – which you really should do for security purposes!
WP-Optimize makes your site fast and efficient. It cleans the database, compresses images and caches pages.
Mostly handling caching. But it does have a lot of other handy cleanup tools you should definitely be using.
WPS Hide Login
Protect your website by changing the login URL and preventing access to wp-login.php page and wp-admin directory while not logged-in
Make sure you do this before you go live. 99% (not an exaggeration!) of half hearted attempts at WordPress hacking are via the login page that the whole world knows the address of. If you hide it, they can’t do it!
Zephyr Project Manager
A modern project manager for WordPress to keep track of all your projects from within WordPress.
The entire project before, during and after development can and should be managed here! You can of course delete it after a site goes live.