What plugins have you deployed and why? How have you deployed and configured them with discussed examples and screenshots?

Easy Google Fonts allows me to add Google fonts to my WordPress site without the need for extra coding. It meant I was able to use the Typography option in the Theme Customiser to select the Google font Montserrat to use throughout the website.

MetaSlider is a plugin that I have used to create image sliders within each project of my portfolio. I selected MetaSlider for it’s large range of options that became available when I was creating the sliders. It also allowed me to easily add a pre-created slider into a page. There is an advanced version that comes with more features, such as thumbnail navigation and video slides. I have opted to use the free version for now.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP displays my Google Analytics statistics and reports directly on my WordPress dashboard. The plugin allows viewing of the statistics for a large time range, from real-time to three years ago. In addition to allowing me to view sessions, organic searches, page views and bounce rate statistics, it also displays traffic channels, traffic mediums, social network, search engines analytics statistics, among other statistics pulled from Google Analytics. These reports and statistics allow me to analyse whether elements of my marketing plan are effective (eg. if my SEO keywords are functioning well or if I’m receiving a lot of traffic from a social media campaign) and which pages are most popular on my website.

UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin for WordPress. It has allowed me to automate backups of both my files and database to Google Drive. It also allows for on demand backup, in case I wish to backup the site before making drastic changes. It includes options to store backups on numerous platforms including FTP, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox and others. In my file backups, it will also backup plugins, themes, uploads and any other directories found inside the wp-content folder.

Using Easy Google Fonts to add custom typography.

An example of an image slider creation and settings in MetaSlider.

The Google Analytics plugin displaying the data on my WordPress dashboard.

Some of the settings for backing up in UpdraftPlus.

Please note: images above open in lightbox. 

W3 Total Cache is a plugin that improves my site’s performance and loading speed through caching. Caching my site means the amount of data transferred between the visitor’s browser, the WordPress database and the web server (if they have viewed the site previously), which allows for faster loading times.

WordFence security plugin protects my WordPress site against hacking, DDOS, malware and other security threats. Using this plugin, I have the ability to scan my website for hacks and malware, receive email alerts and set up a firewall. There is a paid version that comes with more features. I would definitely use the paid version if I was to extend my site.

Yoast SEO is the number one WordPress plugin. It is organises the configurations of sitemaps, .htaccess files and other technical requirements for search engine optimisation. On every page and post it allows me to edit the meta description, and shows me a preview of the link for Google. It stays up to date with Google’s search algorithm. It also offers a readability check on all pages and posts. Like some of the other plugins, there is a paid version of this plugin, but for the purposes of my portfolio, I have opted to use the free version to begin with.

Caching in the W3 Total Cache plugin

Wordfence plugin security scan

Yoast SEO settings for posts

Please note: images above open in lightbox.