There are many tools that can provide the ability to keep your website healthy at all times, which ultimately help when your website is being crawled.
As your website is developing it is important to keep your website performing as best it can at all times. These are a selection of the ones I have used.
5 technical plugins I always use
When I began creating my WordPress website, these are the technical plugins that I add to my setup:
- Auto Optimize
- Easy SMTP
- Yoast SEO (In particular the tools)
This particular plugin is great for handling 301 redirects. As a website evolves pages become redundant or are deleted. Having a lot of dead or orphan pages is not great for the health of your website.
This plugin adds the functionality to redirect old pages to brand new ones to prevent dead pages. Known as 404 pages. Allowing you to stay clear of the HTACCESS file. The interface is easy to use and also gives you the ability to import a CSV file of redirects to help speed up the process for larger sets of redirects.
This plugin is a great tool for optimising your site. It allows you to minify content, cache scripts and styles. It can also move and defer scripts to the footer. A combination of these will work towards improving the performance of the site.
3. Easy SMTP
If you are having issues with your emails coming from the website going into the Spam/Junk Folder. This is a helpful tool allows you to add SMTP to your website email mechanism.
Easy WP SMTP allows you to configure and send all outgoing emails via a SMTP server. This will prevent your emails from going into the junk/spam folder of the recipients. This is due having more authority as it can see the source is a genuine domain.
* This does require you to purchase SMTP for your domain name provider.
This is a great plugin for managing your Cloudflare account via the back office of your website. One of its options is the ability to be able to purge the cache.
The most commonly used options are housed in the WordPress plugin making it quickly accessible. They are other options but this will depend on what plan you’re on.
5. Yoast SEO
As well as the standard modules with Yoast SEO for adding social cards and meta data, the plugin provides the ability to manage your robots.txt and .htaccess right from the back office. Before making any changes to your .htaccess it is advisable to make sure you have access to the FTP of the website and backup the file before changing. This will allow you revert back if necessary.
Yoast also makes it easy to link up your Google Search console. By doing this it will bring up any potentially page errors that require fixing that could be impacting your rankings. This is particular useful for technical SEO. Ultimately you want to make it as easy as possible to index a page.
Things to consider for installing a plugin
As previously mentioned in my blog post “5 Plugins that will help kick start your WordPress project“, it is important that you always check the compatibility with the latest version of WordPress. Have a look when it was last updated. If it hasn’t been updated for a long period of time then there is more risk that the plugin is not suitable to use. It introduce security issues into your website.