Want to know more about plugins, which are good and can help improve your site performance? Below is a quick list of plugins that we recommend to use along with our themes.
And while these are mostly third party plugins, we recommend checking out also the Flo Plugins that we’ve crafted based on our clients’ needs and inquiries.
Caching plug-ins are great for speeding up your website load times.
1. WP Rocket – Our favorite all in one speed optimization plugin, this is a must for anyone that is concerned about SEO and site speed. Implement caching, minification and GZip compression with this plugin. Prices start at $49 per year for WP Rocket, it’s a bargain considering the speed improvements and their world class support.
2. WP Super Cache – Created by Automaticc the company behind WordPress. This plugin is super easy to configure out of the box. See a guide on how to set up WP Super Cache correctly here.
NOTE! Some hosting providers do not allow caching plug-ins as they already provide caching, check with your hosting provider if its ok to add a caching plug-in before installation.
Minification plugins allow you to compress lines of code and remove white space and unnecessary characters to reduce the size and number of requests for your site. This improves loading time. Our top recommendations are:
1. Autoptimize – Combine and minify CSS and JS to improve load time. MAke sure that you test your site after implementing this plugin as it can cause errors with loading.
2. Better WordPress Minify – Allows you to combine and minify your CSS and JS files to improve page load time.
We highly recommend investing in plug-ins for backing up your website, it can save you a lot of time, effort and money by keeping a back up of your website.
1. VaultPress – This is a paid plug-in however its one of the best on the market, it was created by one of the WordPress co-founders Matt Mullenweg, so you know its going to work. It is a subscription based plug-in starting from $5 a month.
2. BackUpBuddy – One of the most popular back up plug-ins on the market, offering daily, weekly and monthly backups. This is a paid plug-in also, but its pricing depends on the number of live sites you have.
3. BackWPup – This is a free plug-in. It allows you to create a full back up on the cloud for your site. See the following article on how to create a free back up here.
For users looking to add slideshow options to blog posts and pages. We recommend the following responsive sliders:
1. Flo Slider – we’ve made slideshows easy for you! With Flo Slider you can easily create and add slideshows anywhere on your pages and posts. 13 different slider options allow you to create something unique and mesmerizing for your site viewers and clients coming to check out their wedding or engagement photos. For more details on how to install and use Flo Slider, go here.
2. Smart Slider 3 – is a freemium plugin with lots of powerful features and prebuilt sliders. It offers advanced customization options and multiple settings to adjust your sliders the way you want.
3. Layer Slider – a premium WordPress plug-in costing $17. LayerSlider WP is a premium multi-purpose slider for creating image galleries, content sliders, and mind-blowing slideshows with must-see effects, even from your WordPress posts and pages.
With Flothemes you can build appealing galleries and showcase your works in a unique way. If for some reason you prefer 3rd party tools, there are a few good alternatives:
1. Envira Gallery – allows you to create beautiful galleries and add them to your blog posts or pages. There are a set of customization options: you can select the number of columns, enable lazy loading, enable lightbox, set up image sizes and more.
2. Narrative – provides a handy Mac app to create and post galleries. It’s all drag and drop, so you can easily create really custom looking galleries. Narrative is also fast and SEO friendly. Read more about it here.
Great for users looking to create custom contact forms for collecting information about their users and for inquiries.
1. Flo Forms – Get our free drag and drop form builder for your website and enjoy creating Custom Contact forms with the form builder, viewing submissions and getting reminders about unread emails. We also offer Tave and ShootQ integration, if you’re using a CRM to manage all your clients and bookings. For more details and a tutorial on how to install and use it, go here and watch this video tutorial.
2. Gravity Forms – A premium paid plug-in. Use it to create simple contact and support forms, surveys, polling, and client evaluation. It also can be used for collecting payments, see the following article on how to collect payments with Gravity Forms.
When using SEO plug-ins simply just installing them is not enough, you should take some time to learn a little more about the capabilities of the plug-ins and setting them up correctly.
1. Yoast SEO – Yoast allows you to add SEO to pages, keywords and meta descriptions, an added bonus is the Facebook sharing feature allowing you to choose which images are used when sharing posts. As well as providing a great all round SEO plug-in, Yoast provide some great documentation how to create good WordPress SEO, read the article here.
2. All in One SEO – Another great SEO plug-in, allowing keywords, meta descriptions and also social sharing options. WP Beginner provides a good article on setting up All in One SEO which you can view here.
Want to translate your WordPress site into another language, then look now further.
WPML – This is a premium translate plug-in, probably the most popular on the market, and they have a very good support team. The default install comes with more than 40 languages and you can also add language variants, such as local dialects, using the language editor. Great news is that our all our newest themes are compatible with WPML, and here’s a tutorial on how to translate your site with WPML.
Weglot – is a fast growing translation plugin which provides translations for over 100 languages. Weglot offers both automatic and manual translation options. Its free version allows you to translate up to 2000 words, which might be enough for a small website. If you need more than that, you will have to get their paid subscription. Sing up for a free account and get started.
Adding Instagram has never been easier, just install our Flo Instagram plug-in.
1. Flo Instagram – Our own Instagram plug-in that works great with our themes. The plug-in allows you to add Instagram images to widget areas, pages and posts. A very good all round plug-in for those looking to add some Instagram images to WordPress and get users to your Instagram page. Bonus: with Kyoto and Crowd (version 2), you get some extra options to showcase your Instagram account.
Adding social sharing options to your site can be a great way of obtaining free marketing when users share your work.
1. Jetpack – Jetpack is an all round amazing plug-in and offers a lot more than just social sharing options. Just remember to use it you are required to sign up for a WordPress.com account, that is separate to your self host WordPress account.
2. Floating Social Bar – Floating social bar adds a horizontal share bar on your blog posts, and pages. A great plug-in for adding social sharing options without slowing down your site.
NOTE! Be wary of using social sharing plug-ins as they are known to slow down loading times for webpages which can affect your user experience and Google Rankings.
3. Orbit Fox – is a multipurpose WordPress plugin that allows you to add social sharing buttons to your posts or pages. Also, you can add diverse icons to your menu items (8 icon categories supported).
Maintenance Mode / Coming Soon
Great for users who are working on their site whilst live on the web. Using a maintenance mode plug-in is particularly useful for those switching WordPress themes.
Take a look at our Flo Launch plugin, allowing you to test drive your site on your existing WordPress installation.
1. WP Maintenance Mode – It’s a simple plugin that adds a splash-style page to your website that lets your visitors know you are either in maintenance mode or you have a launch of some kind coming up. Once installed it has three sections to its menu (which is tucked under Settings > WP Maintenance): General, Design, and Modules.
Useful for users who want their imagery to be added to Pinterest.
1. JQuery Pin it – A great plug-in allowing you to add a pin it button to your blog images. It also allows you to add a custom pin it button for that little bit extra customization. Once the user clicks the “Pin it” button, the plugin shows a pop-up window with the image and a description. Everything is ready for pinning, although the user can alter the description. We use this plug-in regularly as its very effective and lightweight.
2. Pinterest Pin It Button for Images – this plug-in provides a large “Pin it” button on images on hover.. It also fades out/lightens the image itself when you hover so that attention is drawn to the image and the visitor knows something is going on. There are a few different settings with this plugin. You can choose locations where the button doesn’t show up, such as on the home page or on category pages, etc. You can also choose what info will be sent along with the pin, such as the post title, the post title and the link, the website name, etc.
Security is very important on the web and something that is often overlooked. Have a look at the following plug-ins that can help make your site more secure.
1. iThemes Security – With one click installation, you can stop automated attacks and protect your website. it also fixes various common security holes in your website. It tracks registered users’ activity and adds two-factor authentication, import/export settings, password expiration, malware scanning, and various other things.
2. WordFence – one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. It keeps on checking your website for malware infection. If scans all the files of your WordPress core, theme and plugins. If it finds any kind of infection, it will notify you. Its great from preventing brute force attacks and malware infections.
3. BulletProof Security – another plug-in with one-click installation. It adds firewall security, database security, login security and more. Another great all rounder for monitoring your site security.
Take a look at our article on improving website performance here.
Jetpack by WordPress.com – one of the best all round plug-ins for WordPress, with social sharing options, various widget capabilities and spam protection. Sign up for a WordPress.com (this is separate from your private WordPress install) account and unlock the full benefits from this powerful plug-in.
You can see a quick article on using one of our favorite modules, Widget Visibility here.
NOTE! Be careful when activating this plug-in as it activates menu extensions by default. You should read more details on what each extension provides before activating them, you can read the documentation on extensions here.
Great for stopping spam comments on your site, which can affect site performance.
1. Akismet – a great plug-in used to prevent spam comments on your site, this can help keep site performance at a maximum.
2. WP-reCaptcha – Recaptcha shows an image containing characters, users need to type those characters to prove that they are human. Although some users may find this annoying especially if your users are very active.
Scroll to top
For users wanting to add a scroll to top option for their users:
1. Scroll Back to Top – Adding a scroll to top featured has never been easier with this plug-in, just install and activate, it also allows you to add custom scroll images, and change the animation.
2. WPFront Scroll – A basic scroll to top plug-in, with several built in scroll arrows to choose from, again its simple to use, just install and activate.
If there are any other plug-ins that you’d like to know more about, leave a comment below.
Scheduling Tool for Leads
Photographers, small creative business owners and freelancers who schedule meetings with clients (be that inquiry calls, get to know meetings, photo sessions, etc) will love this easy to use, super clean and minimalistic scheduling tool, called CozyCal. It allows you to add a call to action button to your website, which once clicked on opens up a beautifully designed booking page for your potential clients. You can customize and personalize both with your branding, so it looks smooth and aligned with your site design. CozyCal is a great tool if you want to increase your site conversions and turn visitors into leads, then clients.
FloHUB – still using PDFs to showcase your pricing packages to clients? It takes so much time to build a layout, and so much effort to make changes after you save it, right? What if we tell you there is an easier, more beautiful, faster way to do it? Not to mention that it will be responsive, easy to tweak from any device, with the ability to get inquiries from clients, showcase in an interactive way your portfolio or add-ons, and collect statistics for you – about your highest converting packages, your potential leads, etc? All this and more you can get with our drag and drop pricelist builder – FloHUB. Here are a few examples of pricelist pages you can build with FloHUB: Nomad, Cheri-Cheri, Lefay, Radford.
Not ready to subscribe yet? Get one of our newer themes, and experiment with the Custom Page layout. The possibilities are endless (example with Cube, Osaka, Crowd).
We hope you’ve found this list useful and are already looking into using some of these. If you haven’t found your favorite plugin on this list, leave a comment below, we’d be happy to review additional plugins and add them to our recommended list. Also, don’t leave without checking out the Flo Plugins crafted specifically for photography websites.