8 WordPress Plugins I Used to Create My Portfolio WebSite
Posted February 6, 2015 – By Kaitie Harris
My portfolio site needed an update after three years of updating only my job title. There are so many choices I could have used for my portfolio site. I would love to create another custom site, however time was of the essence so I choose the WordPress CMS.
I’ve used WordPress to develop many sites over the years, so I was familiar with it. Plus I had purchased a few themes that I hadn’t used yet, so I dug through my Creative Market purchases and found the Barbershop Theme from ThinkTank. This theme has been incredibly easy to set up and was exactly what I needed. After installing I added a few plugins to get my site started, here they are:
Using Akismet is kinda cheating since it comes ready with WordPress, all you have to do is get a key and activate it. It is a great spam filter. I’ve used it on multiple personal sites to keep spam off my site and my blog pages looking clean.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is a plugin I’ve used before, in fact, probably on every WordPress site I’ve developed. It’s simple to set up, and is also one of the more robust plugins out there with advance features. Not only does it help with search engine optimization for search engines, but it allows for social optimization from specifying what will be shared on Facebook to creating Twitter cards.
WP Smush.it is a big help. Images can slow down a site, I like using Smush.it to reduce my image sizes without have to worry about it. I just installed it at the beginning of my site and it does all the work for me, whether it’s a jpeg, png or any format. It also alerts me when images are above 1 mb (the free version is limited to 1mb photos) and I can take care of reducing those on my own.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 came recommended with the theme I used, and for good reason. It was really easy to create contact forms that are on my About and Contact pages. I simply choose the fields, and used the generated shortcode to embed the form on those pages.
TinyMCE Advanced makes things a little easier. I’ve use HTML and CSS to create anything from websites to emails, however it can be a hassle to switch back and forth from visual to text mode on the WordPress editor to add styling to my posts. This is where using the TinyMCE editor has come in handy, it expanded the editor and helps me work quicker.
BackupWordpress is free and easy. It’s always a good idea to have a backup system in place when developing any website. They are many paid options out their to use your back up you site, yet since this is a small site, I went with BackupWordpress. This plugin allows me to backup and download my databases whenever I need to.
I used the Disqus comment system. The question always comes up, what commenting platform should I use with WordPress? Well, I have nothing against the built in system, it can be altered in any way and it works well for plenty of site. However I decided to go with Disqus because I like the lay out the built in related comments, and I’ve begun commenting on other blogs using Disqus. It’s nice to be able to see my comments all in one place. It’s simple to install and adds a professional look to my blog.
Simple Share Buttons
I used the Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin. Share buttons are essential to encourage visitors to pass along your content. Picking a share button plugin I thought about load time, how they displayed and where they could display. For now I’ve chosen Simple Share Buttons, because I like the way they look, they load quickly and they have a short code that lets me show and hide the buttons on any pages/posts I want.
That’s all I needed so far, I’ve got SEO, backups, sharing, forms, and comments all covered. When creating your own WordPress site what are your go-to plugins?