This is what we use to ensure successful delivery of the tagline, “Where can we send your bicycle today?”
These are the almost 40 plugins I have installed on #bicyclecouriers. Please note that it all of them are activated all the time. I am very conscious of fast loading website and page speed times so only use what I need and when I need it. Below are all the plugins in Alphabetical order, plus a short description of what it does and how I use it in practice.
Top 40 WordPress plugins for this scenario — and why we use them
Advanced Form Integration
When an order is placed or updated in WooCommerce or a form is submitted to your website, the plugin will automatically create a new row in Google Sheets.
When you run a business and are busy with other things you have to be as efficient as possible. So I export all ne orders to a Google Docs Spereadsheet and can manage the workflow from there. Now I can see which bikes are being delivered by which couriers and when — and it is much easier and a lot faster than scrolling through the default WooCommerce screens. TADA 🙂
Allow Webp Image
Generally WordPress doesn’t allow the .webp format for WordPress media and gives an error, to solve that error you need this plugin.
Why use webp? To serve faster images to browsers who support them. Speed is everything and a faster website ranks better. As easy as it gets — without having this plugin installed you cannot upload webp images into WP (al least not yet). And after installing this plugin you can 🙂
Say Goodbye to comment spam on your WordPress blog or website. Antispam Bee blocks spam comments and trackbacks effectively, without captchas and without sending personal information to third party services.
The default that comes with every WP installation is Akismet, also from the Automattic stable. But it requires you to sign up and always wants to upsell so this is as good a free alternative in my book. You are welcome 🙂
Privacy-Friendly Analytics for WordPress. Get detailed insights into visitors’ behaviour with Burst Statistics, the privacy-friendly analytics dashboard from Really Simple Plugins.
From the creators of the default SSL plugin. And when something works as well as Really Simple SSL, then you are bound to check out other plugins from the same creators as well. Burst tells me exactly what I want to see, at a glance, without me having to log into the xneelo backend for AWstats 🙂
Classic Editor is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen.
I’m a huge fan of simplicity and the traditional word processor like display of the classic editor. WP says they will continue to support this for the time being. And by the looks of things I am not alone, with 5 million+ other installations the classic editor is still the way to go. And here is a thought — even if you use the FSE full site editing option to set up your WP website, you can always afterwards switch to the classic editor for loading your many blog posts 🙂
Classic Widgets is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress widgets settings screens. It will be supported and maintained to 2024, or as long as is necessary.
Again, along the same line as the classic text editor above, I prefer using classic widgets, unless it is a a FSE full site editing theme in use and we are busy with the look and feel 🙂
Easy Table of Contents
A user friendly, featured focused Easy Table of Contents plugin which allows you to insert a table of contents into your posts, pages and custom post types.
This is great for long form posts to automatically insert a table of contents at the top of your blog post. It is also great for structure, because while writing you now also think about what it will look like from the index above. Which means you easily follow a more structured approach and don’t just write any gibberish as filler text. Oh, how I love typing 🙂
Flexible Checkout Fields
With this single page checkout plugin you can edit the default fields (change labels, hide, delete) or add your own checkout fields. You can set your own fields order.
When the default checkout fields of your WooCommerce website is insufficient, then this is one of the easiest ways to amend your checkout fields. With #bicyclecouriers I wanted a collection address and a delivery address, together with custom field or two for which type of bicycle we are collecting. And I wanted the standard billing address/delivery address flow changed, because it wasn’t relevant to they way we do things 🙂
Forget About Shortcode Buttons
Makes the process of adding buttons to your posts and pages much more natural whilst improving the appearance and usability of the post editor.
This is the easiest way to insert WP buttons without having to check the theme code each and every time. As a bonus you can also create templates so inserting many similar looking buttons in future is a cinch. We love things that are functional and easy to use. And this is one of those plugins 🙂
Gallery Custom Links
Gallery Custom Links allows you to link images from galleries to a specified URL. Tested with WordPress Gallery, Gutenberg, the Meow Gallery and others.
This is a feature which I assume will become part and parcel of future WP editions as time goes by (especially with FSE). But for the moment and when using the classic editor and media insert from the gallery than you don’t have a default option to point to an external link when an image is clicked. This changes that 🙂
Google Listings and Ads
Google Listings & Ads makes it simple to showcase your products to shoppers across Google. Sync your store with Google to list products for free, run paid ads, and track performance straight from your store dashboard.
Ah, still on my todo list for sure. Installed but haven gotten around to it yet. The curse of the busy entrepreneur. But is is an easy fix though, we’ll just add it onto the task list. And will have a lot of fun playing around with this one, because we love tracking stats 🙂
The easiest way to create fun quizzes for your site. You can create an unlimited amount of quizzes and embed them anywhere on your site. Using both shortcodes and blocks.
If you want to create a fancy looking and interactive quiz to keep your audience engaged or test their knowledge on a subject, then this is your go-to WP plugin. I used it to play around with all the different main centers to which we deliver bicycles. See if you can get 100% full marks on bicyclecouriers.co.za/quiz/ 🙂
Tell us how much you scored in the comments below and you might get free hosting! (irrespective of the score, zero is also a win).
On average, 30,000 websites are hacked every day. Every 39 seconds, a new cyberattack happens somewhere on the web. Using iThemes Security, you can identify and stop attacks on your website. Saving yourself the time and cost of repairing a hacked website.
This is one of those themes that gets better (albeit with a vastly different interface) over time. We take WP security very seriously and this allows us to do smart things like add WP salts, change the default login path, for certain PWD protocols and much more. With 1+ million installations you are in good hands. And the new wizard-like setup makes installation very easy for newcomers (even though I find it adds a few more clicks for experienced users than before). And remember, always use a safe word 🙂
Chat with your website visitors through their favorite chat applications. Place a floating button at the bottom of your site and give the best support to your customers.
Boost interaction and get your customers to chat to you easily and immediately. We add this for the human touch, and to be able to answer pre-sale questions, that boost conversions. You can do the same 🙂
This plugin allows you to move comments between posts in a simple and easy way by adding a page under (\’Move\’) under the \’Comments\’ section in the admin Dashboard.
One of the things that make Bicycle Couriers successful, is without a doubt the client interaction on the website. This includes the fact that they do not only use the site to gather info and are asked to send boxed dimensions in order to get a quote (but that they can immediately order and check out and pay) for bicycle transport.
However, we have to keep all those comments organized and at bay and from time to time a clean of the homepage is required. Then I use this simple plugin to bulk move comments to the right product of general FAQ pages. in just a few clicks. Move FROM here to HERE. And what to include 🙂
Newsletter is a real newsletter and email marketing system for your WordPress blog: perfect for list building, you can easily create, send and track e-mails, headache-free. It just works out of box!
Mailpoet was my default newsletter client (and it should still be on the list for any newcomer), but there are some limitations and quirks when you expand. Which is why I use the aptly named Newsletter plugin as an alternative. The setup is not as wizard-like as Mailpoet (and I prefer Mailpoet’s clean look and feel), but essentially you can do a bit more with it, still for free 🙂
Newsletter – Import
With Advanced Import Addon for the Newsletter plugin, you can import a list of contacts saved in CSV format and map the CSV columns to the subscriber’s fields.
This is further to the one above, because all of us probably have our mailing lists somewhere on a XLS spreadsheet, at least for starters. This way you can batch import all your subscribers at once, and have a mailing list to start with. Upload the CSV file with your contacts’ details and there you go 🙂
The most user-friendly WordPress contact form builder, using drag+drop. Use Ninja Forms to create beautiful, user friendly WordPress forms that will make you feel like a professional web developer!
This is without a doubt the easiest and most visually appealing contact form builder available for free on WordPress today. At least in my mind. And the reason I started with NINJA forms way back before when they have this sleek design, was because it was a free options that easily allowed for contact form submissions to be exported to CSV and or XLS spreadsheets. Perfect for number crunching. You can also open up the developer options to add some advanced functionality, as well as capture the date/time/min/hr/sec of each submission Plus the IP address of the person who completed the form, if you so prefer. And Captcha, to stop all those pesky bots 🙂
OSM – OpenStreetMap
Add a map with marker in less than 100 seconds. Important plugin requirement: you have to enable the checkbox “Display attribution (credit) in the map.”
This is the easiest way to display a map marker for free and embed it onto your WP website. OSM is an alternative to google maps. I use it extensively for cycling long distances across the globe (well, Europe to be exact). And I much prefer having a sleek looking fully functional map presented to me — rather than a google map full of disclaimers because to website creator didn’t allow for a few cents to go into the google pockets on each view 🙂
Upload PDF files and embed them directly into your site’s posts and pages. It works as simple as adding images! Your PDF files will be automatically sized to their natural size and shape.
This is another plugin I am sure will be of little use in the future as this kind of functionality will simply be built in to future editions of WP by default. But for the time being, if you want to embed a PDF document on your WordPress website, with nice extra features, and all for free, then this is the way to go 🙂
Product Open Pricing
Lets you create open price (i.e. “name your price” or “pay your price”) products in WooCommerce. For each product you can optionally set: Default (i.e. Suggested) price, Minimum price, Maximum price.
For Bicycle Couriers I have set prices for set products, but I also want to have a variable price product where it allows customers to check out and pay online without knowing the price in advance. And this is the answers. Customers can simple enter the price that you give them manually, and continue with the process. This allows the process to continue and they can still pay using all your given payment portals and online methods. Plus, you don’t have to run another set of notes or books elsewhere, because all orders are centralized and go through your WooCommerce setup. Less admin 🙂
Products & Order Export for WooCommerce
Export ALL your WooCommerce store data to CSV or XML using this free plugin, export Products, Orders, Order Items, Customers, and Customers from Orders in single click.
I love stats and tracking to see how we grow. I use this plugin for monthly management statements, to download our orders and sales for the month into XLS so that I can see our MOM month-on-month and YOY year-on-year % sales growth. Lovely to see those results and very healthy growth rate 🙂
Really Simple SSL
Really Simple SSL will automatically configure your website to use SSL to its fullest potential. Use extra security features to protect your website, and use our server health check to keep up-to-date.
I’ve already mentioned the creators or this plugin above. There is no better SSL plugin for WordPress. It now also features more advanced features [see what I did there?] and can help you to add a free SSL certificate it seems (not necessary for us because it is included with our xneelo hosting). And after using this you can have a look at their solutions for tracking your websites statistics and effective managing your website cookies alerts 🙂
Redirection is the most popular redirect manager for WordPress. With it you can easily manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This can help reduce errors and improve your site ranking.
No-one likes seeing those pesky 404 errors. Now you can catch them all and point visitors anywhere else. And the easiest would probably be just back to your home page — it certainly looks better than an error. Also useful for when you have moved or changed content and need to point existing links that may already have been distributed on social media and elsewhere. Just point FROM to old link TO the new link. Again, less admin, which is great 🙂
Responsive Lightbox & Gallery
Drag & Drop Gallery Builder and Lightbox functionality that’s used daily by more than 300,000 active users and downloaded over 3 Million times.
I love the lightbox effect and square tiles for images grids, but I loathe having to install Jetpack and all the bloat that comes with it just for the 1 or 2 features that I want. So here is a lightweight alternative to achieve the same thing, without the need for Jetpack 🙂
Safe SVG is the best way to Allow SVG Uploads in WordPress! It gives you the ability to allow SVG uploads whilst making sure that they’re sanitized to stop SVG/XML vulnerabilities affecting your site.
Probably another plugin that might disappear as it could be introduced as part of WP by default in future releases. But for now this is my go-to solution for uploading and displaying safe SV images in WordPress. Quick and easy, no mess no fuss. It just works right out of the box — before this you won’t be able to upload a SVG image into the WP media uploader; and after installing it you will 🙂
This plugin makes it easy to display a simple announcement banner or bar at the top of your website. You can easily customize the color of the links, text, background, etc.
Oh this reminds me of COVID. Because the SA government was adamant that all local domains had to put a COVID alert notice on their websites. And this was one of the fastest solutions to do so, while being able to display exactly what and where you want. Keep in mind that WooCommerce also has a built-in side-wide notice that is just as easy (probably easier!) to use. But with Simple Banner you have more control over what and where and how you want to display a banner notice on your site 🙂
The Events Calendar
The #1 Calendar for WordPress. Easily create and manage an events calendar on your WordPress site with The Events Calendar free plugin.
This is another one that is still lying in the dfevelopment box (for Bicycle Couriers, that is). We will use this to show all the relevant bicycle races in and around South Africa in an effort to draw more web traffic to the site. I have noticed for the last 2 years that there is a demand for same, although being very seasonal. People typically go on December holiday and start chatting and planning for the new year. And when office workers return to their stations and the long year ahead awaits, they start planning ahead and what to see which events are one. Because you cannot just start the year at 100% capacity straight after a December holiday now can you ? 🙂
Easily create FAQs and add them to any page on your site. The responsive accordion display fits seamlessly into any site and provides a great FAQ user experience on any device. Use blocks or shortcodes.
I use Ultimate FAQs as the default FAQ plugin on all my WP sites that require a Q&A feature. It is a lovely installation and allows you to segment your FAQ’s just like posts, with categories and the like. then you just call the relevant FAQs (or all of them at once) with a shortcode on the correct page (or in a widget). And then you can have fun with the wording — What the FAQ, For FAQs sake, and so on. Also great for SEO (the categories, not the wordplay) 🙂
Ultimate Maps by Supsystic
Google maps becoming too expensive? Supsystic team provides users with the Google Maps alternatives: Bing maps, OpenStreetMap or OSM, Leaflet maps, Mapbox, Thunderforest.
Along the same lines as already mention above from OSM and others. Rather have a correctly displayed map iso a google map that has alerts and disclaimers and restrictions on it. I prefer OSM 🙂
More than 9 out of 10 users are using a browser that is able to display webp images. Yet, on most websites, they are served jpeg images, which are typically double the size of webp images for a given quality. What a waste of bandwidth!
With little effort, WordPress admins can have their site serving autogenerated webp images to browsers that supports it, while still serving jpeg and png files to browsers that does not support webp. According to caniuse, 96.3% of browsers currently support the WebP image format. Which is why we serve the right images to the right browsers 🙂
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open-source eCommerce solution. Whether you’re launching a business, taking brick-and-mortar retail online, or developing sites for clients, use WooCommerce for a store that powerfully blends content and commerce.
I considered doing a whole seperate article on WooCommerce and all the plugins around it that I use to enhance my shoppers’ online exprience. And maybe I will. Because it is vast. But for the purposes of telling you why I use WooCommerce in this post right here, it is really simple. Just as WordPress is the biggest CMS system on the planet, WooCommerce is its biggest open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. And a stellar alternative to Shopify 🙂
WooCommerce Peach Payments Gateway
A payment gateway so you can Accept payments from customers using a variety of payment methods, including card, EFT, BNPL (buy now, pay later), QR code, wallet, voucher, mobile money, and alternative credit.
If you already have WooCommerce and want to extend your online payment options further than PayPal, COD, EFT and such, then this is the way to go. Well, Peach Payments, and also YOCO. At Bicycle Couriers and at Webandmore we use both. They are similar in nature but have different tweaks. More on that later. You can pick, either or. YOCO is probably the default choice if you already have one of their physical card machines 🙂
WP External Links
Manage all external & internal links on your site. Control icons, nofollow, noopener, ugc (User Generated Content), sponsored and if links open in new window or new tab.
I love using a website where it is clearly shown when it is and internal links vs when it is an external link. You can do so with a little icon after the hyperlink. Personally I choose not to do so on Webandmore, because we have so many images with external links as well. But the reason I use this plugin is very simple (and I use it on almost all sites with external links). It allows me to set that ALL external links open in a news separate browser window or tab, with the click of a single button. So you don’t have to go and set it manually for each and every link, because we are human, and sometimes we miss one. Not with this 🙂
WP Fastest Cache
When a page is rendered, php and mysql are used. Therefore, system needs RAM and CPU. If many visitors come to a site, system uses lots of RAM and CPU so page is rendered so slowly. In this case, you need a cache system not to render page again and again.
There are many caching plugins around for WP and many are equally impressive. Any what do we do when things are equally impressive? We tend to pick the one that either looks the best or is the easiest to use. Now caching plugins is certain nothing to look at, so I pick the one that is as easy as it gets. And now you can too 🙂
WP Mail Logging
WP Mail Logging is the most popular plugin for logging emails sent from your WordPress site. Simply activate it and it will work immediately, no extra configuration is needed.
Oh WP mail, why have you forsaken me? It is a well known fact that WordPress email can sometimes be a tad unpredictable. Which is why I like to keep a log of everything that is sent out. So that I can verify, just in case. But you can also consider sending mails via FTP. And if you need help with same then contact Webandmore right away, without delay 🙂
This is the #1 WordPress SEO Plugin for a reason. Since 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. Users range from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet.
Yoast makes it extremely easy to ensure that you can see at the bottom of every WordPress post or page, exactly what it will look like in a google search. It prompts you when there are SEO issues with your featured images (usually if they are to small on upload). And I allows you to dynamically add meta tags and the like. The plugin is easy. But writing a Yoast friendly readability score article is not. Especially if you are prone to using longer sentences, like I am 🙂
Yoco Payment Gateway
Accept payments on your WooCommerce online store with Yoco. Payments are processed through the Yoco platform, so you can see all your online and in-store sales in one place.
I am a huge fan of YOCO. Because of a few things. Their rates are on par (not the cheapest, but also not the most expensive) with other online payment portals available in SA. But their interface is sleek. And the setup is instant. And you can start accepting payments immediately. And their payout (after you have been FICA’d) is probably the fastest of the lot. And they have also introduced a lending service (which I haven’t used, but see it is available) that allows you to get an advance against your average monthly sales for better cash flow. Genius 🙂
WOW, this was the easiest 4000 words I have ever typed. I just shows you how quickly things flow when you love what you do and have done it many times before.
PS, how many days is 10,000 hours? At full 24hr days, 10,000hrs is divided by 24 = 416 days. But that is nonsense because no-one can work 24/7 for 416 days in one go. Unless you are a robot, which we aren’t.
A better estimate would be 40hrs for a standard work week, time 50 weeks in a year is 2000 hours per year. Then 10,000 hours equates to 5 years worth of work days. Which is a way better full-time estimate. Is this accurate? We’ve been doing WordPress websites for over 15 years in total. So yes, 10,000 hours rule for Webandmore? Checked!