Whenever I create a website there are a few WordPress plugins that I always install before the site goes live. It’s taken many years of testing and trial and error to whittle my base integral plugins to these few, and I now wouldn’t consider running a website without them installed. The premium (pro) plugins mentioned below are installed on all websites created by i4design, and the costs are included in the annual maintenance charge.
iThemes Security Pro
This plugin limits the number of failed login attempts allowed per user with WordPress brute force protection. If someone is trying to guess your password, they’ll get locked out after a few attempts. iThemes Security also has 404 detection. If a bot is scanning your site for vulnerabilities, it will generate a lot of 404 errors. iThemes Security will lock out that IP after a certain amount of errors. These are just two of the many security features that makes this plugin a must-have.
WordPress Zero Spam blocks registration spam and spam in comments automatically. Zero Spam blocks 99.9% of spam registrations & comments, supports caching plugins to help provide great performance, blocks spammy IPs from ever seeing your site and has advanced settings for complete control.
Caching creates an ultra-fast load time, essential for improving Search Engine Optimization and increasing conversions. Images are loaded only as your visitor scrolls down the page, improving the load time of the page. YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo and other major websites are using this technique. Now yours can too.
Email Address Encoder
A lightweight plugin to protect plain email addresses and mailto links from email-harvesting robots by encoding them into decimal and hexadecimal entities. Has effect on the posts, pages, comments, excerpts and text widgets — just simple spam protection.
The SEO Framework
This plugin helps create better SEO value for your content. At the end of the day, it all depends on how entertaining or well-constructed your content or product is. No SEO plugin can magically put you at the top of Google, but installing this plugin provides a great SEO base for your website.