5 WordPress Plugins that We Swear By


With thousands of options, it is no wonder that one of the questions we receive frequently here at Blue Ridge Media Company is what are the best WordPress plugins. Now many plugins choices are dependent upon their use case, whether that be a one-page static site, SEO, social media, or ECommerce, but many of the plugins that we have selected here are your foundation set that we have found are essential for any WordPress site.

WP Defender

Developer: WPMU Dev

WP Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WordPress Version: 4.6 or higher

Price: Free/WPMU Premium Subscription

As WordPress’s popularity continues to grow based on its user friendly visual builder and flexibility, so does its appeal to the hacker world. With complete ease, they created hundreds of bots to infect millions of vulnerable sites. Site security and defence is essential not only for any WordPress site, but any site in general. As vital as it is to have security software on your computer it is for your platform to have its own.

To keep your site safe from malicious bots, we install WP Defender. Containing regular security scans, reports, audits, theme code checker, recommendations, monitoring, IP lockout, and much more, this one-stop-shop for security lets you know immediately if there is any irregularity or breach.

WP Defender was selected above its competitors due to the ease of use, intuitive startup checklist, and easy to digest dashboards. When it comes to ensuring your website is secure from malware, intruders, and other threats WP Defender is top of the line.


SmartCrawl Pro

Developer: WPMU Dev

WP Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WordPress Version: 4.6 or higher

Price: Free/WPMU Premium Subscription

It’s not enough to build a website and cross your fingers in hopes that you build an audience. SmartCrawl Pro provides the SEO optimization settings needed to start your rankings on Google. Providing an easy way to modify titles, meta-descriptions, Open Graph and social media integrations, it is sure to create targeted content and ranking for your WordPress site. SmartCrawl’s Smart Page Analyzer scans your posts and pages for keyword density, readability, and provides suggestions for optimization.

SmartCrawl focuses on taking the guesswork out of optimizing your website’s SEO. While there are several notable competitors, such as Yoast and All-in-One-SEO, we have noticed a definitive improvement in Search Engine Ranking Position throughout the hundreds of websites we manage.


Insert Header & Footer Scripts

Developer: WPBeginner

WP Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

WordPress Version: 3.6 or higher

Price: Free

Insert Headers and Footers is a straightforward plugin that lets you insert custom code onto your WordPress site header and footer without modifying theme files. Why is it important to insert custom code onto your website? Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels. If you do not know the importance of Facebook Pixels, make a note to read: The Importance of Facebook Pixel and take in the importance and value of having one on your website.

The plugin’s simplistic nature gives you only one place to insert a script rather than dealing with numerous other plugins. Installing Facebook Pixel, CallRail call tracking, and FreshChat scripts can be difficult if you’re trying to create each as a plugin, or even worse hard coding them into your theme. Instead of needing to speak code the Insert Header & Footer Scripts is the easy route to adding every script you need — code free!


Better Search Replace

Developer: Delicious Brains

WP Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WordPress Version: 3.0.1 or higher

Price: Free

After moving your WordPress site to a new domain or server or even changing a page name, you will likely have to run a search/replace to ensure everything is being internally directed correctly. Luckily enough, Better Search Replace provides an easy method to search and replace for all tables that are in need. This plugin also provides the ability to “dry run” a search to see how many fields will need to be updated, which you can then manually approve.

Trying to change the phone number listed hundreds of times on your website? Better Search and Replace will save hours of painstaking single page edits by allowing you to bulk search and replace on any term, phrase, word, or other text content. No database or code experience required. This plugin has saved our team thousands of man hours over the last several years.


Duplicator Pro

Developer: Snap Creek

WP Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

WordPress Version: 4.0 or higher

Price: (Varies)

Whether you are migrating your site in between environments or in need of a backup, Duplicator Pro has well proven its worth. This plugin allows you to manage scheduled backups and recover from any errors almost immediately and once you have bundled your site into a package, all you have to do is copy it over to your new host or domain. There are many versions that are available to download and based on your needs you may find one more useful over another. Check out the premium versions: https://snapcreek.com/duplicator/comparison/

Duplicator Pro, while they do offer a free version, has quite a few useful features packed into the premium versions. Many hosts for example charge a fee for recurring backups but with Duplicator Pro you are able to control your own backup schedule and storage agnostic of the current web host. It is also an extremely valuable asset when creating a temporary staging site, or cloning a website multiple times.

These are only a few of the numerous WordPress plugins that we use within our web development process. Are you currently building your own website and need a consultation or looking to outsource building your WordPress site?Blue Ridge Media Company is a full-service creative agency serving clients nationwide. Our focus is working with your businesses to beat competitors and grow sales through a variety of methods including paid advertising, comprehensive marketing plans, and visually stunning websites.


If you’re looking for creative marketing, Web Development, or Search Engine Optimization – you’ve come to the right place! We collaborate with clients at pivotal moments in their business, and we do it in every medium – from graphics to IT Support. Our blend of strategy, creativity, and design brings people and brands together; we make the climb as rewarding as the summit. That’s our kind of hike.

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