These are my recommendations. Here you can find a list of free and paid tools that I use, or have used, for the construction of this blog and that I recommend for their performance or for being plugins or templates that have a minimal impact on performance.
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Hosting is the foundation of your project. If they are not good, whatever you do, it will never go well.
I recommend Lucushost for several reasons you can read here. In short: more than reasonable prices, significantly lower than its competitors for very complete packages.
Fast and effective service, even by phone. 24/7 support. SSD MVMe disks and Premiun Backup included in all plans. They store your backups (two daily) for up to six months on external servers, so you don’t need to have extra space in your account for backups. This blog is hosted by Lucushost since February 2021.
Although this goes by neighborhoods, I have tested many templates and this is today the one I consider the most flexible and lightweight. It has a free version very valid, but its premium option extends its possibilities even further.
With hundreds of customisation settings, a large number of complete block-based templates and its “Elements” module, GeneratePress is a template with almost infinite possibilities.
GenerateBlocks is the perfect complement for GeneratePress. This blog moves with this powerful combination More info.
It’s not a builder per se, it’s a collection of six very lightweight basic blocks with which you can assemble almost anything. Although it is created to work with GeneratePress, it can be used with any template. You have a free version and a paid version that adds interesting options.
A set of blocks that extends the possibilities of Gutenberg.
The free option from Kadence is more than enough for basic layouts and their paid option adds interesting features of dynamic content, more blocks and templates. They also have one template considered by many of its users as one of the fastest.
The best paid WPO add-on at a very reasonable price, a must-have plugin for optimisation lovers Configuration guide.
Among its various tools highlights its powerful Script Manager with which you will control what is loaded on each page. It also allows you to remove CSS not used and host Google Fonts on your server with a couple of clicks, among many other things.
The classic and essential par excellence for managing code fragments now has a Pro version after more than 10 years as a free plugin.
It facilitates compliance with the regulations of the European Union, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. It also offers a fully functional free version fully functional core.
Plugins that clean and optimise the database are plentiful, but none of them come close to what you can get with “Advanced Database Cleaner Pro“. Although it has a free version very worthy, the real kicker is in the extra options of its Pro version.
There is no annual subscription fee that has to be renewed to receive updates like most premium plugins. You only pay once and it includes support and all future updates See review.
WP Crontrol is a free plugin from the developer of the popular and very useful Query Monitor. WP Control allows full control over what happens in the WP-Cron system.
You can edit cron events, delete them one by one or in bulk, run any event immediately or add new ones with custom schedules by date and export the list in a CSV file.
Rank Math is evolving a lot to eat the toast of the most used SEO plugins. In fact, the free version rank Math is quite overpowered and has standard options that Yoast, and other competing plugins, are paid, making it one of the most compensated options to get started. Its payment option offers very useful tools Read reviews.
Although this is a plugin designed for advertising management, perhaps the best, as it allows you to add ads on those sites that are almost impossible to reach, it has other very interesting applications, such as the possibility of using its blocks to add other types of content and have it displayed with conditions.
It has a free version that is more than enough and many more extra options in its Pro version.
Possibly the lightest free plugin to add the typical buttons to share your content on social networks.
The free plugin for create a multilingual blog most popular and lightweight plugin.
Polylang adds the hreflang attributes automatically to make sure that search engines recognise in which language your content appears and can show visitors the most appropriate version of the page according to their language or place of origin. Its Pro version adds some advanced options, although its free version is more than enough in most cases.
This free plugin is not developed by DeepL and its creators have another, paid plugin for batch translation.
This add-on is an interesting combo working together with Polylang to allow the use of the “DeepL API Free” plan, which gives developers free access to the DeepL API. All the steps needed to use it are in this review.
The lightest, most complete, simplest and most effective free popup plugin I have tried and still use.
It includes trigger options and other advanced features as found in other paid add-ons. It even allows you to place a block in the popup. You can find it in the WordPress repository. An alternative for Gutenberg (also for modal windows) is Modal Guten Block.
Name Directory is a free, simple and effective puglin created in 2013 by Jeroen Peters. It allows you to add a glossary of terms and can be used to create as many basic directories as you need.
With an administration area without many extras and a lack of pagination and a better configuration of its final appearance beyond touching the CSS and some settings from its panel, the add-on does its job and is lightweight. Its developer offers pay-on-demand services for small custom modifications.
It includes an internal search engine and a form option for visitors to send their suggestions. It is the plugin I use for one of the most visited sections of the blog, the cartoonists directory.
Although it still doesn’t count AMP page views, its developer keeps improving the plugin and offers impeccable support through the WordPress repository and also on Github.
I’ve been using it for a year with very good results before switching generateBloks and, despite its negative points, I still think it’s the best and most versatile builder as long as you don’t use it to build your entire site with it or it’s not a very complex long-term project
LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress (LSCWP) is an all-in-one site acceleration plugin, featuring a unique server-wide cache and a collection of optimisation features.
If your site is hosted on a properly configured LiteSpeed server, you can achieve truly amazing results with this plugin.
WP Rocket is the caching and WPO plugin that I used for quite a while before moving to a hosting with Litespeed. It is undoubtedly the king of WordPress caching plugins for those who don’t want to complicate things too much. Powerful and easy to configure, even for basic users.