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7 Essential WordPress plugins for development

7 Essential WordPress plugins for development

Building a website has never been easier than now, especially with WordPress, which has an ecosystem that offers a variety of plugins and themes.

WordPress repository offers around 60.000 free plugins, and aside from that, there are countless external marketplaces and developers that also offer free and premium (paid) ones.

Some of them offer a specific feature that you need, and, on the other hand, some of them have a plethora of functionality, options, and features.

We base our work at S-Tier Dev on custom-developed features within the theme itself, but there are some essential WordPress plugins that we use on every project that make our work easier and faster without affecting the website’s performance or our end goal of developing a well-performing website with only site-specific features.

Must-Use plugins

Advanced Custom Fields Pro

Even though WordPress itself has Custom Fields by default, or you can create them from scratch, it can be time-consuming and not time-efficient to use or create them.
That is where a must-have plugin comes into play. Advanced Custom Fields Pro (ACF Pro) is an incredibly versatile WordPress plugin that enhances the development workflow, allowing us to add custom fields, meta data, and site-specific Gutenberg blocks. The plugin’s effectiveness lies in its ability to tailor a website to specific content needs, saving a lot of development time and client budget. ACF Pro helps us streamline the development process and significantly boosts clients’ site flexibility, allowing for custom solutions like tailored options pages and dynamic data display.

Safe SVG

Simple yet another must-have plugin is Safe SVG, and as its functionality is straight-forward, it enables the usage and upload of SVG image format in the WordPress media library.
We mostly use SVG images for icons and small illustrations that were in the past difficult to optimize for both website performance and keeping the icon itself crisp and not blurry on all devices.
Another important feature of what this plugin does is that it sanitizes the SVG code automatically during the upload, so you do not have to do so manually.

This is where our list of essential plugins for development ends. The two mentioned plugins are the only ones we’re using during our process of creating websites that perform, but for a website to function to the best of its abilities, some plugins are highly recommended. Again, these plugins are not essential, and the website will work just fine without them. But keep reading so you can see why they should be used.

Recommended plugins


Many hosting companies today do not offer mailing service included in their hosting plans, which means that your visitors inquiries via contact form cannot reach you. Also, none of the store notifications will be sent to you or your customers.
Even with the hosting companies that offer this, it often happens that the free mailing service offered is not reliable, and you will still not receive notifications or they will go to spam.
Post SMTP is a free plugin that can help with this. It allows you to connect your favorite email provider to your website and make sure that your notifications are sent and delivered without issue.

Rank Math SEO

SEO is a topic for itself, and just installing a plugin will not do everything for you, but it is a great start to do basic things and optimize your content for search engines and social network sharing. A simple and intuitive interface will tell you what you need to do, and your only job here is to get as many green checkmarks as you can.


It does the same thing as every other Forms plugin, but it is our pick due to its simple interface and the fact that the free version of it does almost everything we need. But the main reason is that the assets of the plugin are loaded only on the page where you have a form present, so it does not affect the performance of the website one bit.


Even though we optimize images before we upload them on the website, Imagify is still highly recommended due to the fact that it converts your .jpg and .png images to a next-gen .webp format recommended by Google PageSpeed Insights. Why not use WebP in the first place? Well, we want to, but there are around 4% of the browsers that still do not support it, and well, we want to show our images to everyone. So, while Imagify converts your images to .webp and serves them to compatible browsers, it will still show the original .jpg or .png to the ones that are not supporting .webp.

WP Rocket

Last but not least, we have a plugin that aligns with our motto, ‘websites that perform’. Even though we do most of our optimization manually, we let WP Rocket handle some things.
It perfectly synchronizes with our hosting of choice and the CDN. The ability to clear the cache when you need to in order to see your latest changes, is right there in the backend, and there is no need to wait for a developer to do so. Not only will it clear its own cache, it will also clear the CDN and Varnish(hosting cache) with one click.

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