All the plug-ins you need for WordPress

WordPress is one of the most common way to get your business online, with its CMS mindset, plug-ins and themes. Its truly the best flexibility a business needs to get going. If you’re not making use of plug-ins, then you’re missing out on some of  the platform’s best features.

Searching for a plug-in is hard work, there’s so many out there and multiple different plug ins do the same thing. Some aren’t compatible with your version, some don’t look right, or have low reviews. Its a minefield that’s difficult for the average person to navigate.

Its start with the basics.

  1. Look for ones that are compatible with your version of WordPress
  2. Only install ones from the WordPress plug-in menu, that means they are trusted
  3. Check the amount of installs already, the more the better

Let’s talk about some of the plug ins we think you should use


Yoast is a search engine optimisation (SEO) plug-in that takes a lot of the legwork out of optimising your WordPress site.

If things like robots.txt, .htaccess files and permalink URLs mean nothing to you, then not to worry – Yoast does this kind of technical stuff in the background.

It also helps with keyword optimisation, and provides a readability check so you can be sure readers will lap up your content.

It really is a must-have for all WordPress sites.

Contact Form 7

Need a way for potential customers to get in touch with you? Then Contact Form 7 is the plug-in you need.

It’s quick and easy to create forms, and you won’t need a developer to install them on your site.

You can also tailor the fields in your forms to meet your exact needs, making it easy to make sure you have all the information you need in order to follow up all those juicy leads you’ll be generating.

And even if you just need a way for people to get in touch when they have a query, Contact Form 7 has you covered.

Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons

A quick and easy way to help people share your content is a good way to help get your content shared. As the name suggests, Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons does exactly that.

It covers the major social media networks, and it’s remarkably easy to configure. So if you need a social sharing solution for your WordPress site, give this plugin a try.

Limit Login Attempts

Another WordPress plug-in that does exactly what the name suggests. But why would you want to limit the number of login attempts to your site? Well, if someone is trying to get unauthorised access to your site, they may use a programme which automatically tries to quickly guess different passwords.

With Limit Login Attempts, you can restrict access to the blog if someone keeps entering an incorrect password, making your site more secure.

Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights

Google Analytics is a great way to understand how people interact with your website, but it can be difficult to install if you’re not a web dev. That’s where this plug-in from Monster Insights comes in.

It allows you to install Google Analytics on your WordPress site with just a few clicks – no need for coding.

And once that’s done, you can benefit from all the usual statistical insights that Google Analytics provides.

Really Simple SSL

Another plug-in that takes removes the need for a spot of coding. Really Simple SSL allows you to run your site on https – all you need is a valid SSL certificate.

SSL is important as it encrypts any data that’s sent via your site – such as card details and addresses. If you’ll be collecting any kind of customer data, then you’ll need an SSL.

You can get your SSL certificate with any of our hosting plans for free (if you don’t have one already) and then use this plug-in to get it up and running on your WordPress site.

WP Super Cache

Without going into technical details, WP Super Cache makes your WordPress site load more quickly for the vast majority of visitors, which improves user experience.

If you’re a WordPress beginner, then this plug-in’s “simple mode” is a great way to get speed gains that you wouldn’t normally be able to access.

Summing up

Don’t be scared of plug-ins, using them wisely is a great way to increase the functionality of your website! Go out and explore

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How to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) for your site

Some of you that use SEMrush might have noticed this;

3 subdomains don’t support HSTS”

So HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS as we call it), this is a quick and easy fix and will help remove those notifications.

Firstly, you must have a SSL certificate enabled, without one (and enabling HSTS) will break your site.

What is HSTS

HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) instructs web browsers to only use secure connections for all future requests when communicating with a web site. Doing so helps prevent SSL protocol attacks, SSL stripping, cookie hijacking, and other attempts to circumvent SSL protection.

How do I enable HSTS

When HSTS is enabled for a site, web browsers automatically change any insecure requests (http://) to secure requests (https://). All you need to do to enable HSTS is add a header to your site’s .htaccess file. Web browsers read the .htaccess file and recognize this header, then it’ll take care of the rest without any further intervention on your part.

To enable HSTS for your site, follow these steps:

  1. Using SSH or the File Manager, navigate to the ~/httpdocs directory.
  2. Open the text editor to open the .htaccess file.
    If the .htaccess file does not already exist, create it.
  3. Copy the following line, and then paste it into the .htaccess file:
    Header set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000" env=HTTPS
  4. Save your changes to the .htaccess file. HSTS is now enabled for your site.
    When the web server sends this header, any browser that accesses the site over HTTPS will be unable to access the unsecured HTTP site for the specified length of time (in this case, 31,536,000 seconds, or one year). Therefore, as soon as you enable HSTS, you should not stop using SSL on your site. If you do, returning visitors will be unable to access your site.


One more SEO problem fixed!

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Move to PHP7 and leave 5 behind…

php7 logo

PHP7 has already been around the block once or twice, did you know it was released Dec 2015, that means it just turned 3! There are still a lot of people out there that still use PHP5.6 or less, to put this in perspective PHP5.3 was released in June 2009 which makes it 9 years old!!! Consider how many updates and bugs have been located since then… the frightening thing is that most of the websites we see still use 5.4, which was released in March 2012 and stopped receiving support September 2015!!!

This is direct from;

Supported Versions

Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases.

After this two year period of active support, each branch is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis: there may be multiple point releases, or none, depending on the number of reports.

Once the three years of support are completed, the branch reaches its end of life and is no longer supported.

Currently Supported Versions

Branch Initial Release Active Support Until Security Support Until
28 Aug 2014 3 years, 4 months ago 19 Jan 2017 11 months ago 31 Dec 2018 in 11 months
7.0 3 Dec 2015 2 years ago 3 Dec 2017 30 days ago 3 Dec 2018 in 11 months
7.1 1 Dec 2016 1 year, 1 month ago 1 Dec 2018 in 10 months 1 Dec 2019 in 1 year, 10 months
7.2 30 Nov 2017 1 month ago 30 Nov 2019 in 1 year, 10 months 30 Nov 2020 in 2 years, 10 months

Or, visualised as a calendar:

Today: 2 Jan 2018

PHP Version Support Chart
Current support of PHP Versions


Active support A release that is being actively supported. Reported bugs and security
issues are fixed and regular point releases are made.
Security fixes only A release that is supported for critical security issues only. Releases
are only made on an as-needed basis.
End of life A release that is no longer supported. Users of this release should
upgrade as soon as possible, as they may be exposed to unpatched security

So if you’re using anything other than 7.x you’re in trouble, without regular security updates and patches software becomes troublesome! We always recommend 7 to everyone for the security, but it also comes with other advantages, lets talk about those for a second.

Higher Load Capacity

The upward shift in performance you get from PHP7 is due to the changes in phpng, these changes allowed us to adopt PHP7 smoothly, in fact most of our customers don’t realise they are on PHP7 as its default for new WordPress installs. Along with the performance boost PHP7 is better with memory, it just knows when to let go of the RAM more, meaning your site can run on less resources!

Lets make this more visual!

PHP 5.5

Transactions:              4354 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.64 secs
Data transferred:          17.23 MB
Response time:             1.21 secs
Transaction rate:          14.53 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.06 MB/sec
Concurrency:               17.59
Successful transactions:   4354
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       2.04
Shortest transaction:      0.12


Transactions:              5256 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.53 secs
Data transferred:          20.06 MB
Response time:             0.92 secs
Transaction rate:          17.55 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.07 MB/sec
Concurrency:               16.12
Successful transactions:   5256
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       11.54
Shortest transaction:      0.43


Transactions:              11333 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.38 secs
Data transferred:          44.84 MB
Response time:             0.16 secs
Transaction rate:          37.85 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.15 MB/sec
Concurrency:               6.16
Successful transactions:   11333
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       0.77
Shortest transaction:      0.02

As you can see, compared to 5.5, Facebook HHVM is 1.2x faster but PHP7 is 2.6x faster! The speed increase is so easy to see!

PHP7 also comes with a host of new operators and tools suited for developers, which are kindly listed here

Overall, PHP 7 is faster, more secure, and significantly more resource efficient than older versions. To give you an example, a site running PHP 7 can handle twice as many visitors as PHP 5 can, using the same amount of memory. This means your shared hosting plan can take your website further for the same money!

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