25 / 04 / 17
10th September 2019
At Abstrakt, we’ve been advocates of Craft CMS for nearly 5 years and our team of developers have been working with the technology long before that too. We’ve seen our fair share of plugins for Craft and various other well-known development platforms, and that means we’ve made plenty of comparisons over the years and seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
When it comes to Craft CMS plugins, we spend a lot of time comparing similar extensions to find those that perform the best, and those that give as little headache as possible to our developers when they hit a glitch. Whether it’s a plugin that's the latest craze amongst the community or one we’ve unearthed from the past for specific requirements, we’re always looking for those that elevate our projects.
After years of testing, comparing and trialling, I’ve put together my top Craft CMS plugins that I use for optimum performance, ease of user experience and getting the best from Craft CMS web builds.
The go-to of all go-to's for Craft CMS plugins, SEOmatic has a very comfortable seat inside of our Craft CMS Boilerplate. It's an essential purchase with every one of our builds that are public facing, to make sure we're delivering the best technical SEO on page possible. This plugin really excelled for Craft 2 and even more so in its Craft 3 version with a full backend re-architecture. When it became a paid for plugin in Craft 3, I was a bit skeptical at first but for the level of quality, on-going features and support, it's worth every penny.
Credit / nystudio107
When it comes to images you need a solid solution that's going to take care of every aspect. Imager plugin for Craft CMS does just that with an extensive configurable setup, making it possible to edit with an abundance of settings. From image quality to hooking up an image transformation tool like Imgix - to offload transformations off of your web server.
Credit / vaersaagod
After using Neo throughout the entirety of Craft 2 to build our full page builders, once Craft 3 came out of Beta, there was no sign of the Craft 3 version being released. We wanted to use Craft 3 to create full page builders, and so, we needed another Matrix in a Matrix solution to fill the void, enter the Super Table plugin.
Having to re-adjust the configuration, it was clear Super Table had a much simpler and straight forward creation process. By having multiple display options for how the Matrix in a Matrix looked to a content editor, we were able to tailor the designs and fields in the backend perfectly.
Credit / Verbb
When we're creating landing pages for our clients the objective can always vary and wildly at that. Do they want a Call to Action to be a mailto: link , tel: link, page link or even a document? Typed Link Field enables you to do all of that (& more) from one field.
This plugin allows for a great deal of flexibility when linking to different types of elements. It saves the need for multiple different native fields in the CP and makes it super easy and straightforward for content creators.
Credit / Sebastian Lenz
Handling redirects can be a tricky process even with a marketing team that are on the ball, but don't have the technical experience to add them to a site themselves. ReTour has a graphical user interface to allow anyone the ability to add, edit and delete redirects.
It also allows for 302 redirects and not just 301. The plugin provides a log of the amount of times the redirect has been hit and when it was last hit too. This allows a marketing team to know everything is in correct working order after a site migration or marketing campaign.
When combined with Redirectly, you have the full power to manage redirects easily with a simple and efficient tool. Redirectly makes the manual process of redirects automated with its multi-tech export.
Credit / Retour / nystudio107 (again)
Credit / Redirectly / Abstrakt
The Blitz plugin creates flat versions of your pages and caches them so you don't need to keep server side rendering every page of the frontend. This allows for an incredible TTFB (time till first byte) and with built in cache busting, you don't need to worry about anything on a standard install. If you wish to customise the caching options for a complex build, you have all the options available.
Credit / PutYourLightsOn
That's a round-up of our top 6 Craft CMS plugins that we use on most, if not on all of our web projects here at Abstrakt. We trust these plugins to continue to power and serve our own Craft CMS website as well as our clients'. There's always a lot of concern around moving away from a well-known technology used worldwide like WordPress, but we wouldn't look back or return to that technology.
There are an abundance of plugins readily available with Craft CMS and the upside of the bespoke build, continual updates and support, and plugins that are trusted (and don't pose constant security risks!) is a sure fire win for us.
Thinking about stepping away from WordPress but need a little more information about Craft CMS? Get in touch and as a Craft CMS Partner, we'd be happy to discuss the pros and cons of changing development platform.
Interesting? There’s plenty more where that came from…