Top 5 plugins for WordPress

These are my top 5 plugins which I think most people should have, especially if you’re a blogger looking to make connections and/or your site as fast as possible.

5. Smush

Smush is a fantastic plugin which can help speed up your website by compressing images. You can bulk ‘Smush’ as they say which will compress images with a single click. If you’re on the free version, you can Smush up to 50 images at a time. However, if you pay to upgrade, then you can Smush as many images you like. Both versions will allow you to auto-Smush any future uploaded images.

People say you should install this asap to avoid tons of images needing to be compressed. This way, all images are compressed the minute you decide to upload them.

4. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Project)

AMP is so good, WordPress themselves decided to help maintain and support it. Google asks that any news site uses AMP, this way your site won’t load any unneeded CSS and/or JavaScript when showing in Google search. Google may also give you a slightly higher ranking because AMP shows your site is faster than those that aren’t using it.

3. Super Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (or PWA for short) allows users to install your blog onto their desktop/tablet/mobile devices. This gives them easier access to your website and it’s much better than bookmarks which are never to be seen again. Users will even be able to see your blog offline due to caching, just like a native app on your phone. And best of all, you don’t need to submit your blog to any app store, it works straight from any browser which supports PWA. – Download plugin

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is another great package, even if you don’t use it for the SEO part. Then the readability section is great for general blogging. I love getting a little green smile telling me posts are readable. The SEO section is also a very good indicator if you have keywords you would like to hit.

1. JetPack by WordPress.com

Finally, JetPack by WordPress.com is my most important plugin for bloggers. Especially if you’re looking to connect with a much wider audience. Think about how Medium connects all their readers to a Medium Blog. Now think about hosting that one your own site while still having that audience, and then you have the JetPack plugin.

There are of course many other benefits, such as lazy loading images for faster pages. Automatically share your posts across all your different social networks. If you wanted to, you could also pay extra to enable backups, advanced built-in search and malware protection.

The easiest way to install any of these plugins is through your site’s admin panel. You can copy and paste any of the above plugins to find what you need.

Have you got any other plugins you could recommend?

Sound of in the comments below…

5 of the best Laravel books

Laravel – Up and Running: A Framework for Building Modern PHP Apps Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Matt Stauffer

What sets Laravel apart from other PHP web frameworks?

Speed and simplicity, for starters. This rapid application development framework and its vast ecosystem of tools let you quickly build new sites and applications with clean, readable code. With this practical guide, Matt Stauffer-a leading teacher and developer in the Laravel community-provides the definitive introduction to one of today’s most popular web frameworks. The book’s high-level overview and concrete examples will help experienced PHP web developers get started with Laravel right away. By the time you reach the last page, you should feel comfortable writing an entire application in Laravel from scratch.

Dive into several features of this framework, including: Blade, Laravel’s powerful, custom templating tool Tools for gathering, validating, normalizing, and filtering user-provided data Laravel’s Eloquent ORM for working with the application’s databases The Illuminate request object, and its role in the application lifecycle PHPUnit, Mockery, and PHPSpec for testing your PHP code Laravel’s tools for writing JSON and RESTful APIs Interfaces for file system access, sessions, cookies, caches, and search Tools for implementing queues, jobs, events, and WebSocket event publishing Laravel’s specialty packages: Scout, Passport, Cashier, Echo, Elixir, Valet, and Socialite

Laravel 5.1 Beauty: Creating Beautiful Web Apps in Laravel 5.1 Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Chuck Heintzelman

Leverage the power of Laravel 5.1 to create a simple, clean and beautiful blogging application and the administration area required to maintain the blog. This book goes through the process of designing, creating, and coding a real-world application using Laravel. You’ll learn about: * Installing Laravel 5.1 * Using Homestead * Using Elixir * Database Migrations and Seeding * Form Requests * Views (Blade templates) * Authentication * And much, much more!

Build APIs You Won’t Hate: Everyone and their dog wants an API, so you should probably learn how to build them Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Phil Sturgeon (Author), Laura Bohill (Designer)

API development is becoming increasingly common for server-side developers thanks to the rise of front-end JavaScript frameworks, iPhone applications, and API-centric architectures. It might seem like grabbing stuff from a data source and shoving it out as JSON would be easy, but surviving changes in business logic, database schema updates, new features, or deprecated endpoints can be a nightmare.

After finding many of the existing resources for API development to be lacking, Phil learned a lot of things the hard way through years of trial and error. This book aims to condense that experience, taking examples and explanations further than the trivial apples and pears nonsense tutorials often provide.

By passing on some best practices and general good advice you can hit the ground running with API development, combined with some horror stories and how they were overcome/avoided/averted. This book will discuss the theory of designing and building APIs in any language or framework, with this theory applied in PHP-based examples.

Learning Laravel’s Eloquent Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Francesco Malatesta

Learning Laravel’s Eloquent starts off by taking you through setting up your first project and guiding you in creating a perfect Laravel environment. You will learn how to build the right database structure with the Migrations system and the Schema Builder class. Next, you will be introduced to the main element of Eloquent: the model. After treating the model as a single, isolated entity, you will learn how to create relations between them. You will be taken through organizing, filtering, and sorting your data with collections. You will then learn to enhance an application with new features using events and by creating new observers. Towards the end of the book, you will discover how to install, configure, and use the Eloquent ORM without Laravel. The book concludes by walking you through how to deal with complex problems and build advanced and flexible systems.

Design Patterns in PHP and Laravel Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Kelt Dockins

Learn each of the original gang of four design patterns, and how they are relevant to modern PHP and Laravel development. Written by a working developer who uses these patterns every day, you will easily be able to implement each pattern into your workflow and improve your development. Each pattern is covered with full examples of how it can be used.

Too often design patterns are explained using tricky concepts, when in fact they are easy to use and can enrich your everyday development. Design Patterns in PHP and Laravel aims to break down tricky concepts into humorous and easy-to-recall details, so that you can begin using design patterns easily in your everyday work with PHP and Laravel.

This book teaches you design patterns in PHP and Laravel using real-world examples and plenty of humor.

5 of the best programming books

Working Effectively with Legacy Code Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Michael C. Feathers

The average book on Agile software development describes a fairyland of greenfield projects, with wall-to-wall tests that run after every few edits, and clean & simple source code.

The average software project, in our industry, was written under some aspect of code-and-fix, and without automated unit tests. And we can’t just throw this code away; it represents a significant effort debugging and maintaining. It contains many latent requirements decisions. Just as Agile processes are incremental, Agile adoption must be incremental too. No more throwing away code just because it looked at us funny.

Mike begins his book with a very diplomatic definition of “Legacy”. I’l skip ahead to the undiplomatic version: Legacy code is code without unit tests.

Before cleaning that code up, and before adding new features and removing bugs, such code must be de-legacified. It needs unit tests.

To add unit tests, you must change the code. To change the code, you need unit tests to show how safe your change was.

The core of the book is a cookbook of recipes to conduct various careful attacks. Each presents a particular problem, and a relatively safe way to migrate the code towards tests.

Code undergoing this migration will begin to experience the benefits of unit tests, and these benefits will incrementally make new tests easier to write. These efforts will make aspects of a legacy codebase easy to change.

It’s an unfortunate commentary on the state of our programming industry how much we need this book.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Clean Code Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Robert C. Martin

An extremely pragmatic method for writing better code from the start, and ultimately producing more robust applications.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Refactoring – Improving the Design of Existing Code Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Martin Fowler, Kent Beck

Users can dramatically improve the design, performance, and manageability of object-oriented code without altering its interfaces or behavior. “Refactoring” shows users exactly how to spot the best opportunities for refactoring and exactly how to do it, step by step.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Design Patterns Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Ralph Johnson, Erich Gamma, John Vlissides, Richard Helm

Capturing a wealth of experience about the design of object-oriented software, four top-notch designers present a catalog of simple and succinct solutions to commonly occurring design problems. Previously undocumented, these 23 patterns allow designers to create more flexible, elegant, and ultimately reusable designs without having to rediscover the design solutions themselves. The authors begin by describing what patterns are and how they can help you design object-oriented software. They then go on to systematically name, explain, evaluate, and catalog recurring designs in object-oriented systems. With Design Patterns as your guide, you will learn how these important patterns fit into the software development process, and how you can leverage them to solve your own design problems most efficiently. Each pattern describes the circumstances in which it is applicable, when it can be applied in view of other design constraints, and the consequences and trade-offs of using the pattern within a larger design. All patterns are compiled from real systems and are based on real-world examples. Each pattern also includes code that demonstrates how it may be implemented in object-oriented programming languages like C++ or Smalltalk. 0201633612B07092001

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

Martin Fowler

This volume is a handbook for enterprise system developers, guiding them through the intricacies and lessons learned in enterprise application development. It provides proven solutions to the everyday problems facing information systems developers.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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