Craft CMS has become the platform of choice for developers and dev agencies because of its flexibility and extensibility through popular Craft CMS plugins such as Feed Me and Retour.
In effect, Craft CMS allows you to work smarter and get the project to production in minimum time. The cherry on the top is the simplicity and ease of use. This is a serious plus point in the favor of Craft CMS when comparing it to other popular frameworks such as Yii or Laravel.
The Craft CMS Plugin Advantage
Plugins are an effective way of adding new functionality to your Craft CMS site. A plugin is a standalone component that acts as an add-on or extension to the core platform and either extends existing functionality or adds something missing. As with the core Craft CMS platform, the plugins are written in PHP.
With the right set of plugins, you can significantly improve the functionality, efficiency, speed, security, and user-friendliness of your website. Luckily, there are some clear winners that will benefit just about any type of Craft CMS site.
When Evaluating Craft CMS Plugins
You need to keep certain factors in mind because the plugin you choose can, quite literally, make or break your site. So make sure you:
- Have a clear idea of the functionality you need.
- Check that the plugin is up to date, has technical support, and is maintained by the dev team.
- See the number of active installs and reviews because these two factors show the usability and benefits other users have getting from the plugin.
How to Install a Craft CMS Plugin
After installing Craft, the first thing every beginner needs to learn is how to install the plugins. Fortunately, there are hundreds of free and paid plugins that you can check out and install on your Craft CMS website.
The easiest way of installing the Craft 3 plugins is to start from the plugin store. From there, you can browse through the various categories.
When you click a plugin, a new window will open with details of the plugin, including a long description, active installs, license details, and screenshots.
Paid plugins can be installed, first as a trial by clicking the “Try” button. You should see your trial plugin listed in the dashboard. Add the plugin to the cart and then proceed with the checkout. The plugin would be successfully installed.
Our Selection of the Best Craft CMS Plugins for Business in 2022
To help you with the selection process, I went ahead and shortlisted the following Craft CMS plugins so that you could have an easier time extending the capabilities of the Craft powered projects:
Blitz makes your site fly. By serving cached pages, load times are reduced to an absolute minimum, making Craft CMS sites feel light-weight and instantaneous to navigate. Fast response times and statically cached pages provide additional benefits including SEO (Google recommends a server response time of 200ms or less), stability (the site remains available even when performing Craft updates and maintenance), and cost savings (you can deliver high-performance sites using much more inexpensive servers). Since cache invalidation happens automatically in the background as the content is edited, you essentially get a statically served site, powered by a fully dynamic CMS, so the best of both worlds!
Textmetrics enables organizations to continuously improve the conversion rates of their job descriptions, but also any other written text, offline or online. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, it coaches users by using augmented assisted writing. All to make sure to write high-quality job descriptions that match the desired candidate. The algorithms will real-time assess your writing and give augmented tips and tricks in order to write according to general quality elements concerning job postings (Examples are: branding, style guides, and spelling/grammar) and/or specific candidate quality elements (examples are: education level, gender, and abilities).
Not only will Textmetrics help you to make better job descriptions but Textmetrics will also monitor the quality of all your (online) job postings and tell you where to improve.
Textmetrics is integrated into the environments used by people creating the descriptions (examples are: MS Word, Google Docs, Vacancy management systems, etc..).”
oEmbed An incredibly simple plugin that takes a website and returns an iFrame and/ or extracts page information from rich media websites, supporting all major services such as Youtube, Vimeo, Twitter, Instagram, Google Maps, SoundCloud, MixCloud, blog articles, and much more. The plugin supports Craft CMS in headless mode with GraphQL support and a powerful caching and notification system allowing websites to optimize page speed and track embed errors. More notable features include GDPR support for Youtube and Vimeo allowing websites to scale globally and a handy Inline preview feature to allow for quick content editing without the need for Live Preview or page reload.
Stripe Payments allows you to focus on the most important thing: your products or services improving your customer satisfaction. Stripe Payments will handle any kind of payment forms needed for your business model:
- One time payments
- Customs amounts (perfect for donations)
- Customers sign up for recurring payments
- Subscription and billing management functionality provided by Customer Portal
Build a marketplace, Stripe Connect support has been added so you can easily create a marketplace within the power of Craft CMS.
In summary, Stripe Payments allows you to create simple payment forms in seconds easily without coding.
SEOmatic facilitates modern SEO best practices & implementation for Craft CMS 3. It is a turnkey SEO system that is comprehensive, powerful, and flexible.
It implements JSON-LD microdata, Dublin Core core metadata, Twitter Card tags, Facebook Open Graph tags, Humans.txt authorship accreditation, and as well as HTML meta tags.
SEOmatic allows you to quickly get a website up and running with a robust, comprehensive SEO strategy. It is also implemented in a Craft-y way, in that it is also flexible and customizable. The SEOmetrics feature scans your content for focus keywords and offers analysis on how to improve your SEO.
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Linkit adds a custom field type that enables support for linking and validating email addresses, telephone numbers, URLs, and Craft element types (Entries, Products Users, etc). This plugin speeds up development time; it saves the developer having to handle linking situations manually and reduces the number of fields required. With 1000’s active installs it’s proven to be a benefit to both the developer and content editor.
Neo essentially expands Craft’s built-in content fields into a much more malleable and adaptable system for creating components and page layouts.
Neo enables developers to create flexible components that allow a logical organization, including nesting and columns, as a means to create dynamic and engaging page layouts without sacrificing the end-user editing experience.
Embedded Assets is a Craft CMS plugin that lets you add YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Twitter posts, and more to Craft’s asset manager, and treat them as first-class assets. Just open up your asset manager, paste in a URL and watch the magic happen.
Enupal Translate keeps track of any translation string from your templates in your Craft CMS Multi-site. With the help of a smooth UI, you are able to easily filter/search by pending or translated strings.
No fan of manual translations? Bulk translation with Google Translate or Yandex is available within the plugin, so you can translate tons of string at the same time. Export and Import CSV translations files are also available.
All the translations will be automatically synced into the Database, this will help you during the deployment phase between your different stages.
Colorit allows the content editor to select colors in the cp by simply picking from a preset color pallet, this can be pre-configured to match branding, styles, and themes. By restricting the colors available to the editor, developers can ensure selected colors are always in line with the awesome brand guidelines they worked so hard on. The field can be configured to allow the editor to control opacity and use custom HEX values as required.
The campaign is an email marketing plugin for Craft CMS. It allows you to create email campaigns and send them to mailing lists. You can manage all mailing lists and contacts in the control panel and you have complete control and personalization of emails using Twig templates. You also get powerful features such as real-time reports, contact segmentation, and syncing contacts with users.
The Bottom Line
That’s all for now.
By using the right Craft CMS plugins for your applications, not only you can enhance project productivity but manage your work easily as well. Start using these Craft extensions today to improve performance, increase engagement, and deliver a better experience at your website.
We would love to hear If you are using a plugin that we missed out. Let us know how your experience was in the comments section below.
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Shahzeb is a Digital Marketer with a Software Engineering background, works as a Community Manager — PHP Community at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious and aims to learn & share information about PHP & Laravel Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]