Wednesday, 23 October 2019 by Ian Ebden
Looks like this article is over a year old, so some of the technical solutions or opinions may be a bit outdated now.
Various Craft CMS developers have listed their 'must-have' Craft plugins of late, so I thought it was high time DesignKarma shared our essential list.
In line with our purist ethos of 'everything we do is simple, focussed and easy to use', we try to keep our use of plugins to a minimum, using Craft's native features to achieve the desired results. That said there are a handful of plugins that make it into pretty much every project, including (and in no particular order):
There's little point developing a beautiful website if no-one can find it. Your website needs descriptions, sitemaps, open graph, structured data and all manner of fine tuning in order for search engines to accurately and comprehensively index your pages. The excellent SEOmatic plugin gives you a very comprehensive set of tools for SEO twiddling.
From the makers of SEOmatic comes Typogrify – a swiss army knife for controlling and modifying text. Whether it's preventing 'widows' in headings or converting dates into friendlier formats like '2 days ago', Typogrify has you covered.
You cannot manage rich content without a rich text editor, and that's where Redactor comes in. This plugin adds a “Redactor” field type to Craft, giving you a configurable rich text editor powered by Redactor by Imperavi.
CP Field Inspect
CP Field Inspect becomes really handy on sites where you have lots of fields on your control panel publish pages. For example, if you're not sure of a field handle you can simply hover over the cogwheel next to the field title and CP Field Inspect will reveal it. If you want to make changes to the field just click the cogwheel and you'll be redirected to the field's settings page.
Want to embed YouTube or Vimeo videos on your Craft site? No problem with Video Embedder. This plugin generates embed code from a YouTube or Vimeo URL, along with optional parameters like autoplay. You can even generate a video thumbnail.
Every site needs a data capture contact form right? Well if all you want is a simple form-to-email then Contact Form from Pixel & Tonic (makers of Craft) have a plugin to handle just that.
If you're adding a data capture form then you'll need some defence against the spam bots, and that's where Craft reCAPTCHA comes in. It even integrates seamlessly with the Craft Contact Form. If you'd like something more frictionless then there's also the Craft reCAPTCHA 3 plugin.
So that's our list of go-to Craft CMS plugins.