The 14 Wordpress Plugins We Use on Every Oxygen Site

More about this video

I’m making this video by popular demand – tons of people have asked for my official “blueprint” plugin stack (the plugins that get installed on every Wordpress/Oxygen site by default).

Links below to all the plugins. Many are free, some are paid, and some are freemium.


Canon R6 –

Advanced Custom Fields Pro (Freemium) – (ACF Alternative – $) –
Code Snippets (Free) –
Custom Post Type UI (Free) –
Flying Press ($) –
Happy Files Pro ($) –
Header Footer Code Manager (Free) –
Oxygen ($) –
Hydrogen Pack ($) –
OxyExtras ($) –
OxyNinja (UPDATE: I exclusively use Automatic.css now) –
ShortPixel (Freemium) –
WP Grid Builder ($) –
RankMath Pro (Freemium) –
WS Form ($) –

Video Transcript

What’s up everybody welcome back to the channel so my office is kind of in shambles right now I’ve had a cold you can probably hear it in my voice I got a brand new camera I got a I’m waiting on a M1 Mac mini and a new monitor the Mac mini actually arrived the new monitor has not I know you’ve probably seen some of my you know computer performance issues in tutorials those are going to be all fixed up with this new setup of course I’ve got the Canon R6 that I’m shooting with now and I tether it right into the computer which is phenomenal because I can control the entire camera and recording experience from the computer and I have to move cards around and all this other nonsense so I’m able to record for you guys easier get videos out faster makes my life easier there won’t be lag in the computer hopefully so just wanted to give you a little update on that and wanted to also you know thank everybody for the tremendous response to the launch of the digital ambition inner circle 200 plus members guys 200 plus I think we’re at like two eight two eight or two ten or something like that right now so absolutely blown away by that if you haven’t joined the inner circle yet link is down below just posted an oxygen templates demystified training or at least the first part in that training series and there’s a there’s some other great stuff in there already a premium SEO tutorial already a premium pricing tutorial so definitely click the link below check that out if you haven’t already that’s it let’s get into it I’m making this video by popular demand a lot of people have been saying Kevin we want to see your your plug-in stack like what are the plug-ins you install on every single website show us the goods so we’re gonna hop into the dashboard right now we’re gonna go one by one we’re gonna take a look at all of the plug-ins that I installed by default on every single website all right guys this is my plug-in panel inside of WordPress I’m gonna start at the top I’m gonna work my way down I’ll show you kind of the behind the scenes of why I really like some of these plug-ins some of them are very straightforward obviously but some of them might need a little bit more explanation and some of the pro ones you probably have never seen before if you don’t own it so I’ll give you a little look inside of it so to speak so advanced custom fields pro 99% of the sites that we build are gonna have custom post types and 99% of those custom post types are gonna have advanced custom fields attached to them so we currently use advanced custom fields pro as our standard I highly highly highly recommend it however I will say this I also own and I feel like is very very promising and I’m really excited to see how their native oxygen integration ends up working if it’s very smooth I can actually see myself switching to down the road it’s just it’s all gonna depend honestly on this native oxygen integration that’s coming because is all self-contained advanced custom fields is more piecemeal like I need the custom post type UI plug-in in order to create the custom post types with metabox you can create post types through the metabox plug-in by directional relationships I need another plug-in for that with advanced custom fields but with metabox it’s all built in so there’s definitely some pluses to over advanced custom fields but at the same time the oxygen integration isn’t there so I’m not currently using on any client sites next is code snippets so oxygen does not have a functions that PHP file if you need to add snippets to a functions that like what would be a functions that PHP file you can add this code snippets plug-in the one that I have by default is register custom image sizes I have a whole tutorial on custom image sizes and source set with oxygen highly recommend you go watch that if you haven’t but I love this plugin because number one it’s free and number two is it organizes everything and you can come in here and turn on and off certain things and it protects your site from crashing like you put some erroneous code in it’s not going to blow up your entire site so that’s a really fantastic plug-in I know there’s some alternatives I know there’s a paid alternative I get by just fine with this free plug-in called code snippets all right next one on the list custom post type UI we’ve already gone through this this is a free plug-in so where advanced custom fields pro is a paid plug-in custom post types UI is a free plug-in so if you want to get started with creating and using custom post types even with advanced custom fields you can create custom post types with advanced custom fields 100% free the pro version of advanced custom fields adds certain things one of those really useful things is image galleries but if you just want to get started for free you can get custom post type UI start making your custom post types and advanced custom fields has a basic version for free that you can add some basic fields to next is flying press you’ll notice this is deactivated so let me explain this a flying press is the best optimization plug-in I found for WordPress if you’re trying to pass core web vitals if you’re trying to get you know all greens if you’re trying to get 90 plus page speed scores on mobile and desktop all that good stuff flying press is the best I have found hands down the problem is it it is a premium plug-in and there’s no unlimited like you have to pay for the number of sites you want to use it on and as far as I know there is no unlimited version whatsoever so I install it on every website but whether I activate it or not comes down to whether two things number one is well it’s really one thing is the client paying for an optimization package like I have an add-on for optimization now you know all optimized as much as I possibly can but let’s be honest like passing on mobile on paid speed scores especially if you’re trying to pass for core web vitals is like it takes third-party script deferment it takes a lot of advanced like techniques we’re not going to do all of all of that extra work and put in this plug-in that has limited licenses for free so we’re only doing that for clients who are going to pay for that level of service on their website so this is going to get installed but whether it gets activated or not really depends on whether the client is paying for that package if that makes sense all right I will show you the panel real quick so settings and actually I think it has its own oh well hey hey Kevin you may want to activate the plug-in before you try to go to the settings panel for it all right flying press cool so it’s a really great looking plug-in it’s very easy to use you can literally go tab by tab by tab generate critical and use CSS it’s got minification it’s got lazy rendering it’s got JavaScript deferment it’s got preloading of links minifying the JavaScript load scripts on user interaction you can go down and do manual scripts scripts adding there it’s got font optimization it’s got image optimizations lazy loading adding width and height attributes for you preloading critical CSS it’s got iFrame optimizations it’s got its own CDN which I’ve heard is very good I don’t personally use it but I have heard it’s very good it’s got database cleaners it like it’s it’s a really really fantastic plug-in I’m not an affiliate I don’t even think they have an affiliate program so I’m just you know this is just honest like feedback and just telling you the truth about what I use and what I don’t use next is happy files pro this is a phenomenal plug-in for a few different reasons some that you might not even know of right off the bat well let’s let’s get into like the main thing so if I go to the media gallery media gallery is one of the worst you know parts of WordPress in my opinion it’s it’s completely just out of control but happy files brings order to the chaos where you have you know the ability to create these folders there’s just a few different plug-ins that do this happy files does it really really well you can drag and drop stuff things can exist in more than one folder which in certain use cases is really cool but what’s very powerful is every single folder can actually be queriable inside of oxygen so if I have a gallery of images I can just say hey I want all the images in this folder on this page right here and put them in a gallery and you don’t have to add anything else like it does it right out of the box so that’s very cool I’ve used that numerous times on client sites I’ll also show you so let’s see where where did I go happy files right here if I scroll to the bottom enable SVG upload preview and sanitation so I used to have a separate plugin that allowed me to upload SVG files because I use SVGs all the time and I recognize that happy files actually has that feature so you turn this checkbox on you hit save changes you can get rid of all your other SVG plugins if you have them and you’re rocking and rolling with SVGs lastly that same level of organization that happy files brings to the media gallery you can also bring to posts and pages and your oxygen templates and your oxygen blocks so you can put all of those things in organized folders if you want to very very cool all right let’s go back next one is header footer code manager so that’s this one right here hfcm or I always stick myself in the corner for the rest of the video how about that all right so header footer code manager allows you to add let’s say you wanted to add the Facebook pixel to a client site or you wanted to add Google tag manager code that’s all going to be done through hfcm and I love it because it kind of organizes everything the same way that the code snippets plugin does so we’ll do a test snippet and you know it’ll be just blank for now we’ll say site-wide so you can actually do it on specific posts specific pages categories post-tags latest post shortcode only you can exclude pages you can exclude posts you can choose between the header and the footer you can even choose whether to fire this on a specific device and then you can turn it on and off and it’s going to give you the same kind of panels we go to hfcm where you see them all in a list so it’s nice and organized every snippet has a name you can turn them on and off from here so it’s a free plugin I think it’s absolutely fantastic I use it on every site obviously so why we’re doing this all right okay what are we doing where are we hydrogen pack man hydrogen pack absolutely phenomenal copy paste keyboard shortcuts I use it all the time you know let me go into I don’t even know where the settings are here we go because I want to I it’s like you said it and forget it but like look at all this stuff that you can do like right click menus it’s just really re oh and it also helps you with the structure panel in oxygen which can be a little bit problematic they’ve done a better job in oxygen 3.8 with that but if you have hydrogen pack you already probably weren’t really having problems because oxygen hydrogen pack fixed that that issue with like drag and drop and all that good stuff all right but look this this plugin yeah it’s a paid plugin but it’s like 20 bucks it’s like 30 bucks something like that I don’t even know the price but it’s it’s very low let’s say that I’m not going to give you the exact details because I don’t know all right let’s move on so oxy extras critical we’re going to go the settings panels you can see this it basically adds a lot of you know really important functionality to websites that I use all the time I’m not going to go over all of these but I will highlight this one as an example carousel builder I use this so often and the reason I use it is because it works with repeaters so you can turn any repeater into a carousel very very very powerful and they’ve done just an absolutely fantastic job with how this plugin is created on the back end to make things nice and easy for creating carousels content switcher I use that I don’t use fluent forms anymore so that’s turned off but if you do use fluent forms you can actually style them inside the oxygen builder using oxy extras very powerful hotspots pop overs really powerful light box I use this one all the time so this light box can be used with repeaters to query custom fields from ACF and custom post types right so one of the use cases I use it for all the time is team member bios so I’ll create a grid with all all the companies team inside of it so there’s their headshot their name their title when you click on the card it actually instead of taking you to a bio page separately it just has a light box that comes up and all the information in the light box is pulled from that custom post type from that custom post that person right so all their advanced custom fields on the back end populates into the light box very very powerful you can’t do that with oxygen’s native modal all right off canvas that is somewhat useful I don’t use it all the time but it is well executed inside this plugin pro accordion I use that a lot pro media players very helpful read more read less I use that all the time and toggle switch I use that all the time table of contents I used to use but now it’s actually done I’m telling the oxy I’m telling the truth okay it’s done better inside of oxygen natively now if you have that I forgot what package it’s called the top tier package that includes all the new modules and stuff so that’s it that’s that let’s move on all right plugins wow thanks just move the page on me okay all right let’s go down to oxygen obviously oxy ninja you’ve seen my videos on oxy ninja I don’t really use the layout packs but I do abuse absolutely abuse the core utility class system and I say abuse because I heavily modify it but I do use oxy ninja a lot I really like it I actually was given oxy made by the creators of oxy made just full disclosure I haven’t gotten to play around with it yet but I am going to do a comparison we’re gonna do raise your hand hit the like button if you want to see an oxy ninja versus oxy made review video I can make that happen all right if you guys want to see that let me know down below all right rank math SEO rank math SEO pro rank math SEO I believe is the number one SEO plugin for WordPress the pro version opens the door to multi location SEO I have a lot of multi location clients it also opens the door to custom schema templates that’s really important as well so phenomenal all around plugin great user experience great UI all that good stuff very easy to use so I highly recommend rank math short pixel image optimizer another is you know there’s a lot of these plugins for image optimization short pixel has a ton of features let me see if we can go in and activate it and check out the settings panel here so where is do do do do set is the under settings short pixel there we go all right I didn’t know if it created its own or if it was under settings so you can one thing very important you can automatically resize images so if clients are going to be uploading images this is a definite thing that you’re going to want because clients invariably you know they’ll throw like a 5,000 pixel image in there and try to throw it in a blog post and it’s like hey hang on might not want to do that so short pixel takes that file and automatically resizes it down to the max of 1900 pixels wide you can set this max at whatever you want it’s also going to optimize it for web when that happens it’s also going to create web p versions of those images automatically so if we go to advance you see automatically convert png images to jpeg if possible adjust your image colors also create web p versions if you want also create avif versions if you want I think avif is going to be the eventual standard in this I really hope it is but we’ll see but this plugin takes care of both all right and then you know there’s just setting after setting after setting after setting and it’s you know very cheap like there’s a free version first of all but if you want to if you’re going to be running a lot of images through it you’re going to need to pay for a subscription and it’s like for 99 a month like four dollars 99 cents a month nine dollars a month something in that area all right let’s go back to plugins and let’s take a look at wp grid builder and the oxygen native oxygen this is I would say in my top three guys and it’s not for what you would think it would be for so if I go to grid builders and I show you the cards right these are all the cards that are like pre done and so you can create you know any type of grid really with wp grid builder but I don’t I don’t create grids with wp grid builder I create grids on my own with the repeater inside of oxygen so what why in the world do I say that this is in my top three for this right here you see this word facets I know there’s a bunch of facet plugins out there I’m telling you right now wp grid builders facets are second to none the ability to create custom facets so I can go to behavior and I can decide what all these facets what that how they’re going to behave what they’re going to do what they’re going to query how they’re going to work what taxonomies they’re going to work with which which custom post types they’re going to work with guys it gets down to the level of doubt of google maps API integration you put a search box in it’s got a little geolocation icon in it person clicks the geolocation icon it finds them based on their ip address and then it shows them where they are on the google map that’s on the same page this is the level of functionality that you get with just clicks I’m talking I’m talking like you don’t even you don’t have to write any code you don’t have to do anything really extensive but on the back end you don’t have to know much of anything to make these facets work and then the native oxygen integration makes these works seamlessly with repeaters so you can use these facets to interact with repeaters with a simple drop-down you you configure your repeater you build your repeater you throw a facet next to it and in the facet settings you tell it I want it to interact with this repeater and that’s it it’s done it interacts flawlessly with that repeater so if you want to get rid of like oh it also does what oxygen should do natively so for example if I’m using a facet like a load more Ajax load more on like a blog post grid so I you see six blog posts and you see a button that says load more click the button it loads six more right you see that before you can easily do that with wp grid builder and when I add the facet it a lot and then I go back to the repeater there’s an option that says hide pagination the option that oxygen doesn’t even have for oxygen’s own repeater and pagination so wp grid builder is one of the hands down one of the best plugins in general that I’ve ever used so if if that and I’m not an affiliate I don’t think you can be an affiliate for wp I’m just telling you straight up like zero compensation it’s one of the best plugins that I’ve used okay last but not least ws form pro this is what I believe the number one forms plug-in forward press it has great integrations it has integrations that most other forms plugins don’t have in fact I’ll tell you the story that’s how I found ws form I had a client of sixty million dollar a year client you know they do sixteen they don’t pay me sixty million dollars a year they make about six million dollars a year and you know the the project for them was about a hundred and twenty five thousand dollar project they use enterprise level software they use Salesforce and you know not a lot of form plugins for WordPress integrate with Salesforce I’m not talking about like integration through Zapier I’m talking about native Salesforce integration native HubSpot integration you start doing work for bigger clients they’re going to be using enterprise level software and so these little form systems that integrate with Zapier and all the like straight up you walk into a boardroom you’re like guys you gotta use Zapier like they’re gonna look at you sideways right they they want native integrations if if you know if they’re gonna doing anything with you they want native integrations so I did a search I was like all right well you know this is the first client I’ve had that uses Salesforce I don’t recommend Salesforce I don’t like Salesforce but you gotta you gotta you know work with what you got so I went and I googled Salesforce you know WordPress forms I can’t remember exactly what I what I typed in but Ws form came up because they have a Salesforce integration they have a HubSpot integration so I gave it a shot started using the plugin the native integration worked absolutely flawlessly and the plugin in general work flawlessly and I started to realize this has a lot more functionality than almost any plugin that I’ve ever used and it makes it really easy and this I should really just keep using this more and I did and now it is the it’s what we use on all of our sites and so I highly highly highly recommend Ws form pro all right guys that concludes this that is my plug-in stack that gets installed on every single website if you have any questions drop them down below happy to answer and I want to do this if you have a plugin don’t give me your whole stack I don’t want your whole stack but if you have a plugin that you really think I should take a look at that I would probably be really valuable added to my stack and by the way I protect my stack like I try to keep this you know this ain’t a 30 plug-in stack right so it’s gotta be good but if you think I’m missing something from this stack go ahead and let me know in the comments I’ll test it out I’ll see what we get maybe I’ll do a review video on it all right but that’s it you guys have a good father’s day that’s coming up next this this weekend but that’s it for me peace