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Jul 15, 2017

Some of our favorite Craft CMS plugins

by Amos
Amos Whitewolf
Web Developer
“Good morning! Do you have a moment to talk about pressure cookers?”

When the source code goes bananas thanks to the meddling of an evil, moustachioed man, who do you call in to save the world? Amos Whitewolf. 

When trouble's abrewin', we lash a rope around Amos and dunk him into the Matrix to problem solve. His youthful (but deserved) confidence and perfectionist streak make him the developer you deserve. Also, he loves to hang out in saunas. Not in a weird way. Steam is good for you.

Lightcreative  Amos  V2

Starting out with a new ecosystem, like Craft CMS, can be hard. Reading through the documentation, setting up file structures, and learning best practice can all take time. Throw in finding plugins (knowledge the rest of the community views as common) and things get complicated. To help out newbies and veterans alike, we've put together a list of some of our favourite Craft CMS plugins.

Super Table 

They say: “Super Table is a Craft CMS field type that allows you to create powerful tables.” 

This Craft plugin is as super as its name implies. It works like a matrix field type but is laid out like the table field type. This makes for a more manageable end-product for content editors. Super table has become such an asset to the Craft CMS ecosystem it even has third-party field type integrations such as ButtonBox and Linkit. At Light, we use Super Table as an alternative to having matrix fields within matrix fields.

Cache Buster 

They say: “A Craft plugin that helps keep your front-end assets free of cache issues after they've changed.” 

This is a nice little plugin that makes cache busting very easy to set up in Craft CMS. When a specified file is changed, Cache Buster renames the file to include the timestamp at the end of the file. When the client browser requests the file it won't have the new named file cached. The browser then has to fetch the fresh file from the server. While you can also set up cache busting with Gulp or Grunt, we at Light Creative like the simplicity of Cache Buster.

Seomatic  

They say: “A turnkey SEO implementation for Craft CMS that is comprehensive, powerful, and flexible.” 

Seomatic is a comprehensive, free SEO-plugin. It has fantastic documentation for the technical side of SEO. It's been built to work nicely with Craft CMS, giving you options to have site, template and entry specific SEO. This is our go-to Craft SEO plugin as it handles everything in the CMS backend, leaving the project html nice and clean.

Embedded Assets  

They say: “Add embeddable media such as YouTube videos to your assets manager.”

This is a simple Craft plugin that we couldn’t live without. It allows a user to add a Youtube or Vimeo link in a very simple way. It scrapes data from the link and outputs a JSON object full of everything you would need for embedding videos in your site. It even includes thumbnails of different sizes!

Infinitescroll 

They say: “A Craft CMS plugin to enhance your paginated content.” 

Infinite scrolling is a standard across the web nowadays. No-one is clicking next page when looking through Facebook or Instagram posts. Why should they have to on any other site, when there are plugins that make it this easy. This plugin works with Craft's in-built pagination functionality and is incredibly easy to set up.

What do you think - agree with our 'must-haves'? Let us know if you can think of other plugins that deserve to be on the list by emailing [email protected] Keep an eye out for our more specific lists (coming soon) and if you're wondering why Craft CMS is the way to go, check out our blog 'Why we use Craft CMS'.