This is a really simple addon I use to shut the front door on a website under construction. While I frequently work on sites where incidental traffic is a non-issue, I also work on site that already have organic traffic that could potentially stumble on us without our face on. This is while I lock it up as needed.
With a 4.5/5 star rating and continued support, this addon is reliable.
The greatest benefit of Smush is that I don't need to do a thing. Just install it and as you upload new images to the media library it will compress them automatically. Furthermore, it can be used manually and in small batches for free with larger batches after upgrading to the PRO version.
The Divi builder is a standalone plugin from Elegant Themes that I cannot live without. This is what I use to build sites quickly and relatively easily with little to no code. I also recommend trying their many themes. As a lifetime member I enjoy their frequent uploads of free themes, tutorials and iterative improvements.
Yoast SEO is a freemium plugin that goes a long way towards adding transparency to the murky world of Search Engine Optimization. The free version makes it dead simple to control your Opengraph content and see where you're at overall.
This is NOT a plugin but a great tool for people like me who build a dozen or more Wordpress websites per year. It gives me a bird's eye view on many metrics like uptime, plugins that are out of date, SEO and backups across all the sites I've synced. They offer plenty for free and added features are ofter priced well.
Really simple SSL is a plugin that was recommended to me just about every time I called my Hosting provider. Don't ask me what it does or why. All I know is when somethings is broken, often this will fix it.
This is a reliable way to ensure Google is mapping you're website properly when you've made edits, published new pages and changed URL's. I use it in place of adding properties to Google Search Console on my customer's behalf - though it's not replacement.
By the time it's all said and done, a fresh website will have no broken links. Fast-forward a couple months and years and sloppy
Mailchimp is my go to when it comes to newsletters and list based subscriber engagement. With so much functionality, it's a worthy addition since Wordpress default email settings are lacking and fairly inaccessible to the average user.