3 min read

Making the Most of Craft CMS Plugins

Shape April 2022 HR 45
Updated on 02 Apr 2024

Craft CMS is an absolute beast straight out of the box, we all know this. But guess what? It gets even better with plugins! 🎉 These little (and some BIG) power-ups allow you to customise your website and add cool features.

In this article, I’m going to take you through some of our absolute fave Craft CMS plugins, how to get started with them and some tips for troubleshooting common plugin problems. So let’s get into it!

Top Plugins for Craft CMS

Craft CMS has a fantastic, evergrowing community of plugin developers who have created some amazing plugins. Here are a few you definitely don't want to miss:

SEOmatic: 🌍 Our absolute go-to for everything SEO. SEOmatic helps you optimize your website for search engines, manage meta tags and open graph data, generate sitemaps, and inject custom schema.

Super Table: 📊 Essentially a Table field on steroids! This plugin lets you create flexible data structures, perfect for creating rows of custom fields. This works beautifully with Craft’s own Matrix fields, allowing you to really get creative with your content structure.

Formie: 📝 Creating forms has never been easier! Formie is a powerful new form plugin from Verbb that offers a variety of field types, gives you complete control over your form submissions, notifications, CRM integrations and much more.

Craft Commerce: 💰 Ready to make some money? Craft Commerce is here for you! Built by Pixel and Tonic, this e-commerce plugin provides all the essential features for building fully scalable online stores, managing products, processing orders, and accepting payments.

Craft plugin store

Installing and Configuring Plugins

Adding plugins to your Craft CMS site is a breeze! Here's a simple guide to get you started:

  • Go to the Plugin Store directly from your website's control panel.

  • Find the plugin you want to get started with

  • Either hit ‘Install’ from the control panel, or follow the install instructions for Shell / DDEV installation

  • Once installed, you'll most likely need to configure the plugin settings. Look for the plugin's dedicated section in the control panel and adjust as needed.

  • All plugins will come with detailed documentation. Don't forget to consult it for detailed instructions on how to make the most of each plugin's awesome features!

Troubleshooting Common Plugin Problems

Sometimes, things might not go as smoothly as planned. And that is fine! Here are a few common plugin problems and some tips to fix them:

Compatibility Issues

Make sure the plugin is compatible with your version of Craft CMS. Issues with plugin versions are usually logged as errors when installing via Shell, so always be sure to check through the logs.

Conflicting Plugins

If two plugins don't get along, try disabling them one by one to find the culprit. Reach out to the plugin authors or community forums for assistance in resolving conflicts.

Outdated Plugins

Sometimes, a plugin may not have been updated for the latest Craft CMS version. If you encounter issues with an outdated plugin, consider finding an alternative or contacting the plugin author for support. With the major upgrade from Craft 3 > 4, the control panel has it’s own section in the Utilities where you can see which plugins have been ported over to Craft 4. That way you can see exactly when all your installed plugins are ready for Craft 4 and you can begin to upgrade the site. Very handy!

Server Configuration

Some plugins have specific server requirements. Ensure your server meets those requirements, like the required PHP version or additional PHP extensions.

Storage Logs

When facing a plugin-related error, don't panic! Check the Craft CMS error logs within the storage folder for more info. They can provide valuable insights to help you troubleshoot effectively.

Craft CMS also has an awesome, friendly community on Discord who are always happy to help. So don’t be shy if you are still stuck!

I've been at Shape for around 8 years now. I bagged a couple of weeks of work experience at the end of my first year at Salford Uni and from then on, well what can I say, they couldn't get enough of me.