WordPress is well-known for its huge set of plug-ins that extend its behaviour in any imaginable way. As part of the migration process, we may need to make use of some of these plug-ins to mimic as close as possible the functionality of your current site.
In what follows we provide a non-exhaustive list of the plug-ins we are recommending and that we have worked with as part of earlier migrations. Of course, you are free to choose your own set of WordPress plug-ins but if you are not sure which ones are the best for you, we would like you to consider the ones we are listing here since we know well their advantages (and limitations). Note that we are only including plug-ins that may be needed to complete a migration (i.e. plug-ins that the migration process initializes according to the configuration of the CMS to be migrated), this does not pretend to be a complete list of useful WordPress plug-ins.
The Redirections plug-in is used to create a set of 301 redirection rules that will automatically redirect visitors accessing the site using the former site URLs to the new ones (since in most cases it is not possible to ensure the WordPress URLs are exactly the same as the old ones). A workaround is to use Custom Permalinks that allows to define a specific URL pattern for each post, offering a flexibility similar to the one that i.e. Drupal has by default.
Galleries and images
The new gallery shortcode in WP may be good enough for you but in case you need a more powerful gallery mechanism to mimic your current gallery settings. We usually work with the NextGen and Portfolio slideshows plug-ins.
Video and audio files
WordPress can automatically embed a number of video formats but if yours is not in the list, the wordpress video plug-in will for sure solve the problem. For audio files, we recommend the oEmbed HTML5 audio plug-in.
If you want to move over from your current site all meta descriptions, meta keywords, SEO title and more, used to annotate your posts, try WordPress SEO by Yoast.
WordPress has no default forum module. To migrate your forum to WordPress we strongly recommend bbPress. Simple and flexible at the same time.
Many sites have extensive profile information (e.g. twitter handle, cell number,…) for each user which can’t fit in the very limited set of default user fields in WordPress.BuddyPress is a very feature-rich plug-in to manage your users in WP. If you prefer a simpler solution only focused on storing this extended profile information, wp-member and Profile builder could be the right choice for you.
Internationalization is not part of the WP core. If you need to migrate a site available in different languages, we would recommend the WPML plug-in.
Custom types / fields
To custom types / fields depends a lot on your specific requirements. In simple cases, you may be fine without a plug-in (integrating the source custom fields in the body of the WorpPress post, or populating the post metadata with them and configuring the theme to retrieve and process them accordingly). In more complex scenarios, plug-ins like Advanced custom fields or Custom PostType UI may come in handy.
Do you have posts co-authored by several people? These two plug-ins: Co-authors (yes, it still works) and Co-authors plus may help. The second is newer and has more options while the first one is simpler (i.e. it uses the postmeta table to link the posts with the several authors, while the second one creates one a new category per user and links those categories with the corresponding posts which IMHO is not so neat).
Posted in: Migration process Recommended plug-ins to enhance your migrated WordPress site