WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet with reports claiming that users publish more than 15 posts every second. WordPress is used by several major online media outlets including TechCrunch, Fortune, Spotify, New York Post, New York Observer and many more. Whether your website is for personal or business purposes, you need to ensure that you have every tool that will help it fulfill its objectives. However, for your website to thrive well among its competitions, you have to ensure that it is up to date in terms of design, page load speed, security and much more.
You will also need to take active steps to protect the website from spam, make sure it ranks high in search engines and that it is easy to navigate. Although this may sound like a difficult task to achieve, they are not. This is because WordPress features an open source system, which invariably means that users can modify its source code whenever they want. This flexibility allows users to customize their website to suit their requirement. The system also has numerous themes and plugins that you can easily install to make your website superb. Plugins are programs that you can use to add new features to your WordPress site.
WordPress reportedly has more than 50,000 plugins in its official directory. There are plugins for virtually everything you want to do with your website ranging from design to security. There is more than one plugin available for a particular purpose. All you have to do is go for the one you feel will serve you better. The ability to install the right plugin for the right purpose is the key. If you do things right, you will enjoy amazing plugins with different features that will make your website function perfectly. Meanwhile, it is important to state that every business is unique and a plugin that may fit perfectly for one business type may not be the best option for another business type.
In addition, the niche of your WordPress site will also determine to a great extent what plugins you need. But even with this, this guide will highlight 10 plugins that every WordPress site should install. WordPress plugins are broadly divided into three categories namely free, premiums and freemium. WordPress freemium plugins are plugins that are free initially, but they can be upgraded to a premium version with additional features when desired. Plugins are generally for added functionality and they are programmed to serve different needs such as SEO, speed optimization, security, social media, marketing and much more. Below are the WordPress site must have plugins:
It is no news that there are thousands of plugins available for WordPress sites, but it is also pertinent to note that installing too many plugins on your website will make it load slowly compared to when you have only a few. However, there is no cause to worry as there is a WordPress must have plugin known as Jetpack, which provides users with different functionalities.
This is an amazing plugin as it packs several features and eliminates the reason to install several other plugins that have single functionality. Jetpack is a freemium plugin developed by the same team that is behind the creation of WordPress software – Automattic. It is a powerful plugin that optimizes WordPress sites in terms of overall performance, security, image optimization, traffic generation, design and much more.
Jetpack also features a system that allows published contents to be automatically shared to other platforms so as to boost traffic and lead generation. The plugin helps to secure your website from hackers and also create sitemaps to allow the easy index of your site by search engines. The plugin reportedly has more than three million installs and interestingly, all the main features that it offers are free.
You can also upgrade to a premium plan which gives WordPress site owners access to SEO tools, daily backups, and protection from spam. This plugin is especially good for WordPress sites as it is hosted by wordpress.com, thereby taking lots of weight away from your site. This allows the site to perform better. After installing, you can proceed to the dashboard to see the overview of the plugin’s performance on your site.
After designing your website and making sure that it is secured, the next thing you want to do is to ensure that your web page ranks high on search engine. The success of any type of online business is highly dependant on how the website ranks on search engines. This is because websites that rank higher often generate more traffic and lead compared to those who do not. If you want to beat the competition you should make sure your contents are SEO-friendly as there are hundreds of websites with similar contents as yours. However, WordPress has made this an easy goal to achieve with Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is a freemium plugin that allows users to optimize their web page based on the keyword of every content. The plugin does this by making users include the keyword in relevant paragraphs and sections of the post such as title, body, image alt tags and meta description. In additions, the web pages for users who install the Yoast SEO plugin will be better-looking because of the snippet preview feature. Another amazing tool is the readability feature that indicates whether the web post is readable or not. It furnishes WordPress users with everything they need to create SEO friendly contents that rank high in search results.
Akismet is a freemium plugin that is developed by the same theme behind the creation of WordPress software, Automattic. It is a default plugin available to every WordPress site. The plugin works by preventing spam comments on your website. After installing the plugin, all you need to do is get an API key so as to enjoy the service. WordPress users are given the option to upgrade to a premium plan with more advanced features.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a plugin that helps your website load faster by temporarily storing cached copies of your web pages. This plugin is especially useful as loading a page from the scratch takes a lot of time but with WP Super Cache, your browser will not need fresh information when loading web pages thus resulting in a shorter page-load time.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is a free plugin that creates sitemaps for your website thereby allowing your site to be easily indexed by search engines. The ranking of your site on search engines such as google, bing, yahoo and much more will be dramatically affected if your website does not have a sitemap.
WP Smush is another freemium plugin that helps in the optimization and compression of images. Your web content can easily deliver your message to the target audience if images are included. They also make your post look more appealing and interesting to your visitors. However, having too many images on your site can result in longer page load times. This is why you need the smush plugin to compress the size of images so as to enhance the page load time.
Page Builder Plugin
The Elementor Page Builder plugin helps WordPress users to easily create the design they want for their website. The plugin allows users to build their web pages with modules, sections, and widgets. It is especially important because the default WordPress page editor is basic and could take a longer period of time to achieve the design you really want.
User Registration Plugin
The WordPress user registration is a freemium plugin that makes it easier for WordPress websites with several users to carry out their activities. The plugin will be automatically activated when you enable it by checking the ‘Anyone can register‘ tab the dashboard. After the plugin is enabled, visitors to your page will be able to register using the “Register” tab.
This is another free plugin that provides your visitors with an easy way to contact you. This is an amazing plugin that allows your audience to contact you for one of many reasons which may range from giving your feedback on your work, to contact you for a business deal.
WP-Optimize is a free plugin available for WordPress users. The plugin works by cleaning up the database of your website thereby optimizing the overall performance of your site. WP-Optimize automatically removes all data that are not necessary to the performance of your website.
All the above-mentioned plugins put together will go a long way in optimizing the performance of your website.