Plugins add functionality to a WordPress Website. Every WordPress developer is pressed on to be more creative and make a website which is interactive and more user-friendly. By utilizing plugins, website development on WordPress has become simpler and far more convenient.
But first, let’s understand what plugins are and how they work?
What are WordPress Plugins?
Plugins are small pieces of software which we add on to our WordPress websites without writing custom codes, through which it saves us time. For example, in a phone, we install applications which increase its range of capabilities. Similarly plugins provide greater functionality and ease of use for WordPress websites.
WordPress community has created thousands of free as well as paid plugins which are available for everyone to use.
We have gathered a list of the most important WordPress Plugins that you can install on nearly any type of WordPress website be it E-commerce, LMS, Blog, Membership Website etc.
Backup and Restoration
While we are busy developing and adding content on our websites, we forget to regularly backup the data. Sometimes your website can get attacked by some outside threat such as a hack or a malware attack. This can result in partial or complete data loss.
Updraftplus is a free plugin which does a scheduled backup of your website. The plugin stores all the website data such as plugins, themes, uploads and database on a secured offsite cloud location. Cloud locations supported include UpdraftPlus Vault, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Drive, email, etc and you can restore it with the click of a button.
Updraftplus has a premium version as well which supports more features such as duplicating or migrating websites (with Migrator), Multisite/multi-network compatibility etc. Updraft is one of the best WordPress plugins for backups which you can use and stay assured that it’ll never let you down
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
For many websites on WordPress, SEO holds an important key to their Business. SEO helps in increasing the quality and quantity of an audience on your website.
Not only is Yoast SEO widely considered the best plugin for on-site SEO, but is actually the most downloaded plugin on WordPress right now with over 5 million active installations. Yoast is a simple but very result oriented plugin that helps website owners generate a genuine audience.
Yoast lets you set your targeted keyword, title and meta descriptions without the need of going into the Html code to change them.
Yoast’s content analysis tool helps content creators by suggesting changes such as using shorter sentences, writing in active voice and avoid overusing keywords. These suggestions improve the readability of posts which consequently help in achieving a higher ranking on search engines.
Yoast’s premium version offers the added benefits of optimizing your text for multiple keywords, synonyms and related words. You can also avail Yoast’s 24/7 support for a year after going for premium.
The most essential part of a website is its Security. In a world where hacking and viruses are a common threat, the need for infallible security is a must for all WordPress websites.
iThemes Security Pro
iThemes Security Pro is a premium plugin considered to be one of the best plugins to secure and protect your WordPress website. iThemes Security provides 30+ security features including WordPress Brute Force Protection which limits the number of failed login attempts by a user. It also provides 404 Detection, file change detection, strong password enforcement, hide login and admin, malware scanning and much more.
iThemes Security is a very competent security plugin for your WordPress website. It works beautifully and makes your website more secure and risk free.
Wordfence is an alternative to the iThemes Security Plugin. It includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect WordPress websites. Web Application firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Built and maintained by a large team focused 100% on WordPress security.
Premium Wordfence features includes Real-time introduction of firewall rules and malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed.
Although the premium version includes additional features but Wordfence’s free substitute already comes with many features that most of the WordPress users would otherwise pay a lot of money to avail.
Really Simple SSL
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser.
It is possible that your WordPress website may receive the mixed content warning even after activating an SSL certificate. This happens when some of your pages contain content such as images, styles or scripts which are called over a HTTP connection ( rather than a secure HTTPS connection ).
Really Simple SSL is an important plugin that helps your WordPress website by automatically detecting such links. It moves them to HTTPS dynamically without making any changes to the database.
Google Analytics Dashboard
Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by MonsterInsights highlights the most important stats about WordPress website. Such as where your traffic is coming from, the number of sessions you’re acquiring and the bounce rate and conversion data of your audience.
The best thing about Monsterinsights is that you can set it up without having any technical knowledge. MonsterInsights is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress that’s both easy and effective.
WpRocket is a cache plugin which helps your WordPress website achieve a greater page speed by implementing a number of performance optimization and caching features.
WpRocket’s includes features such as Database Optimization, Page Caching, Sitemap Preloading, GZIP Compression, Browser Caching, LazyLoad of images and much more.
WpRocket is a great plugin as performance is the most important part of a website. When properly configured WpRocket will drastically improve the page speed and overall performance of your WordPress website.
WP Smush is an award winning image optimization plugin for WordPress. It Resizes, optimizes, and compress all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher.
This Plugin is very useful because most websites use large images which result in slowing down the site. WP Smush resizes the image while retaining the quality required for the website and helps in the performance of your page.
WP Smush Pro is a Premium Plugin which provides the features of automatically optimizing and resizing every image in any directory on your WordPress website or Multisite on upload.
Mailchimp helps you grow your MailChimp lists and write better newsletters through various methods. You can create good looking opt-in forms or integrate with any existing form on your site. It is a newsletter plugin which allows your users to subscribe to your content
MailChimp for WordPress is among the most popular free plugins in the WordPress directory. It allows you to easily create a signup form for your MailChimp list, so you can stay in touch with your visitors.
Easy Social Share Buttons
Easy Social Share Buttons is a social media sharing plugin. This extensive social sharing plugin offers maximum social media exposure by allowing you to share on more than 50 of the major social networks. Easy Social Share Buttons including a wide range of mobile messengers. You can get its full features by going for the premium version.
Easy Social Share button helps a WordPress website expand its social presence through its vast range of sharing extensions.
Most plugins are available for free but some do come with paid versions with added features which you have to buy or give out a monthly fee.
Plugins makes your work easier. The formidable WordPress community creates these plugins which improve and augment WordPress websites and helps website owners expand their businesses.
WordPress has become a very competitive market where only the most optimally performing websites manage to hold an audience. To achieve such class a WordPress Website must have only the top tier plugins at their disposal.