WordPress has a ton of functionality in its core features. However, with the addition of a couple of plugins, you can vastly improve the performance of your website. Currently, there are over 50,000 plugins in the WordPress store, serving many different niches.
From content and SEO plugins to security and performance ones, you will be able to customise and enhance every feature of your website. Furthermore, you can choose between premium and free plugins. Bear in mind, if a plugin has a price tag that doesn’t mean it’s good by default. Some free plugins are superior to the premium ones, and vice versa. As you can imagine, rifling through all 50,000+ plugins will take ages.
But fear not. We are here to help.
Today, we have a list of ten must-have WordPress plugins if you want to use this website builder and management platform to its fullest potential. Of course, you don’t have to install all ten of them. Just pick the ones that you may need. With that said, here is our list of ten best WordPress plugins in no particular order.
Yoast SEO is probably one of the most used WordPress plugins right now. Yoast SEO downloads have skyrocketed since search engine optimisation become an integral part of every website. This SEO plugin will help you optimise your website by helping you focus on one keyword and instructing you how to write the content.
There is a free and premium version. Even though the free version comes with all necessary features, we recommend going premium. After all, SEO-friendly content is the best way to enhance your website, and spending $71 for the best plugin in this niche is a worthy investment.
Losing all your website data is a real and ever-present risk. However, such a devastating situation is easily avoidable by installing a backup plugin. WordPress offers both free and premium backup plugins, but today, we have decided to highlight BackupBuddy.
This backup plugin is a one-stop solution for all your backup problems. It’s extremely easy to setup and use, and most importantly, it is exceptionally reliable. This plugin has no free version, so you will have to pay $80 for a one-website licence.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a performance boosting plugin. The speed at which your website loads is essential if you want to create a good user experience. Furthermore, load speed plays a significant role in your website’s SEO ranking.
If your website is throttling, maybe it’s time to install the W3 Total Cache plugin. It will compress and cache your files so that your visitors can load your pages as quickly as possible. The W3 plugin is entirely free, so there is no reason not to install it.
Another crucial aspect of any website is its security. As you probably already know, the internet is full of malware and other online threats looking to compromise your site. Of course, most site owners cannot afford high-end security measures. There are many ways to handle your site’s security. These include regularly updating WordPress plugins and extensions, enrolling into a WordPress security course, etc. You can also get an essential security package by installing the iThemes Security plugin.
It comes with all necessary features like IP banning, brute force protection, and malware scanning. It also detects 404 errors, which may not seem like too big of a deal but can seriously harm your site. The best part is that the free version of iThemes Security is quite comprehensive and robust. But if you want a couple of extra features, you can opt-in for a premium package.
MailChimp for WordPress
If you are looking to create mailing lists, manage subscribers, and track results, as well as add catchy subscription forms in your blog, and run email marketing campaigns, you will need to install a plugin like MailChimp for WordPress. MailChimp is a powerful plugin, which can benefit all businesses, regardless of the industry.
Both a free and a premium version is available. However, if you want an extensive set of commercial features, you will have to opt-in for the premium version. While the free version comes with all essential features, the premium version simply offers more email marketing tools.
Alternatively, you can test other WordPress email subscription plugins, and check which one works best for you.
Social media platforms have become more important than ever. They can help you boost the traffic to your website, communicate with your visitors in many different ways, and most importantly, improve your brand recognition. Today, it’s hard to find a website without social media links listed on its homepage.
If you don’t want to miss out on all the benefits listed above, then you should install the Social Icons plugin. This free and easy-to-use tool will help you create icons for your social media accounts in many different styles and shapes. Furthermore, it has a drag-and-drop setup wizard, which makes it entirely newbie-friendly.
Disable Comments is a simple but handy plugin for any WordPress website. If you are having problems with spam or just want to disable all comments on a specific type of post, you can do all that and more with this plugin.
Additionally, Disable Comments will allow you to remove all comment-related items from the dashboard, admin menu, widgets, and so on. The plugin is 100% free, so you might as well try it. FYI, this plugin does not provide the option of deleting individual comments.
While HD images look gorgeous, using them on any other websites except photography ones makes little to no sense. You see, HD photos are huge files, and huge files take a long time to load. Sure, a fast internet connection solves this problem, but not all your visitors have one.
That is why you should install an image compressor plugin like WP Smush. It works similarly like W3 Total Cache, but only for images. This plugin will help you reduce the size of your images while keeping their quality intact. You can either get a premium or a free version. The only significant difference is that the premium version will allow you to “smush” your photos in bulk.
Jetpack offers a plethora of features all neatly packed in a single plugin. It will boost your website’s security, performance, traffic, help you improve image optimisation, and much, much more. The most prominent feature of the Jetpack plugin is its automated content sharing with search engines. As soon as you publish a post, Jetpack will forward it to all search engines, increasing the traffic to your website.
Also, Jetpack comes with a built-in brute force prevention system. Finally, it has a free and a premium version. The premium one is offering a more well-rounded set of features by adding backups, spam filtering, and so on.
Finally, we have a robust user registration plugin appropriately named User Registration. Even though WordPress is offering user registration forms by default, the feature is lacklustre, to say the least. It only provides an option to enter username and email.
On the other hand, the User Registration plugin is offering a broad set of customisation options. You can add different fields like first name, country, password, and so on. The best part is that its setup wizard is using a drag-and-drop system, making it extremely easy to use. This plugin is free, but you can buy additional premium add-ons for it.
Bonus plugin – ProProfs Chat. This live chat plugin will not only provide your visitors with instant help, but will also help you generate leads.
Even though we have listed just ten (+1) WordPress plugins, we have managed to cover almost every part of building a successful website. As we said in the introduction, you needn’t install all ten plugins from this list. We recommend installing just the ones that you need the most.
Additionally, if available, sign up for a free version at first. You shouldn’t opt for premium plugins before testing them unless you are 100% certain you need them. Just because they have shiny features, that doesn’t mean that you will actually make use of them.