It also means that developers are creating amazing and diverse plugins to work with WordPress almost as quickly as people are making the websites themselves.
This poses a conundrum though. With such a wealth of plugins, it is difficult to know which are the best at getting the job done. Never fear; we have you covered. We have compiled the 20 best plugins to use on your site and outlined why you should get each one today!
1. Yoast ( one of the most important WordPress plugins)
We had to start with a contentious one. There are a good many detractors in the writing/SEO community that are not fans of Yoast. Nevertheless, it is brilliant for the majority of businesses that don’t have marketing budgets to splash on SEO. Yoast will format each webpage or blog post using a traffic light system to show you how to keep your website search engine friendly. Is it rudimentary? Yes. Does it work for most users? Yes, because some basic SEO practices are better than none.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
This is secondary to our mandatory Yoast download. It is a simple but effective plugin that formats your website in a way that search engines can better understand it. This allows them to index your site and correctly ascertain for example that your home page is your primary page. Sounds silly but search engine bots are not all that bright sometimes.
Another really simple one but again very important. Backupwordpress allows you to automatically back up your web content. We have all been in the position of a computer freezing and losing all of our hard work, Backupwordpress runs in the background and automatically saves your content as you go.
If you want a shop on a WordPress site, then WooCommerce is the plugin you need. It has a simple to use interface allowing easy installation. A vast range of features and complete peace of mind when it comes to streamlining your user transaction experience. This is a truly awesome plugin for any would be shop owners. The one downside is that sometimes a little coding knowledge is required if your theme is not compatible with WooCommerce.
5. Simple Ads
Want adverts on your website but concerned about where they will show up? After all you want your content to have pride of place. Simple Ads is as expected; simple. It allows you to control where and how adverts are displayed on your site meaning you can get back to making sure your content shines.
If you want comments on your blog this is a great plugin to allow your readers to have their say. Chances are if you have commented on other blogs before then you will have already used Disqus as it is currently one of the most popular plugins on WordPress as a whole. Simple, looks good and has great functionality.
7. Broken Link Checker
We mentioned this in our last blog here. This is a really good background plugin to have installed. It will make sure that all the links on your website take you to a page. No more 404 errors with this bad boy. Again basic functionality that goes a long way to improve your online reputation.
8. Widgets on Pages
This is a good solid plugin that makes it straightforward to put widgets on your webpages. Need to show a location map? Or perhaps opening hours? Or even those all important social media icons? Widgets on pages allows you to add to your webpages with widgets that improve overall functionality.
9. WP Limit Login Attempts
This and the next plugin are both designed to improve WP user safety and prevent unauthorised access to your website. After all who wants to be hacked by someone who is going to post spam all over your site? WP Limit Login Attempts limits the amount of attempts you have at logging into your WP site. This prevents hackers using attacks that bombard your login screen and forcing entry by eventually breaking the password.
10. Rename WP Login
This adds another level of security to your existing security measures, again in a very simple way. It changes your username from “wp-admin” to whatever you choose and therefore makes it a whole lot more difficult to break in. Coupled with number 9 on our list and you should be relatively safe with your personal access security.
11. WP Super Cache
Everyone that creates a content heavy website on WordPress will have bugbears with speed and page load times. WP Super Cache is one of the most popular WordPress plugins with more than 4 million downloads. Of course, we won’t get into the intricacies of how it works as it might be a bit taxing on the mind. Just be assured that it speeds up your website considerably.
This is like a little comment enforcer that trawls through comments and filters out spam so you don’t have to. With Akismet installed you can sit back and relax as it goes about finding spam comments. It then flags them for you to remove as you wish.
13. Google Analytics +
14. Fast Secure Contact Form
This helpful plugin is readily customisable to your site and allows you to create a contact form that gathers the information you want to know. It also allows contact to be secured with passwords and uses Akismet (Number 12) to filter out spam. A great trust building tool that opens up good communication with your visitors.
15. Disable Comments
Of course, not all blog posts are created equal. For example, some you will want to encourage conversation, others you will want to silence your audience. This effective plugin allows you to select blogs and disable comments. This is particularly helpful if a posting is sensitive in nature or likely to attract trolls (nasty commentators).
If you want to create an exclusive environment for users, then this plugin is the go to option. It controls how members subscribe and payment options, it controls the level of access a member gets and can even work on a tiered basis. It truly works wonders if you have a site that could generate revenue or new clients through a membership platform.
17. Social Share Buttons
Ever shared something you have found online with a friend? Of course you have! Social share buttons are on page buttons that will instantly share a post to someone’s social media account. They can remain fixed on page or float around with the user as they read or look through. A brilliant plugin to get your message seen by a wider audience.
You may already have broken link checker (number 7) but if there is a broken link it might not have been looked at by you in time. Redirectioner fixes the broken link problem in the most basic of senses. Also it takes your users to a page of the site that you can set as a default. Chances are if you have been redirected to a homepage before this was the plugin working behind the scenes.
19. Slider Revolution
This great plugin gives your website a visual edge, it has an easily accessible interface which allows you to create image slides, presentations and other on page wizardry. It is a doddle to use and can be done with little more effort than a click and drop to get the desired outcome.
Last but not least is OptinMonster. Have you ever been on a site that has a popup that says subscribe? It normally appears right before you get to the bit of content you want to read. OptinMonster gives you the opportunity to place that lead generation functionality on your website. It is a bit brash, it is a bit in your face, but it is effective. OptinMonster are positive it will increase your subscriptions and with its good feedback and download history we are willing to bet it actually does.
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