What are the must-have WordPress plugins?
Plugins are what makes WordPress blogs run smoothly without having to know anything about programming. You can make your site secure, make it faster, connect it to analytics, and get make it SEO friendly.
There are over 48,000 plugins that have been validated in the WordPress directory.
Out of those plugins, which ones are the most important ones that you need?
Read on to learn more about the must-have plugins for your blog.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO has long been one of the go-to plugins for SEO. The reasons why are because it is simple to use and it’s comprehensive.
Let’s say that you want to rank for the best vape juice. You just enter that keyword, and Yoast will check the page to make sure the keyword is used in the right places and it’s not overused.
This plugin is one to watch because recent updates have caused the plugin to have some issues on some sites. If your site turns out to be one of them, then turn to All-in-One SEO as an alternative.
2. W3 Total Cache
Your site needs to be fast. One way to make it fast is by using this plugin. W3 Total Cache stores a copy of your website.
When someone visits your site, instead of WordPress generating your website, the copy f your site is presented.
That makes your site load much faster.
A security plugin has to rank among the must-have WordPress plugins. There is a handful out there that can do a great job, but WordFence stands out from the pack.
How would you like to have high-level site security for free? WordFence can do that and more. If someone tries to log in to your site, or if there’s an outdated plugin, you’ll be notified via email.
4. WP Smush
One of the easiest ways to improve your site’s speed is by compressing images. No one wants to wait for large images to load.
WP Smush is another free plugin that compresses images on your site. The great thing about it is that the quality of the images isn’t compromised.
5. Social Warfare
You need a simple way for your blog’s visitors to share your amazing content. That’s what Social Warfare does.
You can customize how your blog posts look when they’re shared on social media sites and it has great support for Pinterest.
It costs $29 a year for a single site. Licenses are available if you have multiple sites.
Security is a major concern for a lot of bloggers. You can’t afford to lose your hard work due to a hacking incident.
That’s why it’s critical to back up your website. With this plugin, you can schedule your backups and store them on Google Drive, Amazon S3, and other services.
The best thing about this plugin is that it’s completely free.
7. Disqus Comment System
Many bloggers aren’t a fan of the commenting section that comes with WordPress. If you’re one of them, you can do something about it.
It makes it easy for you to moderate comments and it cuts down on spam.
There are a lot of plugins that you can use to sell products on your site. You want the shopping experience for your customers to be top-notch, and MarketPress can create that experience for your customers.
It can let you sell digital and physical products without having to install several other plugins. It handles payment gateways, taxes, invoices and a lot more.
Tips for Must Have WordPress Plugins
As you download and install plugins on your blog there are a few things you should know.
The first thing you should know is that plugins can slow down your site.
The second thing you need to know is that they can also make your site less secure.
There are a couple of ways to find out if plugins are slowing down your site. You’ll want to run your site through a speed test like Pingdom or Google Page Speed Insights.
Both tests will gauge how long your site takes to load. Your site needs to be fast for search engines and for users. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you could lose up to 40% of traffic to your site.
That loss of traffic could prevent you from meeting your blog’s goals, especially if you want to monetize it.
If you find that your site is slow, then check with WP Checkup. You just enter your URL and the site will do the work for you and give you a heads up about any problems.
If there are issues detected, your next step is to deactivate your plugins and activate them one by one. Each time you activate a plugin, you’ll want to run another speed test to see which one(s) are slowing down your site.
You’ll also want to delete any plugins that you’re not using. That extra bloat could add precious seconds to your site’s load time.
Plugins are widely known to cause security issues on WordPress sites. There are 48,000 plugins available, and a lot of them are developed by programmers who offer them for free. A lot of the plugins haven’t been updated in a while, which makes them vulnerable to attacks.
You’ll want to check to see when the plugin has been updated last and how many downloads it has. If it has a lot of downloads, you can bet that it’s a valid plugin.
You’ll also need to do your part and update your plugins after you install them. Check your blog once a week for a quick maintenance check. WordPress will notify you if there are any plugins or themes that need updating.
Must-Have WordPress Plugins
Plugins are the secret sauce of WordPress. If you have a WordPress problem that you’re trying to solve, odds are there’s a plugin that will solve it.
The must-have WordPress plugins on this list solve most webmasters’ pressing challenges. That’s how you get a blog to be SEO friendly, make it fast, sell products, and make it secure.
For more great WordPress tips, check out these articles on our blog.