WordPress is one of world?s most popular content management platforms. With easy to use free blog tools and self-hosted sites, WordPress has a lot to offer. From amateur site-runners/owners to seasoned industry veterans, everyone is in love with WordPress and none can deny the fact that not only is it easy to use, cool, and chic, but also extremely robust, and thanks to its thousands of plugins, a complete solution for website management.

WordPress maintains a repository of many powerful plugins which developers and site owners appoint to give their websites a complete feel. While the utilities of these plugins vary, many among the plug-in bank exist to serve a single purpose. So choosing a couple among them, gets quite confusing. ?And to further add to the confusion, not all of these apps are free to use. Some of them are Premium, but most of them are freemium(Plugins which offer basic functionality for free but require you to purchase them if you need to add additional features).

Now because there are so many plugins in the WordPress Plugin directory, it is not possible to rate each one of them and tell you which ones you should have and which ones you shouldn't. So instead, we have created a list of some must-have plugins for your WordPress websites.

So let?s jump in!

  1. WP Smush- image optimization

A picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, and especially nowadays. An image can be used to pass on a plethora of information which will reduce the amount of content you would have had to write instead just to explain the same thing. Also, images bring a lot of visual appeal to your website as well.

But while they are incredible tools, images take up a lot of storage space and take too long to be uploaded and downloaded. This problem intensifies for slow speed networks. This can be disastrous.

So to reduce the size and loading time of these images, plugins like WP Smush exist in the WordPress plugin repository. What this tool does is compress your image using advanced compression techniques and makes sure that the quality of your image remains intact.

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Yoast SEO

It doesn?t matter how beautiful or useful your website is; if it can?t be reached, then it is of no use, to you or your users. Search engines are a major source of website traffic. Most users will be able to use your website only if a search engine can index it in search results. Thus you need to make sure that search engine crawlers can get to your site.

Search Engine Optimization is just as vital for you as having a website in the first place. It makes sure that your site has been designed in a way in which search engines can get to it.

For WordPress sites, a plugin called Yoast SEO is there to do all of that. It helps you in creating more SEO friendly content which will compel search engines to list your website higher in the search results. The key to SEO is to provide users with relevant information and not to catfish them onto your sites for the sake of views. Latest algorithms followed by search engines these days are extra cautious of such trickery, and so, you need to prove it to these bots that your website has relevant content.

From choosing proper keywords and writing your articles in a way which makes the most of these keywords, to tell you how to format your article to increase its visual appeal, Yoast SEO does it all.

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Jetpack

Jetpack is a plugin which has been developed by the creators of the WordPress itself. It is a powerful tool which is jam-packed with many functionalities which will help your website in ranking higher in search results. Jetpack looks after Security, traffic growth, image optimization, and many other such things. It contains an upgraded distribution function which automatically shares your content with other third-party tools like search engines and helps in increasing your site traffic.

It is a free plugin.

  1. Akismet

Developed also by the good people at WordPress, Akismet is one of the top anti-spam plugins in the WordPress plugin repository. It goes over all the comments on your website and provides users a history after flagging the spam content. It is basically a one-stop tool for you to make sure that your website remains free of any sort of spam. It is a default plugin which comes along with every WordPress core installation.

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. W3 Total Cache

Among the most significant setbacks your website can suffer from, one is a longer loading period. If your website has a lot of CSS work and if the images on your site take too long to load, then users will get frustrated and exit your site. The solution to this problem is caching.

Caching is the process of storing temporary data in small memory segments called caches. There are many caching plugins in the WordPress plugin repository. What they do is they save temporary HTML files in users? cache, so that the next time they load your site, it will not take as long as before. This will increase the traffic on your site and your SEO quotient too.

W3 Total Cache in one of the most popular caching tool on WordPress. It allows you to cache web pages, databases, browsers, etc. Because of the reduced loading time, you will get higher rankings in search results, and that will lead to higher site traffic.

It is a freemium plugin.

  1. Security Plugins

We can?t overstate the necessity of having security. Countless malicious bots are roaming the spectrum which will latch on to your site and make it collapse in a matter of seconds. So you need to have armor against these cancerous troublemakers. There are many plugins in the WordPress plugin repository which will enhance the security of your website. Some of them are:

  • All in One Security
  • Wordfence
  • BulletProof Security
  • Sucuri
  • iTheme security

There is no clear winner and no clear loser among these tools; all of them are high-end plugins which are very good at their jobs. So you can pick anyone you like for your website.

  1. Everest Forms- Easy Contact Form and Form Builder

One of the key pages every website needs to have is an excellent looking contact page. It needs to be visually fetching and at the same time, needs to give users just the right amount of information. Furthermore, contact pages these days allow users to contact you directly, without them having to send you an email. It enables users to type in some information about themselves and then jump straight to their query, complaint or question.

To create such contact forms for your WordPress site, plugins like Everest forms exist. One of the biggest advantages of Everest is its incredibly easy to use drag and drop interface. It lets you create your contact form by merely picking up elements from the side of the interface and dropping them anywhere you like on your workspace. And not only does it let you create fundamental forms, but also advance ones with Google reCaptcha support, redirect page options, etc.

It is a free plugin.

  1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Studying your traffic and knowing more about it will help you in creating a better site and increase the user traffic. There are many insight tools for WordPress websites which help you in obtaining vital stats for your website. The best among them by leaps is Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights.

This plugin will allow you to monitor various real-time statistics for your website and will create multiple demographics and interest reports to better your knowledge about your site traffic.

It will also allow you to keep an eye out on your product popularity and because it comes integrated with Google Adsense, the stats related to your ads will also be made available to you as well.

It is a free plugin.

  1. MailChimp for WordPress

It is very crucial that you keep in touch with your users. And to that, nothing is more effective than a properly created marketing mail which you can send to all your users in one single click and then track the results in bulk. Plugins like MailChimp are excellent email marketing tools for every site owner to have. It allows you to create beautiful subscription forms in your blog and can also be integrated with any other forms on your site like- Contact forms, checkout forms, etc.

It is a freemium tool.

  1. Google XML Sitemaps

It is another SEO tool which your website needs to have. Google XML Sitemaps creates a sitemap for your website which makes it easier for search engine bots to browse through your website. This in return will help search engines in getting a better idea of your site structure and index it higher in search results.

It is a free plugin.

  1. WordPress Amp

WordPress Amp is a plugin which can add AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages) to your website. With just a few clicks, this tool can make your site mobile ready. AMP HTML is an open source solution by Google which lets you turn your websites into mobile-optimized content which can then be loaded anywhere you like. WordPress Amp brings a lot of other things to the table as well. It boosts up your site SEO, brings more traffic from Google, improves user experience, and using Adsense and Woocommerce, it allows you to earn extra money by selling goods.

It is a premium plugin.


Using the above plugins, you can manage your website and juice out the maximum profit from it. They give you a complete control over your website and make sure that you get your money?s worth out of it. Apart from these, there are many other useful plugins which you will find in the WordPress plugin repository. But be sure you go over all of them and compare them against each other before you buy them though. And if you are not that technically inclined, then you can hire a website development firm for a robust process and flexibility to develop paramount solutions.

Discover more from WordPress Web Designer | Nick Throlson

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading