The availability of plenty of plugins makes WordPress so great. No doubt standalone WordPress is good for a standard blog, however, in order to make a website super sleek, reliable and steady we always need to use to some plugins and mods. Here are our picks for 8 must use WordPress plugins for your blog and website. If you are getting started with WordPress and wondering where to start, then this article is the best place for you to learn and install the necessary plugins which will make your website SEO friendly, faster and secure.
1. Yoast SEO
Five years back I have been using All in One SEO Pack for all WordPress installation and one of client pointed me out that there is another plugin which may be better than that. So, I tested it out and since then I have been installing Yoast SEO with all the WordPress sites I made in past five years.
What makes this plugin so special?
Well, this is no different than other SEO plugins, it enables you with the Meta Tags, Meta Keywords and Description fields for your blog posts and pages. Besides, it also helps you analyse the keyword density, article SEO score. At the end of the day, those analytics helps you understand how good your article is for SEO and what improvements you can do to make it better. That is the main reason why I kept it on my top 8 must use WordPress plugins for your blog.
This is such a plugin developed by the same company which controls WordPress. I love this plugin because it helps me enable few features especially a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for FREE. Well, for those who are using a shared hosting CDN is a very necessary tool for you to speed up your website. All you need to do is activate JetPack and enable Photon inside JetPack’s settings. Not only a free CDN, JetPack comes with a bunch of other features such as Contact Forms, Traffic Stats, Mathematics Markups, Infinite Scroll (Though it doesn’t work with most of the custom themes), Server downtime notifications etc.
This is a must-have plugin for blogs because blogs are widely targeted by the spammers. When your blog starts getting a good amount of traffic, you get lots of spam comments for free! 😉 LoL! So, all you gotta do is install Akismet and activate the free version. It will silently discard and delete the spam comments. Hence, at the end of a busy day, you don’t have to go through a lot of spam comments and delete them manually. Peace of Mind!
Akismet comes pre-installed with WordPress, hence, you don’t need to download this. Instead, navigate to Plugins -> Installed Plugins and activate Akismet.
4. Gravity Forms
Possibly the best contact form plugin available. Not only contact forms, Gravity Forms help you create more than contact forms. Here is a list of features that makes us select Gravity Forms over other contact form plugins.
- Standard Contact Forms with Customisable Autoresponders.
- Multiple email recipient for the same contact form.
- You can create product or service price calculator using Gravity Forms.
- Single Product shopping cart with PayPal payment gateway. You can sell a single product with PayPal as a payment gateway.
5. W3 Total Cache
Though it’s a little bit complex to configure this plugin, if done correctly W3TC helps you speed up your website perfectly. You can do all kind of optimisations such as GZIP Compression, Disk Cache, Object Cache, Database Cache etc. W3TC is very easy to use and lightweight. We will publish a separate article shortly on how to configure W3 Total Cache properly.
6. WP Smush – Image Compression and Optimization
WP Smush is one of the best plugins coded by WPMU community. This plugin comes with a FREE membership as well as with a Pro version. We recommend using the free edition. This plugin will compress and optimize the images you upload using the WordPress media, hence, the load time of your website will be faster because of the optimized images.
7. GOTML’s Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall
As you may already know, at least 40% or more websites in the world are running using WordPress. Hence, WordPress receives the biggest security threats from the hackers. Sometimes when the plugin developers abandon a plugin or did not coded the plugin in a proper secure way, hackers always get into your website using the loop-holes in those plugins. This Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall plugin helps you scan all the files inside your WordPress installation and fixes if it finds any file infected.
8. Really Simple SSL
Since we all know having an SSL certificate (HTTPS) on your website helps you rank good in SEO/SERP, we always try to install SSL certificates. However, sometimes we find https errors due to wrong URL codes inside plugins and themes. If you are facing the same problem, or you are just activating SSL certificates on your website “Really Simple SSL” can do that in a single click for you.
We hope this list of essential WordPress plugin helps you all. If you think there are more plugins which we may need to include in this list, please let us know via the comments and we will add it to the list with your reference.