Over 70 million websites use WordPress. With plenty of premade templates to choose from, unlimited customization options, and easy management, WordPress is a great platform to host websites and blogs. Plugins can enhance the WordPress experience for both developers and users, but with so many plugins out there it can be difficult to choose which ones are right for your website. The plugins below are not only highly rated, but highly recommended for improving any WordPress website.
Must-Have WordPress Plugins
These are the plugins your site can’t live without, or at least shouldn’t live without. They are some of the most imported plugins on WordPress, and for great reasons. Whether they’re meant to protect your website, enhance it’s SEO, or improve loading times, each of the following plugins deserves to be activated on your WordPress website.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
Yoast isn’t just full of creative graphics. WordPress SEO by Yoast offers a one-stop-shop SEO solution for WordPress websites. This SEO plugin makes it quick and easy to customize keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags at the bottom of each post, and offers several other SEO features. WordPress SEO analyzes each page on a website to ensure every opportunity has been met. For example, the plugin checks to make sure each image is optimized, if posts are long enough for search purposes, and if subheadings are used. Reasons like this make it easy to trust most of your website’s SEO to Yoast.
- W3 Total Cache
To most people’s surprise, this plugin is pronounced “Discuss”, not “Diskus” or “Disque”. What’s even more shocking is that this blog comment plugin has additional SEO benefits along with comment management. Disqus makes commenting easier on blog posts, while connecting commenters to a network where they can view profile information and additional threads.
- Google XML Sitemaps
Google’s XML Sitemap is an easy to use plugin that blueprints your website for you. These “blueprints” are created so robots can easily digest and dissect a website. Search engines use sitemaps to scan for specific items to match with search terms and decide on which pages to display. Sitemaps also notify robots each time an update is made on a website, such as a new blog post or headline change.
- EWWW Image Optimizer
Stock photos make for incredibly large file sizes, which makes for a slow loading website. No one likes a slow loading website, especially as they wait for a header image to load. Reduce the size of your images, without losing the quality, with EWWW Image Optimizer. The Optimizer scans and reduces each image file, leaving a smaller file size of the same quality image.
- Google Analytics by Yoast
Yoast did it again by creating another useful plugin for WordPress websites. Their Google Analytics plugin connects analytics tracking from Google to your website, so all data can be thoroughly tracked.
Best Opt-in Plugins
An opt-in form is a great way to collect lead data, display an offer, or create a newsletter sign up. These opt-in forms usually sit in pretty little boxes above the fold and connects a user to something specific a business has to offer. The following two plugins are great options to add an opt-in form to your WordPress website.
- Mailchimp Newsletter Signup
Do you use Mailchimp to send email newsletters? If so, you need to be using the Mailchimp Newsletter Signup plugin for WordPress. It connects directly to your Mailchimp account and makes it easy for people to sign up for newsletters. Each contact that fills out an opt-in form is automatically added into a pre-designated list in Mailchimp.
- Optin Forms
The Optin Forms plugin is most known for their attractive opt-in forms that actually make people want to opt in. No coding is required with the design of these forms, making it easy for any WordPress user to install, activate, and setup.
Best Backup Plugins
There’s nothing worse than getting hacked or an updated plugin crashing a website. Unfortunately, these things happen and can happen frequently. That’s why it’s important to have backups of backups of a website, and regularly. These are some of the best rated backup plugins available:
Averaging 3.9 out of 5 stars, this simple to use backup plugin receives many 5-star reviews like this one from wlashack, “This plugin is doing perfectly what it is made for. Manual as well as auto backups of the whole web and database. Today I tested it “live” because my web went down for some reason. I opened last daily auto backup archive, deleted all the web content from ftp, uploaded backup copy here instead, imported database and voila – three simple steps and my web runs perfectly again.”
- BackupBuddyThis backup plugin gives developers peace of mind as they create backups to relocate websites. Its functionality makes it easy for developers to transfer websites and do manual or automatic backups.
- WordPress Backup for Dropbox
If you’re a regular Dropbox user this plugin is essential. Depending upon how often you’d like backups done, WordPress Backup for Dropbox automatically conducts backups and uploads them to a designated Dropbox account. Do keep in mind that unless you have a large file size account on Dropbox, the backups can quickly fill up an account.
Best Security Plugins
Hackers are everywhere nowadays. Keep your WordPress website secure and safe with these plugins:
With over a million downloads, Wordfence is a security plugin you can trust to protect your WordPress website. The first thing Wordfence does once activated is a thorough scan of the current site’s condition to make sure it isn’t already infected. From there, Wordfence secures the site and increase loading up to 50 times faster than before.
- Sucuri Security
Sucuri is known for securing all websites, not just WordPress websites. This security plugin is designed to help fix a website that’s been attacked and then protect it from happening again.
- Brute Force Login Protection
Do you receive email after email about an attempted login to your WordPress website? Brute Force plugin helps stop those false logins from happening and control the amount of login attempts a user has.
What are some of your favorite WordPress plugins? Comment your best plugins below!