One of the greatest features of WordPress is how you can easily extend its features and functionality. This is all done via it’s plugins sytem. There are over 50,000 free plugins alone for WordPress so it can be a bit daunting to know just what to install.
We’ve broken down some of the plugin types below followed by our 8 essential WordPress plugins that’ll help you power up your blog or website.
Plugins Types You Should Consider
Whether you’re a retail store, photographer or a niche interest, there’s a plugin for you out there. When you’re searching for WordPress plugins, you’ll find that a lot of them fall under the categories of website performance, social sharing, content management and mosty importantly, security and safety.
Having a fast website is not only good for SEO but it’s also very important for a great user experience. Website Performance plugins can increase the speed of your website considerably.
In order to expand your audience, you’ll want a plugin that lets your audience share your content. This can increase page views and the likelihood of potential customers buying items or expanding the reach of your content.
Content management plugins can help you to ensure that your content is attractive and easily available. Improved editing and formatting options can make your website stand out.
Security and Safety
WordPress websites are a constant target for hackers. A good plugin to backup your site and protect it against hacking and spam is essential.
This safety and security plugin comes pre-installed with WordPress. It’s made by the same company that makes WordPress. Akismet is great at filtering out all of the spam that blog websites seem to attract, especially in the comments.
There’s a free version for personal websites and a cost effective pricing model for commercial websites.
Another notable mention for blocking spam is Cleantalk which also includes some more advanced security features.
2. Rank Math
This plugin is a great way to optimise your blog or website for search engines.
How does it work? Let’s say you have a websiet that sells baseball hats. If you go to a search engine and type in baseball hats in Brisbane, the search engine will find all websites that sell baseball hats in your area. If you don’t include Brisbane in your search, you might get baseball hats in California which won’t be as convenient.
By including important keywords (like Brisbane) in the above example you can build your site to target your customers or readers. This is where Rank Math helps. For each page, product or blog article you tell Rank Math which keywords are relevant and it will give you advice on how to improve your content and your search engine rankings.
With easy to follow instructions and great visual indicators Rank Math has very quickly become a very popular SEO plugin.
Rank Math is currently free and there is a Pro version in the works.
As an alternative you may also want to have a look at Yoast SEO. They also have a free version but the paid version gives you a lot of advanced tools if you are looking to fine tune your SEO beyond what Rank Math offers.
This plugin can count as both content management and website performance. When you’re looking for eCommerce plugins, WooCommerce is the most popular option. You can add an eCommerce store right on your WordPress website and be up and running very quickly.
From eBooks, digital products to physical items, the options are endless as far as what you can sell online. There is also a huge range of plugins just for WooCommerce alone that enable features such creating a dropshipping store or improved freight and payment options.
You’ll need a contact form on your website right away. You want to make it easy for potential customers to contact you. There are also many other uses for forms on your website that make it easy for you to collect all different types of information. You can even use a form as a simple way to sell items on your website.
WPForms is a great option to ensure that you have a user-friendly way for visitors to fill in forms. What’s even better is tt’s drag and drop format that allows you to create all types of forms easily. You can even have fields appear or disappear based on previous answers. With anti-spam and popular payment gateways built in it’s a great way to create subscription forms, online order forms, contact forms, and payment forms.
The free version is a great way to get started but the paid version really becomes a form builder powerhouse.
5. Site Kit By Google
Using Google Analytics provides a complete insight into your website performance. Tracking your most popular pages, where your visitors are coming from and how they found you is invaluable. However, all of that information can be a bit of an overload and can be hard to decypher.
Google has released it’s official plugin for WordPress called Site Kit. Once you’ve connected your Google account to your WordPress website you’ll be ready to go. From any page you can instantly see how often that page has appeared in teh search results and how many clicks it has received.
6. WP Rocket
Increase your website’s performance with WP Rocket. Did you know that the average person spends 15 seconds on a website? It’s vital you create an engaging website which also includes a quick page.
It allows you to increase the speed of your website and performance without needing technical skills. How it works is it turns on WordPress caching settings such as page cache, cache pre-loading, and gzip compression.
WP Rocket builds your website cache for a performance boost. There’s also an option of a free image optimisation service that’ll speed up your website as well.
7. Insert Headers and Footers
Sometimes you need to add code into your headers and footers for your website’s performance and user-friendliness. The headers and footers that you already have on your site might require you to add code to make changes. This can lead to a change in your WordPress theme.
To avoid this, consider adding the plugin Insert Headers and Footers. You don’t have to worry about it editing your theme file.
Websites that need to have tables can choose TablePress. You can create and manage tables on your site without having to worry about knowing HTML.
Exploring the Different WordPress Plugins
After exploring some of the popular WordPress plugins, you should have a better idea of which plugin is the right fit for you. Are you ready to gain control of your website and have one that attracts plenty of visitors?
Not sure where to start, not sure which direction you should head? Contact us today, and we’ll come up with an action plan that best fits your needs.