By default, WordPress is an excellent website platform but with the help of plugins, you can elevate your business to next-level awesome. In today’s post, we will offer our recommendation of the best WordPress plugins you need on your website.
The Best WordPress Plugins:
This post is NOT a review and comparison of each plugin option nor an instruction guide on how to install these plugins onto your website. If you start searching plugins you will quickly find that there are thousands of plugins. We’ve experimented with hundreds of plugins throughout the years; the ones we are listing are the plugins we personally use and like.
Make your website run faster:
When you need to speed things up, consider a caching plugin. A caching plugin temporarily stores data so a visitor to your site can access that data quickly. As a result, your site loads faster and smoother for the visitor; encourages visitors to stay on your site longer; and boosts SEO performance.
Make your images load faster:
If your images are loading slowly it’s probably a result of oversized image files. Optimize all your media library images in minutes with an image optimizer plugin. Reducing file size ensures that your images load quickly and in most cases, you won’t notice any change in image quality.
Make your website secure:
Unfortunately, spammer and hackers are everywhere prowling for vulnerable websites. Ensure your website is secure for you and your visitors with a security plugin.
P.S. This is a great time to mention you need an SSL certificate for your website. This isn’t related to plugins but is SOO very important it deserves a mention.
Even if you aren’t collecting customer data (the traditional reason for getting an SSL certificate) you still need to protect the transfer of all data on your website.
Don’t just take our word for it, Google thinks so too!
So much so that Google actually gives websites with proper SSL certificates an SEO boost. With security breaches on the rise even at reputable companies, the risk of not having an SSL certificate is too high.
Need to get an SSL certificate?
What if I told you that you don’t even need to pay extra for it? Yep, our favorite hosting company Siteground offers SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt for no additional cost. It’s one of the many reasons we love and highly recommend Siteground to all our customers and clients.
Make your website squeaky clean:
If you’ve had your website on WordPress for over 2 years, then you likely have a lot of junk creeping around. Use a database optimizer to clean up your site and get rid of all the old data files piling up.
Make your website SEO optimized:
SEO (search engine optimization) is always evolving making it difficult for users to keep up. Use an SEO plugin to assist you in your SEO management and easily keep track of keywords, metadata and more!
In addition to helping you manage your SEO keywords and strategy, you may also need a plugin to quickly and easily show you how your site is performing. This will put your Google Analytics directly into your WordPress dashboard so you can monitor your site performance without leaving your website.
Please, please, please take a moment to understand what plugins are and how they can positively and negatively affect your website.
Install one plugin at a time:
It’s important to remember that not all plugins pair well with each other. When adding in plugins to your website always install one at a time. Once you’ve added the plugin, be sure to check that the plugin hasn’t negatively reacted with your current site.
If something looks off or broken, then quickly deactivate and uninstall the plugin. However, if everything looks good, then you can proceed (with caution always) to the next plugin.
Only install trust and highly-rated plugins:
Anyone can create a plugin and offer it to other users. This means you need to check that the plugin has been properly coded by a reputable source and is safe to use.
Only install plugins with high ratings and high volume downloads. Generally speaking, this should reduce the risk of adding a poorly coded or risky plugin on your website.
Read the reviews or support forums:
If you are unsure about a plugin and how it will perform on your website, then simply read the reviews or support forum. Other users are very helpful at identifying issues they have experienced with plugins. You can search keywords in the support forums to see if any other users have experienced issues in connection with your theme.
Keep your plugins updated:
Plugin updates may be a nuisance but you MUST keep your plugins updated at all times. Plugin developers release updates periodically (or frequently) with important security or functionality enhancements. A site with outdated plugins may experience broken site functionalities to your visitors (not a good situation) and even vulnerable to hackers (an even worse situation).
So do yourself a favor, update your plugins!
Install and use the plugins above at your own risk. We do not manage or offer support for any of the above plugins nor are we legally responsible for your use of the above plugins and services.
This post may contain affiliate links. We are affiliate partners with only companies we personally use and recommend. This means we will never suggest using a service without an honest use and review of the product or service.