While WordPress renders a plethora of features and versatility, the core software still misses a lot of functionality. The best way to satisfy the needs of having these missing pieces is to integrate the most suitable WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins are extremely useful tools offered by WordPress. It provides all types of customization for website owners, however, with more than 50,000 plugins to choose from WordPress plugin directory, it is near to impossible to find the right plugins for your next WordPress project.
So here, in this article, we have compiled a list of WordPress plugins that almost every WordPress powered website needs and should have to streamline the development process.
1. Caching plugin
Almost every WordPress powered website needs to have a certain type of caching enabled. This is to ensure that your website loads faster and does not push back your audience due to slow loading speed. Whether you have hosted your websites on a reliable and fast hosting server or not, it is always a good practice to have a caching plugin handy.
The best caching WordPress plugin available in the market that has attracted more than 5,748,571 downloads since its launch. Though W3 Total Cache certainly has a difficult configuration, it’s worth all the time and effort you’d put in configuring it. From enabling browser caching to minifying HTML and CSS files, W3 Total Cache plugin offers a wide range of features.
2. SEO Plugin
In order to drive constant traffic to your website, you need to optimize your website for the search engines. It has become more important than ever to consider SEO as an important part of your online venture. Moreover, with frequent updates and changes in the SEO, a webmaster often lacks required SEO skills and techniques to optimize his/her site for the search engine. This is where WordPress SEO plugins come to rescue. SEO Plugins allow you to add relevant information to your website and its content to make it SEO friendly.
There are various WordPress SEO plugins available such as All in One SEO Pack, WordPress SEO by Yoast etc. These plugins allow you to add Meta description, title, and keyword to your blog posts and pages. You can also add the Meta details to your homepage with the help of these SEO plugins.
3. Social Sharing plugin
Social media has certainly become a major part of online marketing. Whether you are running an e-commerce website or an informative blog, you can make the most of the social media platforms to promote your business and drive huge traffic to your website.
WordPress has a huge bundle of useful and valuable social sharing plugins available such as Floating Social Bar, SumoMe, Monarch etc. These plugins allow you to add social media button to your website to make your products, services and content shareable.
4. Contact Form Plugin
Whether you want to add a form to your contact us page or a sign-up page, designing and creating forms can be one heck of a job. However, with WordPress, creating and adding forms is as easy as a pie. Simply add a shortcode to the page where you want to display the form and you are good to go.
Most popular contact form plugins include Gravity Forms and Contact Form 7. You can use these plugins to create anything from registration forms to email opt-in forms, to scheduling application form to complex billing form.
5. Backup Plugin
With the increasing popularity of WordPress comes with the threat of hacking. WordPress attracts a myriad of hackers from around the world, thanks to its ever-growing client base. Thus, it becomes extremely important to backup your WordPress website every now and then if, in case something goes wrong.
VaultPress is one of the most popular WordPress backup plugins that allow automatic backups to help you restore your website in case of emergency. VaultPress is available in both free and premium versions and offers the needed functionality to synchronize and backup every dashboard settings, revision, media file, comment and every post.
6. Security Plugin
Security is yet another important area that needs constant attention. As discussed earlier, WordPress’ ever-growing popularity gives an open invitation to many hackers and spammers around the world. This threat of hacking puts your website’s security at stake. However, aside following certain practices to keep your website secure, you can install a security plugin to keep security issues at bay.
iTheme Security is a great plugin that comes with a wide variety of features including scheduled backup, Malware scanning, user action logging, two-factor authentication etc. The plugin was formerly known as Better WP Security and offers more than 30 ways to secure and protect your website from hackers.
7. Analysis Plugin
Are you monitoring your website’s traffic? If not, it is high time you start analyzing your website. Analysis plugins allow you to keep track of your visitors as well as SEO efforts. These tools also help you to know from where you are driving the most of your traffic as well as which posts and pages attract the most visitors. Monitoring your site is important to know how much you have improved.
Google Analytics WordPress plugin is indeed one of the best analysis plugins that allow you to keep track of your visitors, clicks, and geographic visitor information. In order to set up Google Analytics tool on your site, you would need a tracking code which needs to be placed in every post and page.
8. Spam Comment Plugin
Spam comments are extremely annoying and frustrating especially when you get them in a huge number. Receiving hundreds of thousands of the spam comments makes it quite difficult to delete every comment manually. In order to combat spam comments, webmasters often end up adding strict security measures such as math quiz, captchas and mandatory login and so much more. However, using spam comment plugin can save you from all the pain.
One of the best plugins to keep spam comments at bay is Akismet. The plugin has been around for quite some time and has proven its worth in combating spam comment. The plugin automatically checks all the comments and see if they look like spam or not.
WordPress has a lot to offer and with its huge range of plugins, developing a website has never been this easy.
Hope you like the list of essential WordPress plugins. Let us know if we have missed any valuable plugin.
Marie Thomas is a WordPress Developer by profession and writer by hobby. She works for Wordsuccor Ltd., and provides Custom WordPress Plugin Development Services to global clients. She already has a number of WordPress related articles under her name.