WordPress Website: 5 Essential plugins [ for free]
WordPress is fast becoming the most preferred and highly used CMS currently making it the most sought after for website design by web developers.
WordPress powers 35% of the web and is the highest downloaded followed by Joomla , Drupal and square space in their respective order.
With over 50 000 plugins many get confused as to what they need to install along with their WordPress installation
Plugins are a great tool to have for developing a successful website however too many plugins can have an impact on your overall site performance and security.
In this article I will cover 5 plugins that are essential to get your WordPress package working well.
Right after you install your WordPress website its critical you install a plugin-in that will ensure you have some basic security on your website.
With over 455 million websites running on WordPress, it becomes a playground for hackers. Their main aim is to access your website and steal data. I personally recommend Wordfence for security. It offers a huge suite of security tools including the below and much more:
- IP and Country Blocking
- Malware scanning
- Spam and Spamvertising Checks
- File repair (Wordfence checks your files against known clean files in repositories)
- Login monitoring
With Wordfence you can monitor who is trying to hack your site and where they are coming from. It can block users who are actively trying to log onto your WordPress wp-admin dashboard.
Many developers offer clients a wordpress website to clients without backup. Should anything happen to your website down the line a backup will come in handy. You have spent a lot of money getting your wordpress website running and loosing it down the drain is painful.
I recommend Updraft, simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!
Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email.
Caching simply improves your website speed and performance (you will see results if you have a good hosting company). W3 Total Cache is one on my preferred plugins for this. It is very simple to install and setup. There are many caching plugins however W3 is the most downloaded and has some great ratings.Most wordpress websites need this because they have alot of files and coding. It has the capabilities of simplifying css and scripts as well as compressing files and cleaning your database. Overall, it improves your website performance to load faster on both mobile and desktop devices
Worpdress out of the box is SEO ready however you need that extra boost to get google to find your website and its keywords. installing a SEO plugin such as Rankmath does just the job and more. Many debate whether Yoast SEO is better than Rank Math but from experience Rank Math out performs Yoast SEO by far. Upon installation, Rank Math verifies your site’s settings and recommends the ideal settings for best performance. The step-by-step wizard then sets up your site’s SEO, social profiles, webmaster profiles and other SEO settings, making your wordpress website SEO friendly from basic setup.
Data tracking is vital to the continued growth and improvement of your website. Without the facts, you’re left in the dark to guess. A tool like Google Analytics can help you improve your wordpress website, content, and user experience. It lets you find out which online campaigns are bringing you the most traffic and conversions, and how each web page is performing.
With the MonsterInsights plugin, you can easily add, customize, and manage the Google Analytics website-tracking services. You can do all this from within your WordPress dashboard. It makes tracking your website with Google Analytics much easier.
Formerly named Google Analytics for WordPress, The plugin allows you to view all the basic statistics like sessions and bounce rate. Additionally, you can use it to set up tracking for outbound links, internal links, and downloads. If you opt to pay for the premium version, you’ll get extra features, like e-commerce tracking through apps. That includes WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
A lot goes into website design and maintenance.
And whether you need to optimize your site for search engines, or improve the user experience, WordPress plugins are vital. Using the right web developer is also the key ingredient to getting a successful website that is fully optimised, responsive and functional. Just installing wordPress alone is not good enough and can have your website exposed. The mentioned plugins are simply my recommendations. Feel free to explore other alternatives. We offer a free website audit and give free advice on how you can get a better website.