Up to the present time, we have been guiding you through various installation and configuration things. In fact, all our previous posts were about how-tos till date. So, in this post, I’m going to take you a step further and provide you with the information about the essential plugins for your WordPress site.
All this time, you might have been wondering what WordPress plugins do the WordPress experts use to make their websites stand out? Well, we are here to help you find out. Moreover, if you are a newbie to WordPress then this article will definitely help you find out some of the essential plugins for your first website.
So, here’s the list of some of the essential as well as the best WordPress plugins hand-picked with the sole purpose of helping you all to figure out what plugins you should use for your website.But first, let me explain you briefly what actually a WordPress plugin is.
What is WordPress plugin?
Plugins are computer programs containing one or many functions that integrates seamlessly with WordPress site to enhance it with new and outstanding features. Basically, a plugin is all about the features and functionalities. No wonder, plugins extend and expand the functionalities of WordPress. The best part is it allows you to add custom features to your website without having to write a single line of code.
There’s a very famous saying in the WordPress community that goes around “There’s plugin for that”. Whether you want to create a form, use social icons on your site or maybe you want to protect your website. There are plugins available for almost everything. Moreover, most of the top WordPress plugins are available in both free as well as pro version. You can easily download the free WordPress plugins from WordPress.org.
Jetpack tops the lists of our essential plugins for your first WordPress site. Of course, for some obvious reasons. Jetpack offers a galore of outstanding features that help your website reach the paramount of its success. Hence, after installing Jetpack you can take more time to sit back and relax as it takes care of your site’s appearance, performance, security and traffic growth.
Moreover, it features brute force attack protection, site backups, high-speed CDN for your images, email subscriptions and a lot more. Since it provides brute-force attack protection and site backups you need not worry about the data loss. In addition, it features secured logins and two-factor authentication. Moreover, it offers downtime and uptime monitoring. Thus, you will be notified instantly if any issue is found. Also, it allows malware scanning, code scanning, and threat resolution. In effect, there is no or minimal chances for your site to be hacked.
In short, Jetpack is one of the best WordPress plugins helps you keep your WordPress site secure, increase traffic and improve reader’s engagement.
2. WordPress SEO Yoast
You might have already guessed what the plugin is for from the name itself. Well, WordPress SEO Yoast is an awesome SEO plugin by Yoast which is by far number 1 SEO plugin with more than 7 million active installs. It is available in both free as well premium versions. This plugin helps you in boosting your online presence by focusing on different aspects of SEO. After all, SEO is so very important to get your site positioned in the top rankings in the organic search results.
Apart from adding Meta titles and descriptions to your posts, this plugin also allows you to optimize your keywords and analyze the readability of your copy. Thus, it guides to create better content and increase the reader’s engagement. In addition, it also provides internal linking suggestions and content insights. Furthermore, Yoast SEO plugin consists of the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality. With this plugin, you do not need to worry about the duplicate contents. It automatically sets canonical URLs in the content so as to avoid confusing Google with duplicate contents.
Best of all, WordPress SEO Yoast is updated every 2 weeks thus keeps your website optimized even for the recent Google algorithm. Altogether, it helps you attract more visitors and increase traffic to your site.
3. W3 total cache
As a matter of fact, we are now living in a world where everything needs to be done super-fast. And in such a generation websites are no exception. Thus, there are higher chances that people can leave your website because of its slow loading speed. In fact, even I have abandoned many. Thus, to retain the readers, it is essential to increase the loading time of your site. On top of that, the website’s speed is also one of the key factors in determining your site’s position in search engine rankings. To put it differently, it has a direct impact on your site’s SEO.
All things considered, it is one of the must-have WordPress plugins so as to optimize both the speed and the performance of your website.
4. User Registration
User Registration plugin is yet another essential plugin that has made to our lists. It is one of the best WordPress user registration plugins around. This free drag and drop registration plugin come with user-friendly UI so that makes it a breeze to create custom registration forms. Besides, this plugin makes creating a user registration on your website hassle-free. Moreover, it saves a lot of your valuable time as well.
User registration plugin helps you create unlimited, simple, clean yet elegant forms. Moreover, this plugin comes loaded with plentiful features to create an amazing front-end user registration form in no time. It has Google re-captcha supported for the form so that you do not have to deal with the spammers. Best of all, you can create any type of registration forms with this plugin.
Furthermore, it provides multiple form template designs and column designs. Additionally, whenever there is any new registration, the user or the admin will be notified via email. It also provides shortcodes that can be used anywhere in the pages or posts.
5. BJ Lazy Load
Lazy loading your WordPress images and comments can improve the speed of your website as page load time is one of its key metrics. Lazy loading delays loading some elements on your site that are not needed at the time.
You can easily lazy load the images and comments on your site by simply installing and activating one of the best WordPress plugins for the niche: BJ Lazy Load.
With over 110,000 downloads and over fifty 5 star ratings, BJ Lazy Load is one of the must-have plugins for WordPress. This plugin works by replacing all the selected post images, thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder. In addition, it also allows you to skip lazy loading of certain images.
Thus, it improves the page load times and also saves bandwidth. It is only when a user starts scrolling down the page, it jumps into the action and loads the content. Moreover, it also works with text widgets and iframes. Consequently, it also covers embedded videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Furthermore, this plugin is compatible with the RICG Responsive Images plugin for responsive images and is translation ready. Also, it allows us to define the threshold (how soon you want the plugin to load images).
6. Wordfence security
Being a website owner, security of your website should always be your priority. Ignoring it can result in nightmares. So, the question is how can we keep our website safe and secured? Well, the answer is very simple. There are a whole lot of WordPress plugins to help you secure your website from all the malicious bots and spams. All you go to do is select the best out of them and install it.
Selecting one from a pool of such plugins, it can be quite a difficult task. So, to make it easier I have selected the most popular and reliable one for you: Wordfence security. This plugin is the best among the free and world-class security solutions available in the market. Wordfence Security comes with a bundle of awe-inspiring features. Some of the features are robust login security features, security incident recovery tools, configurable security alerts.
Besides, it consists of the firewalls obstructs all sorts of malicious bots and harmful networks hackings. Additionally, this plugin also adopts Two Factor Authentication which not just enhances the login security but helps in fighting against brute force attacks as well. Moreover, you can monitor all traffic in real-time. Thus, you can be aware of all the possible security threats that your site possess and take instant actions against it.
All things considered, Wordfence Security is by far the best security plugin for WordPress.
7. MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp is one of the top WordPress plugins in terms email marketing. Currently, MailChimp has been used on over 1 million websites. Besides, it is very easy to install and configure. And, it is available in both free as well as premium purpose.
In fact, this plugin takes care of all the subscription management and guarantees to turn more of your visitors into subscribers. With MailChimp, you can create your form fields either by using the Field helpers or use customized HTML. In simple words, this plugin allows you to create sign-up forms as per your convenience.
In addition, it supports various other well-known plugins like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, Contact Form 7 and more. Moreover, subscription forms created by MailChimp are simple yet very clean and elegant in design. It is one of the reasons, it happens to be one of the highly rated options for subscription form integration. Beyond that, the plugin also allows you to build opt-in forms to increase the number of subscribers to your email list.
All in all, MailChimp helps you in adding elegant forms to your blogs and increase subscribers to your WordPress website.
8. Broken Link Checker
What if someday your visitors land on a broken page through your posts? At most you might lose your visitors. That’s it? Well, that’s not it. You must take a moment to think about what that means. My point is, losing your visitors is not something that we can afford to ignore. And it is not just the visitors that we lose, we are also imprinting bad impression about our website at the same time. However, it’s not much of a big deal either.
Here’s the good news. There are plenty of WordPress plugins that are at your disposal to help you monitor and detect the broken links. And one of such is Broken Link Checker. Basically, Broken link checker monitors all of your posts, pages, comments, and blogrolls. Moreover, this plugin notifies you if there are any broken links found on your blog via email or dashboard. Moreover, it also detects missing images and redirects.
Furthermore, the plugin provides you with the option that allows you to prevent the search engines like Google and Bing to follow the broken links. In addition, you also have an option to display the broken links differently. Moreover, you don’t have to sweat your blood out manually updating each post. You can easily edit the links directly from the plugin’s page.
To summarize, this highly configurable plugin scans your website and fixes the broken link if there are any.
To sum up, availability of the excessive amount of plugins can be rather overwhelming to even the savviest WordPress users. Thus, I have listed down only a few out the pool of best WordPress plugins that are (as per me) the must-have plugins for your first WordPress site. With these WordPress plugins, you can tailor your website according to your specific requirements.