In this post, we discuss our favourite 5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins. We all know that WordPress is the best software for building websites, and there are many reasons WordPress is so popular. Many will agree that plugins make it one of their top choices. We recommend these plugins for WordPress users who are currently using it or considering using it in the future.
What is a WordPress plugin?
WordPress plugins can be described as software that has been developed by third parties and can be “plugged into” to your WordPress site to add additional functionality.
It could be anything, from a 3D flipbook or additional security for your site – but these plugins can do almost anything. It doesn’t matter what bizarre or amazing feature you have in mind for your website, chances are you will find a plugin that will help you achieve it.
Because plugins don’t usually require any technical configuration, they are particularly useful for non-web designers. You can download the plugin and activate it. However, you should check that it is compatible with your WordPress version before you install it.
While plugins can be optional, we recommend that you have a few installed for your WordPress website.
1. Yoast SEO (free or paid)
Yoast is one of the most widely used plugins. It has been a great tool for anyone who wants to improve, monitor and implement their SEO efforts.
Businesses are competing more for search engine traffic. Those who fail to maintain a high level of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will fall further down the Google page results. This will make it harder for them to be found.
Yoast is a great tool for SEO novices and experts alike. It allows you to manage your SEO through a simple extension that’s easy to use.
Once the plugin is activated and installed, a Yoast Section will be added to your standard page editor. Here you can set up metadata, keywords, and phrases to control how search engines like Google display your page. The plugin can also be used to create XML Sitemaps, which will help Google understand your website structure better.
Yoast offers suggestions for those who don’t know how to wordsmith. It will also provide suggestions on ways you can make page content more readable. This is useful for SEO rankings.
The plugin is available for free, but you can upgrade to a premium subscription to get more functionality, such as live search engine previews or automatic redirects for broken hyperlinks.
2. Smush (free or paid)
Many people upload images that are too large for their website. Most people don’t realize it’s a problem.
Image compression is often overlooked when updating websites. Despite it being one the most important aspects of the practice, it can lead to non-returning visitors.
Additionally, compressing each image before uploading is a hassle if you are an e-commerce company using WooCommerce or a business that needs to constantly update your web images, for whatever reason.
Smush automatically compresses images when you upload them to your website. This saves you time and effort over having to do this manually. If you aren’t already doing so, you can also bulk compress your images.
This plugin is free. However, you can upgrade to a paid monthly plan. You have access to many additional benefits with the pro version, but the best is the removal or limit on image size. This is the default for the free version, which is 1MB.
3. WPBakery Page Builder (paid unless it comes with a theme)
WPBakery is a popular website builder plugin. If you’re looking to build your site using pre-built themes then your current theme or the next one that you buy will likely include the WPBakery Page Building Builder.
This drag-and-drop page builder was designed for simplicity. You can design your page however you like. There’s no need to edit the code behind your page. However, you can make any changes that way if necessary.
WPBakery has over 50 content elements built in and is compatible with most WordPress themes. It’s a must-have if you want your WordPress web pages to be the best they can be.
4. MonsterInsights (free or paid)
It’s a sad reality that websites are useless if they can’t be analysed.
Yes, seriously. You have to take this seriously.
Google Analytics is your best tool to understand the performance of your website. You can see everything, from how long users stay on your pages to which part of the world they are visiting. Although it is a useful tool, it does not provide the same insight as your website.
There is a solution.
MonsterInsights was created to simplify the process of centralising your website analysis efforts. It is also a simpler way to connect your website to Google Analytics. Once you have activated it, you can view all relevant statistics such as site visits, bounce rate, page views, and more right from your WordPress dashboard.
It is your decision how deep you want to dig into your analysis. Upgrade to the Pro version if you are an e-commerce company to gain more insight, such as conversion rate or checkout behaviour.
5. WPForms (free or paid)
Websites should have contact forms. They can be used to contact customers directly or as a way to direct them to customer service.
Although there are many contact form plugins out there, they can often be difficult to set up. WPForms’ simplicity makes it a great choice. It has a drag-and-drop form builder that allows you to easily add custom fields to meet your needs. CATCHPA functionality can be added to your site to stop annoying bots spamming.
There are millions of WordPress plugins that can supercharge your website. However, we recommend using the ones mentioned above when you create any WordPress site. These five plugins are easy to use and will improve your website quickly. What’s better? You can use them all for free.
Contact us today if you have any questions about WordPress plugins, need help building a website or want to create a custom website design.