Essential WordPress Plugins

At the time of writing there are over 57,000 WordPress plugins available as per the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

Having such an immense choice can be baffling when starting out and how to choose the right ones to enhance your blog or website can leave you scratching your head.

Before listing the essential WordPress plugins that I use myself,  just a quick recap on how to add plugins to your site:

A plugin is added from the admin panel of your blog, click on the link and you will be taken to another page where you can type in the plugin you are looking for in the search bar.

Then just hit the install button, activate and you’re all set to go.

 

Now we’re clear on how to add a plugin, The following are ones I personally use and have found to be unmissable in my opinion.

 

When it comes to optimizing your site for the search engines, by far the #1 WordPress plugin for SEO is:

Yoast SEO

Downloaded more than 5 million times this SEO plugin is a must for any website. It has been around since 2008 and gives invaluable content and SEO analyses.

It shows you how your snippet preview will look live in the search results,  has advanced XML sitemaps functionality and much, much more. 

There is a free version and a pro version available. 

 

One of the most important things you need to do is to stay in touch with your visitors and for that you need a beginner friendly  contact form which brings me to my second recommendation:

WeForms

A truly fast and easy way to create any form you may need in your business with drag and drop simplicity.

It has a stack of key features among which the ability to create an unlimited amount of forms, use of predefined templates, drag and drop builder.

With the real-time live preview you can instantly see what the form will look like on your site. It is also 100% mobile friendly.

There are loads more key attributes which make weForms stand out from the crowd.  There is a free version and paid version depending on your business needs.

 

 

You also need the best possible protection for your WordPress site or blog. There are numerous plugins available which will secure your site but, in my opinion, one of the best is:

 

Wordfence

With over 3 million downloads, this plugin is one of the most popular firewall and security scanners.

The web application firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic whilst the security scanner checks core files, themes and plugins for malware, bad URLs, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.

There is a free version and a premium version available to download.

Optimizing your images and other media is another extremely important aspect of your website/blog.  As images and other media can substantially slow down your site. 

Smush

This is an award-winning plugin which resizes, optimizes and compresses all of your images.

It scans all the images which you add or have already added to your site.

If you intend building an e-commerce business then you will need an e-commerce platform and the most used is:

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an extremely easy to use customizable eCommerce platform for those wishing to build an online business.