Top 10 Plugins you should know for a great WordPress experience
By Philomathes in WordPress
Plugins are great tools for adding and extending functionality to a WordPress platform. Although the vertical of your platform mostly determines what plugins you should have, there are some universal concerns that every WordPress platform cannot simply afford to ignore.
The plugins in WordPress framework are plenty and increasing by the day. Which means there are multiple plugins for almost every function / feature you need on your website and we often are unable to choose the best one for ourselves. There are both free and premium versions available for most of the WordPress plugins.
In this post, we’ll discuss Top 10 WordPress plugins, free or premium, you can have on your WordPress platform.
#1 Yoast SEO
Search engines are the major source of traffic for every website. Yoast is an SEO plugin which guides you all the way to create better content and improve your ranking on search engine results. It focuses on creating the content which is useful to the users as well as technically SEO friendly. The goal is to help the users, gain trust and sustain the rankings which they call sustainable SEO.
It is also a complete website optimization package and also allows you to add open graph meta data, do page analysis, publish xml sitemap, and so much more.
#2 Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps is another very important plugin for WordPress. It helps the search engines to better index your website with a special XML sitemap.
On activating the plugin, it automatically creates an XML sitemap for your site making it easy to index. A sitemap enables the search engine bots to view the complete structure of your website and retrieve the results more efficiently. The plugin notifies all the major search engines every time you publish something on your site.
#3 W3 Total Cache
WordPress caching is one of the best ways to improve website performance. The general idea of caching is to store the website data temporarily in the cache so that it loads faster the next time user opens the same page. This reduces page loading time drastically and helps to optimize overall site performance. Additionally, enhanced site-speed will profoundly impact your site SEO.
W3 Total Cache plugin is one of the most popular plugins and probably the best caching plugin for WordPress. It features page cache, database caching, object caching, browser caching, CDN services to reduce page load time and a lot more.
A reduced loading time, gets you better ranking on search results which consecutively results into a higher web traffic and conversions. A similar alternate is the WP Super Cache.
#4 Wordfence Security
One of the most crucial things to do is to keep your site secure from the hacks. It is something that you cannot afford to ignore. There may be thousands of malicious bots on the web which can attack your website anytime and destroy your entire work in no time. That is why you must always prevent the spams and keep your website secure.
Wordfence Security features Firewall protection, malware scan, blocking, login security, live traffic monitoring and a lot more. The plugin lets you monitor all your traffic in real-time including robots, humans, 404 errors, logins, logouts etc. With the monitoring your real-time traffic, you can be aware of the security threats your site is facing and take an instant action against it.
Images add great visual layer to your post / page, which easily grabs the users’ attention. While images make your site more appealing, they also take up a lot of storage space and slow down your website.
With WP Smush, you can compress and optimize the images without compromising on the quality of the images. It optimizes all of your image files in JPEG, GIF and PNG formats and frees-up storage space. Thought the plugin auto-smushes attachments on upload, you can also manually smush your attachments in the media library. Additionally, the plugin allows for bulk smushing.
#6 BJ Lazy Load
If your page / post uses a lot of images, it may take time to load. That is annoying to users which often results in higher bounce rates. The BJ Lazy Load replaces all your post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to entering the browser screen. It displays images only when a user scrolls the page. Therefore, your site loads faster and bandwidth in the process.
In addition, it works with text widgets, embedded videos from YouTube, Vimeo etc.
Sumo provides free tools you need to grow your WordPress site. This plugin will make it easy for your readers to join your email list, share your articles via social media and optimize with analytics. The features to this plugin include Email List Builder, Share, Welcome Mat, Heat Maps, Scroll Box, Smart Bar, Highlighter, Image Sharer and other great free tools in Sumo Store.
#8 MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services to manage subscribers, send emails and track results in the bulk. The plugin lets you create beautiful opt-in forms to add more subscribers to your email list. You can also integrate the plugin with other contact forms, comments or checkout forms. It supports all the major form plugins like Contact Form 7, WooCommerce etc.
It is no doubt a great marketing tool for the webmasters and business owners. A premium version of the plugin is available for commercial purposes.
LinkPatrol actively seeks out and notifies you about any broken links on your site and in your content, helping your content to give the best customer experience.
#10 Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool
When creating your content, it’s important to consider what keywords you’re using to boost your content’s online visibility. You can easily find the keywords you want to use using Google’s very own keyword research tool.
While there are more plugins which are absolutely essential for a WordPress platform, I may not have included them owing to the limitations of the post. However, based on this list of top 10 plugins and tools you can start building your website in the right way.
Feel free to share your favourite plugin(s) in the comments below, that you think are essential in ensuring an amazing wordpress experience.