WordPress is the most widely used, open source website creation tool written in PHP. In simpler words, it is the most powerful blogging and content management system available in the digital world today. WordPress is 100% free and will always be 100% free. However, it provides you with the option of shifting to the paid plans for better features.
Although WordPress has mostly been categorized as being a blogging platform in the past, it has come a long way and has evolved into a more versatile Content Management System. You can still use WordPress to create simple blogs, it also allows you to create functional websites and mobile applications.
WordPress offers a wide range of WordPress Plugins that helps heighten your WordPress website functionality and user experience. Plugins can be closely compared with the applications on your mobile device. Currently, WordPress is home to over 48,000 WordPress Plugins that you can incorporate in your WordPress website to increase its functionality. WordPress Plugins are a great replacement to features that are generally not available on the WordPress website.
You can find WordPress Plugins by visiting the WordPress plugin directory or you can also find all the WordPress Plugins in the admin section of your WordPress website. WordPress Plugins can both be free or paid. A good WordPress website usually uses a combination of both free and paid plugins. In case you are confused as to the type of WordPress Plugins you should install for your WordPress website.
Top WordPress plugins you must install for your WordPress website
Here is a list of the top WordPress Plugins you can install for your website:
As with every data related software, there is always an inbuilt risk of data loss due to connectivity errors, program failures or a simple power cut. It can get very frustrating when such errors occur right before you save your entire WordPress website progress. This is where the BackWPup plugin comes in play. This WordPress Plugin will ensure your blog is always backed up so you don’t lose any data.
While the plugin is completely free to use, it comes with an added paid premium feature with extra support. The BackWpup comes with power packed features such as:
- Fully supports export of WordPress XML files.
- Backups made with the plugin can easily be restored
- Supports remote backups.
- Let’s you schedule backups according to your needs.
JetPack is one of the most sought after and powerful WordPress Plugin created by the team behind the WordPress software itself. JetPack provides a complete pack of features designed to increase the functionality and productivity of your WordPress website.
JetPack takes care of everything starting from security to image optimization and everything in between. Not only that it comes loaded with features such as:
- Automatically shares your content to search engines to increase traffic to your website.
- Creates free sitemaps that allows search engines to index your website.
- Provides a constant watch over your website for any threats.
- Monitors your website for downtime at an interval of every 5 mins and informs you of the same.
JetPack is completely free with some paid premium features.
Redirection is a very handy WordPress Plugin. This plugin helps manage your URL redirects, and help redirect users to another page in case of 404 errors. The errors faced during your use are automatically logged and you can view them to make changes to the site to minimize errors accordingly. It is a good practice to add your redirects manually via the ‘htaccess’ file in order to reduce the load on your server.
This small yet powerful plugin comes packed with features such as:
- Redirections are added automatically whenever there is a change in the post permalinks.
- Monitors all 404 errors in your WordPress website.
- Supports redirects such as 301,302 and 307 redirects.
- Provides import and export functionality.
Redirection is a free WordPress Plugin.
#4. Yoast SEO:
SEO has become a very important part of any website. Search Engines in today’s world want Search Engine optimized content. With a rise in the number of people using Search Engines SEO has become more important than ever before. Thankfully there is a WordPress Plugin to take care of your WordPress website’s SEO needs. Yoast SEO guides you to make better content and improve your search engine ranks considerably. Yoast SEO provides your WordPress website these features:
- Analysis on Keyword density.
- Easy and visually appealing colour coded interface points out the areas your content is lacking.
- Provides suggestions to better optimise your content.
- Boosts your website’s search engine ranking.
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress Plugin but you will have to pay a considerable amount in order to use its premium features.
Similar to the BackWPup plugin. The BackupBuddy backs up all your WordPress data into a plethora of storage services such as Stash, Dropbox and even on mail. Importing data from the BackupBuddy is also extremely smooth and time-saving. BackupBuddy comes handy if you wish to migrate your website to a new server other than WordPress. BackupBuddy will run a full backup on your WordPress website and import the same to your new website without having to install WordPress all over again. The BackupBuddy provides the following features:
- The full backup also includes database backup.
- You can choose the files you want to backup.
- Scheduled backups.
- Easy migration.
BackupBuddy is not a free WordPress Plugin and requires you to pay a fee to use it.
#6. W3 Total Cache:
You can increase the performance of your website considerably by WordPress caching. The main idea behind caching is that the cache stores the website data temporarily so that the website loads faster the next time you try to open the same page. In the computing world the cache is a storage unit that temporarily stores data. You can use the W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin to cache your WordPress website and reduce your page loading time to a great extent. W3 Total Cache comes packed with the following features:
- Supports CDN.
- Comes with database, object and browser caching.
- Provides advance setting.
- Very functional.
W3 Total is a completely free WordPress Plugin.
The digital word is filled with malicious softwares and hackers waiting to get their hands on your hard work and potentially destroying it once and for all. It becomes imperative in these cases that you have a proper security blanket that will constantly protect your precious work from harm. WordPress has a ton of security plugins, one among those WordPress Plugin is the WordFence plugin. WordFence provides your website:
- A strong Firewall Protection.
- Lets you scan and block potential malware.
- Provides login security.
- Lets you monitor your site traffic live.
The WordPress Plugin lets you check threats in real time and take instantaneous actions against it to ensure you are always protected.
WordFence is free to use, but you will have to pay an amount to use its Premium features.
#8. BJ Lazy Load:
Too many images in your website can slow down your website loading speed and lead to user frustrations. BJ Lazy Load will help your website load faster even when it is loaded with images by viewing the images only when the user scrolls.
The WordPress Plugin comes with these benefits:
- Saves Loading time
- Reduces customer bounce rates.
- Works with YouTube videos too.
- Saves Bandwidth.
BJ Lazy Load is absolutely free to use.
#9. WP Super Cache:
The WP Super Cache WordPress Plugin serves as a great alternative to the W3 Total Cache. The WP Super Cache translates otherwise dynamic web pages into static web pages for the users to speed up loading times. The WP Super Cache provides the following features:
- Faster page loading time.
- Lets you chose whom to show the static pages.
- Supports CDN.
- Supports Multiple Caching types.
This WordPress Plugin is absolutely free to download and use.
#10. MailChimp for WordPress:
MailChimp is one the widely used mailing WordPress Plugin. MailChimp lets you integrate subscription forms in your WordPress blogs for ease. MailChimp also lets you track your subscription list and maintain it for maximum productivity. The MailChimp WordPress Plugin comes with the following features:
- Easy to install and use.
- Lets you create forms for all purposes.
- Lets you add subscribers.
- Supports major plugins such as Contact Form 7, WooCommerce etc.
MailChimp for WordPress is a free WordPress Plugin.
The bottom line:
WordPress Plugins provides immense functionality to your WordPress blog. The plugins mentioned above will ensure you make the most out of your WordPress blog or website. Select the plugins that work best with your website needs.
Image credits: wpexplorer.com, atlantasky.com, wpbeginner.com, wordpress.org, tools-wp.com, wpjournals.com, thesempost.com