The WordPress plugin library is home to a wide variety of tools for enhancing a website’s functionality. They will, for example, aid us in optimizing the website or increasing its rating on search engines such as Google or providing extra security and backup for our site. Since many WordPress plugins have the same features, it can be hard to choose the one that is best for us. Today’s blog post is about WordPress plugins, without which I could not build a website with this ever-popular CMS (content management system).
What to pay attention to when using WordPress plugins?
Before going on to talk about our recommended plugins, we need to outline the correct way of handling WordPress plugins. Since there are many developers who build free-to-use plugins, the quality or safety of some plugins may not be up to standard.
The main methods of hacking WordPress sites continue to be outdated plugins and vulnerabilities. The number of plugins you have installed on your website will determine how much maintenance is necessary as well as how likely it is that theme breaks, plugin conflicts, and site errors will occur.
Before choosing to install a plugin, make sure to answer the following questions:
- What are the user reviews of the plugin?
- When was it last updated?
- How many installs does the plugin have?
- How often are the support questions answered?
If you see a plugin that has been around for a while with a low user score, no updates, and no response from its author, then consider it a red flag!
Make sure to update your current plugins constantly, as outdated plugins may lead to security issues or plugin conflicts that could slow down your website. Apart from that, you shouldn’t miss out on their new updated features!
PHP powers every aspect of the WordPress environment. Similar to plugins, your PHP should also be updated because an out-of-date version could result in even more security flaws that hackers could easily exploit.
Make sure to keep in mind these rules to provide the best conditions for your WordPress website and WordPress plugins. Now, let’s have a look at some of the recommended plugins!
Over 11 million websites using WordPress have Yoast SEO installed as of 2022. It is without a doubt the most popular plugin for WordPress. It will be helpful to us in enhancing the positioning of our website within various search engines. With Yoast SEO‘s assistance, we will be able to easily manage the titles and descriptions of our subpages in the search engine and on the site map. The plugin also offers Open Graph features. By working with OpenGraph data, the Yoast SEO plugin can help you to easily prepare and preview your content before sharing it on social media. This plugin also permits the user to index the content and create a breadcrumb menu.
Yoast SEO alone won’t change our website’s ranking on Google in any way. Once the plugin has been installed, you must spend some time customizing it before finishing the SEO information for our subpages. Every aspect of management is easy to use and enjoyable.
Contact Form 7
We want website visitors to be able to get in touch with us. Having your email address posted on our website isn’t always a smart idea. Subsequently, we could experience a flood of spam, including various offerings that are just not necessarily of interest to us. Contact Form 7 is a very simple tool for creating a contact form, via which users of our website can send a question to our e-mail address.
Setup of the plugin is a breeze. It enables us to add various types of fields to the form and validates that the fields are accurately filled out. Because Contact Form 7 is pre-integrated with ReCaptcha, we don’t have to stress about spam bots flooding our inboxes.
The top WordPress caching plugin available is WP Rocket. It is the easiest caching plugin for people who are just starting out, which is very helpful if you don’t know the technical terms for the different caching options.
With only one click, users may quickly cache their website. Its crawler automatically fetches your WordPress pages to build up the cache. The recommended WordPress caching settings, including gzip compression, page caching, and cache pre-loading, are then automatically enabled by the plugin.
You can activate more optional features in WP Rocket to boost performance even more. This includes minification, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, lazy image loading, and other features.
Advanced Custom Field
A plugin that every WordPress theme developer will find useful. Without it, I find it impossible to work on new pages. With the help of the plugin Advanced Custom Field, you can quickly add new features to you WordPress theme. Using the visual editor in wp-admin, adding complex custom fields to our admin panel is really easy.
But it’s not that simple to integrate the newly added fields into our theme. Therefore, not everyone should use this plugin. You must understand how to customize a WordPress theme and the fundamentals of HTML and CSS in order to show your own fields in a theme. However, it is worthwhile to take an interest in ACF because it enables us to extend our website with new features without having to add a ton of plugins with extraneous code.
Google Analytics Dashboard
With the help of this robust, free WordPress plugin, you can monitor important statistics inside your WordPress installation and track visitors to your site using the tracking code from Google Analytics. The information you receive back from Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is completely customisable and can be used to build a set of performance statistics about the site’s performance overall as well as that of specific pages and posts.
This WordPress plugin is fully compatible with multisite network installs and connects with Google AdWords, allowing you to monitor the degree to which your advertisements are successful in generating conversions. It also supports AdSense, allowing you to determine which posts or pages are earning the most money. Be aware that using this plugin requires the creation of a Google Analytics account, which is free.
Protecting data with regular backups is essential. You can’t have one without the other.
And although I’ve heard the claim that if your web host creates backups for you, you don’t need a backup plugin, I don’t agree with that. You can never be too careful. You should always have a backup strategy or system in place for everything you do (even backups for backups).
With UpdraftPlus, you have control over both the location and frequency of backups for your website. Additionally, you don’t have to sign into the control panel of your web host in order to restore an earlier version of your website. You can do that right away with WordPress.
When creating a WordPress website, there are a ton of options, and plugins are frequently the best method to attain this diversity in design and development. But you should start with the six basic plugins listed above because they provide the fundamental functionality that any website needs.