One of the reasons WordPress is the most popular CMS is because of plugins. The ease of installing them, the large number that are available and the community around them offering support makes WordPress plugins a no brainer for any WordPress website. They are a great way to add functionality, efficiency and improve aesthetics of your website for both you and your website visitors. There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins available. Given the large number of plugins available sometimes it can be challenging selecting which ones to use. Whatsoever feature you want to add to your website it is highly likely there are a number of plugins available for that functionality. We have done the heavy lifting for you and put together 8 of the best WordPress plugins for 2019. Depending on the functionality you are looking for the plugins you require can vary greatly. We will cover plugins that are a no brainer for any website, to help you improve your website speed, SEO, security and keep your website spam free.
- W3 Total Cache
The ultimate goal of any website is to increase conversions. If your website is slow you are definitely loosing customers. The average load time for a good, fast, high converting website is 3 seconds. Anything above that and you need to work on your websites speed.
Using a cache plugin is one of the best ways to improve a WordPress website’s speed. Caching is a way to temporarily store static html copies of dynamic pages so that they load faster when a user opens the website.
W3 Total Cache is one of the best caching plugins. You will notice a significant improvement in website speed just by installing the plugin and leaving the default settings in. Should you wish to further optimise your website speed the plugin offers tons of options that you can configure to improve your website speed.
Additionally faster websites tend to do better in search engine rankings. Another reason why you absolutely need this plugin.
- Yoast SEO
There is no point in having a website if you don’t have people visiting it. Search engines the best source of traffic you can direct to your website since the visitor has already shown interest in your product or service by searching for a relevant term. Through search engines the buyer is looking for you rather than social media where you are throwing the ball in the darkness and your ads can either hit or miss people interested in your products or services.
Yoast SEO is an splendid plugin which leads you all the way to create better content for your website and improve search engine rankings. The plugin helps you to create content that is technically SEO friendly.
- WP Smush
One of the things that is certainly going to slow down your website is un-optimised images. Whilst they are a great asset that captures a user’s attention easily, they take up space and slow down your website.
WP Smush helps you to compress and optimise your images so they take up less space and load faster without compromising on the quality of the images. The free version of the plugin allows you to smush (compress and optimise) 50 images at a time and the paid version allows you to smush unlimited images at the same time. The paid version has a number of other handy features as well.
Page speed is a ranking factor that google takes in to consideration when your website appears in search engine results. Running some tests on your website using the Google Page Speed Insights tool can help you determine if there are any un-optimised images on your website. WP Smush will come in handy when you need to optimise those images.
- Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights
Once your website is loading fast, has visitors coming in from SEO and other channels it is important to track user behaviour and digest it to optimise your website even more and get results. Google analytics is a tool that helps you understand website traffic.
Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights is a great tool for integrating Google analytics on your WordPress website. The plugin lets you to observe various real time stats regarding your site. Also, using Universal tracking, you can track user views from numerous platforms and devices as well as collect countless demographic and interest reports.
- Contact form 7
When was the last time you visited a website, got interested in the products or services on offer, looked for the email address, copied it, opened your mail app, pasted it and wrote an email? Sounds tedious? Contact forms are a great, easy way to let your visitors get in touch with you without having to leave your website.
If you are looking for a plugin that will easily integrate on your website, can manage multiple contact forms, uses reCaptcha to ensure spammy submissions are filtered, then contact form 7 is the last plugin that you will need.
- Wordfence Security
The importance of keeping your website secure from hackers cannot be stressed enough. Not everyone on the web is out there with good intentions. What if you woke up one day and found all your data on your website deleted? While backups are good to have and a good reactive measure in case anything happens, prevention is always better.
Wordfence is a reliable plugin featuring: firewall protection, malware scanning, blocking, login security, live traffic monitoring and a lot more. To increase login security, it implements Two Factor Authentication while it also checks the strength of user passwords.
- Akismet Anti-Spam
The plugin is installed by default in WordPress. You just need to activate it if you plan on using it. Spam is annoying, time wasting and can cause serious damage to your website. Akismet Anti-Spam is the only plugin you need to keep your website comments spam free. The plugin automatically reviews comments on your website and marks spammy comments. You can review the ones marked as spam and filter out any which you would like to publish in case you don’t find them to be spam.
If you are looking to build an ecommerce store then Woocommerce is your answer. It’s free, integrates seamlessly with WordPress, it’s flexible, has hundreds of extensions and gives you complete control on your online store. You can sell both physical and digital goods, you can sell worldwide and you can integrate multiple payment options. The list of features for Woocommerce goes on and on. Woocommerce powers almost 30% of ecommerce stores. It’s highly recommended for website owners looking to sell online.
The number of plugins available for WordPress can be overwhelming and confusing. Choosing a wrong one can be disastrous for your website. It can completely break your website or waste your time until you find the right one. That is why we put together awesome guides such as this one to help you navigate through rough waters and make the right choice.