One reason for WordPress’s success is its simplicity. It also comes with a load of features and flexibility. It’s why many choose WordPress as the platform for their blogs and websites.
Plugins make it easy to customise your site without having to write any code. Apart from helping you build your website, plugins can also make running and promoting your site much easier. With so many free and premium plugins to choose from, anything you’re wanting your site to do, it’s likely a plugin already exists that provides this. To help you turn your site into something great, here are 5 must-have WordPress plugins you should consider installing.
1. WordFence (Security)
The security of your site is an important issue. It’s one of the things that will determine its success or failure. While there are a number of security plugins available, WordFence is one of the more popular choices offering both a free and premium version. Although both versions share a common set of features, the premium version offers additional security tools as well as support.
To put a stop to your WordPress site being hacked, the plugin includes a web application firewall. It also includes the means to scan and alert you to any attempts to hack your site. With a feature list that is all-embracing, how easy the plugin is to use will depend on your level of knowledge about security topics.
Installing the WordFence plugin is no different to any other. Once installed, it can be configured through the WordPress dashboard. This provides a good way to get a picture of what is happening on your website. It will help you decide what action you should take if any to protect your site. WordFence offers your site a lot of features that will keep your sites safe and potentially off of spam lists.
2. UpdraftPlus (Backup)
Avoiding a situation where your website or blog is down because of a server crash, a dodgy update or even user error is important. Being able to get your site back up and running in a short space of time is key to its success. This is where the UpdraftPlus plugin can help. It makes it simple for you to backup, and restore your website with a single click from the WordPress dashboard. Apart from being much easier, having a backup of your site offers peace of mind. When you backup your site you have the choice of storing it in the cloud with google drive and dropbox or on your computer.
The UpdraftPlus plugin has both a free version and a premium version. With the premium plugin comes extra features allowing you to:
- Securely backup WordPress multi-sites or networks.
- Backup WP core and non-WP files as well as databases.
- Set the times for creating, retaining or deleting backups.
- Remove the adverts that come with the free version.
- Create and email reports about backups.
If you find that you need help with using the plugin, the premium version also offers access to priority support.
3. Yoast Seo (SEO)
Once you have your website the way you want it, the next task is to let search engines like Google know about it. The higher up your website is in a search engine’s results, the more chance that people will visit it. This means making use of search engine optimisation (SEO) on your site. Ignoring SEO is not the best thing you can do for your business. If you do, the chances are that people will not be able to find it. When it comes to employing SEO on your site, there are several things that you need to keep in mind. This plugin will, however, take care of most of them for you.
Being able to make use of the Yoast SEO plugin on your site is easy to do, even for those who are new to SEO. This plugin makes it easy for you to perfect your website so others can find it. It provides access to a lot of SEO tools that can help improve your website. As well as removing the ads, 24/7 support is available with the premium version of the plugin.
4. W3 Total Cache (Optimisation)
When users access your site, they don’t want to be waiting around for a page to load. This is where the W3 Total Cache plugin can help. The caching plugin is free and comes with 16 pages of options for configuring it. Although it has a large number of configuration options, it does come with a simple one-click setup. That said, the customise options might be a little off-putting for some.
Using the plugin can cut the amount of time it takes to load a web page. The plugin reduces the size of files as well as information in your web pages. By making your site faster to load, it can help influence where your page appears in search engine results. Although the plugin is free, there are premium extensions available which extend its functions as well as providing support options.
5. Sumome (Marketing)
If you’re looking for your site to be a success, then you need to be able to improve it as well as grow your audience. This is where the Sumome plugin can help. It’s the essential ‘All-in-One’ set of tools that all website owners need. It offers functions such as enabling you to increase your exposure. It also helps you build email lists as well as analytics and sharing content.
The plugin is free for those sites where there is only a limited number of visitors each month. Where there’s a larger number of visitors, there is a premium version available. Apart from handling more visitors, it offers extra tools such as A/B testing, multiple integrations and templates for example. Also, the premium version comes with both VIP support and the ability to remove the Sumome branding.
With the amazing amount of excellent plugins available, these are the first 5 that I install on all clients sites. What are yours? Tell us in the comments below!
About the Author:
Danny Smith is a digital marketing consultant who has worked with a variety of small and medium sized companies which has enabled him to gain an insight in today’s complex business environment and the challenges many businesses face.