WordPress has the coolest features than most content management systems but what makes it even better is the wordpress plugins that I’ll talk about here.
There’s thousands of plugins online, and they all have their valuable use. There’s almost wordpress plugins for almost anything that you can do online. You can customized your own theme and add extra features to it with various plugins.
On this post I will cover some of the most important plugin that you can use. You don’t have to use all of them but you can select the ones specific to your needs. I will give at least two to three plugins for every feature needed.
Every WordPress blog needs to be protected from spammers and hackers. There are many stories of people of their blogs being hacked online.
Surely you wouldn’t want something like that to happen to your work, you have worked hard to get it there. Which is why I had to start with security plugins so that you don’t forget about your site protection.
Akismet Anti Spam
This is a default wordpress plugin that you can use to protect your blog from spam. Is automatically installed, you just have to activate it and set up your API key for it to work.
This plug is one of the best security plugins, it includes features such as password protection, Google reCaptcha, a Two Factor Authentication(2FA), automatic scan and more.
There’s a free version and premium version that costs about $80 annually.
This wordpress plugin strengthens your blog by monitoring most of the security stuff. Securi logs all your all your site activity into a cloud to protect it.
Some of the main features of securi is proving Security File Integrity Monitoring(SFIM), Malware scanning, blacklist monitoring and more.
You should backup all your wordpress files and database so that you don’t loose any of them. Is better to be cautious than sorry. Let’s look at some of the wordpress plugins that you can use to backup your blog.
Database Backup Plugin
Since WordPress is a database driven software you will need a way to protect your database. The easy way is to backup your database whenever you want.
You can install the Database Backup Plugin, activate and setup to schedule the backup. The best way is to set up so that it backs up your database daily.
This is a premium version of a backup plugin that comes from iThemes. You can setup your backup schedules, for multiple automatic backups.
It can help you backup other plugins, themes, and media library. All of this from a starting amount of $80 annually.
When you start your blog you will need plugins that will help you optimize your wordpress pages and posts. You need on page seo optimization plugins order for your site to well on search engines.
You can choose either one of the below seo plugins to help your site to rank high. SEO plugins include optimizing your title, subheading, images and others.
The Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most trusted seo optimization tools that I also use. It has all the necessary features that are required do on page optimization.
You can optimise your site title, url, meta description, subheadings, internal links and readability of your text.
Another best feature is the keyword tracking which counts the number of keywords you have on your content. This plugin actually beats all seo plugins and is free but you can upgrade to a paid version.
All in one SEO Pack
The All in one seo pack plugin is also free, it has many uses that you might like. But it also works similar to the plugin in above. You can optimize all your pages and posts with it.
It is compatible with PHP 7 and has features such as Google Analytics, Google sitemap and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Some of it’s features can be found on separate plugins.
If you are planning to sell items online then you will need tools that will help you place those items and customize your site for users. You can turn your site into mini online shoping store.
WordPress has several plugins that you can use for your e-commerce business. Most e-commerce plugins can be integrated into online shopping systems for them to work properly. The plugins can include the payment systems such as Pay Pal, Electronic Fund Transfer(EFT) and other payment systems.
This is the biggest ecommerce plugin for wordpress. Is used by over 40% of the online stores word wide. Woo Commerce has many features required to build a online shop.
You can sell any product from tangible items to digital items with this plugin. This is a well supported plugin with an easy to use setup, it can be customized into most parent and child themes. It is extendible with additional features and works very well with SEO plugins like Yoast and other.
Shopify for WordPress
This is another best e-commerce plugin that you can use to sell stuff online via shopify. Is paid plugin that can be integrated into your shopify account and allow you to add items for users on your site.
This is a mobile friendly plugin meaning anyone who access your site on any mobile device will be able to view your items without any glitches. Shopify is also well supported with a lot of extension features to select from.
Website Tracking and Analysis Plugins
Every now and again you will need to check and analyse the perfomance of your website. And for that you will need a traccking tool like Google Analytics.
There are many plugins that you can install into your wordpress dashboard and integrate them with your Google Analytics tracking code. Before you install any of this plugins create a Goolge Account and get a website tracking code.
Use this plugins to gain more insight about your website and to know where your users come from. Here are three plugins you can use today for website and user tracking:
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP(GADWP) plugin
GADWP is a freemium plugin that you can download and install in your wordpress dashboard. Is easy to integrate with Google Analytics and to use.
Get insights such as the user session, page views, bounce rate, organic searches and more on your wordpress dashboad. For a full insight you can go to your google analytics dashboard.
If you are considering using an advance premium website tracking plugin then MonsterInsights is the one for you. Get all the data required to make data-driven decisions to grow your business.
Three packages you can select from, they include Agency, Pro and Plus. This are from the basic plan for individuals or smaller web development companies and larger digital marketing agencies.
Website Loading Speed Plugins:
Website speed is very important, I covered a post where I explain how you can speed up your wordpress site. Your website visitors are not going to stay with you if your site is slow.
The are many ways to make your site to load extremely fast. There are wordpress plugins dedicated just for that.
W3 Total Cache
A free performance plugin that can be used to speed up wordpress in no time. W3 Total Cache includes the Content Delivery Network (CDN) which is feature that distributes your webpage files to multiple servers world wide to make them easily accessible.
It also includes Page Caching and Minify which removes whitespaces in files to make them smaller.
WP Super Cache
This plugin generates html files for every php file requested and displays the nearest files. WP Super Cache has most features that are available in W3 Total Cache, you can use either one of them.
It has default CDN integration, it caches for both desktop an mobile devices. Another good feature is that it includes Page compression and can do multiple cache. Best of all is a free plugin, you can download it and install it.
When search engines crawl your website files they also look for a sitemap. A sitemap helps to organise your website links for search engines. It structure them accordingly so that they are readable.
Google XML Sitemap
The most popular sitemap wordpress plugin you can find. This plugin generates a xml sitemap file which is stored on your website files to be indexed.
Some of the plugins that include the xml sitemap feature are the Yoast SEO and the JetPack plugin.
Mobile/Responsive Design Plugins:
Most people access the internet using mobile devices, so if your site is not mobile friendly you will loose visitors. Having a mobile responsive site is no longer an option is a demand.
If your WordPress theme does not include the mobile responsive feature you can use wordpress plugins to change it. Your site should also load fast on mobile devices so that your readers wont leave.
This plugin enables you to set your them to fit on mobile screens. It makes your site compatible both on desktop and mobile devices.
Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP)
After making your wordpress site mobile friendly you will need to speed it it on mobile devices as well. AMP is a plugin that accelerates your website loading speed on mobile devices.
Contact Form Plugins:
You might need a contact form on your wordpress site. Instead of placing your email and phone numbers a contact form might be useful.
There are many contact form plugins that you can choose from them but you need ones that will fit your site.
Contact Form 7
This is the most well know contact form plugin used by many people. The Contact Form 7 plugin enables you to include a contact form on your website.
Download and install the plugin and activate. You might need to set it up to meet your theme needs.
With Ninja Forms you can build your own wordpress contact form by dragging and dropping required features. You can include your required fields and ignore those that you don’t need.
Gravity forms is a more advance wordpress contact form plugin with more features. With this plugin you can create almost any type of form you might thing of, from order forms to collecting more information on your website. It also has add on for other systems like payment options like PayPal, email marketing systems and more. Click here to get the gravity forms plugin
As website owner you need your readers to leave comments on your site. Comments are good for building engagements with your readers.
Comments also make your webpages to rank high on search engines because the make your site active.
WordPress has a default comment feature but you can make it more advanced and easy to use. You need plugins that will help your user to leave comments using many methods.
The Disqus plugin is one of the most trusted commenting plugin that you can choose. It works well on desktops and mobile devices.
Is easy to install and to configure, you can make it fit your wordpress theme and look like it came with it. Some of its feature include filtering certain words, spam control and more.
If you are looking for a live comment updates and real time commenting wordpress plugins then this is one of them. This plugin has a friendly user interface where users can highlight, bold, or write italic content. It also allow your readers to subscribe to comment notifications through emails.
Social Media Sharing Plugins:
A blog needs a way for its users to share the blog posts on their profiles. This makes it easy for you to enhance your social media marketing strategy.
This is amongst the best social media wordpress plugins that allows users to share the content. It can be customized to include only the desired social share buttons.
It has over 12 share buttons to choose from including FB, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also choose where you want to place the buttons on your posts.
SumoMe is not just one of those ordinary social share wordpress plugins, it includes many features such as Linkbuilder, Scrollbox, Leads, and more.
On top of all those feature it includes a social share button that can let readers share your content. Best of all is a free tool which should never be missed.
Lead Generation Plugins:
If you want to survive for a very long time online you need ways to generate consistent new leads. Every online business needs a few email marketing, ways to capture email addresses so it reach daily visitors. A lead capture plugin provides such functionality. You need to choose wordpress plugins that you can use to generate leads.
As I have stated, SumoMe is like a all in one wordpress plugin that can help you with blog marketing. You can install this plugin and let it help you collect leads from your readers.
One of the greatest plugins, it let’s you collect leads on your blog. You can customize it to show lead capture form on the top, sidebar or bottom section.
It can also help you to send new blog post notifications to your email subscribers.