It astounds me how a WordPress plugin can replace manual management of a website. By merely installing 5-7 useful plugins, your website can run smoothly without needing much of a team to work on website maintenance (unless the website is commercial or giant eCommerce).
Now, if you are reading this blog, then it’s safe to assume that you are already a WordPress User and is aware that this platform offers thousands of free and paid plugins which a user can incorporate in their site based on their overall goals.
Also, it goes without saying that users opting for WordPress as a CMS are either non-coders or they are looking for CMS that is extremely easy to use. Having said that, plugins is one factor that plays a vital role in making WordPress Simple. Whether it is inserting forms, making a layout of a page or taking the backup of your site, the plugin does all.
Thus, if you are a beginner and the dilemma of choosing the right plugins is still surrounding you, then I would suggest you read this blog until the end as every basic aspect is covered. I have listed out 25 essential plugins under almost 11 categories, which will help you set up from basic to the advanced structure for your site.
The blog is indexed for easy navigation. Since you might not be interested in all the plugins, take a quick look at the index and see which plugins meet your goal and hop on to that section directly. If you are a learner, then it is best if you read every single plugin listed below, as it shall increase your knowledge manifold.
Embark The Best WordPress Plugins To Boost Your Website’s Functionality
It could be surely quite a daunting task to choose those 5 or 10 best plugins for your site from a pool of thousands. Thus, here are some best plugins listed under different categories that will help in boosting the functionality of your site.
Most of these plugins are free, regularly updated and are well maintained by their developers so even if you are using their free versions, you can rely on them. I have spent quite some time researching the best options for you so that your blogging journey can escape the hassle of finding a needle in a haystack and you can sail smoothly throughout.
Best Security Plugins For WordPress
Wordfence is a great plugin to protect your data and safeguard your site, which otherwise could be destroyed by malicious bots present all over the Internet. Your website needs protection from hackers, spams, and malware, as they can affect the functionality of your site, thereby destroying all your work in seconds.
With an excellent endpoint firewall & an effective malware scanner, this comprehensive tool is the best when it comes to providing security to your site. It is updated at all times with new firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses. Upon installation, you can monitor the traffic generated through human, robots, login & logouts and 404 errors.
Thus, Wordfence is a one-stop solution for all your website security requirements.
Akismet is your solution to comment spam. Being an anti-spam plugin, it thoroughly filters the spam comments and brings it to your notice. Advanced security features can also be achieved using Akismet’s premium version.
The plugin is free of cost for personal and blog sites with limited features (only spam protection). The “Plus” package costs $5 per month per site while “Enterprise” package costs $50 per month for unlimited sites. The Plus and Enterprise packages offer spam protection, support for commercial sites, advanced stats and priority support.
Hence, install Akismet for a spam-free website!
Best SEO Plugin For WordPress
Though there are hundreds of plugins available on WordPress for SEO, my personal favourite is Yoast. I am currently using Yoast for this site, and other client site’s I’m running. It is way too simple to operate, making a complicated process easy. The popularity can be observed just by seeing the no. of active users presently and rating of this plugin. You can optimize your webpages, content and overall website by simply installing Yoast.
Thus, Yoast is a great tool for SEO and is highly recommended.
If you wish to get an extra pair of eyes to keep a check on your website, then go ahead and install Broken Link Checker. As the name suggests, this tool will find the broken links and images and notify you to take immediate action. Broken links can impact your ranking, and you surely don’t want crawlers following broken links. With this tool, you can monitor all the links and prevent your site and users from any negative impact.
Thus, install Broken Link Checker to give your users a great navigation experience on your site.
Best Analytics WordPress
GA Google Analytics
By using Google Analytics plugin, you can keep track of your visitors. This freemium plugin is easy to install and helps you analyze real-time traffic. Besides visitors, you can also track links & user engagement, get traffic insights and perform A/B testing.
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics solution available. However, you can also install it directly by adding the code on your site. You can also use the same google analytics account for multiple websites and get individual reporting on each.
Upon installation, Monster Insights provides the analytics solution for your website. You can observe user behaviour and see which articles and pages are ranking higher or getting maximum engagement. You will also get to know the source of traffic. Besides personal and blogging sites, Monster insights work great for eCommerce sites too.
Another great tool for calculating statistics of your site is WP Statistics. The stats are displayed in the form of graphs that can be seen on the WordPress dashboard. Also, the plugin tracks and notifies the redirects from search engines. With the help WP Statistic plugin, you can filter data based on browser, keyword, IP address, geography etc.
Best Optimization & Performance WordPress Plugins
Once your site starts finding traffic, slow rendering is natural as there is a great load on RAM. With the help of WP Fastest Cache, a static HTML file can be created which allows multiple users to reach the same static page rather than rendering the page repeatedly. It will improve user experience and keep your site in control when heavy traffic is received. For all advanced features, WP Fastest Cache premium version can be purchased.
If your site is high volume and receives high traffic, then W3 Total Cache is a great plugin for optimizing your site and keep its performance up to date. A website with great performance provides a better user experience which is an essential factor for SEO. The plugin reduces the load time of webpages with the help of Content Delivery Network and other best practices. The tool has millions of active users presently and is highly recommended.
Best BackUp WordPress Plugins
UpdraftPlus is a great plugin to take a back up for your website. This free plugin is highly recommended and probably the most preferred back up plugin by the developer and WordPress Users. You can either go for a manual setup or schedule your backups. No technical background is necessary to restore or backup your files.
The plugin supports cloud storage on platforms like DropBox, Google Drive etc. Though the free version suffices for small, personal or blogging sites, the premium version can be availed for advanced features if your site is commercial or eCommerce.
VaultPress Plugin offers double benefit as it not only allows you to take backup but also scan the website for any potential threat. You can either sync your site for backup in real-time or take back up manually. In case, the plugin discovers any malware or virus; you can simply remove them from your site with just a few clicks.
Best Redirection WordPress Plugins
For 301 redirect and 404 error, redirection is the aptest plugin for your website. Popular and highly recommended for great user experience, this plugin can fix a broken link or a small technical error related to redirect, which is essential for SEO. The plugins allow monitoring throughout when URL’s or permalinks of a page or post is changed. The plugin is a total saviour when it comes to maintaining your site ranking.
In order to use this plugin, your website must be SSL certified. Upon installation, this plugin will redirect a user to HTTPS version of your site if they are using HTTP. The plugin can either redirect a page or an entire site or even force load static files. The plugin is extremely easy to operate and simple.
Best Form Builder WordPress Plugins
WP Forms plugin is user-friendly and allows you to create a contact form in minutes. Using drag and drop model, all you have to decide is what to include in the form. Few pre-made templates are also available which can simply be incorporated. For advanced features, you can purchase its premium version, which allows you to add a poll, survey, avail spam protection, etc. The plugin is mobile-friendly and very extremely easy to operate.
Contact Form 7 is another popular plugin to create a contact form. If you are new to using WordPress and has no coding knowledge, then it would be best for you to go for WP Forms. The form is simple and user-friendly and offers premium add-ons. You can customize your form and integrate it into your website.
Best Email Marketing WordPress Plugins
If you have an email list and are looking to send newsletters to your audience regularly, then Mailchimp is the most effective tool for it. Being one of the best email-marketing tools, Mailchimp allows you to create email campaigns, which not only helps you get more user engagement but also keeps your audience updated about what new things you have to offer? You can set up the Mailchimp account in minutes and install the plugin on WordPress. The tool is user-friendly and easy to use.
Another name that is celebrated for email marketing is Optin master. Based on your requirement, you can choose the plan from basic to professional. Though it needs investment, the results are great. It shall not disappoint you when it comes to your no. of subscribers and email lists. The plugins have pre-built templates, although you can design the forms and campaigns too using drag and drop. It can be integrated easily with eCommerce platforms and other websites. The plugin is mobile-friendly and has advanced analytics options.
If one of your goals is building a robust email list, then it is highly recommended that you install this plugin right away. SUMO List Builder helps you add pops ups to your site and design attractive newsletters that a one-time visitor will become a lifetime subscriber. This mobile-friendly drag and drop builder is an advanced tool which has even more significant features in its premium version. You can either go for pre-built templates or design everything from scratch.
Best Social Media Plugin For WordPress
As the name suggests, Simple Social Icons allows you to add social icons in any widget area. You can customize the icons for colours, size and also alignment. The free plugin is easy to use and also covers all major social platforms for integration. It is great for evoking engagement among your audience.
Social Pug allows you to customize and add social buttons on your website which eventually increases interaction. The free version allows only five social platforms integration while the premium version allows 10+ networks. The social icons can be placed either before or after your content or float on the side. Also, the plugin will enable you to track the no. of shares.
Social Login is a free WordPress plugin that allows your audience to log in or comment using social accounts. The plugin has seamless integration and surely guarantees data protection entered by the user. The plugin is capable of removing bot registration and keeps spams at a distance. Both personal and commercial sites can use this plugin as it allows 40+ social media integrations.
Best Page Builder Plugin For WordPress
Elementor Plugin is a highly effective and real-time page builder. All you have to do is design a layout in your mind and drag and drop the widgets. There is both free and premium version, but as a beginner, you can do a million of things just with the free version. From colour, typography to adding social icons, sliders and testimonial, you can customize every element on your website. There are pre-built templates too which are again customizable and can be used, as it is if you don’t wish to start from scratch. This is one of the most popular builders and has millions of active users presently.
Very similar to Elementor, Divi is another popular builder that allows you to build your website block by block in real-time. You can drag and drop the elements you like or choose a template and customize it. The plugin is extremely easy to operate and can help you in creating a page in minutes given your content and design is ready with you beforehand. The layouts once made can be used in future too. You can either use it with Divi theme or any other theme. The best deal about Divi theme is that it comes with a lifetime plan and you can create all kinds of website.
Best E-commerce WordPress Plugin
Woo Commerce allows you to create a custom eCommerce store with this free plugin. It is flexible and offers hundreds of free add-ons. What sets it apart from other eCommerce plugins is the advantages it provides such as:
With this plugin, you can create a stunning storefront based on your idea and also access it using the mobile version of woo Commerce. Also, there are multifarious integrations that you can go for such as Google Analytics, PayPal etc.
-You can also keep your inventory up-to-date & track it to avoid manual tracking.
-You can add robust payment methods by integrating options such as Paypal, credit card merchants etc. Also, the plugin automatically calculates the shipping and also tax charges on the total bill; therefore, you don’t have to add extra plugin or code for the same.
-You can build an affiliate site and sell products of other brands.
There are still hundreds of features that this plugin has and therefore, a user can create endless options.
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD)
If you wish to create your eCommerce store in a very short time span, then Easy Digital Download (EDD) Plugin is a great option for you. The reason this platform has gained recognition is the simplicity it offers when you onboard it.
Some of the amazing features it will offer once you incorporate it are:
- Add Shopping Cart For Customer Convenience
- Customer Management
- Applying Discount Code On Products
- The earning & Sales data can be tracked, monitored and reported (category wise or overall)
- Mail List Integration
- Extension Catalog
- Affiliate System Integration & Adding Payment Gateways
The plugin is free of cost and has more than 60,000+ active installations currently.
Let Effective WordPress Plugins Make Your Life Simple
You can incorporate any feature or function in your WordPress site by merely integrating an appropriate plugin. Plugins save you from all the hard work & complexity of coding and also give you a desired function/outlook your site needs. These 25 plugins listed above covers most of the primary function and based on your requirement; you can choose some of them to make your site fully functional and updated.
So, try installing and activating the essential plugins today! Also, share which plugins best for you in the comment below!