WordPress Essentials: 8 Must Have Plugins For Every WordPress Website

WordPress Essentials: 8 Must Have Plugins For Every WordPress Website

WordPress plugins are components that can be integrated into the WordPress core. Users download various plugins because the WordPress core lacks additional functions such as Contact Form 7 for signup or Sucuri for a complete scan of your WordPress website.

I have listed 8 WordPress plugins that I think are great in terms of security and performance for your WordPress website:

Relevanssi

Relevanssi plugin

Relevansi is a WordPress plugin that replaces the standard WordPress search function with an improved search engine. The plugin also comes with several configuration options and features such as:

  • Users can find documents by one search term or a number of words.
  • In fuzzy matching, if complete words do not match then users can use partial words.
  • In the premium version, you can get “Did you mean?”-type suggestions just like Google.
  • Index shortcode contents.
  • Index custom taxonomies and post types.
  • You can use filter hook to disable post title and post content indexing.
  • There is an advanced filtering option to help users hack search results the way they want.
  • There is search throttling that helps improve performances on large databases

Jetpack

Jetpack plugin

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin created by the parent company of WordPress, Automattic, which makes this one of the most important plugin in the WordPress community. Jetpack offers a number of features that boosts your website’s traffic, security and user engagement.

Jetpack stops hacking, reduce downtime and recover your data by providing:

  • Monitoring of uptime and downtime
  • Protection against brute force attacks
  • Two-factor authentication and secure logins

Jetpack’s traffic and SEO features include:

  • Related posts
  • Analytics and stats of your website
  • Automatic sharing on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WhatsApp and Reddit.

Engage and encourage your users to come back to your WordPress website with:

  • Facebook, Google and Twitter comment logins
  • Email subscriptions
  • Posts having infinite scrolls
  • Contact forms that are completely customizable.

You can present your content in a clean and attractive manner by using:

  • Fast CDN for images.
  • YouTube, Spotify and Google Doc embeds
  • Facebook, RSS Feeds and Twitter sidebar customization

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO plugin

Yoast is one of the most popular SEO WordPress plugins today with over 3 million installs. The purpose of Yoast is to improve your website’s SEO by taking care of all the technical optimization and choose a focus keyword when you write an article.

Some of Yoast’s most important features include:

  • Page analysis that checks if you have images in your posts and if the images have an alt tag that contains a focus keyword in your post.       Also, it checks if your posts are long enough, have a meta description, if you have used your focus keyword and more.
  • Yoast allows you to control which search result pages you want Google to show and not show. The plugin
  • The plugin allows you to enable permalinks, insert meta tags and link elements for Google searches.
  • You can edit your WordPress blog’s robots.txt and .htaccess file with the help of the plugin’s built-in file editor.
  • Yoast is multi-site compatible.
  • You can use the built-in import functionality feature to import titles and descriptions from other WordPress SEO plugins

Read our article “Is Yoast the only good SEO plugin on WordPress?” to know more about SEO plugins.

Akismet

Akismet plugin

Akismet is another popular WordPress plugin from WordPress parent WordPress company Automattic. The plugin checks and prevents spam in user comments and contact form submissions. You can review all of the comment spam that Akismet catches in your WordPress blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Some of Akismet’s primary features are:

  • Moderators can check the status history of each comment to see which one of the user comments are cleared or spammed.
  • Automatic checking and filtering of all comments to see which ones look like spam.
  • Moderators can see each users approved comments.
  • The comment body reveal URLs of misleading or hidden links.
  • The discard feature blocks the worst spam, which saves you space and reduces your website’s load time.

Check out our list of top anti spam plugins for WordPress.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 plugin

Contact Form 7 enables you to develop and publish contact forms for a WordPress website. The plugin easily helps you get in contact with your visitors and has a number of other features such as:

  • Use simple markup to customize contact forms and mail contents.
  • The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, Akismet spam filtering, CAPTCHA and more.

Read this article to know more about contact form plugins.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache plugin

W3 Total Cache is one of the more widely used WordPress plugins for increasing the speed and performance of your WordPress website using features such as CDN integration. Some of W3 Total Cache’s other benefits include:

  • SERP rankings are improved, especially for responsive sites and SSL-enabled websites.
  • Your website’s overall performance is improved at least 10 times when the plugin fully configured.
  • Pages can be loaded faster and users can interact with them as soon as the rendering process starts.
  • There is an 80% saving in bandwidth through HTTP compression of CSS, HTML, Javascript and feeds.

The plugin’s other features include:

  • Caching of posts and pages on disk or memory or on CDN.
  • Disk or memory object caching.
  • Disk or memory database object caching.
  • CDN, disk or memory feed caching.
  • Feed, page or post minification.
  • Integration of reverse proxy via Varnish and Nginx

Our detailed guide on cache plugins will give you a deeper insight into WordPress cache plugins.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security plugin

With over 41 million downloads, Wordfence is one of the best WordPress security plugins today that is free, open-source and has a wide range of security features such as:

WordPress Firewall

  • Web Application Firewall scans for malicious traffic and blocks hackers before they can attack your website.
  • The Threat Defense Feed updates its firewall rules automatically to prevent latest threats from attacking your site.

Blocking Features

  • If users break your WordPress security rules, you can decide whether to block or throttle them.
  • Automatically blocks attackers from your site in real-time if another Wordfence-guarded site is attacked.
  • You can limit rate or block threats such as bots, scrapers, crawlers while doing security scans.

WordPress Security Login

  • Improve your login security by using two-factor authentication
  • Encourage strong passwords for admins, users and publishers.
  • Lock out brute force attacks by including login security and stop WordPress from showing important info.

Monitoring Features

  • You can see all traffic in real-time and find out who is using most of your website’s resources.
  • You can determine which geographic area security threats are coming from with reverse DNS and city-level geo-location.

There are more security plugins that you should know about. Check out this article.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus has over a million downloads and an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5, making it the most popular and highest ranking WordPress backup plugin. Its key features include:

  • Supports backups into cloud such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace and more with a single click. Backups of database and files can have different schedules.
  • Schedule Automatic backups.
  • Quick restore for both database and files.
  • Duplicate sites into new locations.
  • You can control backups from each site remotely from a single dashboard by UpdraftCentral.
  • Big files are divided into several archives.
  • The plugin restores backup sets from other backup plugins and migrates them as well.
  • The premium version can encrypt database backups.
  • You can select which component you wish to restore or backup.

These are the 10 Best WordPress Backup Plugins of 2017.

Conclusion

The WordPress plugins listed above can extend the functions of your site in many ways. These plugins can make your site faster, more secure and increase their search engine ranking. If you have other plugins to suggest, do let me know in the comments below.

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