Plugins are basically additional codes of functionalities which a particular website or a blog might find handy. You can code these functionalities if you can do so and avoid using Plugins but this is analogous to discovering the wheel yourself. Instead, you should use the Plugins for the functionalities they provide and apply the wheel for your purpose. There are more than 47,000 Plugins available in WordPress and can be either free or chargeable. Some Plugins provide some functionality for free and charge for remaining of them.
The choice of the plugin will depend on the particular website and requirement. Basic factors like speed, SEO, security etc should come up your checklist while selecting them. For any functionality, there might be hundreds of Plugins available and you need to be careful in selecting them. Let’s look at the top recommended Plugins:
This plugin is developed by the team who developed the WordPress itself. It has enhanced distribution for third party sites and services like social media, search engines etc. It also creates sitemaps and prevents attach against the website.
This comes free with every installation and prevents spam messages in blogs and posts. Once your website starts generating traffic, it catches the attention of the spammers too who try tricks like SQL injection by which you may receive hundred’s of mail in a minute. Akismet maintains a global list of spammers and keeps updating the list. Every time you receive a spam, it checks from the list and takes preventive action for malicious content.
Before you know what hit you, the website and the database might be overloaded with spams.
Yoast SEO (Freemium)
This is a really good plugin and a must have when it comes to optimizing the site for SEO. You can set titles, descriptions, focus keywords, check the readability of the blogs to improvise each blog. If you buy the premium account you can also optimize the site for up to five focused keywords.
W3 Total Cache (Freemium)
Caching is one of the best ways to improve the performance of the website and reduce page load speed. Caching basically stores the website temporarily as a static HTML page and serves whenever one visits the website.
W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin is the best when it comes to caching allowing you to integrate CDNs, minify HTML, JS and CSS files. File minifying decreases the server bandwidth by 80%. As the page load time reduces, search engine increases the ranking leading to better traffic.
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets (FREE)
Schema.org is basically additional information that helps search engines in indexing the website easily. They are additionally called as “Rich Snippets”. All In One Schema.org helps in creating these rich snippets for the search engine to display them properly in searches.
Broken Link Checker (FREE)
Broken links in the website are a potential SEO hazard and come regularly as the slug of pages internal and external are changed. The webmaster will definitely miss them if he does not keep a watchful eye over it. These broken links generate 404 error and the traffic leaves the website. You can do the math for losing potential customers on your business.
Broken links checker helps reduce these losses by pointing out the broken links which you can amend easily.
Webmasters change the URL of a blog post on requirement basis and sometimes forget to redirect them. This is where the redirection plugin comes handy and does the automatic re4direction itself. The plugin helps to manage the 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors as explained above.
Google XML Sitemaps (FREE)
The plugin generates a sitemap automatically to help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. index the website properly. In frameworks like Bootstrap, you have to create and submit these sitemaps on regular basis.
This plugin creates a real-time automated backup of your website from a security perspective. It syncs up everything on your website including posts, comments, pages and everything. The plugin allows multiple websites from a single dashboard for multiple subscriptions.
The plugin subscription comes along with Jetpack and is a good solution for online protection too. The backend support team is good too and provides quick response to queries and sets you up.
WP Smush (Freemium)
Images are the necessary evil in the website. They are required for aesthetic purposes but occupy a good amount of space. The images improve the look of website but slow them down and there is nothing much you can do about it. You have to use images as without them, the website will look dull and you need to respond to them fast too.
The plugin enables you to compress and optimize the images without compromising on the quality of the image. You can optimize them on upload or do it manually in media library too.
MailChimp for WordPress (Freemium)
MailChimp is a leading name in email marketing. The plugin enables you to manage subscribers, select forms, send emails and track the same. The plugin can be integrated with any other form on site like in connect with us or contact or simply in the footer.
If you have ever looked at a WordPress database, you will realize that most of the time the databases have lots of spam. These spams make the website heavy and slow to perform. One of our client’s website gathered around 3000 spam emails in a matter of the week.
The plugin cleans your database and keeps it optimized for performance and output.
Google Analytics for WordPress
Google Analytics is a great tool to analyze the traffic and this plugin enables real-time tracking for you to improve the performance of your website. The plugin is highly recommended for e-commerce websites.
BJ Lazy Load (FREE)
This is a very handy plugin to optimize the upload time by postponing the loading of the images till they are required. It loads images on the screen only when they are due to appear on the screen. It works fine with text widgets, Vimeo, youtube etc.
There are a multitude of security Plugins available in WordPress but the most trusted one is Wordfence security. It takes care of firewall protection, malware scan, blocking, login security, live traffic monitoring and many more things.
Needless to emphasize the importance of security in online presence.
Plugins are an integral part of WordPress websites which one cannot work without. They make your website run smoothly from operations and SEO perspective. All these benefits without you knowing how to code or running after these small things on the internet or after your developer. Most importantly they are available in abundance and most of them are for free.