WordPress is the most commonly used content management system (CMS) due to its open-sourced platform and massive amount of support available. With that in mind, there are lots of WordPress plugins available that can help create more functionality for different areas such as security, speed, search engine optimization and countless others. It can be hard to decide which ones to use if you’re not familiar with the platform already, so here are the top 7 WordPress plugins to use for your website.
- Jetpack: This plugin was developed by WordPress themselves and is used for a variety of things such as website design, maintenance, security and stats tracking. This can be thought of as the most important of WordPress plugins to have since it provides a broad overview of all these areas, and is usually compatible with all web hosting companies. The only drawback is that it only covers the basics of each area, so it’s usually best to incorporate other plugins with it.
- Akismet: This is another plugin that was developed by WordPress and is primarily used for anti-spam configurations on blog websites. This is important because when the public sees spam on your website, it can ruin its credibility. This plugin also has the ability to print out the level of spam being conducted on each comment, while saving precious time that you could be spending to improve other areas of your website.
- Yoast SEO: Websites get most of their traffic through search engines, and this plugin helps capitalize on that. It compiles SEO competition, focus keyword usage and scans your webpage to present tips and recommendations for making your site as competitive as possible. The goal is to get rankings that can be maintained to achieve sustainable SEO, which ultimately leads to stronger visitor traffic to your website.
- Wordfence Security: Security is something that needs to be incorporated for any website. This plugin is great simply due to the large number of options it offers in terms of capabilities. Examples can include blocking entire networks, file and malware scanning, real-time firewall reports with daily updates, and botnet blocking with notifications archived from other sites to close down backdoors. Customization of how much security you want implemented is also a bonus that comes with this plugin.
- WooCommerce: You’re running a business website and need to figure out how you’re going to develop all your product pages to sell your inventory. If you think you’re in that boat, then this plugin is a necessity since it cuts down on all the time that would be spent on website designing, scaling, inventory tracking and payment management. It combines the accounting aspect of products with simplified website development all in one area.
- Contact Form 7: This WordPress plugin focuses on a key area of web development which is contact forms. Some options included with it are Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, and simple markup control. It’s especially useful if you’re looking into multiple contact forms since it allows a great deal of customization in how they are created while offering simple management options.
- WP Super Cache: The goal of this plugin is to lighten the load on your resources used on your hosting package. It can generate static html files that will load in place of typical PHP scripts that tend to be heavier on the process loads. Most visitors to the website would encounter this static html file, so speed and optimization would improve while still retaining the quality of your site files if this plugin was utilized.
WordPress plugins are powerful tools that can be used to greatly enhance any platform, but they should be handled and tested with great care. It’s far too common, especially for lesser tried and tested plugins, to simply break websites due to compatibility issues with templates and other site files. Updating plugins can also lead to this issue so it’s important to know how to revert back to a previous version and wait for it to be patched and tested before doing so. Ultimately they are well worth the risk and can save a lot of time and effort if used correctly.