WordPress plugins are great tools for adding and additional functionalities to WordPress website content management system(CMS). In this post, I will discuss best WordPress plugins you should use on your WordPress website. These plugins will add awesome functionalities to your site and will make it a ‘great’ website.
Choosing the best plugin for your WordPress site will help make your day-to-day life easier and deliver a better experience for your users as well.
Although the kind/ niche of your website mostly determines what plugins you should have to select on your website, there are some plugins that every WP blog needs. Like Techieword says security, speed, SEO etc. are some of the universal concerns of every website owner which you cannot simply afford to ignore.
There are plenty of handy plugins in WordPress framework which reduce lots of work on your part. The official plugin repository has over 47,000 WordPress plugins and counting. That means there are plugins for almost every function or feature you need on your website. Great news for WordPress lovers!
In addition, you’ll find multiple plugins for the same feature – all you need to do is to choose the best one for yourself that suits your project. You can find both free and premium plugins for WordPress while most of the plugins are developed as freemiums. A freemium plugin is a free plugin with an upgrading option to the premium version for advanced features.
This post includes only free plugins essential for a WP blog.
As mentioned above, the list includes some of the best WordPress SEO plugins, security plugins, speed optimization plugins, marketing and social media plugins. These plugins will help you to make your site robust, secure, SEO friendly and complete with all the aesthetics needed in a modern website.
A powerful plugin from the brilliant team behind the WordPress software itself (Automattic), Jetpack is a must have plugin for every WordPress website. As the name suggests, it offers a pack of awesome features for your website to fly up high and make it a success.
Jetpack takes care of your site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance and a lot more.
It features enhanced distribution which automatically shares your published content to third-party services like search engines and helps to increase your reach and traffic. Additionally, it creates sitemaps so that search engines can easily index your site.
Most of all, it protects your website security by preventing brute force attacks. It also monitors your site every five minutes for downtime and instantly notifies you for any issues found.
Akismet is yet another plugin developed by the people behind WordPress (Matt and his team at Automattic). It is one of the default plugins of WordPress that comes with every new WordPress core installation. It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.
The plugin provides a status history for each comment so that you can learn which comments were found spammy by Akismet or the moderator. Moderators also can view the number of approved comments for each user, see the URLs in the comment body and remove the suspicious links.
The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs while you have to subscribe its monthly plans for commercial sites. The premium plans provide advanced security solution besides spam protection.
It is a useful plugin to protect your WP security.
3.Google XML Sitemaps
This must-have plugin will automatically generate an XML sitemap for your site. Having an XML sitemap is crucial in helping search engines better index your blog.
With a sitemap, web crawlers can see the structure of your site and retrieve the results more efficiently.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will be notified every time you create a post about your new content.
Have you ever needed to backup or move an entire WordPress site from one location to another? The Duplicator plugin can duplicate, backup, move, and transfer a site.
The plugin can also serve as an easy utility for those administrators looking to backup their sites.
Need to make a clone of your production site for testing purposes? Yep, the Duplicator plugin is perfect for making a backup of a WordPress site for testing and validation.
With TablePress, you can easily create tables that can be embedded into posts, pages, or text widgets by using a Shortcode. No special coding is necessary as table data can be entered directly into a spreadsheet interface.
Tables can contain any type of data, including formulas. Sorting, pagination, and filtering add additional functionality for TablePress. Tables can also be imported and/or exported from/to Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON formats.
6. Advanced Custom Fields
The Advanced Custom Fields plugin gives WordPress users the flexibility to visually create custom fields for their site.
Custom field input types include: text, textarea, wysiwyg, image, file, page link, post object, relationship, select, checkbox, radio buttons, date picker, true/false, repeater, flexible content, and gallery.
7.WordPress Gallery Plugin- NextGEN
NextGEN Gallery has been the industry’s standard WordPress gallery plugin since 2007 and continues to receive over 1.5 million new downloads per year. It’s easy for simple photo galleries, but powerful enough for the most demanding photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals.
On the back end, NextGEN offers a complete WordPress gallery management system with the ability to batch upload photos, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort photos, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.
On the front end, the free version of NextGEN provides two main gallery styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries) and two album styles (compact and extended), all of which come with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.
8.Everest Forms – Easy Contact Form and Form Builder
One of the fundamental pages you need in a website is ‘Contact‘ page. No matter how big or small website you have or whatever type of website it is, you definitely need a contact page from where your website audience can contact you. The purpose of contact can be anything; to provide you feedback on your work, reach you out for business deals, or suggestions in general, a well-designed contact page is a must.
So, to create contact forms, here is a plugin ‘Everest Forms‘. It’s a modern WordPress contact form plugin with drag and drop interface that lets you build beautiful contact forms easily and quickly. It has a set of general fields along with advanced fields which you can easily drag and drop to create forms.
Further, it allows you to create two column WordPress contact forms as well as advanced forms with advanced fields like radio buttons, dropdowns, checkboxes, date, and more. View Everest Forms demo, and learn how it works.
The plugin is available for free, however, it comes with a complete set of features to enable you to build full-fledged forms. It features Google reCaptcha support, editable email settings, redirect page options after successful submission, editable form validation message etc. Summing up, it’s an incredible plugin for WordPress contact forms.
9. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Google analytics is a great free to use statistical tool for understanding website traffic. Understanding your audience and catering to them is a great way to improve your user traffic. Therefore, it’s an obvious choice to use a Google analytics plugin for your WordPress website and MonsterInsights’ Google analytics tool is one of the best plugins out there for this purpose.
The plugin allows you to monitor various real time stats regarding your website. Furthermore, using Universal tracking, you can track user views from multiple platforms and devices as well as receive various demographic and interest reports.
The plugin is also commerce-ready. This means that you can track product popularity, conversion rates, and order values with no difficulty at all. The plugin is also integrated with Google Adsense, so you can track your ad performance as well.
Other additional features of the plugin allow you to track download numbers, outbound link tracking, events and performance tracking, user discovery reports and more.