A handy list of the 5 must have WordPress Plugins for your WordPress site
With over 40,000 thousand plugins to choose from in the official WordPress Plugins Directory and many others available on third-party platforms, it’s easy for you to get carried away with so many options. You can’t even avoid using a WordPress plugin on your site, especially when you’re seeking an easy way to add some additional functionality to your site. After all, plugins are built specifically to provide features that the WordPress platform lacks, such as search engine optimization, better caching, e-commerce, hack-proof security and many others, which are crucial to achieve an edge over your competitors.
To help make the process of finding a suitable plugin for your site easy, today I’ve covered a list of must have WordPress plugins for 2016 – that will assist in optimizing your WordPress site on all the aspects that are crucial for gaining a competitive advantage in today’s wobbly web design and development industry.
1. Plugin For Optimizing Your WordPress Site For Mobile Users
It’s no more a secret that we are living in a mobile-dominated world, wherein almost all users prefer their handheld devices to access the Internet first and desktop second. And so, it has become needful for site owners to create sites that help in reaching out to mobile users efficiently. Thankfully, there are some great plugins online that can help make your existing WordPress site optimized for mobile users. I personally find the WPtouch Mobile plugin best for my site.
The popularity of the WPtouch Mobile can be understood from the fact that it has been downloaded by over 3 lakh WordPress users. The plugin helps in creating a mobile-friendly version of your current site simply by uploading an appealing mobile theme for mobile visitors.
Alternatives: Jetpack, WP Mobile Detector, WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0, etc.
2. Plugin For WordPress Search Engine Optimization
WordPress by default comes with built-in SEO features. However, the built-in features won’t be enough to optimize your site for search engines. This is where the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin come in handy. This plugin acts as the complete solution for a WP blog or site by providing some of the best SEO benefits compared to other search engine plugins. It helps in writing better content, forces to analyze the web pages for focus keyword, and automatically optimize the pages/posts by inserting meta links and so on.
The SEO by Yoast plugin comes loaded with several other interesting features that will help in making your blog/site optimized for search engine crawlers.
Alternatives: All-in-one SEO Pack and SEO Plugin by Squirrly.
3. Plugin For Improving WordPress Site Performance
The speed of your website can negatively impact its performance. Besides, having a fast loading site is crucial for providing your visitors with an enhanced user experience. This ultimately helps you site rank higher in search engines. While several techniques can contribute to improving the performance of your WP site, one of the easiest ways to address such a need is to make use of the W3 Total Cache plugin.
Utilized by renowned sites like mashable.com, css-tricks.com, smashingmagazine.com, etc., the W3 Total Cache is known as one of the most trusted plugins preferred by users worldwide for improving website speed as well as performance. The plugin, mainly, helps in improving your site’s UX (user experience) by cutting down the download time, integrating a CDN (aka Content Delivery Network) and by improving server performance.
Alternatives: WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, etc.
4. Plugin to Harden WordPress Website Security
The security of a WordPress site has become a significant issue, and primary concern, for site owners. According to an online survey, “around 30,000 WordPress sites are hacked every day” (source Sophos Labs). This clearly suggests how essential it has become to harden the security of your site. While there are many advanced security plugins over the web, the iThemes Security plugin is on my top list. It helps in keeping a WP site secure by hiding critical areas, safeguarding access to necessary files and preventing the site from other vulnerabilities.
Most importantly, the iThemes Security plugin helps fix commonly encountered security holes in a WP site. In addition, it enables users to strengthen user credentials. With one-click activation for most features, as well as advanced features for experienced users, iThemes Security can help protect any WordPress site.
Alternatives: VaultPress, Sucuri Security and All in One WPSecurity & Firewall.
5. Plugin For Building a WordPress E-commerce Website
Apart from the Magento platform, WordPress is used by many retail businesses for building an e-commerce site. Especially, people who want to set up a small-size online storefront are opting for the WP platform, because of the ease it provides for creating and managing an e-shop. But, as you may know, WordPress does not contain any e-commerce features out of the box. However, plugins such as WooCommerce has helped WordPress being recognized as an e-commerce platform as well.
With WooCommerce, you can turn your standard WordPress powered site into an e-commerce website – that will help you sell anything (both physical and digital products) in a pleasing manner. It comes bundled with rich features like accepts extensive payment options, scales to client requirements, and much more.
Alternatives: WP eCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced WordPress user, you will certainly want your website to gain a competitive edge. But, what if you don’t have sufficient time or lack skills that are needed to help your site stand apart from the crowd? With the help of must have WordPress plugins such as above, you can add new features to your website that are crucial to its success.
Do you use any of the above plugins on your WordPress site? or you’ve some more must have WordPress plugins, other than this list? feel free to drop your views in the comments below.
Ella Cooper works in a leading web development company as a programmer. Apart from programming she has a penchant for writing and thus she shares her development experience through blogging. In her free time she likes to cook and put on her dancing shoes.