When it comes to WordPress plugins, we usually think. More plugins we add, the easier the website control would be. But the more plugins you add, the slower your site will become, and also causes other problems. Because plugins don’t always play nicely with each other sometimes, and of course, it will affect the loading to some extent. So, we have to choose the essential plugins only.
Also, a clean and comfortable to scan website always helps to grow your business. You can know about this in detail in our “Essential Website Features” article. You may check this out.
Before writing this article, we went through extensive research. We have grouped those to cover the essential areas. We have grouped them into,
- SEO and Analytics
- Backup and Security
- General Usage
SEO and Analytics
Okay, so the first two essential plugins are for SEO and analytics. Two crucial things that you need on your website. So let’s start with SEO. For SEO, we are going to recommend two plugins.
01. Yoast SEO
This one is the oldest and the best in the biz. It is a Freemium product. But with the free version, you can do a professional level job. It analyses your content for better SEO with a single focus keyword in mind and analyzes your readability factor. It makes your content more user friendly for faster ranking. On top of that, you can get a social preview, content Insights, and multiple keyword analysis with the premium version.
02. Rank Math
This plugin is new in the market. But it is nothing less than the Yoast. It provides almost all the exclusive features of Yoast. With a better-looking interface, you can get multiple focus key-word analyses for free here, which is just excellent.
Another essential part of any website is to understand the analytics of it. Who, how, from where users visiting is vital information for running effective branding and promotion. So, In the analytics category, we are recommending only one plugin.
This plugin is a product of Yoast. It gives you far more easy control over Google Analytics. By this, we can see a customized Audience Report, Content Report, Ecommerce Report, Custom Dimensions Report, and so on. With the report analysis’s help, you can quickly increase your website traffic in a very effective way.
Performance is something that can increase your website visitors. If your site is fast, then users will spend more time on it. To run your website fast and smooth, we have got a couple of plugins in the list.
04. WP Super Cache
It’s a free plugin, but it will do its job superlatively. Generally, it improves your performance of your website and will increase your Google PageSpeed score. But the main reason we prefer this over some of the others is that it’s really easy to use. The options are minimal and make the website smooth by itself. W3 Total Cache is another plugin that does the same.
It’s again a freemium plug-in. So, there is a premium version if you want, but the free version is a perfect fit. And basically, it optimizes your images as you upload them to your posts and pages. Now pictures have a significant effect on the performance of your website. So if you haven’t optimized your images before uploading them, this plug-in will take care of it. As they hit your WordPress website, it will compress them down. Make them smaller and make them load faster by itself.
Backups and Security
Backups and security are two essential things when it comes to running a WordPress website. You have to make sure that you take regular backups just if something goes wrong or messed something up. And you also have to make sure that your site is as secure as it can be. Because unfortunately, WordPress websites do get hacked.
If somehow something goes wrong, you need to ensure that you have the backup for your website data. Because stuff does go wrong, so, let’s start with the backup plugins.
It’s a free plugin, and it just makes backups really easy. It creates packages for you. You can schedule the backup time. Finally, when it comes to restoring, it’s just effortless and straightforward. You can back your data anywhere you want. It is compatible with Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email. And you can directly link & sync your website by this plugin.
Now let’s move on to the website security. The first thing that you have to do is make sure that you are running an SSL certificate on your website. Generally, hosting companies provide this. But you have to configure it on your website using plugins.
07. Really Simple SSL
You ensured the SSL certificate from your hosting company, but you may have some mixed content on your website. This simple plugin will sort those mixed content and will secure those. So, despite being a mixed content, it will ensure the padlock (🔒) on the address bar.
After the encryption, you need to ensure your website is malware-free. For that, we are going to give you two different options to choose from.
08. Wordfence Security
It is a freemium product. But it is the most popular product for WordPress security and firewall. Its firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic and ensures end to end data security. You can get features like real-time firewall rules and malware signature updates and IP blacklist by paying a few more bucks.
09. iThemes Security
It is another WordPress website security system that gives you 30+ ways to secure your website. And that includes the SSL padlock enabling. It will exclusively give you Two-Factor Authentication, Malware Scan Scheduling, User Action Logging, Google reCAPTCHA, and the list goes on.
These essential plugins are those that make you more productive. It makes it easier to do stuff and save you some time. Make your work efficient. And make your website designing process a bit simpler.
10. Yoast Duplicate Post
It’s a simple and nice, lightweight plugin. And it does what it says the name. It allows you to make a copy of a post or a page, and then you can use that copy as a new page. So, it’s handy if you have to maintain a template to build multiple pages using the same design.
The next productive plug-in is a page builder. And, the Elementor dominates the community, because of it’s incredible user-friendly interface and easy to use drag and drop functionality. There was a free version and a pro version of it. This builder makes it really easy to put together posts and pages with many templates & widgets, even with the free version.
The final two essential plugins that we will recommend here are handy for any type of website. Professionals need these for designing any website in general.
12. Contact Form 7
It’s the forms plug-in. So it allows you to add forms to your WordPress website. Maybe a contact form, perhaps a newsletter signup form or anything else. It’s really easy to use. It’s got a simple interface. You just add fields that you want. Arrange them in the order, and then you can add the form into a post or page using a shortcode. It is free, more secure, and has integrated Google reCaptcha.
We’ve covered all the main areas compulsory for a WordPress Website. And we discussed all the essential plugins within those areas. So we’ve covered back up, performance, productivity, SEO, and analytics. We also discussed the best WordPress plugins, which are extremely useful in general.
So, in the end, we can say you are well-coved to start a new website or just polish the old one. If you like this article, please don’t forget to share it. And let us know which one we missed in the comment section.