A few months ago, I moved my site from Blogger to WordPress for one main reason. Blogger is super easy and simple to work with and has a ton of functionality. However what sets WordPress apart from its competition is the large powerhouse of plugins that the platform proudly supports.
At the time of publishing this article, there are about 41 727 plugins with over 1 billion downloads that extend the functionality of WordPress. For almost every feature or functionality you want on your WordPress site, there is a plugin ready to install and use. If you use a WordPress site, you know exactly what I am talking about. Here are the 8 most essential plugins that will supercharge your WordPress website:
As copyblogger puts it, Jetpack is the mother of all WordPress plugins. Jetpack makes managing your WordPress site 10 times easier by providing the most basic yet powerful features like site stats, image performance, security, social sharing and comment system. If there is only one plugin you can install, this would be the one – plus it’s free!
One of the most common peeves I hear from my clients about WordPress is spam. And my answer to this problem is always the same – Akismet. On high traffic sites, the number of spam comments could go up to as high as 85%. Comment moderation and filtering can take up hours of your time. Akismet is a free plugin that works in the background to filter incoming spam and protect your website by using artificial intelligence and it does an amazing job.
3. Yoast SEO:
If you are looking for a one-stop SEO solution for your WordPress site, look no further than the Yoast SEO plugin. With over a million downloads, it is by far one of the best SEO plugins in the market and is extremely simple to use. Yoast SEO lets you add custom SEO title, meta description and a focus keyword for the post. It also provides a preview of the Google search result snippet which shows you exactly how your content will show up on Google when someone searches for it. Once you fill in the meta information for the post, Yoast will analyze the page and use a color indicator to let you know the status – green for GOOD, orange for OK and red for POOR which will help you to improve your meta information further. The icing on the cake? its FREE!
4. W3 Total Cache:
As your site grows, page speed and user experience become increasingly important. You don’t want to lose visitors due to slow and inconsistent page loading times. W3 Total cache plugin optimizes user experience for your site by increasing server performance, effectively caching your pages and decreasing download time.
One of the easiest ways to grow your website is through social media. The SumoMe plugin makes social sharing super easy and is one of the best ways to increase your content outreach. It is very simple to set up and enables social media sharing buttons for your content which can be clicked by visitors to share your content. List builder and heat maps are two other significant features of SumoMe which help with growing your traffic further by providing email forms and page analytics respectively.
If you want to set up a shop on your WordPress site, WooCommerce is the best plugin to help you do it. WooCommerce is robust, powerful and helps you sell anything you want from anywhere in the world. By using WooCommerce, you can own your data which gives you complete control over the growth and future of your business. It is one of the most popular, free WordPress plugins and has over 11 million downloads.
Having trouble with blogging consistently? Get the Co-schedule editorial calendar plugin. Co-schedule has a beautiful drag and drop interface that lets you plan and schedule your content calendar in advance. It also helps you implement an effective social media marketing strategy by letting you schedule your social media posts in a way that aligns with your content schedule. For e.g.. when you publish an article, you can set your social media posts relatively to go out accordingly – publishing time of the article, 3 hours later, a day later and so on. This helps to keep and manage your entire content marketing strategy under one roof and saves a ton of time.
One of the worst nightmares for a site owner is a crash. You know what’s even worse? Not having a site backup! it is super important to take frequent backups of your site, so if you ever run into problems, you always have something to fall back on. VaultPress regulates automated backups for your WordPress site and enables 1 click restores. Once you install Vaultpress, you can forget about backing up your site as it will take care of everything for you!
If you are new to WordPress, I hope this post is useful in providing you with a good starting point for using plugins. WordPress has definitely changed the way I blog, for sure! 🙂