10 must have WordPress plugins every business website needs
WordPress plugin is a small software that contains a set of functions that can be added to the WordPress website. They extend functionality or add new features to your website. They are written in the PHP programming language and are important for creating a great WordPress website.
There are currently more than 54,000 plugins in the WordPress repository. This means that there is a plugin for almost every function or feature you need on your website. You will find more than one plugin for the same feature and all you need to do is choose the best option for your project.
You can find a wide selection of free and freemium WordPress plugins here. Although the market niche of your website generally determines the additions you need to use, there are plugins that almost every website needs.
Freemium means free with the option of upgrading to pro/premium to access extra functionalities.
If you are a complete beginner, you may not have known that there are two different versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
I recommend WordPress.org to have a full control over your website. You will need a hosting package and domain name as well as any website on the Internet. Choose a hosting company with a good reputation that is close to the geographic location of targeted users so data doesn’t travel to a different continent. One important feature I would look for in a hosting provider is an SSL Certificate. Some providers will offer a free SSL cert, some will charge €10/year but some will charge crazy amount like €350/year. It’s up to you to decide which option you want to go with, but from my experience with both e-Commerce and regular websites €10/year cert is more than enough if it’s with the right provider like Comodo. There is also a way to get a free SSL cert through Let’s Encrypt.
After you’ve installed WordPress, buy a premium theme or choose one from a WordPress repository that is close to your requirements in terms of quality and features. Many modern WordPress themes come with their set of recommended plugins that you need to install as they are part of the overall theme package.
Each additional plugin slows down your website to a certain extent so use only essential and high quality addons.
MUST HAVE WORDPRESS PLUGINS
Yoast SEO (Freemium)
No doubt search engines are the main source of traffic for every website. As the number of internet users using search engines is steadily increasing, SEO improvement is crucial to getting more traffic. Fortunately, there is a great plugin called Yoast SEO. I personally use it on all of my websites. Yoast SEO is a remarkable addition that leads you to creating better content and improving your ranking in search results. You set up a keyword you wish to rank for and Yoast SEO gives you recommendations on how to improve your rankings for that particular keyword on that page. It analyses the page and verifies whether you have used the keyword in the title tag, title, meta description, alt text, and entire post/page…. Definitely one to have!
You may have seen additional information such as star ratings, pictures and number of reviews below some postings / pages in Google’s search results (SERP). They provide additional information and can help you get in front the competition. They don’t affect SEO directly, but having rich snippets on your website means having higher CTR, which will result in higher SEO rankings in the long run. Google will realise people are clicking on your snippet more often that your competitors, therefore will put you higher in search results.
WP Fastest Cache (Freemium)
Website caching is one of the best ways to improve website performance. Caching is temporarily storing web page data in the cache so that it is loaded faster when the user opens the same page.
Cache plugins will save your posts and pages as static HTML files that are served to users. This drastically reduces the page load time, and the improved page speed will greatly impact your SEO.
WP Fastest Cache is one of the most popular plugins and probably the best free caching plugin for WordPress.
Alternatively, you can use Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, which work similar to the plugin mentioned above.
WP Smush (Freemium)
Pictures are a great addition to your website, they can attract the attention of the user and make your site creative and interesting. It’s much easier to tell the story with pictures than just with words. We all know the saying: “Picture’s worth a thousand words”.
While it is useful to make a website appealing to visitors, images take up a lot of storage space and slow down the website. You can compress and optimise images with no quality reduction using the WP Smush plugin. It optimises all your image files in JPEG, GIF, and PNG format using advanced compression techniques and saves a lot of storage space. Additionally you can use Compress JPEG & PNG images or ShortPixel Image Optimizer.
Broken Link Checker (Free)
You may have a great website with a large number of daily visitors. But have you ever wondered how users will react if they click on a page that doesn’t exist? Even if you have a cool custom made 404 Error page… 404’s are not good for SEO. To avoid a bad impression on your website, install the free Broken Link Checker plugin. It checks all of your posts, pages, comments, and other content for faulty links and immediately notifies you if they find it. In addition, it notifies you and finds missing images so that you can quickly solve the problem.
Contact Form 7 (Free)
Contact form allows visitors to contact you directly from your website by filling out a simple form. Contact Form 7 is the most popular free plugin for creating a contact form, currently activated at over 5 million web pages. One cool addon is a Contact Form 7 Redirection Plugin, which can redirect your form submissions to a dedicated “Thank You Page” so you can track conversions without tagging your site through Tag Manager. Additionally you can try using WPForms.
AddToAny Share Buttons (Free)
This plugin allows your visitors to share your blog posts on over 100 social media sites & apps. (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, WhatsApp …) One of the best feature of this plugin is that it allows you to track social sharing across Google Analytics.
WP-Optimize is an excellent database cleaner tool which automatically removes unnecessary data and optimises the database for best performance. There may be a lot of useless data on your website that slows it down. This plugin removes all unwanted and disapproved comments, spam / pages in the trash, trackbacks, pingbacks, etc.
Wordfence Security (Freemium)
As a site owner, one of the most important things you need to do is to make sure your site is secure from hackers. This is something you should not neglect because there are thousands of malicious bots on the internet that can toss your website at any time and destroy your entire business in seconds. There are many security plugins available for WordPress. You can rely on Wordfence Security because it has a firewall, scans and erases malware, provides real-time protection, blocks IP addresses, and much more.
UpDraft Plus (Freemium)
With this plugin you backup your entire site free of charge on either a live or local server, as well as migrate your website from one hosting provider to another. Great additional functionality is that you can back up your website to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, FTP, etc… Migrating websites on a different url path is not intended for total beginners, but if you have some basic work experience with WordPress, MySQL databases and using Database Search-Replace function, you should not encounter any serious problems. Additionally you can use Duplicator or All in 1 WP Migration plugins to back up and migrate your website from one hosting provider to another or from subdomain to your main domain.
These would be my 10 must have plugins I use on all of my websites. They provide new features, improve SEO, optimise speed, increase security, and help sell your content/products.