Essential Website Plugins for your WordPress Site

Most important website plugins

Millions of websites run on WordPress and as a leading CMS, there are many plugins that help foster its functionality. WordPress website plugins are key tools you can download paid or free that lend to the ease of use, security and overall UX. Creating a website/blog with WordPress is made easier regardless of what niche your website falls under. Though the type of site you run can determine which plugins are best for you. There are thousands of website plugins for almost every website function available for download. Plugins that help to manage essential aspects like SEO, security, speed and more.

While WordPress is free to use the first step before getting plugins should be to ensure that your host is compatible with WordPress. Ensure that your hosting provider has plans fully configured for WordPress. The official repository for plugins contains over 54,000 WordPress plugins and growing daily. So, now you see why it is important for your Web Host to have fully enabled WordPress servers. This WordPress hosting provider already has servers that conform to WordPress hosting requirements.

This article includes the best WordPress website plugins that are both free/freemium and premium plugins essential for any WordPress enabled site.

1. Akismet

Akismet is another must-have plugin developed by the team responsible for WordPress. It is a default plugin that comes pre-installed with every WordPress installation. The purpose of the plugin is to prevent spam, checks all comments and filters out any comments made by spambots.

What’s more, is that Akismet collects data about the history of comments that were spam allowing you to compare the history of spammy comments.

Beyond that, it keeps a log of the number of approved comments for each of your site’s users, allows you to see the URLs allowing you to easily remove suspicious links.

The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs. Akismet is a useful plugin to protect your WP security from spammers and bots.


2. Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps is an additional useful SEO plugin for WordPress sites. The plugin assists the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to improve the indexing of your site with a special XML sitemap.

When you activate the plugin, it will automatically create an XML sitemap for your website making it easier for it to index. A sitemap permits the search engine bots to view the complete structure of your website and retrieve the results for pages more efficiently.


3. Nivo Slider

Nivo Slider is a great plugin for showcasing multiple images and other content like work samples, product images and more. It works as a great alternative to product or info videos and slideshows.

Nivo Slider is the most popular plugin that allows users do this with over 3 million downloads since its launch. You have the option of a free download or can opt for the premium version. With the plugin, you can add post slider, slideshows and image carousels.

Using a creative method of producing engaging content always goes a long way. You can also create a home page slider for your website.


4. W3 Total Cache

Caching is one of the top ways to improve website performance and speed. Caching is simply storing website data temporarily in the cache so that it loads faster the next time a user opens the same webpage.

To allow caching in WordPress, you can use a WordPress caching plugin like W3 Total Cache. It will cache and covert your posts and pages as static HTML files which are served to the end users. This reduces page loading time radically and helps to optimize the overall site performance. Additionally, enhanced site-speed will profoundly impact your site’s SEO.


5. WP Smash

This is another image plugin for your website. WP Smash works to showcase your website in a more appealing way to users. Visual content should be used to grab user attention. Images take up space however and can affect page load time. WP Smash compresses images so they take up less space and load faster.

Compress and optimize images without reducing the quality of the images using WP Smush plugin. It optimizes all of your image files in JPEG, GIF and PNG formats using advanced compression techniques and saves lots of storage space.


6. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is a great plugin for cleaning up WordPress databases and optimizing WordPress. It automatically removes unnecessary data from WordPress without making manual requests.

With the plugin installed, you have lots of cleaning done automatically. It removes all the spammy and un-approved comments, trash posts, and comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks etc. It will keep your database always clean and optimized so that your site is never weighed down.


7. Google Analytics

Google analytics is a great free plugin to gather statistical data on your website traffic. Understanding your audience and targeting them is a great way to improve your user wants and your traffic.

The plugin allows you to monitor real-time stats concerning your website. Additionally, using Universal tracking, you can track views from multiple platforms, websites and devices as well as obtain various demographic and interest reports.

It’s worth noting that this plugin can be enhanced with the help of a premium SEO tool.

8. All-in-One Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are the greatest way to enhance the appearance of your page or post on search engine result pages. The snippets provide important information about the product or a page briefly i.e. it highlights the features of the product. This is why they help you get more click-through rates through search engines.

To create rich snippets in a WordPress website, you can use All-in-One Rich Snippets. It gives the search engines precise information about your website to be displayed in the result pages. This supports your site rank better as well as helping higher click-through rates.


9. Broken Link Checker

The Broken Link Checker plugin examines all of your posts, comments and other content for broken links and instantly notifies you if any are found. Furthermore, it reports on the missing images so that you fix them quickly. All of this is automated by the plugin.

Additionally, the plugin has options to prevent search engines from following and displaying the broken links, etc. You can choose to get notifications either via email or through your WP dashboard.

10. Redirection

It helps you to manage all the 301 redirections when you’ve changed traffic from an old URL to a new one and keep track of 404 errors. The plugin automatically adds a 301 redirection when a post’s URL changes however, you can also add 301, 302, and 307 redirections manually for a post. With this plugin, you can redirect all URLs and also collect full logs for all redirected URLs.

Redirection is principally useful when you are migrating pages from an old website or changing the directory of WP installation.

11. Social Icons

Social Icons is a free WordPress plugin which offers you an easy way to display popular social media icons on your website. You can add icons to the pages or posts via widgets or HTML shortcodes. The plugin supports more than 100 popular social media platforms, and it is simple and easy to use.