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Must have plugins for WordPress

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WordPress comes with much required functionality like User registration/login, Pages, Blog postings etc. You can start posting content right after the installation. But WordPress cannot protect you from spam, attacks or doesn’t bring you the every functionality you need.

What is Plugin?

That is where Plugins comes into the play. Plugin is a pre-written piece of code to extend the core functionality of WordPress. Plugins can be installed by non-techies simply with clicks or by uploading manually in WP dashboard.

And some plugins extend the functionality of another plugin. These additional plugins are called as Addons.

You can also see our article on how to get started with WordPress plugins and themes.


The plugins are also There are tons of plugins (free and premium) available for you to download and install, but you should start somewhere to know about some best plugins.

Here we list and brief about the must have plugins for any WordPress site.


Security

First things first, every website requires security from spam,bot attacks and hackers. WP doesn’t provide enough security in this case.

Akismet Anti-Spam (Free & Premium)

Akimset is developed by Automattic which is the team behind WordPress. It is one of the default plugins installed comes with every new WP core installation.

Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

Major features in Akismet include:

  • Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
  • Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
  • URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
  • Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
  • A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.

PS: You’ll be prompted to get an Akismet.com API key to use it, once activated. Keys are free for personal blogs; paid subscriptions are available for businesses and commercial sites.


Anti-Spam bee (Free)

Say Goodbye to comment spam on your WordPress blog or website. Antispam Bee blocks spam comments and trackbacks effectively, without captchas and without sending personal information to third party services. It is free of charge, ad-free and 100% GDPR compliant.

FEATURE/SETTINGS OVERVIEW:

  • Trust approved commenters.
  • Trust commenters with a Gravatar.
  • Consider the comment time.
  • Allow comments only in a certain language.
  • Block or allow commenters from certain countries.
  • Treat BBCode as spam.
  • Validate the IP address of commenters.
  • Use regular expressions.
  • Search local spam database for commenters previously marked as spammers.
  • Notify admins by e-mail about incoming spam.
  • Delete existing spam after n days.
  • Limit approval to comments/pings (will delete other comment types).
  • Select spam indicators to send comments to deletion directly.
  • Optionally exclude trackbacks and pingbacks from spam detection.
  • Optionally spam-check comment forms on archive pages.
  • Display spam statistics on the dashboard, including daily updates of spam detection rate and a total of blocked spam comments.
  • SUPPORT

Wordfence (Free & Premium)

Wordfence is the most popular security plugin for WordPress. It is actively installed on 3million+ websites and rated 5 by more than 3242 people.

Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. The Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe.

Rounded out by 2FA and a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available.

Features:

  • WORDPRESS FIREWALL
  • WORDPRESS SECURITY SCANNER
  • LOGIN SECURITY
  • WORDFENCE CENTRAL
  • SECURITY TOOLS

iThemes security (Free & Premium)

iThemes security is another popular security plugin for WordPress. It is actively installed by 900000+ websites and have 3354+ 5 star ratings in the WP respository.

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.

Most WordPress admins don’t know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. With advanced features for experienced users, our WordPress security plugin can help harden WordPress.


SEO plugins

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very essential if you want your website to be visible in the search engine results.

You need to explain the search engines what is your site about, what does it contain, what type of website it is, what does it provide, what are the list of pages available on the website, how frequent they are update etc.

SEO tools help you to achieve all of the above according to the Search Engine guidelines.

SEOPress (Free & Premium)

In my opinion it is the best alternative (or say better than) to Yoast SEO. It is simple, light weight (not bloated), comes with lot of features.

SEOPress free features

  • Installation wizard to quickly setup your site
  • Titles (with dyanmic variables: custom fields, terms taxonomie…)
  • Meta descriptions (with dynamic variables too)
  • Open Graph Data
  • Google Knowledge Graph
  • Google Analytics and Matomo with downloads tracking, custom dimensions, ip anonymization, remarketing, demographics and interest reporting, cross-domain tracking…(GDPR compatibility)
  • Twitter Card
  • Canonical URL
  • Meta robots (noindex, nofollow, noodp, noimageindex, noarchive, nosnippet)
  • Build your custom XML Sitemap to improve search indexing.
  • Image XML Sitemaps to improve search indexing for Google Images.
  • Build your custom HTML Sitemap to enhanced navigation for visitors and improve search indexing.
  • Link your social media accounts to your site.
  • Redirections in post, pages, custom post types
  • Remove /category/ in URLs
  • Remove ?replytocom to avoid duplicate content
  • Redirect attachment pages to post parent
  • Redirect attachment pages to their file URL
  • Automatically set the image title / alt / caption / description
  • Import / Export settings from site to site.
  • Import posts and terms metadata from Yoast SEO, All In One SEO, SEO Framework, Rank Math, SEO Ultimate, WP Meta SEO, and Squirrly
  • W3C check
  • Content analysis
  • Mobile / Desktop Google Preview
  • Facebook Preview
  • Twitter Preview

SEOPress Pro comes with lot more powerful features and it very affordable when compared to other premium plugins. This plugin is highly recommended for SEO.


Rank Math (Free)

Currently Rankmath is the best free SEO plugin for wordpress with 300,000+ instllations and 1127+ 5 star ratings in the WP respository.

Rank Math is a revolutionary SEO plugin that combines the features of many SEO tools in a single package & helps you multiply your traffic.

RankMath’s stunning features:

  • Setup Wizard (Easy to follow)
  • Google Schema Markup aka Rich Snippets Integrated
  • Optimize Unlimited Keywords
  • Google Search Console Integration
  • Google Keyword Ranking
  • Optimal Settings Pre-Selected
  • LSI Keyword Tool Integrated
  • Add Overlay Icons On Social Images
  • Advanced SEO Analysis Tool
  • 34 Detailed SEO Tests
  • Module Based System
  • Smart Redirection Manager
  • Local Business SEO
  • SEO Optimized Breadcrumbs
  • 404 Monitor
  • Deep Content Analysis Tests
  • Internal Linking Suggestions
  • Role Manager
  • Multisite Ready
  • and only 30k Lines of Code compared to over 50k in other plugins.

RankMath is completely free as of now and they’re working on premium version with more solid features.


Analytics & other Google Services

Site kit by Google (Free)

Site Kit is a one-stop solution for WordPress users to use everything Google has to offer to make them successful on the web.

Site Kit is the official WordPress plugin from Google for insights about how people find and use your site. Site Kit is the one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make the site successful on the web. It provides authoritative, up-to-date insights from multiple Google products directly on the WordPress dashboard for easy access, all for free.

Site Kit shows key metrics and insights from different Google products:

Search Console: Understand how Google Search discovers and displays your pages in Google Search. Track how many people saw your site in Search results, and what query they used to search for your site.
Analytics: Explore how users navigate your site and track goals you’ve set up for your users to complete.
AdSense: Keep track of how much your site is earning you.
PageSpeed Insights: See how your pages perform compared to other real-world sites. Improve performance with actionable tips from PageSpeed Insights.
Tag Manager: Use Site Kit to easily set up Tag Manager- no code editing required. Then, manage your tags in Tag Manager.
Optimize: Use Site Kit to easily set up Optimize- no code editing required. Then, set up A/B tests in Optimize.


Backup

Backup is always recommended before doing any change to your website and it is very much essential on every live site. Because you know never know what happens next second, so you should be ready with the latest backup of your website.

Updraft Plus (Free & Premium)

Backup and restoration made easy. Complete backups; manual or scheduled (backup to Dropbox, S3, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others).

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!

Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.


Caching

The need for Speed. Cache & Performance plugin for WordPress!
You created it, we keep it fast! Did you know that……
You Have Just 3 Seconds To Impress Your Visitor. Don’t Lose It By Slow Loading. 95% of customer’s don´t wait if a website takes longer than 5-6 seconds to load!

There comes Caching solutions for WordPress, to increase the performance of the website.

Swift Performance (Free & Premium)

Swift Performance is a cache and performance booster plugin. It can speed up your site, improve SEO scores and user experience.

Swift Performance will increase the loading speed of any WordPress website and provides an intelligent, modern caching system. You can even cache AJAX request, dynamic pages, and you can add exceptions (URL, page or content based rules).

Features:

  • Caching
  • CSS and Javascript optimization
  • Database Optimization
  • Plugin Organizer
  • Compute API
  • Critical Icon Fonts
  • Unlimited Image Optimizer
  • Schedule DB Optimizer
  • Remote Cron
  • Extended WooCommerce Features

WP Rocket (Premium)

WP Rocket is a premium cache plugin for WordPress. WordPress experts recognize it as the most powerful caching tool. Thanks to its wide range of options and automatic optimization features, it can be easily used by experienced WordPress users as well as beginners.

WP Rocket caching ensures websites will load blazing fast, which is essential to improve SEO rankings and increase conversions.

Features:

  • Quick Setup
  • Page Caching
  • Cache Preloading
  • Sitemap Preloading
  • GZIP Compression
  • Browser Caching
  • Database Optimization
  • Google Fonts Optimization
  • Remove Query Strings from Static Resources
  • Lazyload
  • Minification / Concatenation
  • Defer JS Loading
  • CloudFlare Compatibility
  • CDN
  • DNS Prefetching
  • Mobile Detection
  • Multisite Compatibility
  • eCommerce Friendly
  • Multilingual Compatibility
  • Connected Users
  • Import/Export
  • Developer Friendly

Breeze (Free)

Breeze is a WordPress Caching Plugin developed by Cloudways. Breeze uses advance caching systems to improve WordPress loading times exponentially.

Breeze is a free, simple (yet powerful) and user-friendly WordPress Caching Plugin developed by the Cloudways team. It offers various options to optimize WordPress performance at various levels. It works equally great with WordPress, WordPress with WooCommerce and WordPress Multisite.

Breeze excels in the following areas:

Performance: Breeze improves website speed and resource optimization. Other features include file level cache system, database cleanup, minification, support for Varnish cache and simplified CDN integration options.

Convenience: Breeze is easy to install and configure directly from WordPress. Configuring Breeze is easy and most of the default options work well right out of the box. The recommended settings should work on all your WordPress websites seamlessly.

Simplicity: Breeze is designed to be simple for all users. Just install and activate the plugin and you’ll see the results instantaneously.


Forms

Whether you’re building a blog or creating a business website, communication with your readers is very important (It is what connects you with your audience). But you cannot expose your contact details directly on the webiste.

Contact form plugins solve this problem by allowing your audience contact you without even knowing your details. That is why Contact form plugin is must for any website.

But form plugins evolved with the age and now can be used for marketing, sales, payment purposes too.

Fluent Forms (Free & Premium)

WP Fluent Forms is the ultimate user-friendly, customizable drag-and-drop WordPress Contact Form Plugin that offers you all the premium features, plus many more completely unique additional features.

A perfect WordPress Form builder plugin should be developed in a way, so that you don’t have to code every time you need to integrate a form in your website, but can be set up in minutes. And that’s why, we have developed WP Fluent Forms for you.

Fluent Forms helps you create hassle-free contact forms, subscription forms, or any kind of forms you need for your website in minutes.

AMAZING FEATURES:

  • Drag & Drop Contact Form Builder
  • Multi-column Form Layout
  • Smart Conditional Logic Form Fields
  • Conditional Confirmation Messages
  • Build 100% Responsive and Mobile Friendly Web Forms
  • Reusable Templates
  • Spam Protection with Google Recaptcha
  • Placeholder Customization
  • AJAX Submission and Both Client-Side and Server-Side Data Validation
  • Send Beautiful Email to submitter and admin
  • You can configure what will happen after form submission. You can show a success message, or you can redirect the user to a selected URL.
  • Restrict Your Web Form by user role
  • Show the form only for a time/date range.
  • 30+ Form Field Types to build any WebForms quickly.
  • In-Depth Analytics where you can see how many times it’s displayed and how many leads were captured.
  • Set Default Value On Form Fields or you can populate from URL parameters
  • Export/Import Forms
  • MailChimp Integration – Add Lead/Contact on MailChimp on form submission
  • Slack Integration – Send Slack notification of Form Submission.
  • Export Data – You can export data as CSV/Exel/ODS or JSON format.
  • Advanced Data Filtering where you can see data by status and also by date range.

Page Builder / Theme builder

Page builder is tool which help you design posts, pages in your own style without writing single line of code.
Most of these are drag and drop visual builders so you can see (while editing the page) how it looks to the end user in different devices.
But Page builders are not just page builders anymore they evolved into website builders, themes builders helping you customize every part of the website like header, footer, 404 page etc.

Elementor (Free & Premium)

Elementor is the best FREE WordPress Page Builder, with over 5 million+ active installs. Create beautiful websites using a simple drag and drop interface.

The most advanced frontend drag & drop page builder. Create high-end, pixel perfect websites at record speeds. Any theme, any page, any design.

You can design almost every part of the WordPres website with Elementor like Posts, Pages, Popups, Custom Post types, Archive pages, WooCommerce product pages, my account page etc.

Features:

  • FASTER. MUCH FASTER.
  • LIVE DESIGN. TRULY LIVE.
  • PRE-DESIGNED TEMPLATES & BLOCKS
  • MOBILE FIRST. MOBILE EDITING.
  • UNDO / REDO & REVISION HISTORY.
  • CANVAS. A BLANK PAGE TEMPLATE FOR LANDING PAGES.
  • BUILT-IN MAINTENANCE MODE & UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Brizy(Free & Premium)

While Elementor is the No#1 live page builder for WordPress, Brizy is one of the best alternative to Elementor.
Brizy comes with freemium model i.e. it has a free community version and Pro version for premium features. You can design Posts, Pages, WooCommerce pages with Brizy also.

Highlights:

  • SMART & CLUTTER FREE
  • INTUITIVE DRAG & DROP
  • DESIGN ELEMENTS
  • OVER 150 PRE-MADE BLOCKS
  • OVER 4000 ICONS INCLUDED
  • GLOBAL STYLING
  • MOBILE FRIENDLY
  • SMART TEXT EDITOR
  • IMAGES DONE RIGHT
  • CONTENT ADJUSTMENTS
  • RESIZE COLUMNS
  • UNDO / REDO
  • CLOUD AUTO-SAVE

Ultimate Addons for Elementor (Premium)

The Ultimate addons for Elementor is the Best Elementor Addon that will help you build stunning websites faster than ever before!.

A library of unique Elementor Widgets to add more functionality and flexibility to your favorite page builder.

FEATURES & CREATIVE WIDGETS

  • Cross-Site Copy Paste
  • How-To Schema
  • FAQ
  • Navigation Menu
  • Login Form
  • User Registration Form
  • Retina Image
  • Team Member
  • WPForms Styler
  • Countdown Timer
  • Business Reviews
  • Video
  • Hotspots
  • Advanced Heading
  • Before After Slider
  • Business Hours
  • Contact Form 7 Styler
  • Caldera Form Styler
  • Content Toggle
  • Dual Color Heading
  • Fancy Heading
  • Google Map
  • Gravity Form Styler
  • Image Gallery
  • Info Box
  • Marketing Button
  • Modal Popup
  • Multi Buttons
  • Off-Canvas
  • Posts
  • Price Box
  • Price List
  • Table
  • Table Of Contents
  • Timeline
  • Video Gallery
  • Woo – Products
  • Woo – Categories
  • Woo – Add To Cart
  • Particle Backgrounds

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg (Free)

Gutenberg block editor replaced Classic editor from WordPress 5.0. If you do not want to use any third-party page builder then this is the one you’re gong to use. It is growing as alternative to third party live page builders.

You like it or not, you have to make yourself comfortable with Gutenberg editor.

Gutenberg editor is evolving and so it’s community. Developer community also catching up with the Gutenberg and making addons to support.

Ultimate addons for Gutenberg is one such addon to help people make best out of Gutenberg. It is completely free plugin and comes with so many useful blocks like Table of contents, Advanced columns, Multi buttons, post grid, post masonary, post timeline and all for FREE.

You must try this plugin.


Image Optimization

A picture is worth a thousand words

especially on the web

Images still play an important role in attracting the user as well as in conveying the message to the audience.

At the other-side they require lot of storage in the server , bigger bandwidth in the network to be delivered to the client from server. Images are largest objects served in the most of the websites. They increase the load on the servers and loading time to the user.

Hence Images should be optimized before serving to the client.

Gumlet (Free & Premium)

Gumlet is a Image optimization with Resize, Compression, Lazy load, Caching & CDN delivery service provider.

Gumlet have an official WordPress plugin to automatically load all your WordPress images via the Gumlet service for smaller, faster, better looking images.

Gumlet is the One plugin to rule all 6 steps of image optimization in one go

  • Auto resize images based on user screen size
  • Visually lossless compression
  • Convert images to WebP format
  • In-built Lazy load
  • Optimized images cached on Gumlet cloud
  • CDN delivery by AWS CloudFront (215+ locations)

TinyJPG (Free & Premium)

TinyJPG/TinyPNG is a lossless image compression service. They have official WP plugin to provide image compression in WordPress.

This plugins helps to speed up your website, Optimize your JPEG and PNG images automatically with TinyPNG.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

After you upload an image to your WordPress site, each resized image is uploaded to the TinyJPG or TinyPNG service. Your image is analyzed to apply the best possible optimization. Based on the content of your image an optimal strategy is chosen.

The result is sent back to your WordPress site and will replace the original image with one smaller in size. On average JPEG images are compressed by 40-60% and PNG images by 50-80% without visible loss in quality.

Your website will load faster for your visitors, and you’ll save storage space and bandwidth!


Marketing – Opt-in & Popup

Marketing is an important aspect for any business. And inbound marketing is easier and important than the other marketing channels.

As you have got traffic, you need to convert them into leads and leads into customers. You need right tool to do this.

You need to highlight features, show off the offers collect emails in hello bar, slide-ins, popups etc. to your audience. This is where marketing plugins chip in.

Convert Pro (Premium)

Convert Pro is powerful tool and an all-in-one package of features you’ll need to build a great email list and convert visitors into subscribers and customers.

Convert Pro is powerful tool and an all-in-one package of features you’ll need to build a great email list and convert visitors into subscribers and customers.

We use this tool on every website to capture leads.

Top Features:
Mobile Editor
With the freedom to design and customize everything, Convert Pro allows you to make specific edits & modifications that should be visible on mobile.

Cloud Technology
Convert Pro gives you an access to a huge collection of templates regularly updated on our template cloud. Install and use only the ones you need on your website.

Drag n Drop Customization
Convert Pro comes with an easy-to-use drag-n-drop editor that makes building beautiful modules a matter of minutes without a line of code.

Ready-to-use Templates
Professionally designed ready to use templates of Convert Pro ease the process of designing and creation. Pick a template, tweak it a little and go live!

  • Advanced triggers
  • Exit-intent
  • Display conditions
  • A/B split test
  • Device Detection
  • New vs Old visitors
  • Cookie control
  • Logged-in users

Convert pro has native integrations with 35+ email service provider/CRM to connect in few clicks.


Bonus

Cloudflare is an Integrated security and performance for websites, apps, and SaaS services!

This is not a plugin but very much necessary for any website. It has so many good features even in the free plan.

What you get in a Free plan?

  • DNS Management
  • Free CDN (Content Delivery network)
  • Free SSL
  • DDoS attack mitigation

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