Did you know there are now over 50,000 WordPress plugins you can choose from? Crazy right? No wonder so many people and businesses get overwhelmed when it comes to choosing which ones they need for their website.
Having the right set of WordPress plugins and tools can help you grow your online business. So, we have narrowed that very long list down to the top 5 that we think every WordPress site should have to get the most out of it.
1) SEO (Yoast SEO)
These days, this usually goes without saying for a website, but many people are still unaware of what an impact that SEO can have on your website and its visibility to potential consumers.
SEO helps you get more visitors from search engines to your website. While WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box, there is so much more you can do to increase your website traffic using SEO best practices.
It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more. From the density of your target keyword to the optimization of your title and H2 heading tags, to basic readability and metadata, Yoast SEO makes on-page search engine optimization so easy, that anyone can do it.
2) Image compression and optimisation (Smush)
Nothing will bog down your website or slow your load times faster than oversized and un-optimized images. Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality and is the award-winning, back-to-back proven crowd favourite image optimization plugin for WordPress.
Smush meticulously scans every image you upload – or have already added to your site – cuts all the unnecessary data and scales it for you before adding it to your media library. All the hard work is done for you to make your website so much easier to showcase your business with optimised and easy to load images.
3) Google Analytics Dashboard (Monster Insights)
Hands up if you already use Google Analytics (GA) for your business? If you answered yes, you are on the right track. Even better, is that it integrates with your WordPress website.
The best way to know your audience is through your traffic stats, and this is what Google Analytics provides for free! MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Over 1 million websites use it including the likes of Bloomberg, PlayStation, Zillow, and more. It is available as both a paid plugin, as well as a free version available.
With GA, you can track where the users are going on your website, how long do they stay on your website, and what is the bounce rate (the per cent of users exit your site on the first visit). By using this information, you can decrease the bounce rate and increase your page views.
4) Cache (WP Rocket)
WP Rocket is a caching and performance optimization plugin to improve the loading speed of WordPress websites. But what is ‘cache’ you may ask? Pronounced like the physical form of money (cash), the cache is a high-speed access area that can be a reserved section of main memory or on a storage device. In relation to your Internet browser, the cache is a temporary storage area where website data is stored. By caching this data, the web browser can improve performance by loading data from your disk, instead of the Internet, if it is ever needed again.
5) Security (Sucuri)
WordPress security is a topic of huge importance for every website owner. Google blacklists around 10,000+ websites every day for malware and around 50,000 for phishing every week.
Security should be a top priority for all online business owners. Sucuri offers a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.
They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then you need to add one today!
Do you have any favourite WordPress plugins that you would recommend to businesses? Feel free to share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org