WordPress is perhaps the number one Content Marketing System (CMS) and the most preferred blogging platform. WordPress stays at the top of all choices for web development companies for so many reasons. The easy-to-use nature of WordPress in terms of customization and personalization has handed the platform the leading role among its competitors.
In a bid to ensure that users personalize and customize their WordPress blog to suit their needs, the platform allows you to install add-ons with those specific features you want. For instance, you can incorporate stylish social media icons, embed YouTube videos, and add a few other SEO features to your WordPress blog. These add-ons are called plug-ins and are available in thousands, depending on your choice and preference.
WordPress plug-ins are designed by third-parties and most of them are tested and verified by WordPress developers. Most of these plug-ins are available on the plug-in tab on your WordPress dashboard. Regardless of the feature you want, you can always find a plug-in that will do just that. Some of these plug-ins are free while some are premium. Most times, WordPress plug-ins come with both free and premium features which means that you can purchase the premium license of you need extra/in-depth features of a particular plug-in.
6 Must-Have Plug-ins on Your WordPress Site
As earlier said, there are thousands of WordPress plug-ins each with their own distinct feature. Depending on the feature you are looking for, there are plug-in options that will do just that. Do you need a plug-in that floats a social media icon on your page or the one that places these icons at the side of the screen? There are lots of options at the plug-in directory.
Despite these enormous options, there are some must-have plug-ins for every WordPress sites. Apart from other special features, you may need, there are some plug-ins you must have regardless of what you use your blog for. So, what are the plug-ins and why must you have them?
1. W3 Total Cache
Everybody hates a website that takes forever to load. Caching speeds up website page-load speed by capturing and creating static pages of your website pages and feeding them to users. This means that your server will not have to load scripts from your database every time a user visits. Rather, a copy of your page is saved and displayed to users whenever they visit. Apart from this, cache system helps to lift some weight off your bandwidth usage, thereby preventing your site from crashing in the long run.
A website page speed is also one of the major factors considered for Search Engine ranking. The faster your website page speed, the higher you rank. Therefore, apart from the fact that a user may become annoyed with a slow website, search engines also ignore slow websites in their ranking system.
W3 Total Cache is one of the few WordPress plug-ins that are highly essential for your blog. Although there are tons of plug-ins that offer the same service, W3 Cache plug-in stands out. With about 1 million active users and up to 4,000 users’ review, W3 cache plug-in is arguably the best caching plug-in for your WordPress blog. W3 Cache plug-in also incorporates the Content Delivery Network (CDN) caching which is vital for content marketing.
2. Contact Form 7
Traffic generation is one of the key problems for most blog owners. While it may easy to generate traffic from your social media and search engines, retaining your visitors is another factor to consider. When a user visits your website, how do you ensure that such a user gets notifications whenever you publish a new post?
Likewise, one of the success keys for blog owners is to have a database of their visitors. This will ensure that they keep in touch with these users and turn them into frequent, returning visitors. Especially if you sell products or render services from your blog, keeping a record of your visitors is more than important.
Contact Form 7 WordPress plug-in offers an easy and hassle-free way of creating your desired contact form in order to collect the information about your visitors. Contact form 7 is a free WordPress plug-in that is actively used on over 1 million WordPress sites and attracts an average of a 4.5-star rating from about 1,400 users. This plug-in allows you stylishly create a contact form and collect users’ details with ease.
3. Yoast SEO
One of the greatest advantages of using WordPress is its excellent SEO support. WordPress platform is designed using a simple programming language that is easily decoded by Search Engine Robots. Still, WordPress allows users to customize their SEO features by installing add-ons that will further improve their web presence in search engines.
Of all the SEO plug-ins available, Yoast SEO plug-in is extraordinary as it incorporates every feature you need to fully optimize your blog for search engines. Yoast SEO plug-in boosts of over 1 million active downloads and an average of 4.9-star reviews from over 21,000 users. So, what makes Yoast so special?
Yoast SEO plug-in allows you to create a stylish XML sitemap that you can submit to Google and Bing webmaster console. This sitemap is automatically purged and search engine robots are pinged whenever you publish a new post. What’s more, Yoast SEO plug-in allows you to set colonial URL in order to avoid duplicate contents.
Yoast SEO plug-in also allows you to set custom Meta details and keywords for each post. Premium features also allow you to set more than one Keywords per post, thereby increasing your chances on search engine results.
Perhaps, security is a very vital component if you own a WordPress website. People use WordPress for different purposes; some use it to store and share vital documents, some incorporate payment options for e-commerce purposes, while some use it to share information about their hobby. Regardless of your purpose of owning a WordPress blog, the security of your blog should be your topmost priority.
Hackers can penetrate and take over your blog using different tactics. Not only this, spammers and robots can take charge of your website if it is not protected. This can cause our website to consume more resources than expected and affect your web host.
Wordfence is a top WordPress security designed to add an extra layer of security to your site. Wordfence blocks malicious traffic and log-in attempts, thereby preventing unhealthy traffic and robots from draining your host memory and resources. The plug-in also prevents Brute Force attacks by limited the total login attempts. Furthermore, WordFence provides a real-time IP blacklist which blocks malicious IPs from accessing your website thereby reducing the workload on your site.
With over 1 million active installations and over 3,000 happy users, WordFence is a must-have for your WordPress blog.
Too much error can reduce your site performance and create an impression of ingenuity to the search engines. 301 errors mean the particular link has moved permanently while 404 error means that the particular link no longer exists on the server. There are also other error codes like 302 (move temporarily), 503 (server unable to process request), and so on.
Whenever you delete a particular page on your website or you change the URL, a 404 error is displayed when visitors try to access the site. If users encounter one or more 404 errors on your site, they may lose their hope and trust in your blog. More so, it can cause a crawl error in your search engine consoles. Unfixed errors and broken links can reduce the trust of your readers and even search engine in your website and can cost you a lot of traffic.
Redirection is a free WordPress plug-in and has been in existence for over 10 years. The plug-in allows you to manage all 301 and 404 errors on your website. It is normal for you to delete some pages or modify them to suit a particular purpose. However, it is unhealthy to leave the link broken. With this plug-in, you can either permanently or temporarily redirect your broken links to another page on the website, meaning that users who visit those links will be redirected to another page.
Likewise, Redirection plug-in provides conditional redirection. How does this work? You can choose to redirect some of your visitors based on some parameters, such as login status, browser, cookies, referral, and custom filter.
6. Elementor Page Builder
Elementor Page Builder is another WordPress plug-in that allows you to build a custom, responsive, and page on your blog. This plug-in contains several free templates from which you can choose from. More so, it offers a live edit which means that you can edit and see your new page simultaneously without needing to press any preview button.
The major features of this Page Builder include Box Shadows, Animations, Hover Effects, Background Overlays, Shape Dividers, Headline Effects, Gradient Backgrounds and much more. The plug-in also boosts of 28 free widgets which include Heading, Image, Text editor, Icon box, Carousels, and so on.
Elementor Page Builder plug-in is currently in use by over 1 million WordPress users and has a staggering 5 maximum stars review from 800 users.
WordPress is arguably the most popular Content Marketing and blogging system as of today. Most web designers prefer WordPress because it is easy to install, design, and set up. The plug-in feature allows you to install and customize your WordPress blog to your taste. Discussed in this article are 6 must-have WordPress plug-ins. You should try them out!