Plugins are features or additional applications installed on your WordPress website that add functionality. For instance, you may want to add an email newsletter sign up where you visitors can enter their name, email address, or some other information and you’ll be notified. There’s a plugin for that. Or you may want to have a live technical support chat feature where a visitor can receive help immediately on your website. There’s a plugin for that as well. Maybe you need an appointment scheduler where your visitors can schedule appointments to meet with you or schedule a service. There’s a plugin for that, so now you get the idea. There are tons of WordPress plugins, some paid and some free, that can add just about any functionality you need to your WordPress website. I myself, like to use the free plugins as long as they’re from a reliable source and have positive reviews.
I’ve composed a list of WordPress plugins I feel every WordPress website should have no matter what industry your business is in or what the primary focus of your WordPress website maybe. So today I will discuss my top 5 WordPress plugins in no particular order.
This plugin or a similar SEO plugin should be at the top of everyone’s list. Your purpose for building a website may vary. But your main purposes should be either to gain more clients, to spread information, or capture leads. This plugin assists with all of those by helping with Search Engine Optimization. It cleans up your permalinks to make them look pretty as they say. For instance, which looks better? www.yourdomain.com/?12sa or www.yourdomain.com/about-us? Of course the 2nd link looks better and the search engines like those links better as well. This plugin automatically generates an XML sitemap that you can submit to Google, Yahoo, and Bing to get your WordPress website indexed in the search engines. Yoast also allows you to change the headings and titles of each page. You can also do an analysis of your keywords on each page to see how it would rank. I install this plugin on all the websites I design. It’s truly worth it.
This plugin provides an extra layer of security to your website. There are a number of features Wordfece brings to the table. One of my favorite being scanning your website’s files and files outside your website for malicious codes or abnormities. You can specify when and how much you’d like your website scanned for viruses and malicious codes. It will also scan your WordPress and notify you if you have plugins that need to be updated to a new version. This comes in handy because an outdated plugin may cause security issues as well. Another thing I like about Wordfence is it will lock out potential threats (hackers) that enter the wrong username or password when attempting to login to the admin area. You will receive an email notification each and every time someone is locked out from signing in to your WordPress website when using a unknown username and wrong password. I noticed I received a lot of notifications that users were being locked out from signing in to my website. This leads me to the next plugin on my list.
I recently started using this plugin. This plugin changes your administration login url. After installing WordPress your default login for the admin area where you make changes to the website is www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin. This plugin allows you to change the url link where you login. Why is this important you ask? Like I mentioned above, the bad guys (hackers) will try and hack into your website. So if you change the admin url link the hackers will have a tougher time finding where you actually login to your site. I would suggest changing the link to something you will remember; otherwise you will also have trouble remembering where you login to your site. After installing this plugin I went from receiving around 50-75 notifications daily from 3 different websites where someone was attempting to login with a bad user name or password to receiving 0 notifications since installing this plugin. So I think this plugin is worthy enough to be on everyone’s top 5 list.
This plugin gives adds a visual appeal to your website. Although your WordPress theme will come with fonts that are preinstalled they don’t match up to this plugin. There are numerous of font choices with this plugin. Without this plugin you can only set up a font for your headers and one font for your paragraphs. With this plugin you can have different fonts for each header H1-H6 and a different font for your paragraphs. Did I say Easy Google Fonts adds hundreds of free fonts. I love this plugin.
Although these are two different plugins I lump them together here because they both work basically the same. These are performance plugins which help your page loading times. Basically these plugins add speed to your WordPress website. What they do use different methods that make a copy of your website which reduces the server loading time. But beware you can only use one or the other. Using them both at the same time would probably caused some bad effects to your website.
Woo Commerce – Builds your online stores. This plugin set up products and payment gateways to sell your merchandise.
Bloom – Integrates email signups and opt-in forms. Works well with 12 email marketing platforms including MailChimp, AWeber, InfusionSoft, Mad Mini, Ontraport, and more.
Monarch – A social sharing plugin that allows your website to be shared through social networks.
So now that you’ve heard my opinion, what’s in your Top 5?