WordPress has made building a blog or eCommerce website incredibly easy. What makes it even more popular is that you can add a lot of functionality to your site with the use of WordPress plugins, and without having to worry about any coding.
However, there are so many plugins out there that it can get confusing, which one is better? and more importantly which ones do I even need?
While plugins are great, having too many installed can slow down your website, or even worse, plugin conflicts can even break your website.
So, when it comes to plugins, the right ones when incorporated into your site backend will improve your website’s functionality and aesthetics. We did all the research for you and listed down the right set of WordPress plugins below that will help you grow your online business. Read on…
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When you put any content on your website, you want the maximum people to see it. In other words, to maximize the traffic to your website.
So, what is the most efficient way of maximizing traffic you might wonder?
The answer is SEO.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is where you basically optimize your website and your content in a way that makes it easy for Google to understand your website content.
This improves your ranking in search results and ensures that you get a consistent flow of traffic to your website.
So how do you “do” SEO?
Well if you have Yoast SEO plugin installed, most of it is done!
Yoast takes care of technical SEO, like generating sitemaps, etc.
Along with that, Yoast also helps you in optimizing your content for related keywords, ensuring that you don’t miss out on valuable traffic.
Yoast gives you the ability to see through the eyes of the Google user: what will your post or page look like in the search results? And on mobile screens? This helps you tweak things to make your post stand out in search results and make it more clickable.
Other features of Yoast include:
- Internal linking suggestions.
- Readability check.
- 1-year of 24/7 support·
- Preview of your page in social media
FileBird folder plugin is a file manager for the WordPress media library. It helps create folders to easily organize all of your uploads.
Whichever files not moved to any folders belong to the Uncategorized folder. Great news: When you move files around, it won’t change their permalinks.
FileBird comes in both a free version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version at CodeCanyon.net.
The free version is pretty generous with its functionality – it gets you all of the features except for the sort options. However, the key limit is that you can only create 10 folders/categories. If you can fit within that limit, great! The free version is probably all you need.
- Drag-and-drop files to move them between folders
- Bulk select files and move them around
- Include files in multiple folders
- Use various sort options to find the right files/folders
- Use right-click to interact with folders
Now that you have your SEO covered the next thing your website needs is legal pages.
I know it sounds boring and daunting, but this is really an important step that should not be missed.
Fortunately, with WP Legal Pages this seemingly boring and hard task becomes a cakewalk.
The plugin generates 25+ legal policy pages that can be required for any kind of business.
WP Legal Pages Pro also supports multiple languages for wizard policy templates like French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese.
Utilizing this module, you can likewise create an Impressum which is legitimately required on all business sites distributed in German-talking nations (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland).
Some of the 25+ expert vetted Policy Pages include:
- Terms of Service
- CCPA (California Consumers Privacy Act)
- DMCA Policy
- Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
- Affiliate Marketing Disclosures, and many more
One of the first things you need to figure out after installing WordPress is which theme to get.
Theme selection is a very important decision as everything that you do after it can make your life extremely easy or virtually impossible.
For example, a wrong theme can seriously slow down your website.
Some themes do not support certain plugins, some themes have a habit of breaking down… well you get the point.
To save yourself from those theme related nightmares you should definitely install Responsive themes by cyberchimps.
The responsive WordPress theme comes with 40+ ready-made, fully functional, easy to customize website templates.
The theme is fully customizable; from colors to typography to layout to content, if you want to change ANYTHING it can be changed.
The theme is super light and will ensure your website runs fast.
It is also made with compatibility in mind so you don’t have to worry about which plugins will be compatible with the theme.
The theme is also SEO friendly meaning it is designed with SEO best practices in mind.
Image Optimization: ShortPixel to optimize your images
Everyone wants a fast website.
If your website loads slowly visitors drop off quickly.
Even Google ranks slow websites lower.
After your hosting it is the images that determine the speed of your site.
You want to upload tons of beautiful and high-quality images on your website to keep your readers engaged and hooked, however high-quality images have large sizes and hence are heavy.
They really slow your webpage down.
To get rid of this problem all you need to do is install the ShortPixel plugin.
ShortPixel compresses the size of images on your website thereby making the webpage light and load faster.
The best thing about ShortPixel is that it reduces the size of images without decreasing the visible quality of images.
Another benefit of this plugin is that you don’t have to individually reduce the size of each image, the plugin supports batch reduction.
Also, once you install this plugin all new images you upload will automatically get optimized as per your settings, making this plugin extremely hands-off.
EDD Advanced Shortcodes Plugin provides you with a wide range of advanced shortcodes which allow you to create any kind of product lists:
- Most Viewed Products
- Recently Viewed Products
- Best Rated Products
- Daily Random Product Pick List
- And others.
Also, be able to create a list/carousel of all your:
- product reviews
- authors, and
- recent sales
Lastly, you can now show recent sales notification popups on any webpage of your choice.
These features go beyond the basic shortcodes offered by Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). You can use these powerful shortcodes to create excellent landing pages for your visitors and customers.
- Downloads List/Carousel
- Authors List/Carousel
- Reviews List/Carousel
- Sales Notification List/Carousel
- Sales Pop-up Notification
- Extensive Settings Page
Visitors come to your website but don’t take the desired actions.
You want them to purchase something but they don’t, sometimes they add products in their cart and then drop off.
Maybe you just want them to fill a form, or sign up to your newsletter, but they don’t.
Google analytics shows you that visitors are reaching your desired pages but after that what happens is pretty much your guess work.
And we know guesswork is bad when you want to increase your conversions.
So, to remove the guesswork you should use HumCommerce.
HumCommerce is a visitor recording plugin that records your visitor’s screen as they navigate your website and webpages.
With this information you know for sure where people are clicking and where they are dropping off.
You might find out that 80% of your visitors don’t scroll past 50% of your page, and your buy now button is at the bottom of the page, this means you need to move your buy now button at top of the page.
With HumCommerce you can get such practical and actionable insights that will actually help you increase your Conversion Rates.
One of the most important things any website owner needs to do is collect the visitor’s email.
This converts a visitor into a lead.
Once you generate a lead i.e. you collect a visitor’s email id you can retarget them with offers, discounts, etc.
So how do you go about collecting visitors’ email id.
Optinmonster lets you collect your visitors email id and convert them into a valuable lead.
How does it do that?
Well, it has some tricks up its sleeve.
One is it allows you to create pop up forms that make visitors enter their email.
Other than that, you can create email subscription forms, sticky announcement bar (hello bar), gamified spin a wheel opt-in forms, and other types of interactive popups for your site in minutes, not hours!
OptinMonster popups and newsletter opt-in forms are 100% mobile responsive, so your marketing message modals will always look great on all devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop).
One of the things most webmasters worry about most is your site getting hacked.
All the years of hard work can go down the drain in minutes.
Hence securing your website must be one of your first priorities.
WordFence protects your site from hackers, trying to hack your site, from malicious traffic, fake Googlebots, malicious scans and botnets.
It scans your core files, themes and plugins against WordPress.org repository versions to check their integrity.
It also checks for trojans, backdoors and other issues.
And if there are any security issues the plugin alerts you via email.
One of the most ubiquitous plugins in WordPress used to speed up websites is W3 Total Cache.
W3 Total Cache improves SEO performance and user experience by increasing the page speed.
When fully configured it can increase overall site performance by a factor of 10.
The plugin is very versatile and can support mobile websites.
It also has Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support.
W3 Total Cache gives Caching statistics for performance insights.
One of the most basic features that any website has is a form.
This is where your users can contact you (contact us form), or you want to collect some more information about your users.
Or you want to collect feedback from your visitors about your particular offering.
To do all these activities you are going to need forms.
This is where Ninja Forms comes in.
With Ninja Forms you can create multiple, beautiful forms for any purpose.
The best thing about it is, you don’t need any coding knowledge nor any design expertise.
With Ninja Forms drag and drop features you can create beautiful, functional forms like a pro.
Another cool feature of Ninja Forms is that you can even accept payments and donations through them.
If you hate to do repetitive tasks (who doesn’t?) then Manage WP is made for you.
With Manage WP you can automate most of your daily repetitive WordPress related tasks.
If you want to Collaborate with other WordPress websites, it can also be done with this plugin.
This plugin is also beneficial in monitoring your websites SEO performance and benchmarking it.
However, the most important benefit of this plugin is it takes backups with regular security checks.
Hence if something goes wrong and your website crashes, this plugin will help you restore the last backed up version of your website.
That concludes our list of the “must-have” plugins for any WordPress website. No matter what kind of website you are running there are certain plugins that are always worth installing. Do you think we missed something? Drop your suggestions in the comment box below.