It is the plugins that make WordPress what it is. Without them, you’d have to code every function you want to add, very much like with a custom-coded website. With plugins, you can add complex features to your site with only a few clicks.
Customization options are practically unlimited, and, although useful, this can sometimes be a problem.
You’ll rarely run more than five to ten plugins on your site. Yet, there are over 47,000 active WordPress plugins.
How do you, in all that opulence, find the ten plugins you need?
If you’re facing this problem, don’t worry. We’ve brought you a list of plugins every website should use. If you’re not running these on your site, you’re missing out.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were just one plugin that handles everything about your site? Well, Jetpack might not handle exactly everything, but it comes pretty darn close. Jetpack single-handedly takes care of website design, marketing, and security.
With plugins, you typically want to avoid ones with too many features. These just bring along a bunch of useless functions to clutter up your website.
Jetpack is the exception to this rule. Even though Jetpack has a ton of features, all of them are useful.
Jetpack’s functions include:
- Customization Tools
- Lazy Image Loading
- Website Analytics
- SEO Tools
- Automatic Posting to Social Media
- Malware Scanning
- And Much More
If you’re looking for a plugin that covers all the basics without impeding website performance, Jetpack is for you.
If you’ve read any articles about websites or blogging, you’ve most likely heard of search engine optimization. Doing quality SEO is probably the best way to maintain a steady flow of traffic. If you want a successful site, there’s really no alternative to SEO.
The good news is that core WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO mechanics. All you need is a quality SEO plugin to take care of the other 10-20%, and your SEO worries are behind you.
Yoast SEO is by far the most popular option here. It is a powerful tool that covers both basic and advanced aspects of SEO. It has all the functions you need as a new website owner.
More importantly, Yoast SEO is convenient for beginners. The interface is intuitive, so it’s perfect for learning the basics of search engine optimization.
Admittedly, some users complain Yoast SEO feels obstructive and that its content analysis can be misleading. If you’re already somewhat comfortable with SEO, All in One SEO Pack is an alternative. It is also comprehensive and straightforward so you won’t miss out on anything with it.
W3 Total Cache
Website speed is an important issue in 2019. Websites get faster with each passing day and you don’t want to be the only one with a slow site. That’s why you want a plugin that takes care of speed optimization.
W3 Total Cache is a caching plugin by name, but it takes care of other speed optimization aspects as well. It offers CDN Management, minification, and an array of other options.
Its creators boast ten times better site performance and 80% reduction in bandwidth if you use this plugin. These are not just empty promises; W3 Total Cache delivers the results.
You can install the plugin and test your site’s performance for yourself. You’ll see an immediate improvement.
There are plenty of reasons to include a contact form on your website. Perhaps you want users to donate money or to subscribe to your newsletter. Maybe you want to make life easier for your users and have them contact you without copy/pasting the email address. Whatever the reason, almost every site can make good use of a contact form.
WPForms is a fantastic solution here. It lets you choose from common form templates, or even create a custom form, and drag and drop it to the desired position. It’s that simple.
The forms work across all devices, come with in-built spam protection, and are optimized for maximum speed. You can use the plugin to create surveys, conduct payment, manage booking, and more.
If you count on any direct feedback from the viewers of your site (which you probably do), this plugin facilitates gathering it nicely and simply.
That concludes our list of must-have plugins for any WordPress website. The ones we’ve mentioned here cover the website basics.
Some other options are a security and firewall plugin for a safe website and an image optimization plugin to ensure the fastest speeds.
All the plugins we’ve listed today have a free version. There’s no drawback to trying them out to see if they work for you.
Of course, you’ll need more plugins than just these, but you’d have to find those on your own. We’ve given you the base, you now need to consider what works best for your site and include it.
To learn more about WordPress and its intricacies, check out the infographic below.