With over 60,000 plugins available on the official WordPress plugin directory, knowing where to start can be daunting.
So, you’ve created your WordPress website, or looking to refresh it and you’re wondering which plugins to use to keep it ranking and performing well, looking pretty, and secure. It can be easy to get carried away with so many options for plugins, but you shouldn’t just add any old one. Each one provides a possible security risk to your site if you don’t keep them updated.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 8 must-have plugins for your WordPress website to get you started.
Yoast SEO is essential for search engine optimisation (SEO). Yoast SEO analyses your uploaded content and suggests SEO and readability improvements. It’s a really helpful final checklist of things to update before you publish so you can give your content the best possible chance of being found online by interested customers. It’s also where you set your meta title, meta description, and any social sharing settings too. Say hello to higher rankings, increased visibility of your site and more organic traffic. What more could you want?
Advanced Custom Fields Pro
Break free from standard templates and create a website that truly stands out and aligns with your brand’s identity. Pretty much every WordPress web developer uses this plugin, so you can think of it as an industry standard. With this plugin, you have the flexibility to personalise your site and it allows you to add fields to pages and posts. From designing custom layouts to contact forms and showcasing unique product information – you can customise everything to your specific needs.
We live in a time where safety is not guaranteed online. Hackers and bots are smarter than ever, so protecting your website’s security is no longer an option but a necessity. You can think Wordfence like Fort Knox for your website(!). Its advanced malware scanning, firewall protection, and real-time threat defence means that you can rest easy knowing that your valuable website data is safe and secure.
EWWW Image Optimiser
Loading times can make or break your website’s user experience. And slow page load speeds can badly affect your rankings. Google research showed that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave a web page if it doesn’t load within three seconds. If not optimised, large images can slow your website down. Cue the EWWW Image Optimiser plugin, here to reduce your image file sizes without comprising the quality. Your visitors will appreciate the swift browsing experience and search engines will reward you with better rankings.
Gravity Forms is the plugin that turns form creation from a chore to a breeze; contact forms, lead capture, surveys – you name it. Its easy drag-and-drop interface means it’s a great tool to build forms with, and you don’t have to be a web developer to use it. You can collect valuable data, engage with your audience, and watch your conversions increase.
This handy plugin allows you to see your site map in the simplest way. It organises your pages, creating nested hierarchies that make sense to both you and your website visitors. You can say goodbye to confusing menus and hello to a logical and user-friendly website structure.
Time is money and we know your time is precious if you’re running a successful business. Why waste it making pages from scratch when you can simply duplicate them and edit the content? With one click, you can clone pages, posts and custom post types preserving their content, settings and styling. The perfect tool to quickly create new pages on your website.
Lastly, Redirection. Have you ever changed the URL of a page and forgotten to set up a redirect? Broken links everywhere… Not with Redirection though. It tidies up your pages if you change the URL and forget to set up a redirect. It ain’t much but it’s honest work – and someone’s got to do it. This plugin allows you to manage redirects (or 301s) effortlessly, keeping your visitors on the right path and ensuring search engines don’t penalise you.
So there you have it, our 8 must-have plugins to help keep your WordPress website secure, ranking well, and looking good. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste and they’re ultimately there to make your life easier. Just remember to keep the plugins maintained and updated so they don’t end up working against you – because if left out of date, you will become vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Need ideas on how to optimise your website, or is it time for a revamp? Get in touch for a chat about how you can make the most of your online presence.