With over 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository (and just as many sold on various marketplaces), it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available when you just need to find the right plugin. The following list should make things easier. These 10 useful, popular plugins include those that every WordPress user should at least know about, if not use every day.
Jetpack by WordPress.Com
Created by Automattic, the developers of WordPress, Jetpack provides a suite of popular, invaluable tools. They include functions that allow you to keep your website secure, generate more traffic and improve reader engagement. You can find the entire list of features on the plugin’s download page, but a few notable ones include:
- Site stats and analytics
- Automatic sharing of posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit and WhatsApp
- Brute force attack protection
- Downtime and uptime monitoring
- Secured logins and two-factor authentication
- Free high-speed CDN
- And more
If you want to rank higher on the search engines, you need to improve your page load speed. Google considers your website’s loading speed as one of its more important ranking markers. The W3 Cache plugin improves the overall performance of your website (including page load speed) by caching images, CSS files, and scripts. This caching greatly reduces download times for site visitors, making for a much better user experience. This, in turn, can lead to more conversions, better engagement, and even a boost of your rankings on search results.
Google XML Sitemaps
Sitemaps tell search engines about the type of content on your site and how often you update it. Sitemaps allow search engine crawlers to easily see and navigate through the overall structure of your website. That, in turn, can contribute to improvements in your website’s search rankings. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin automatically generates the sitemap and submits it to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Every time you update your content, the XML Sitemaps plugin notifies the search engines.
One of the highest rated plugins in the WordPress repository, the Google XML Sitemaps plugin has over 2 million active installations.
WP Forms allows you to create clean and stylish contact forms using an easy-to-use (yet powerful) drag-and-drop form builder. Whether you need to create forms to accept payments, collect leads, or just provide an avenue for website visitors to contact you, with WP Forms, you can quickly create whichever type of form you need.
As a 100% mobile responsive plugin, you can rest assured that your forms will function perfectly for both desktop and mobile visitors alike.
WP Forms also comes with a number of pre-built form templates that you can easily edit. No need to build all of your forms from scratch.
For business owners with an online presence, nothing could be worse than a website crash. The free BoldGrid Backup plugin automates backups, allowing you to backup and restore your entire WordPress site with ease. For the automated solution, simply select a time and day for backups to run. Alternatively, you can also backup your site manually from within the WordPress dashboard.
BoldGrid Backup also allows you to completely migrate a site from one WordPress installation to another with ease.
All in One SEO
With over 3+ million active installations, All in One SEO ranks among the most popular WordPress plugins available. All in One SEO helps you optimize meta-descriptions, page and post titles, and more. Ultimately, these small changes add up to a potentially enormous optimization of your content and improvement your on-page SEO. All in One SEO also has many advanced optimization features, such as a built-in SEO performance manager and integration with social media.
The free WordFence Security plugin comes with a host of features designed to keep your website safe and secure from hackers, malware, and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. The plugin scans your WordPress installation and alerts you to potential security threats or signs of malware infection. These include modified core files (generally a sign of malicious activity). Additionally, WordFence offers a web application firewall and automated protection from brute force attacks. WordFence also offers a premium version of its software, that provides real-time defense, blocking, and more.
BoldGrid Page Builder
The Page Builder by BoldGrid allows you to create beautiful, rich, column-based layouts using a drag-and-drop visual editor. The visual editor provides true WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) functionality without relying on shortcodes or requiring any knowledge of programming languages. Add, delete, and resize columns and rows using the visual editor – just click and drag to the size you need. The Page Builder plugin comes equipped with pre-built page sections called “blocks.” These blocks pre-populate your selected theme with useful website content that you can edit to fit your needs, saving you lots of time.
The Social Icons plugin allows you to easily display over 100 popular social icons and link those icons to your social media pages using widgets and shortcodes. Simply drag the widget to the widget area of your site’s theme and adjust settings from the widget form itself. Or, post your social icons anywhere on your website by pasting shortcodes.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin developed by Automattic, the creators of WordPress (and Jetpack). It allows you to sell anything from anywhere in the world. WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and grants you access to a wide array of free and premium WordPress extensions.
WooCommerce allows you to sell both physical and digital goods, as well as multiple variations, configurations, instant downloads, or monthly subscriptions. You can also ship to anywhere in the world and offer free shipping, flat rate shipping, or use real-time calculations to get an accurate rate.
WooCommerce allows you to accept every major credit card, as it includes integration for over 140 region-specific payment gateways and merchant account services. These include PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, Amazon Payments, and many more.
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