Do you remember the Apple campaign called “There’s an App for That”? Well, the same principle now applies to WordPress.
No matter what kind of functionality you need, there is a plugin available that will do what you need and more. As of this writing, there are over 55,000 plugins available for WordPress.
If you’re unsure of which plugins to choose, look for ones that will provide you with tangible value.
When choosing plugins for WordPress sites, how can you tell if they are worth it? Our top choices are listed below.
1. Wordfence Security
Although Wordfence Security is the most popular firewall and security scanning plugin available for WordPress, it only has 2 million active installations.
It’s a highly customizable tool that protects your site by:
- Blocking brute force logins.
- Banning IPs.
- Running routine scans and alerts.
Wordfence is a plugin that has both free and premium features. You will get the basic features of the plugin either way. But you’ll get more with the premium offering, including:
- Two-factor authentication.
- Real-time malware signature updates.
- Country blocking.
Even though Wordfence is a helpful tool, it is still just a tool and not a cure-all. It can’t completely replace manually monitoring your site. Some users report that they have problems with PHP exception permissions and that their memory limits on the hosting account interfere with the service.
2. Really Simple SSL
SSL creates an encrypted link between a browser and web server to keep data secure.
Google is warning website owners that if their site is not secure they could see a significant increase in their bounce rate.
Really Simple SSL automatically configures your website to run over HTTPS.
One mistake that people make when installing an SSL certificate is misconfiguration, which can then result in warnings from web browsers when people visit the site. The plugin will automatically detect your settings and set your site to run correctly over HTTPS without warnings.
To use the Really Simple SSL plugin, you must first purchase and install an SSL certificate on your server or hosting package.
Setting up is incredibly easy. To use this plugin, simply activate it and then enable SSL with one click.
A lot can go wrong when you’re maintaining a website:
- Your site may get hacked.
- You could install a plugin or theme that breaks everything.
- Your database can become corrupted.
It is very important to have a plan for what to do in case of an emergency (especially when multiple people are working on your site). The BackWPUp plugin is the best way to back up your site.
Although this service has a paid version, the base service is free. It can be used to schedule daily, monthly, or yearly backups to Amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP, and more.
You can back up your themes, database, and files by going to your dashboard.
4. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a popular SEO plugin for WordPress that has been around since 2008.
Its powerful platform makes it possible for people who don’t know how to code to make website changes like deindexing categories and tags without having to go into the confusing back-end parts of the site.
Yoast provides step-by-step instructions for creating page titles and meta descriptions, as well as other factors affecting page readability. Some users’ favorite features of the tool are its bulk editing capabilities and the preview feature for Google search results.
Some users find that Yoast clashes with other plugins. Although not as robust, All-in-One SEO is a reliable alternative if you’re experiencing issues.
Although Yoast is a helpful tool, it is not a replacement for actual SEO knowledge.
5. Gravity Forms
Contact forms are essential for obtaining conversions and generating leads in the digital age. No matter what you use them for, you need to ensure they:
- Attract attention.
- Are not too busy.
- Actually accomplish what they are meant to.
Gravity Forms helps you do just that.
The paid plugin provides a easy-to-use form builder to create powerful online forms. Formsite provides many ways to customize your forms, from over 30 form fields to the “Conditional Logic” feature.
The plugin can be integrated with other platforms, depending on the version you have. Basic, Pro, and Elite versions offer different types of integrations.
The only available options are paid, which deters some potential users. But the plugin is definitely a good investment.
6. Simple 301 Redirects
Redirecting to the correct page is critical for a successful SEO strategy. Redirects are useful when you’re changing the URL structures of your pages and posts.
The Simple 301 Redirects plugin allows you to redirect old URLs to new ones quickly and easily. Uploading redirects in bulk via CSV is also an option.
Oh, and this plugin is free.
This plugin only supports redirecting within one domain. External cross-domain redirects are not supported.
7. Akismet Anti-Spam
You know what the problem with spam is? The world is constantly changing, making it difficult for us humans to keep up.
If you have a blog section on your website, you probably don’t want to spend time pre-screening comments manually (especially if you run a popular blog that gets a lot of comments).
Akismet provides free spam protection.
After the plugin is installed, it will start examining comments on your blog against a global database of spam.
The system will notify you if a comment is considered malicious so you can easily see which ones have been allowed or filtered out.
If you’re using Akismet to protect your website from spam, you can also integrate it with Contact Form 7. This will check the Akismet database and email lists before allowing a user to submit a form, which will block any suspicious users from doing so.
Just know that it won’t always catch everything!
8. Rank Math
Rank Math makes it quick and easy to optimize your website. It automatically checks the website’s settings and tells you what would work best to optimize performance. The app also has a great module for SEO analytics that takes information from Google Search Console and presents it directly in your admin dashboard.
Rank Math also has a Client Management dashboard that is built into the Account Area. The dashboard makes it simple to keep an eye on SEO progress.
ShortPixel is an excellent free plugin for WordPress that can help you optimize your images with the click of a button. The image optimizer automatically adjusts the size and improves the speed of the website. The WP plugin lets you optimize images directly from the WordPress Dashboard so that you can improve your website’s performance.
ShortPixel is a great choice for you as it allows you to quickly optimize images that have already been installed on your website. When batch automation is used, image optimization takes only a few seconds. This increases speed and reduces bandwidth usage.
Autoptimize is a great tool because it makes website optimization very easy. Autoptimize speeds up your website by aggregating, minifying, and caching styles and scripts.
The tool automatically combines scripts and styles and minimizes the HTML code, all of which leads to a significant improvement in website performance.
11. Sucuri, Wordfence or Malcare
The security of your website is always the top priority.
Sucuri is a great WordPress security plugin that can help you protect your website. They also offer the removal of malware that is custom-made and websites that are monitored regularly to identify and mitigate threats in real-time.
In addition to Sucuri, there are a few other excellent security plugins, such as Wordfence and Malcare.
If a website is hacked, there are experts at Sucuri, Wordfence, and Malcare who can fix the problem.
WordPress is a platform with a large number of plugins and add-ons available. However, don’t go crazy with your plugins!
Don’t install WordPress plugins unless you’re sure you’ll actually use and benefit from them. Having too many old and useless plugins on your website is never a good idea.
Before you download a plugin, always check the reviews and see if it is compatible with your version of WordPress.
Be careful of plugins that have not been updated in a few years because they could cause your site to be hacked. No one wants that!