WordPress is by far the most popular content management system today and I want to share my top 5 favourite WordPress plugins with you.
WordPress websites constitute around 32% of the internet! This is likely due to its versatility. WordPress can be used for a variety of websites ranging from blogs to ecommerce sites.
To improve the functionality as well as user experience of a WordPress website, they have plugins. Plugins are pieces of code or mini programs that offer a certain additional functionality when added to the basic WordPress site. Currently there are 54,000+ plugins available.
The whole idea of having plugins was to enable a customised experience for each of their customers. If all websites would have all possible features, it would largely weigh the site down and thus result in very poor page load times. All the features are not required for everyone. Thus, the user can add plugins as per convenience, making their entire experience much smoother. This also means that the plugins perfectly suited for one, may not be the best for another.
There are some plugins however, that are beneficial to almost every kind of website and hence, every kind of user. Here, I have tried to make a comprehensive list going through various resources and adding my personal favourites.
1. Yoast SEO
WordPress in itself is already an SEO-friendly platform. That being said, it is still advisable to add this bit. After all, there are numerous websites competing for visibility on the first page of search engines. There are a decent number of plugins that offer this. Yoast SEO has been my personal favourite. From the time it was created in 2010 (Formerly known as WordPress SEO), it has always been among the top options for search engine optimization. The statistics of Yoast SEO do speak for themselves, with 13 million + active installations and number of daily downloads reaching a whopping 150,000 approximately!
2. Sucuri security
Whatever your business may be, a security plugin should definitely be on your list. These days, even the smallest of businesses have their websites attacked by hackers. It may be for different reasons, but it has adverse effects on both the website as well as the business. There are various things a WordPress website owner can do to prevent attacks, but one of these is to get a security plugin. Like all other plugins, for this one too, one has to make the distinction depending upon their needs. Sucuri security is among the most popular ones. It provides advanced DDoS protection with different layers of SSL certificates.
Even the free version provides many useful tools such as DNS level firewall services that are easy to setup. To add to that, it also offers to clean up your WordPress website at no additional cost if it is already affected by malware.
If you have an ecommerce site, you surely know of Woocommerce. Woocommerce is the industry leader in ecommerce plugins for WordPress. Whether you’re someone with advanced coding skills or someone who is from a non-tech background, Woocommerce can work well with both of these needs. You could either use the most basic form or further customise it as per your needs. It comes along with built-in payments for some of the top payment gateways and also allows extensions for most of the remaining ones. Since the WordPress organisation, Automatic, acquired Woocommerce, it will always have enough updates in the future to keep your site working at its best.
Jetpack is a single plugin that can help you eliminate at least 10 other plugins from your blog or website. With the help of it, you can experience the simplicity of a wordpress.com blog on your self-hosted WordPress site. It has numerous modules to facilitate various functionalities on your blog, but there’s also an option to disable the modules that you don’t require. Some of the many features that this plugin offers are:
- View a sequential list of changes and updates made to your site
- Customisation without the need to code
- Schedule social media promotion
5. Nivo Slider
Nivo Slider is a jquery image slider plugin, which has over 3,000,000 downloads listed to date. The design of a website homepage is very crucial to grab customer attention. What they see even before scrolling, should be the most eye-catching portion. Therefore, it’s important to give away a hint of your brand story or product/service in the portion “before the scroll”. Having a slideshow here can do the deal. Nivo Slider is the best option to achieve this, in my opinion. Its ease of use is remarkable and using it won’t cost you a dime.
These are some of the plugins that I have been religiously using. I’m sure you would find these useful too. There are numerous others that can be helpful as well, but it’s always better not to overcrowd your website with too many of them. Do you use any of the plugins mentioned here? What are your top 5 picks? Let me know in the comments below!