The world of plugins can be daunting, especially for a new website. WordPress/Woo Commerce plugins can be highly effective, however few know how to utilize their full potential. Over 58,000 plugins exist in the WordPress directory. Many are tailored to specific needs but the free plugins listed below are essential for every industry.
- Yoast SEO
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- WP Super Cache
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization
- WP Forms
- Elementor Page Builder
- Monster Insights
- Updraft Plus
- Woo Commerce
Main Function: Improve Security, Speed and Site traffic.
Jetpack as the name suggests is a one stop shop for your website. It helps enhance security, improves speed, increases site traffic and ultimately assists in designing an engaging site. It can be used to track statistics, marketing the website through social media and protecting it against potential attacks.
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
The paid version helps in countering spam, setting up daily backups, and providing SEO.
Jetpack, despite its many features does not slow down the website as it is hosted by WordPress.
- Yoast SEO
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Main Function: Optimize website for maximum traffic
Yoast SEO works by enabling the user to optimize their websites around specific keywords. This optimization includes the title, Meta description and site URL. With more than five million active installations, Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for Word Press websites. It features include creation of XML sitemaps and readability analysis.
- Akismet Anti-Spam:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/
Main Function: Spam Protection
Akismet is Automattic’s official anti-spam plugin. Having over 35 million downloads it is one of WordPress’s most popular plug-ins. It prevents spam from building up and choking the website and helps keep the site running at the requisite speed.
- WP Super Cache:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-cache/
Main Function: Create a cache of static web pages.
Cache is an online repository of web data. WP Super Cache helps store webpages temporarily in static form. It then procures these pages from Cache memory, greatly reducing loading times. It also enables visitors on mobile devices to store cache data.
- Google XML Sitemaps:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/
Main Function: Create a dynamic Sitemap for Search Engines
A website needs to be indexed by search engines. A site map enables search engines to crawl and index the site. It keeps the search engines abreast with any site updates and optimizes it for searches. Google XML Sitemaps is compatible with search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/
Main Function: Compress and optimize images for websites
Images are integral to every website. However high quality images can slow down the site and increase loading times. Smush helps optimize visuals for websites which leads to increased web traffic and prevents loading lags.
- WP Forms:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpforms-lite/
Main Function: Create and customize contact forms.
WP Forms helps create contact forms through templates that can be further customized to tailor specific needs. The link can then be embedded into the required page using a short code.
WP forms creates mobile-friendly forms by default, protects from spam using CAPTCHA,
And creates customizable confirmation messages for visitors.
- Elementor Page Builder:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/
Main Function: Front-end Editor for WordPress websites.
Elementor allows the site builder detailed control over all aspects of the web page. Its ease of use and many features make it a preferred plug in for many designers. It includes many templates ready to use and also enables users to create and save custom layouts for later.
- Monster Insights:
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/
Main Function: Manage Google Analytics
Monitoring data is integral to every website. Monster Insights enables you to customize and manage web tracking services using the WordPress dashboard. It helps determine the sources generating the most web traffic and the response received for each campaign.
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/
Main Function: Create automated backups
UpdraftPlus is one of the best free plugins to create automated backups on WordPress sites. Hackers or server malfunction can greatly impact your website. It is essential t have a back-up plan. UpdraftPlus sets up a schedule to back-up the website to any cloud storage system like Dropbox, Google Drive, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email etc.
Plugin Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/
Main Function: To sell physical and digital products online and to collect the subsequent payments
WooCommerce remains the most popular plug-in for e-commerce websites. It enables the websites to sell all categories of products and facilitates them in collecting payments online through PayPal.
Choosing the right plug-in can save vital time and money for developers and make a great impact on a new website. Bear in mind that installing too many plug-ins can slow down site performance. Use this list to install impactful plug-ins that greatly improve site performance.