Do you know what makes WordPress so popular? It’s plugins. WordPress is famous for being a user-friendly and feature-rich website building platform, but indeed it is plugins that give WordPress features and extend its functionality.
WordPress has plugins for about every feature you can imagine. You can browse and search for desired plugins at its official WordPress plugin directory.
However, it doesn’t mean you should install all the plugins on your site. Too many plugins can lead to slow website loading speed, site crash, and even security breaches. So, you must use only essential plugins as per your needs.
If you’re a beginner and not sure about which plugins should you opt to meet your objectives, and offer a valuable experience to your target audience, read this post until the end.
We have put together the list of top WP plugins you must install into your site as a beginner.
Spam comments are a big concern for a lot of website owners, thanks to spambots that spread spam links all over the internet to get accidental clicks. Sometimes it is humans who submit bad comments on websites.
Fortunately, you can easily combat comment spam using the Akismet plugin. It is a popular anti-spam plugin that filters unwanted comments on your website. The plugin works by analyzing all your comments against global spam databases. The plugin eliminates irrelevant content before it gets published on your site.
Although the Akismet plugin is free to use, you will need an API key to set it up on your site. For the same, you can visit the official Akismet site and click on a Get a WordPress Key Button.
You can’t expect the desired results until your website is optimized for search engines. Beginners who don’t know much about SEO can rely on plugins like Yoast.
Yoast is a popular SEO plugin that helps you optimize your site to perform better in search results. If you have the right set of keywords, the Yoast plugin can guide you through the various on-page SEO optimization processes.
The plugin gives you insights and recommendations for transition words, passive words, keyword density, post readability, and more. The plugin also helps you correct your metadata and HTML tags. Like most WP plugins, it is available in both free and paid versions.
Over the past few years, a lot of WP sites across the globe have fallen victim to security breaches. Consequently, security has turned into a primary concern for WordPress users.
Wordfence is a beginner-friendly security plugin that gives you protection against a wide range of security threats. It features an endpoint Malware and Firewall scanner that checks your theme, plugins, and core files. The plugin determines and blocks malicious traffic, bad URLs, backdoors, and suspicious IPs.
Smush is another must-have WordPress plugin for beginners. It lets you optimize your website images and improve site loading speed.
It is an award-winning image optimizing plugin that enables you to compress images without affecting quality. The plugin comes with bulk smush features that let you optimize up to 50 images with a single click. You can also use this plugin to find the images slowing down your website.
5. W3 Total Cache
If you want to enhance the user experience of your website, this plugin alone can help you out. W3 Total Cache improves your server performance by caching different aspects of your site. Thus it reduces the load time.
Remember, people don’t like to wait too long for a website to load. As per Google, mobile users leave sites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
W3 Total Cache uses a content delivery network to improve your site’s performance. After installing the plugin, you can expect up to 10x improvement in your site’s loading speed.
The good thing about this plugin is that it is compatible with all types of hosting servers including, shared servers, virtual servers, and dedicated servers.
6. Google XML Sitemaps
Your target audience won’t be able to find your site on the internet until search engines index it.
Google XML Sitemaps is a popular plugin that allows search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to index your site with an XML sitemap easily.
Using this plugin is quite easy. As soon as you install and activate this plugin, it starts creating an XML sitemap for your site. Thus search engine bots easily view, crawl, and index your site.
With this sitemap plugin, it is easy for search engines to see the complete structure of your site and get back to it.
If you want your site to get a good ranking in search engine results, install this plugin as soon as you launch your WP site.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your WordPress site, but managing affiliate links is a big challenge in itself. Fortunately, ThirstyAffilliates can help you with the same. You can use this plugin to add and manage your affiliate links.
ThirstyAffiliates plugin helps you keep all your affiliate links in one central location. Besides this, it also lets you enable link cloaking or redirection of your affiliate links to make them shorter or disguise from cyber attackers.
With this plugin, you can also rest assured that your commissions are protected from theft.
8. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
MonsterInsights is one of the robust analytics WP plugins that lets you see all your website analytics reports straight inside your WP dashboard. The plugin gives you real-time stats about your visitors – their age, gender, which county they are coming from, what they are most interested in, and more. The plugin also supports one-click tracking for WooCommerce and affiliate links which sets it apart from many of the other Google Analytics plugins out there.
9. SSL Insecure Content Fixer
SSL Insecure Content Fixer cleans up your site’s HTTPs’ insecure content. It fixes the majority of unsafe content warnings quickly. As soon as you activate this plugin, it starts performing some essential fixes on your site. So if you notice any insecure content warnings on your website, install this plugin.
10. Contact Form 7
If you want to create and manage multiple contact forms on your site effortlessly, get this plugin. Contact Form 7 gives you the flexibility to customize your forms as per your unique requirement.
What makes this plugin better from other contact form plugins is that it supports Akismet spam filtering, Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, and more.
These are some of the essential WordPress plugins that beginners must install to make their site user-friendly and feature-rich. It is advisable not to use too many plugins as they may slow down your website, but these are some of the main ones that we use.