Must-Have Plugins For WordPress

Contributor, Benzinga

WordPress continues to prove itself as the leading CMS platform with over 40% of active websites on the internet hosted by WordPress. As time goes on, WordPress offers more and more features for users on the platform. 

For example, WordPress plugins are a major feature for WordPress users. Plugins can improve the overall user experience and add new functionality, among many other benefits. With plugins, you can take your WordPress site to a whole new level. 

Plugins let users create ecommerce websites, enhance security, enable social sharing and fully customize their websites. Plus, plugins can be installed effortlessly and activated quickly. 

What Are the Benefits of Using a WordPress Plugin?

There are plenty of advantages of WordPress plugins. But the most important benefit is added functionality. Here are a few more benefits of downloading and activating a WordPress plugin for your website. 

Availability 

There is a high likelihood that you can readily find a WordPress plugin for any feature you want your website to have. This is because WordPress has a vast plugin marketplace, offering plugins for virtually every functionality a website could ever need. No matter which features you are looking to add to your WordPress website, you can find several plugins on WordPress that offer the features you have in mind. 

Ease of Implementation 

You can easily install WordPress plugins to use for your WordPress site. You don’t have to overhaul your entire website to make additional changes. And when you no longer wish to use the plugins, you can either deactivate the plugins or uninstall them altogether. 

Cost-Effective Options

The WordPress plugin marketplace is impressively extensive. With thousands of plugins that have been created by professional developers, you’ll have access to plenty of budget-friendly options that will add functionality to your website. Some of the plugins are free, while others come with a small fee. Even if you have to pay a small fee for a certain plugin, the fee will still be less expensive than hiring a developer to add the feature to your website for you. 

What Makes a WordPress Plugin Essential?

Now that we’ve discussed an array of benefits offered by WordPress plugins, let’s see why these must-have WordPress plugins are essential for the development of WordPress websites. 

Enhances security

The core software of WordPress as a platform is regularly updated and audited by professional developers, which keeps the platform secure. Even so, taking actionable steps to enhance the security of your site is always beneficial. WordPress plugins makes this possible. By installing and activating third-party security plugins, you will not only secure your site from malware attacks but you will also decrease the risk of hackers breaking into your WordPress account, making security plugins a must-have.

Helps with SEO

With WordPress plugins, you’ll have the option to improve the quality of your content and optimize your website so that it ranks higher on SERPs. By using WordPress plugins to analyze keyword density, add internal links, insert external links and improve readability, you’ll improve your website’s rank on search engine results pages. That is why an SEO plugin is a must-have. 

Increases Efficiency

One of the biggest problems when running a website is maintaining the site’s load speed. As your website grows, the information that you add to your website will make it heavier and more resource-intensive. In turn, the content will start slowing down your site if you don’t take measures to adjust your site’s load time. 

A slow website can harm the experience of visitors who view your websites. to your  consumer’s visit time and, eventually, your website search rank. So, in order to ensure that your website loads quickly, you will need to employ caching plugins, which will improve your website’s performance and overall efficiency. 

Must-Have WordPress Plugins 

There are thousands of WordPress plugins in the WordPress plugin directory. But it is not necessary to download and install all of these plugins. The exact plugins that you’ll end up downloading will depend on the purpose of your website, but we believe the following plugins should be incorporated by every website on WordPress. 

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a powerful and essential WordPress plugin that lets you improve your website SEO, enhance readability, check for grammatical errors and implement keyword strategies. This plugin has a low learning curve. It’s also user-friendly and offers easy ways to achieve your desired goals.

The plugin gives users an in-depth keyword, access to permalinks, the ability to add meta links and tools for description analysis. It calculates the readability, errors and redundancy of content on websites, in addition to sharing SEO tips to help users improve their website as a whole. Since Yoast SEO is compatible with most WordPress themes and other plugins, the plugin will not affect your website’s efficiency or the objectives of other plugins on your site.  

The main issue with Yoast SEO is that the plugin does not offer relevant or similar keywords, meaning the strength of suggested keywords is also not always accurate. Even so, Yoast SEO is very beneficial to WordPress users. 

Yoast SEO comes as both a free and a premium plugin. For the premium version of Yoast, you can expect to pay anywhere from $89 to $890. The exact cost will depend on the number of sites you plan to download the plugin for. 

Updraft WordPress Backup Plugin

You can integrate the Updraft Backup plugin with the cloud to safely store your content in the event of a security breach. With this plugin, you can automate and schedule backups meaning you’ll have easy access to anything in the cloud.  

Updraft supports over 20 cloud platforms for backup storage. You can also customize the backup options by filtering the files and the database you want to back up. You can also access migration and cloning tools at your convenience. 

The plugin is user-friendly and excellent even for even beginners. However, unlike most WordPress plugins, the Updraft WordPress Backup plugin does not offer a lifetime of updates. 

Plus, if you want the advanced version of the plugin, you will have to pay for the plugin annually rather than paying a one-time fee. The Updraft Backup plugin does have a free option with limited features, but for the premium version, expect to pay $70 annually. 

Elementor

Elementor makes the process of creating and customizing a website very easy. By simply dragging and dropping the pre-built elements, you can develop a fully functional website. Compatible with Gutenberg, this plugin also allows real-time front-end editing, making it easy for you to optimize and improve your content. 

Elementor offers a great way for users to execute visual website changes effortlessly. Ideal for beginners, Elementor provides access to hundreds of pre-built sections you can add, remove or edit as you please. This plugin is also compatible with most modern WordPress themes.

Though a powerful visual page builder plugin, Elementor has been known to be less than optimal and underperform when users try to apply several changes at once. Elementor offers three different pricing plans, ranging from $49 to $149 annually. The cost solely depends on the features you want from the plugin. 

WPForms

As the name suggests, WPForms is a must-have form-building plugin on WordPress. It offers an easy way to implement professional-looking forms to encourage engagement, collect user details and initiate subscriptions. Once installed and activated, users can create unlimited forms customized to the intentions of their website.

This form-building plugin also features a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that makes the creation of forms very easy. For your convenience, WPForms also includes pre-built forms that you can customize for your website. For additional features, you can also purchase add-ons like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Drip and GetResponse. 

WPForms doesn’t let you upload multiple forms at the same time. And if you are trying it out for the first time, the plugin doesn’t give you access to all of the features in the trial run. This plugin comes with multiple pricing plans that range from $39.50 to $299.50 annually. Add-ons will incur additional costs. 

Jetpack

Another must-have WordPress plugin is Jetpack, an all-in-one plugin for optimizing, analyzing, securing and marketing your content. It is a product of Automattic, which is also the creator of WordPress. 

First released to WordPress.com users, Jetpack’s popularity encouraged Automattic to release a version that is available for WordPress.org users to take advantage of as well. The most impressive feature of this plugin is the all-in-one solution that it offers. From a single plugin, you can manage site statistics, image IDN, themes, infinite scroll, carousels, custom CSS, contact forms, social sharing, payments and ads.

Because it is jam-packed with features, beginners often find it overwhelming due to its complex interface. Also, users have reported that enabling all of the features of this plugin all at once often slows down websites. If you want to use this plugin, be sure to deactivate the features that you do not need to prevent issues with loading times.

The initial demo plan for Jetpack is completely free, but the features that come with this plan are limited. On the lower end, premium plans cost $3.50 per month or $39 per year. On the higher end, premium plans cost $29 per month or $299 annually, depending on which payment module you choose. 

Take Your Website to New Heights With Must-Have Plugins

WordPress plugins offer a great way to extend functionality with minimal effort and low costs for WordPress website owners. Not only will users be able to find a plugin with the features that they are after, but they will also have multiple options to choose from. 

The must-have WordPress plugins that we have discussed are a great way to enhance your consumer’s experience on your site. Even so, before committing to a plugin, try the free or trial version before purchasing WordPress plugins for your site. 

If you find that a plugin improves the overall security, efficiency and performance of your WordPress site, then it’s worth paying for the plugin and accessing the full scope of these must-have WordPress plugins.