You’re in that plugin hunt huh! Trying to figure out which most essential wordpress plugins to install, which ones not to and probably you dont even know if some plugins existed. In the listicle am going to share with you the most essential wordpress plugins to install in your website.
I will be covering all possible categories and note that the plugins I am gonna share with you we have used and tested them here at Lyncteck and used them in our website and those websites we do for our clients, we very well know which ones are the best and which ones to avoid at all cost.
What is a WordPress Plugin
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that is plugged in(literally) to your WordPress website to extend the functionality of your website.
WordPress has a large collection of these plugins which you can install directly from your dashboard or download them from their respective websites. These plugins can be very useful, imagine you want have an ecommerce store on your website you are not going to code that from scratch when there is plugin available to do that without going through a hustle.
Many plugins perform different functions, some are for SEO, some are ensuring that your site is secure and some are for sharing your posts on different social media platforms, so one way or the other you really need those plugins more than they need you. You don’t wanna wake up to find out that your website has been compromised and you lost all of your data, all that hard work you put when writing all those articles that were present in your website. When you could have avoided all this with a simple plugin that backs up your data.
Here’s a list of the plugins we found to be very useful in maintaining performance and health status for your WordPress website.
AIOSEO – Best for SEO
If you have a website, you probably also want it to rank high on Google search right! otherwise what is the point of having one if you are going to leave it just lying there on page 50 where not even bots reach. Ranking is crucial for your website to get free organic traffic from google search. Ranking high increases the chances that someone will clicks on your website and in turn a session is started, and the more of those you have, the higher chance of making money from Google AdSense.
Now AIOSEO(All in one SEO) is the best WordPress plugin for optimizing your website for SEO, it has been there since the beginning of WordPress, or at least nearly. The plugin has been around since 2007 and it has gained a lot of loyal customers and it is one of the most downloaded plugin on WordPress.
This plugin optimizes your website for search engines. Now what that means is, when your website is optimized for search engines, it will be easily crawled by Google bots and it helps search engines understand what your site is about. This plugin does everything from submitting sitemaps to google search console for indexing to instantly indexing posts and pages that you recently published or updated.
It offers multiple schema types for your posts types although less than its competitors such as Rank Math SEO and Yoast SEO. It is the best in terms of optimizing your website to rank high for certain keywords. It allows your website to rank for multiple keywords and best part is, it gives you an SEO score for each keyword you want to rank for. AIOSEO gives you goals that you must reach to make sure that your post is optimized as much as possible, these include keyword density, sentence length, transition words, flesch reading ease and many more, I’ll need all day long to talk about the features All In One SEO provides.
You also get social media previews, how your shared posts will look like on social media platforms like Facebook and twitter. This is indeed the best SEO plugin for WordPress and it is essential to have it.
MonsterInsights – Best Analytics plugin
Once your website starts ranking you are gonna need to monitor its performance on google search results (and also throw a search party)and this is gonna require you to have this plugin. This is the best analytics plugin and its soo good there is no competitor to MonsterInsights, at least according to Lyncteck.
This plugin, using data from google analytics allow you to track which pages are performing and which ones are not, it shows the top keywords you are ranking for, also shows you the number of pageviews your website is getting, number of sessions, number of users, the top countries you’re are getting traffic from.
MonsterInsights gives you all that data right in your dashboard. All you do is to just wake up in the morning to see the stats of your performing pages and also your ad-revenue. The money your website generated from Google AdSense. Yes money. Now it sounds interesting right. To get enough money you gonna have to have massive traffic coming to your website and here’s how you can drive traffic to your website.
All the information will be provided in form of charts and graphs, good looking ones too. MonsterInsights also shows you what type of devices your visitors are using when viewing your website.
Jetpack – Best for Speed
Did you know that speed is also a ranking factor for your website. If you didn’t now you know, speed is really an important factor you should look at. Never mind ranking users don’t like a slow website. If your bounce rate is high your website ranking is going to suffer tremendously.
Before you upload any image make sure it is optimized, using tinyjpg or any image optimization tool that you have, just make sure your images are small in size. Images slow down your website and they must be optimized to reduce their impact on your website.
Jetpack is an essential WordPress plugin. It does a lot of things and that too for free. Jetpack can enable a feature called lazy loading on your website. Now what this does is, instead of loading multiple images at once on your website when it initially loads, it loads them gradually as you scroll down to enable the users to see important content before your images load. This is a cool feature and its a must have for your website, Jetpack has you covered. It also has a feature called critical CSS. Which means to moves your important styling to the top so that your website loads faster.
Jetpack also gives you Gutenberg blocks to help you build your content, the content blocks are unique and its rare for a speed plugin to have all those features. Not only will jetpack increase the speed of your website, it will increase your website functionality you’re gonna need this plugin.
Now here’s another cool feature provided by jetpack. Jetpack has backup functionality, am not gonna cover backup plugins because you already have one, how cool is that. Like I said this plugin has a shit ton of functionalities.
Smush.it – For image optimization
Tired of visiting a separate website like tinyjpg.com to optimize your images, its lucky day because there is a simpler solution to this problem. You just smush.it. Its that simple, install this plugin and you will have built in image optimization, no need to worry if you forgot to optimize your images the plugin will do it automatically.
There’s not a lot to talk about this plugin, I guess it went “smush.it” on my content. What a plugin.
Securi Security – Best for Security
No need to explain why security is important right! By now we all know WordPress isn’t that secure and for that reason there are plugins that help reduce the risk being compromised. This plugin protects your from malware and other security risk. Just that its what is was made for. It was born for this, It dedicated its entire codebase just to make sure you guys don’t pee yourselves when you can’t find your website anymore.
This plugin does some cool features like Activity Auditing, Malware scanning, web application firewall, the list goes on. Now Bhekumuzi what the heck is a firewall? Its self explanatory guys its like asking what is a tiger fish, its simple, a tiger that’s good at swimming. Same applies for firewalls, its a wall on fire no hacker would want to jump that they’ll go BBQ. Follow @bhekumuzi_t on Twitter for simpler definitions.
A firewall is a In computing, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
I don’t know about you guys but I don’t trust Wikipedia, there’s something about Wikipedia, I don’t know what it is but I don’t trust it, maybe its because am not in their website yet haha.
That’s all for your security folks don’t forget to keep your laptop in a safe deposit box. No don’t.
Spectra – Best for content blocks
I am using spectra right now as I am writing this post. This is a plugin by Brainstorm Force, its a really good plugin I love it, we love it here at Lyncteck I don’t how many times they had to brainstorm ideas and come up with this plugin, but thank you @brainstorm, this is all you need to write good looking blog content. This plugin works well with those of you who have the the Astra theme installed in your website.
The combo of the two is sensational, gott’a love products by brainstorm force team, they don’t brainstorm ideas for nothing. The plugin gives you many content blocks, like the table of contents and we all know how important that table is. Some posts can be really long and you want to make sure your users don’t have trouble navigating your website. It provide schema types for your on-page SEO. These include how-to schema, FAQ schema and many more features. Just get this plugin it is a must and I insist, thank me later. It is absolutely free no need to pay anything.
Elementor – Best page builder
Okay so you have your website you’ve installed all these are other plugins and you installed spectra,, your posts look good but not the rest of the website. This is your solution. Elementor is the best drag and drop page builder in the WordPress market. You don’t need any coding skills to use Elementor. You just drag the heading and drop it where ever you want in your website and done that its it, unless of course you want to change color and the likes but half the battle is through. Better than going godmode on your website using html.
No need to hire a developer , the plugin is really easily to use and it has a large library of premade templates, we are also gonna start sharing our templates so that you guys don’t struggle on building very good websites. There are other page builders that you might want to check out, like the divi page builder, if you are using the divi theme please be advised just use the divi page builder it is good enough.
WPForms – Best form builder
Create any form you want with this plugin, take in any type of user input you like, an image, a pdf etc. It is really a good plugin to have, I highly recommend you install it for all your forms, whether its a contact form or any type of form you would want to have in your website.
Some contact forms out there send the form entries directly to your email and you wouldn’t want that. Obviously you want your forms to be some where were you can easily manage theme and WPForms provide an interface to do that .
Woo Commerce – Best for e-commerce
Personally I think it was supposed to be named wooohooooocommerce. I think I have described it enough. This plugin has a lot of features for managing an online store, not only that it also integrates well with the most popular payment methods online. It works for both digital products and physical products, this a plugin you want to have when you are selling a product online. It also gives you analytics about the products you’re selling.
In terms of the UI it blends well with the most popular WordPress themes and you can customize it the way you want, it is a really good plugin surely one of the most essential WordPress plugins. It also give you filtering options for product search like filtering by category for instance. This plugin clearly has no competition it is the BEST.
Grow Social – Essential for sharing
All these share icons you see on our blog posts. We are using Grow social by Media Vine is a pretty decent plugin ,its got a lot of features and we love it here. It also give your the option to display the number of shares people have made. It provide multiple designs you can choose from its the best social sharing plugin we know.
I had searched and tried a lot of plugins but all didn’t seem to do well for us. I wanted a plugin that will only show up share icons on the single post page not the entire fu.. site. I ended my social sharing plugin hunt with Grow social by media vine it is the best sharing plugin I Know.
I should have said Shower Thoughts instead, okay so these plugins are the most essential WordPress plugins to have in your WordPress website and if you have any other that you think we missed out, leave a comment down below well keep adding to the list,
Don’t add too many plugins to your website, it will slow it down, I repeat it will slow it down.
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that adds to your WordPress website to increase functionality and extend capabilities of a website.
You install them from your dashboard under the plugins tab either by uploading a zip file or getting a plugin from the WordPress repository.