Top WordPress Plugins You Should Be Using

WordPress is a great blogging platform, but all on its own it can definitely be a little limited. In order to create the most user-friendly and owner-friendly website for speed, security and search engine optimization, you’re definitely going to want to find a series a plug-ins that will work for you to expand the capability of your blog.

Essentially, plug-ins work as expansions to the basic WordPress platform. Features may include SEO optimization, client portals to offer extra information to logged-in users, widgets and navigation bars. Whether you have a brand new website or you’re redoing an older site, if you’re looking to create a top notch site that’s easy to manage, super-secure and lightning quick; you must try these plugins.

It’s of maximum importance that your website is tailored in such a way that makes sense to users in the context of your site, and that everything is laid out and designed in an attractive, intuitive way. This simply can’t be done without some top notch plug-ins leading the way.

Here are a few of our top picks for WordPress plug-ins every site needs, and exactly why you won’t want to pass them up:

1. Jetpack

You could consider Jetpack the jack-of-all-trades WordPress plug-in. It’s great for those who are just starting out and it provides all the basics that you’ll be looking for as you start installing plug-ins for your site.

Jetpack is super easy and quick to set up. Simply go to Plugins —> Add New and then search for Jetpack. Once you install it, it’ll give you a widget menu which will allow you to explore all its features and help you decide what you want to get started with.

Jetpack provides you with services such as site stats, which can help multiple authors view the success of the blog at any given time. This can give feedback to contributors if your site has multiple authors by revealing top posts and number of views.

It also provides ever-so-easy and ever-so-necessary access points for adding social media buttons. Believe it or not, this can be a tricky step with WordPress. With Jetpack, though, you’ll have that issue covered.

Last but not least, don’t forget the built-in spell-check & language editor. You an click an ABC check button when you have finished your blog post, and it will check for all kinds of mistakes and shortcomings lurking in your text. This includes, but is not limited to, biased language, complex phrases, passive voice and jargon. Pretty advanced for a single plug-in with so many other features!

2. Wordfence

If it’s security you’re looking for, look no further than Wordfence. The Wordfence plugin offers three key features, a scan, live traffic and blocked IPs, which helps to ensure your website is not compromised by foreign invaders.

One of the best benefits of Wordfence is that it is the only security plugin available on WordPress with its own integrated caching engine, heightening security above its competition. It will scan all your files, comments and posts with the Google Safe Browsing list. In addition, it offers the special feature of a two-teared login authentication system, doubling security against competitors with a cell-phone sign in option.

You don’t have to worry about Wordfence slowing your site down. When coupled with Falcon Engine, it could become up to 30 times faster. Because it caches its own configuration data, database interruptions are superseded.

You will be alerted via email if Wordfence senses that your site has had a security problem. At this point, you should take immediate action to make sure no major damage is done. As your site grows, this kind of security system is a must.

Alternatively, check out VaultPress from the makers of WordPress. VaultPress offers security scanning in addition to real-time backups of your site.

3. Ewwww Image Optimizer

Another vital part of your website is site speed and load times. Google actually will calculate your website load time into it’s search algorithm when considering your website search ranking placement. So speed is a major factor for search engine optimization. One major drag on your website speed is the use of images. There are plenty of plug-ins which offer image optimization on WordPress, but one of the best is Ewwww Image Optimizer. Despite the name, Ewwww is actually a deliciously effective plug-in which will automatically optimize images as they are uploaded to your blog.

Image optimization essentially means that every image will be converted to the perfect file format for your blog so that it is uniform and small-sized and at a top-notch quality. Using Ewww will ensure that your pages load, as images will be reduced to their smallest file formats. You’ll use less bandwidth and the plug-in itself will run very quickly. In fact, you should be able to optimize hundreds of images in just a few short minutes.

Ewww Image Optimizer also has the capability of optimizing JPG and PNG, ensuring each image comes out at its best quality. While the file size changes, the clarity of the image will be constant. You’ll have the option to optimize images in bulk, or to scan and optimize individually.

4. Akismet

Spam: it’s the bane of the internet, and it’s not something you want lurking around on your blog. In the comment or form sections of your site, it’s easy for a bot to get in and start making a mess of your website. In fact, it’s estimated that on popular websites, about 85% of comments could be spam. Akismet can help guard against this hassle, and help prevent it in the future.

Akismet is one of the two plug-ins that are automatically installed on WordPress when you make your page, but it’s not activated until you take a few extra steps. In order to get started with Akismet, you’ll simply have to go to the plugins page and click activate under the checkbox.

Other plugins to check out

  • GravityForms
  • WP Rocket