This article was contributed by Emma Watson.
Are you running a WordPress website? If so, you definitely know how important plugins are for WP websites. However, some believe there are certain plugins which are essential for every type of WordPress website.
Unfortunately, that is partially true. There are certain TYPES of plugins that are essential and must-have for every WordPress website. With hundreds and thousands of plugins available in the market today, it is definitely a challenging task to choose specific ones for your website.
Therefore, today we are going to share a list of important types of WordPress plugins you should consider installing in your website.
1. WordPress Backup Plugins
Having a website is no laughing matter. You spend hours, weeks, or even months on customizing themes and designs as per your specifications. Moreover, managing a website needs time, efforts and patience. With all the hard work you put into your website, can you afford to lose it all to a hacker? Of course not! This is why it is always suggested to backup your website on a regular basis. This way you can ensure that you have a copy of your website safe with you in case something goes wrong.
Best plugins to use for backing up your website: VaultPress, BackupBuddy, BackWPup
VaultPress is a premium plugin that allows you to automatically backup your website on a regular basis. It also comes packed with security scans. VaultPress is available in different packages starting at $5 per month.
BackupBuddy is yet another popular premium plugin that enables you to schedule your backup on daily, weekly or even monthly basis. It also offers storage options such as Stash, FTP, Rackspace Cloud, Amazon S3, and Dropbox.
BackWPup is a free backup WordPress plugin which enables you to create automatic backups and store it on different platforms including FTP, Rackspace Cloud, Amazon S3, Dropbox, email and much more.
2. Speed Optimization Plugins
The load time of a website plays a crucial role in determining the website’s bounce rate. Your web site’s load time is directly proportional to its bounce rate. The higher the load time of your website, the higher the bounce rate. Web users tend to navigate away from a website if it takes more than 3-5 seconds to load. Even 1-second delay can do a lot of harm to your website. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to improve the speed of your site by installing one of these plugins:
WP Super Cache is yet another outstanding caching plugin that produces static HTML files to speed the process of loading. Though, it does not have all the features W3 Total Cache offer, it is simpler and worth installing.
3. Security Plugins
Security is a major issue when it comes to maintaining a website. You never know how severe it is to keep your website open for hackers and spammers. In a matter of a blink of an eye, you can lose your website to a hacker. However, improve the security issues can help you prevent hacking of your website. Though it doesn’t completely remove the threat of hacking and spamming, it’s worth installing; after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
iThemes Security is a great security WordPress plugin, formerly called Better WP Security, that is not only simple to install but also comes with a number of features such as Google reCaptcha, WP-CLI integration and much. It also backs up your database which is sent directly to your saved email id.
WordFence comes with features that are available only in premium plugins. It is extremely easy to install and set up and offers numerous features such as 2-factor authentication, multi-site compatibility, malware scanning and much more.
4. Stop Spamming Plugins
Comment spam is a common thing when you launch a website. It becomes a part of your website. These spam comments bring the ranking of your website down. However, there are certain ways to keep spam comments at bay.
Akismet is one of the most popular and most preferred WordPress plugin used to secure your website from spam comments. It is completely different from other types of plugins used to prevent spamming. Akismet is actually a web-based service which uses their own system to scan comments on your website. Additional features include standard support, allows 50,000 comments to be checked per month, and scans comments and automatically block comments that seem to be spam.
WP-SpamShield is an anti-spam WordPress plugin that trackback spam, blocks it from all the sources. WP-SpamShield acts like a firewall, recognizing from where the spam comes at you whether from a human or a robot.
5. Social Engine Optimization Plugins
In order to display your website on the first page of search engines to drive organic traffic to your website, SEO is essential. You need to optimize your website for search engines to encourage them to index your web pages quickly and easily. There are various important things to consider while optimizing your site for search engines such as Meta tags, Meta descriptions, titles, and keywords. Instead of adding all the relevant data manually, you can always consider installing a plugin to make things easier and convenient.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most popular plugin that has been used by a majority of webmasters. It helps you add all the relevant information to each post and page. It is a free plugin and always goes the extra mile to ensure that all the technical optimization is taken care of.
It is another free SEO WordPress plugin. All in One SEO Pack comes with additional features such as page analysis and focus keywords. You can check whether or not the post you are adding is human-readable, the images you’ve added contain the alt tags, how many outbound links are there and much more.
6. Social Media / Lead Gen Plugins
Social media has become one of the most crucial parts of internet marketing. Not only does it drive more traffic to your website but also improves its ranking significantly. With a large number of social media platforms emerging, it is important to improve your brand awareness on all the platforms. However, integrating such networks on your website allows your visitors to share the content, blog posts and other important details of your website with their friends and followers. The best to encourage social media sharing on your website is by adding social media buttons.
Floating social bar is one of the best social media sharing WordPress plugins. Floating social bar, as the name suggests, floats as you web page moves. In order to make it work, all you need to do is install, activate and configure with your social media accounts.
Social Warfare is another great plugin that allows you to encourage social media sharing on your website. It comes loaded with many features including bit.ly support, advanced control on share counts, shareable quotes support, and much more. However, Social Warfare is a premium plugin and you have to pay a small amount to use it.
Convert active visitors into subscribers, downloads or ad revenues with “smart scenarios”. InTrigger plugin allows you to insert inline forms or floating bar depending on pages keywords and user behavior.
Have any more top essential WordPress plugins for 2016? Share in the comments.
Emma Watson is an expert front-end & WordPress developer who is employed with Wordsuccor Ltd.- a leading Custom WordPress Development Company.