Essential Plugins Every Site Needs

Among website owners, one of the most popular aspects of WordPress is the fact that third-party developers can extend its functionality via plugins. Most WordPress plugins are free and add so many essential features that virtually no website would be complete without them. These are the essential WordPress plugins that your website needs.

SEO Plugin

Top Plugins: All in One SEO Pack, WordPress SEO by Yoast

An SEO plugin helps you structure your website’s content for more efficient search engine indexing. Some of the features of SEO plugins include the ability to change the meta title and description tags of your articles, check your content for reading ease and keyword density and restrict search engines from indexing pages that might be deemed to contain duplicate content. Installing and properly using an SEO plugin can greatly improve your website’s search engine ranking.

Caching Plugin

Top Plugins: W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache

To display a single post, WordPress typically needs to retrieve data from its database many times. Depending on the website, this may include queries for the post’s author, its date, its text content and any comments left by users. These queries are performed every time a post is viewed, but the results seldom change from one view to the next. When a user views a post on your website, a caching plugin saves the post as a static page, regenerating it periodically in case you’ve added new content. This greatly reduces the number of database queries that WordPress needs to perform, making your website faster.

Security Plugin

Top Plugins: iThemes Security, BulletProof Security, Bad Behavior

Because WordPress is one of the world’s most popular website content management systems, it is routinely targeted by hackers. While WordPress itself is quite stable, it is possible to introduce vulnerabilities by using outdated themes and plugins. In some cases, the server hosting a website may not be entirely secure. WordPress security plugins help to prevent attacks through a variety of means including database monitoring, file scanning and firewalls.

Analytics Plugin

Top Plugins: Google Analytics by Yoast, Clicky by Yoast

Although your web host might provide a simple hit counter for your website, this is insufficient for determining key metrics such as user engagement, top-performing keywords and traffic sources. To keep tabs on this crucial information, you need a professional analytics solution such as Google Analytics or Clicky. These plugins allow you to add these analytics packages to your website and display relevant data on the WordPress dashboard.

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