WordPress plugins are great tools for adding and extending functionality to WordPress. In this post, I will discuss 15+ best WordPress plugins you should have on your WordPress website. These plugins will add awesome functionality to your site and make it ‘great’.
Although the kind/ niche of your website mostly determines what plugins you should have on your website, there are some plugins that every WP blog needs. Like Techieword says security, speed, SEO etc. are some of the universal concerns of every website owner which you cannot simply afford to ignore.
There are plenty of handy plugins in WordPress framework which reduce lots of work on your part. The official plugin repository has over 47,000 WordPress plugins and counting. That means there are plugins for almost every function or feature you need on your website. Great news for WordPress lovers!
In addition, you’ll find multiple plugins for the same feature – all you need to do is to choose the best one for yourself that suits your project. You can find both free and premium plugins for WordPress while most of the plugins are developed as freemiums. A freemium plugin is a free plugin with an upgrading option to the premium version for advanced features.
This post includes both free/ freemium and premium plugins essential for a WP blog.
1. Jetpack (Freemium)
A powerful plugin from the brilliant team behind the WordPress software itself (Automattic), Jetpack is a must have plugin for every WordPress website. As the name suggests, it offers a pack of awesome features for your website to fly up high and make it a success. Jetpack takes care of your site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance and a lot more.
It features enhanced distribution which automatically shares your published content to third-party services like search engines and helps to increase your reach and traffic. Additionally, it creates sitemaps so that search engines can easily index your site.
Most of all, it protects your website security by preventing brute force attacks. It also monitors your site every five minutes for downtime and instantly notifies you for any issues found.
2. Akismet (Freemium)
Akismet is yet another plugin developed by the people behind WordPress (Matt and his team at Automattic). It is one of the default plugins of WordPress that comes with every new WordPress core installation. It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.
The plugin provides a status history for each comment so that you can learn which comments were found spammy by Akismet or the moderator. Moderators also can view the number of approved comments for each user, see the URLs in the comment body and remove the suspicious links.
The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs while you have to subscribe its monthly plans for commercial sites. The premium plans provide advanced security solution besides spam protection.
It is a useful plugin to protect your WP security.
3. Yoast SEO (Freemium)
No doubt, search engines are the major source of traffic for every website. The number of internet users using search engines is reported to increase steadily, making the importance of Search Engine Optimization more relevant than ever. Fortunately, there is a great plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress users.
Yoast SEO is an awesome plugin which guides you all the way to create better content and improve your ranking on search results. It focuses on creating the content which is useful to the users as well as technically SEO friendly. The goal is to help the users, gain trust and sustain the rankings which they call sustainable SEO.
Firstly, it makes you choose a focus keyword and use the keyword appropriately in the article you are writing. Page analysis feature checks if you have used the focus keyword everywhere on the image alt tags, meta description, headings and the whole post. Furthermore, it suggests you to properly set up the text and images for better usability and visibility for search engines.
In addition, it helps you improve the way your page/ post looks on the search results with snippet preview. Creating better headlines and catchy Meta description can greatly increase the click-through rates for your site. It has added Readability feature which helps you to create a simple and understandable content.
Finally, here is another plugin called All in One SEO Pack which works quite similarly. You can try this too.
4. User Registration (Freemium)
WordPress user registration is yet another integral feature you would not want to miss. Essentially, ‘register’ feature is available on default WordPress installation which can be enabled from WP dashboard following the given steps.
Go to your WP admin panel > Settings > General.
As shown in the image above, you can simply put a check on the ‘Anyone can register‘ option to enable WordPress registration or membership feature.
Once it is enabled, users now can find a register option at your website’s login page ((e.g: yoursite.com/wp-login.php). Now, users can get registered to your site by entering a username and email, however, it doesn’t look ideal.
First, it’s not user-friendly that a user must find the login URL to get registering option. Next, as a website owner, you cannot collect more information as it has a limited two-field form allowing users to enter just a username and email.
Therefore, you need a virtual WordPress registration plugin. Thankfully, here is a carefully crafted simple and user-friendly plugin at your disposal: User Registration.
User Registration is a free drag and drop user registration plugin for WordPress. The plugin comes up with a plenty of amazing features so that you can easily create a beautiful front-end user registration form within a few minutes.
Some of the main features of the plugin are Unlimited registration forms, multi-column support, ReCaptcha support, email notifications, etc. In addition, you can extend its features by purchasing its premium add-ons.
Download User Registration
5. Google XML Sitemaps (FREE)
Google XML Sitemaps is another very useful SEO plugin for WordPress. The plugin helps the search engines like like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. to better index your site with a special XML sitemap.
As you activate the plugin, it will automatically create an XML sitemap for your site making it easy to index. A sitemap enables the search engine bots view the complete structure of your website and retrieve the results more efficiently.
The plugin notifies all the major search engines every time you publish something on your site.
Download Google Sitemaps