Your WordPress site doesn’t need plugins in the same way that your smartphone doesn’t need apps. While this is technically true, the improvements granted by the add-ons are, let’s face it, too good to pass up.
But with upwards of 55,000 WordPress plugins to choose from, trying to decide which ones are right for your website can be daunting.
Not to mention that a single installation gone wrong could transform your sleek website into a broken heap of HTML.
So skip the stress and save some time by treating yourself to our list of 5 WordPress plugins every site should have, regardless of whether you have a membership site or an e-commerce store.
They’re all easy to set up when you follow one of the many beginner-friendly WordPress tutorials out there to learn how to install plugins.
So you can look forward to spending more time improving your site and less time wading through a sea of technical details.
Yoast SEO is the #1 WordPress Plugin.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is loved for its ability to increase website traffic with staggering results. Still, for those who fear its complexity, it’s a bit of a trigger word.
Yoast SEO takes the complexity out of the equation and substitutes it with a simple-to-use plugin with an intuitive design. Some might even say its the best WordPress SEO plugin available!
The Key Benefits
- Easily add SEO titles and descriptions to your site’s posts and pages.
- Automatically generate an XML sitemap for your website’s content. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.
- Assign keywords to individual pages for more focused on-page SEO optimization.
The free version of Yoast SEO will be more than enough for what you’re likely to need from the plugin. However, if you find yourself wanting more, you can either upgrade to the paid version or opt for a different SEO plugin altogether.
Elementor Page Builder
An elementor page builder is a code-free page builder for WordPress.
Despite being one of the younger page builder plugins on the market, Elementor has quickly risen in fame to become one of the most popular tools in use today–and for a good reason.
Instead of being limited to your WordPress theme’s default look and feel, Elementor lets you customize any page’s design to fit your desired style.
It’s a drag-and-drop editor, so you won’t have to worry about messing with any hairy code, either.
The Key Benefits
- A drag-and-drop editor that lets you edit your pages without having to type a single line of code.
- Responsive mobile editing allows you to ensure consistent user experience, whether people are using your website on their desktop, phone, or tablet.
- Numerous styling options that let you get creative with your design.
- If you’re not much of a designer, you can pick from a selection of pre-made templates that function as beautifully as they look.
The paid version of Elementor adds even more amazing features like full theme building, pop-up creation, and a more extensive selection of drag-and-drop elements.
Bottom line: if you’re into creating a visually stunning website that has user-friendly designs, Elementor is the plugin for you.
MonsterInsights is the #1 Google Analytics plugin for WordPress sites
Interested in tracking the growth of your website? If you are, you’re also interested in data; without it, attempting to make smart decisions to improve your website boils down to taking shots in the dark.
Not a great plan.
A free tool like Google Analytics can help with that. And the MonsterInsights plugin empowers you by streamlining the process of adding, customizing, and managing your Google Analytics numbers generated from your site.
How much monthly traffic are you bringing in? Which pages are generating the most conversions and leads?
With MonsterInsights plugged into your website, you’ll be able to answer those questions among others from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard–so no more hopping between tabs to get to different applications.
The Key Benefits
- Easily toggle between different metrics you want to track.
- The ability to track outbound links and/or downloads on your pages.
- Anonymize IPs (Internet Protocols) so that you can track the traffic from countries with stricter privacy regulations.
While the paid version provides a host of other useful features, the free version of MonsterInsights should be plenty for most people. So if you have yet to install it on your site, it’s time to get tracking.
UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
UpdraftPlus takes the hassle out of website backups and restoration.
It might not always cross your mind, but there is a slew of potential threats facing your website every day. These can range from problems created by hackers to even simple admin errors.
Regardless of where the dangers may originate, it’s good to have a backup plan–or at least a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus.
The Key Benefits
- Easy to use & integrates with multiple cloud storage services.
- Automate site backups with a recurring schedule.
- Ability to restore the website to its previous iteration.
There’s also a paid version that adds even greater functionality.
This sort of plugin is especially vital if you have a membership or e-commerce site since losing your site’s content could mean a severe setback in your business. And while there are many plugins for this kind of service, few are as well regarded as UpdraftPlus.
Optimole improves website speed by automatically compressing and optimizing your images.
In the digital marketing world, it’s well known that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, half your visitors will likely abandon it.
That’s a lot of traffic down the drain.
A slightly lesser-known fact is that images are commonly the guilty party for this slowdown, sometimes taking up more than 50% of the space on your website and hurting your loading speeds.
Does this mean that you have to make your site bland and imageless to get more visitors?
Not with a plugin like Optimole.
The Key Benefits
- Automatically compresses and optimizes every image you upload to your WordPress site to take up less space.
- Optimizes any old images that were already on your site.
- Compatible with modern webpage builders like Elementor.
- Auto-detects screen size and resizes images and graphics to be responsive to mobile.
Fast loading speeds help improve your traffic, but a well-curated selection of images and graphics will increase retention. With Optimole, you don’t have to compromise between speed and aesthetics.
Take Your Website to the Next Level
In the same way that apps let you do almost anything with your smartphone, plugins let you turn your WordPress website into whatever you need.
WordPress powers 35.4% of the web, and there’s a good reason for why. It’s already incredibly diverse on its own as a platform, but with plugins added into the mix, the potential for what your website can do becomes limitless.