I have a friend who is an SEO expert. It has been doing this for a long time. It also has interesting memories. You may not believe that the most successful store site that has done SEO is for a company that manufactures all kinds of cabinets. If you search on Google to buy cabinets, there is no doubt that company’s website is on the first page.
My friend said, “The sales of the cabinets of that business have multiplied and the owner also loves SEO.” But the idea of the owner of that business and perhaps many similar businesses from the beginning about having a website and its SEO was not so positive. The same Mr. Cabinetmaker also thought that designing and building a website costs a lot.
Part of this perception is true. After all, designing, building, and maintaining a website is expensive. But the point is that, firstly, these costs are both necessary and profitable to expand businesses in this era of booming digital and online businesses. That is, it has a logical justification. Psychological consultations are now online. They have a website for themselves and produce content and of course attract customers.
Secondly, it is possible to have a website at a reasonable cost and make it SEO. CMS (Content Management System) came to the aid of businesses and made the work easier. Believe me, you don’t need to build a site from scratch, WordPress (which is the most popular CMS in the world) has gone half way for you and just to maintain security, increase speed And improving the performance and helping the SEO of the WordPress website also has many useful plugins.
You probably have a question, what exactly is this WordPress or Content Management System that is so good? Now that it has so many useful and useful plugins, which one is more necessary to install? This article answers these two questions and introduces 10 of the most important and useful plugins for WordPress sites.
Table of Contents
WordPress and its most important plugins
A CMS, short for content management system, is a software application that allows users to build and manage a website without having to code it from scratch, or know how to code at all.
Therefore, a site may be built on one of the content management systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla …). These systems allow you to write, publish and edit content. Also, the user can change the design and composition of the site using ready-made templates.
As we said, WordPress is the most famous content management system in the world (sites like TIME.com, TED.com, New York Post.com and National Post.com are all WordPress). 40% of the internet was taken over by WordPress sites. But why is WordPress so popular (there is a WordPress news site, a WordPress store site, and a WordPress content site)?
- WordPress is open-source (that is, if you want, you can change the basic coding. Basically, WordPress allows you to write code as well).
- WordPress has more than 8 thousand different templates and skins.
- WordPress has more than 52 thousand plugins. Plugins that help to optimize the site for search engines, maintain the security of the site and improve its user experience.
10 of the most important and useful WordPress plugins
Plugins are apps you can use with WordPress. They allow you to add new features to your site.
Is it possible to install all those 52,000 plugins on a WordPress site? Definitely not! Each of those plugins has a specific function. And not all WordPress plugins are free. So, WordPress site owners have to choose among plugins. WordPress plugins can be divided into two general categories:
- Essential plugins for all WordPress sites regardless of what business the website is for and what type of content is published on it. Plugins that are suitable for all WordPress sites. Security plugins fall into this category.
- Plugins that have a special function and the owner of each site decides to install them based on the needs of his site. But they are definitely not necessary and suitable for all WordPress sites.
If you have a WordPress site, you should install these 10 essential and important and functional and free plugins:
The first plugin: Jetpack by WordPress
This plugin has more than 4 million active installations. Jetpack is a plugin that has both tools for improving site security and for site design. In addition, it adds features to your site that make it easier to share site links on social networks. This plugin is also able to collect data (statistics) related to the site.
It is easy to work with. In the Dashboard, the tools available to you are shown, and in the Settings, you can set each tool as you want. More advanced tools, which are of course paid, can be added to this plugin. Tools for SEO, spam control, and daily backups should be purchased (fortunately, they’re not too expensive).
Second plugin: WP Super Cache
Speed, speed, speed! If you have followed all the principles and rules of SEO and have the best content in the world, but the speed of your site is slow and it delays the user and as a result he has to leave the site; you have no chance of ranking. Cache plugins are one of the ways to increase the speed of a WordPress site. And believe me, your WordPress site should finally have one of these cache plugins.
Cache means online storage of information somewhere. It’s usually in your browser. The browser saves the information of the sites you have already visited so that when you visit it again, it does not need to receive and process all the information. WP Super Cache comes in and makes static pages of your site so that all the PHP code doesn’t have to be reprocessed every time. This plugin has the possibility to cache the site for users who use mobile phones.
Working with WP Super Cache is easy, just turn on Caching. Of course, you can make more settings.
The third plugin: Google XML Sitemaps
Every site should have a sitemap for thousands of reasons. The most important reasons are related to the SEO of the site. Sitemap makes it easy for search engines to find our site. Of course, making a sitemap and keeping it updated takes time. For this reason, this plugin should be used. This plugin not only creates your sitemap; it keeps it up-to-date and automatically adds every new page and content to it and notifies the search engines. Sitemaps created with Google XML Sitemaps are not only compatible with Google search engine, they are also compatible with other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
The fourth plugin: Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Photos, high-quality photos, are definitely a part of any attractive website. For some sites, such as stores, photos are not used for visual appeal only; they are part of the content of the site. But there is a problem: high-quality photos weigh down the site and affect the speed.
Site cache alone does not help. Compressing each photo before placing it on the site is a difficult and time-consuming task (especially if the number of photos is large). So, a plugin is needed that compresses the photos automatically and optimally and does not affect their quality. That’s exactly what Smush does.
In the settings of this plugin, make sure that the Automatic smushing option is enabled. This plugin has a more advanced version, which is not free.
The fifth plugin: WPForms
There is a contact form on every site. This form is important. Because the user may only contact you. Therefore, it should be user-friendly. This plugin allows you to use sample forms and edit them (form fields). It is easy to edit the fields. Because the user interface of this plugin is designed very functionally.
For example, the sample form you selected has these fields: name, last name, email, and a place to write a message. You want to add the contact number field to it as well. You can do this easily by Drag and Drop the desired field. You can create as many forms as you want with this plugin.
Auto-generated forms fit your site’s style and are mobile-friendly. In addition, WPForms allows you to edit the message that is displayed to the user to confirm that the message has been sent.
The sixth plugin: Yoast SEO
A plugin with more than 5 million active installations that makes it easier for you to succeed in the complex world of SEO, of course, the work of this plugin is to make half of the SEO world easier, that is, On-page SEO. This plugin allows you to check the acceptability or not of each page (content) based on internal SEO standards (such as readability, compliance with the keyword density of each content, the status of internal and external links).
This plugin also offers suggestions for improving readability and optimizing content. In addition, it allows you to write optimal and appropriate (in terms of the number of words) Meta Description for each content. Yoast uses colors to make things easier. Red is for problems, orange is for things that need to be fixed, and green is for an acceptable result.
Seventh plugin: MonsterInsights
Which pages and contents of your site attract more users? Which pages did users leave the fastest and where no purchase happened? Why? How is your site traffic at a glance? Knowing the answers to these questions is very, very vital for the site SEO expert and the site user experience team, especially for store site SEO.
Google Analytics gives you the answer. Now imagine that you can have the answers to these questions on your own WordPress site. MonsterInsights does just that: the ability to add and manage Google Analytics data to your WordPress Dashboard. This plugin is called Google Analytics for WordPress and belongs to Yoast.
After installing this plugin, you must connect it to your Google account (that is, the one connected to Analytics). Next, in the Tracking section, you can access data that is essential and critical to improving your site’s performance.
The eighth plugin: Woocommerce
This plugin is essential for store sites, not all WordPress websites. Work for WordPress store sites becomes very, very easy with this plugin. You can adjust and manage almost all parts of the store site with this plugin, which is open-source.
With this plugin, you don’t even need to worry about the design of your store website. Because a collection of free and paid themes has been designed for almost every business. It doesn’t matter whether you are a big business or not (startup with a few products or hundreds of products), this plugin has useful and appropriate features for any type of business.
In addition to setting product categories and product introduction pages, with Woocommerce you can also specify the type and method of payment (purchase). Marketing Hub is another option of this plugin that you can use to monitor your site’s digital marketing activities.
Ninth plugin: iThemes Security
When 40% of net sites are WordPress, it is natural that they are the target of hackers. In addition to complying with server-side security protocols, your WordPress site should also take help from WordPress security plugins so that security holes specific to WordPress will not be a problem for you. Fortunately, WordPress has many security plugins.
iThemes Security is an almost comprehensive security plugin that scans the entire site after installation. Finds security problems and vulnerabilities and takes necessary security measures.
10th plugin: Akismet Anti-Spam
Unfortunately, spam is everywhere and must be fought against. One of the problems of WordPress sites is spam comments. The problem is that most of these comments seem so genuine that anyone could be mistaken and approve them for display on the website. When the number of comments is high, it becomes more difficult.
This plugin is very popular among WordPress site owners and has more than 5 million active installations. When you install this plugin, it checks all the comments and contact forms received and deletes the suspicious ones or saves them in the spam folder if you want. All you need to do after installing Akismet is to get the API key from this plugin.