Assuming you’re planning on creating your first website on WordPress, you’re completely spoiled for choice on the customisation you have at hand. In fact, it’s so popular that around 455,000,000 websites are using WordPress right now, including this one!
Being an open-source platform, WordPress allows anyone to build and release tools to help you customise the way your site works and what functions you perform on it. These tools are known as plugins.
To date, there have are over 56,000 plugins that have been created to help you customise the features on your WordPress site. There are plugins to add contact forms, to help you improve your SEO, to help speed up your webpages, and even for building an eCommerce area to sell products.
With so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out exactly which are the best plugins that’ll you need when you first create your WordPress site. In this article we’ll discuss the essential WordPress plugins that you’ll need to install when you create your website.
How To Install A Plugin On WordPress
First of all, if you’ve never created a site on WordPress.org before, here’s how you install WordPress Plugins.
- In the WordPress Dashboard, hover over the Plugin menu on the left hand-side and click “Add New”. This will bring you to the plugin install area.
- Use the search box or the filters like “Popular” or “Recommended” to find the plugin you’re looking for.
- To learn more about the plugin, you can click its name to read more information. If you’d simply like to install it, click “Install Now”.
- Once it has installed you must press “Activate” for it to start functioning on your site.
Each plugin has its own set of instructions for use, so it’s worthwhile reading the description on how they work before installing them.
Now that you know how to install them, lets go into which plugins will be essential to you!
The 10 Best WordPress Plugins To Get
Yoast has over 135 Million downloads and is the number one SEO plugin for a reason. This plugin helps you keep on top of your all-important SEO tasks, including meta tags, some of your schema implementation and your XML sitemaps.
This plugin can save you heaps of time by making it easier for you to create great content that’s going to stand a better chance of getting ranked higher in Google.
Yoast have a range plugins, but their basic plugin is free to install.
The Redirection plugin is an incredible tool that allows you to fully manage the redirects within your site. It can log 404 instances and track where there are errors across your site.
Crucially, you can set this plugin to redirect permalinks that you edit, so if you do make a mistake and change a page it will handle this for you.
This tool is very useful for making sure your site is healthy and optimised for search engines. Best of all, it’s free!
Elementor is one of the best page builders available, it can help you create beautiful looking landing pages and site designs without the knowledge of any coding skills.
You pages that are responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop within minutes using the prebuilt templates. You can customise all of the buttons and elements too, making them respond to hover’s with animation.
Although the free plan is good, their paid plan is well worth a try, with extra elements to use which would remove the need for adding more plugins, such as the header and footer builders and forms.
4. Site Kit by Google
With the official Google Site Kit plugin, you’ll be able to connect Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adsense, Tag Manager, PageSpeed Insights and Optimise all within a few clicks.
This means you won’t have to manually add the scripts to your site, and go through the long-winded process of verifying your identity to get access to the Google products.
It even shows you stats for your site in your WordPress Dashboard, to save you navigating to the Google products themselves to find high-level data.
UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin to help you save your work should something go wrong. It can back up all your files into the cloud on a schedule, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
You can store your backups on Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), their own UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email.
It’s important to have backups in place because CMS’s like WordPress can have their flaws, such as security flaws, plugin or theme updates with bugs and general crashes.
It’s vital to make sure your WordPress site is secure from hackers and malicious bots. Wordfence has firewall protection, malware scan, blocking, login security, and live traffic monitoring to help you protect your site.
If Wordfence detects unusual activity or a security threat, it will email you immediately so that you can take action against any threats.
According to statistics from over 40,000 WordPress sites in the Alexa Top 1 Million, more than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks. So it’s important ensure you have security in mind.
7. W3 Total Cache
Once you’ve created your WordPress website, it’s important to maintain a fast page speed for your search engine rankings and user experience.
W3 Cache is one of the best caching plugins available to help with page speed, it increases your WordPress site’s performance by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN).
If you’re creating your WordPress site to launch business selling digital or physical products, WooCommerce will easily allow you to set up your online store.
This free plugin will provide your site with product, shopping basket, and checkout pages, secure payments options, delivery choices, and integration with other platforms like Facebook and Mailchimp.
If your website requires more functionality, the paid version offers ways to add subscriptions, bookings, live chat, dynamic pricing and product add-ons.
9. Disable Comments
If you do not want people to comment on certain pages of your WordPress site, you can use this plugin to specify where comments should not be made.
This is without a doubt the most basic but useful essential plugins available, especially if you have a site where you want to turn off comments on every page.
If you rely on getting your content out there for people to read, getting Blog2Social is going to help you save time by posting your pages within a few clicks.
You can schedule and post across Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Reddit, Medium Pinterest, Instagram and many more from one plugin! You can add hashtags, GIFS and handles, without manually going into each network.
This all possible with the free version, meaning you won’t need to use other popular social media management platforms!
Whatever type of website you’re going to create within WordPress, these are the best plugins to start off with. In fact, we’re running 7 of these ourselves because we love them!
Are there better alternatives to these? Let us know in the comments section.