Building a new WordPress website? It’s possible you’ve heard a lot about WordPress Plugins and how they can add a lot of functionality to your website…
And because of this, you’ve probably asked yourself; “so, what are the most useful WordPress Plugin I need to have on my website”?
Well, the answer to your question is not quite straight forward. There are lots and lots of WordPress plugins out there. In fact, tens of thousands of them.
And choosing out of these tens of thousands of plugins can be really overwhelming, whether for a beginner or mid level expert. But hey, I want to make things quite easier for you, that’s why I wrote this article.
How to Choose a WordPress Plugin
The following are the two things you need to consider before choosing a WordPress Plugin for your website;
1. Your Goal: First of all, I want you to understand that whether you’re just building your website for the first time or you’ve been using it for a long time, there’s definitely a specific reason behind your decision to create a WordPress website.
It could be the fact that you want to run a news blog, a personal portfolio for your brand, or create a corporate platform for your business etc.
Whatever it is, the major aim of your website is going to play an important role in the overall choice of plugins you end up using on the website.
If you’re building a website for a real estate business for instance, the kind of Plugins you use on that website will be different, compared to someone who is building an ecommerce website or a blog.
So, before you choose plugins for your website, think about what you want to achieve with the website and then allow that goal to guide your decision on the plugins you need to use.
2. Website Functionality: Another thing you need to consider before choosing a plugin for your website is the overall functionality of the website.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of WordPress Plugins out there and you really do not need all of them on your website.
So, here you want to ask yourself, what are the most important plugins that will enhance the functionality of my website?
For instance, there are plugins that can help you manage your audience, create social media connections, communicate with a potential client or grow your website etc.
These are the kind of plugins you want to have to enhance the functionality of your website. Anything outside of this is not needed.
Things to do before Choosing a Plugin
In as much as WordPress Plugins are great for your website, some plugins can be really harmful to your website.
To avoid installing such harmful plugins, the following are the important steps you need to take before choosing your plugins…
- Check out the Reviews: Before choosing a plugin, be sure to read the reviews, ratings and what other people are saying about the plugin. Information like this will help you to know if the plugin is a good fit for you or not
- Run a test on the plugin: Some WordPress plugins are not just badly coded, there are plugins that can turn around to inhibit the functionality of your website by either slowing it down or interrupting the functions of other plugins. To be sure you don’t experience such issues, you need to run background checks on plugins before using them.
- Check for updates: To ensure compatibility with WordPress and other applications, plugins are usually updated at several intervals. Be sure the plugin you intend to use meets this criteria also. Do not use plugins that have not been updated for a long while. Some of them may have been abandoned and using such can open your website to a lot of vulnerabilities.
Now that you’ve learned about how to choose a WordPress Plugin and the things to look out for before choosing your plugins, the following are the most important plugins you need to have on your website.
Generally, these are plugins you’re about to see are the plugins almost anyone that’s using WordPress would need to have on their website, irrespective of whether you’re building a blog, ecommerce or real estate website.
These plugins are popular because their uses are important to users across board. And they are often times used along side other plugins, based on the peculiarity of the website.
So here we go… Below is a list of the most important plugin you need to have on your WordPress website
Over the years, this plugin right here has been rated as one of the most downloaded plugins on WordPress.
It is regarded as one of the most useful plugin for WordPress website security, designed especially for protecting websites against malicious attacks.
Wordfence comes with both the free and paid plans. And is pug and play, without need for advanced tech experience.
As one of the most downloaded WordPress plugin, Jetpack is that plugin that comes with the capacity to perform multiple functions, without need for a combination of other plugins.
From social media sharing widgets to downtime monitoring, website analytics and a CRM, Jetpack is one popular WordPress plugin that can help you get different task done on your website without need for too many different plugins.
One thing about Jetpack you should know is that it is a resource heavy plugin that can really get to impact your website, if the functionalities are not well optimized.
Yoast SEO AKA WordPress SEO is another important and free WordPress plugin for new websites especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.
It is one of the most used SEO plugin of all time on WordPress.
With its easy to use interface, when optimized properly, Yoast enables your website to have a enhanced visibility and better search traffic from the search engine.
Elementor Page Builder
Elementor page builder is the most popular front end drag and drop plugin for WordPress website.
If you’re in need of a good drag and drop page builder then Elementor page is definitely the plugin you want to check out as it helps you to design a sleek WordPress page with great features.
On it’s website, Elementor Page Builder claims to be the best WordPress page builder with over 2 million active installs.
Google Analytics Dashboard
Google Analytics Dashboard by Monster Insight is one of the most downloaded WordPress Plugin on the WordPress repository.
Competing closely with its other rival Analytics Plugins, this plugin has advanced analytics figures that can help you to understand your website metrics and optimize your SEO and traffic accordingly.
It is also one of the best used Google Analytics plugin. Personally, this is one of my most reliable plugins.
Updraft WordPress Backup Plugin
Looking forward to a plugin that will help you back up your WordPress website just in case things get messed up?
Then Updraft WordPress Backup Plugin is one of the most popular plugin for that purpose.
With this plugin you can backup your website to an external platform like Google drive, Dropbox etc. And you can always get access to the back up when ever there’s a need for that.
Contact Form 7
Everyone needs a contact page. And here’s one of the most popular contact form plugin for building contact forms.
Whether you’re building a new website or not, you can use the contact form 7 plugin for your simple and flexible contact forms, where your website users can get to contact you easily.
It is one of the most popular free WordPress plugin out there.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress.
WP Super Cache Speeds up your website by generating static html pages of your website that’s served on your server. Whenever a user accesses your website, it serves the lighter HTML page instead of processing the entire WordPress PHP scripts all the time.
When it comes to WordPress caching, WP super Cache is one of the best plugins for caching. It has both the paid and free versions.
MailChimp for WordPress
Mailchimp is another freemium plugin that will help you send mails and newsletters to your subscribers.
With over one million installations, one thing that MailChimp is well known for is the fact it comes with both free and paid plans so you can always choose what suits you especially for beginners.
So, if you’re looking at sending Newsletters, with MailChimp you can send free Newsletters for your first 2000 subscribers free.
WooCommerce is another popular plugin that’s very useful for ecommerce and retail websites.
While it is not a plugin that can be used on just about any kind of website, It is free to use with a lot of extensions that can give your retail website the functionalities it needs, if you’re building a retail website.
Otherwise, you may not have need for the plugin.
GDPR Cookie Consent
The GDPR Cookie Consent is another important WordPress plugin that displays the cookie compliance banner on your website.
With this plugin, you also get to show your users compliance for GDPR, CCPA, CNIL, POPIA, LGPD on your website.
The WordPress GDPR plugin comes with advanced features that make the management of both first and third-party cookies on your website as per the guidelines put forward by the regulations.
You can create cookie notices, privacy policies, etc., from scratch using the plugin.
This is an important WordPress Plugin that manages 301 redirection, keeps track of 404 errors while improving your website.
The Redirection plugin is very useful especially if you want to redirect a post to another link, fix and redirect a broken link or keep track of your 404 errors.
So, there you have a complete list of the most important WordPress plugins for your new website.
Remember this is a general list. As a beginner, other plugins could still be more useful to you based on your specific needs.
But this list is what works with most beginners and even established WordPress website. And you can get to start with this.
Before you go, I want to ask you, do you need any help in building your WordPress website? Talk to us here.
So which of these WordPress plugins is very important to the success of your website? Let’s hear you!