Make a website with useful WordPress plugins, but what really plugin is? Simply we can say that a plugin is a feature on WordPress that allows bloggers/website owners to customize and optimize websites.
WordPress is a CMS can do all the work for you, with little or no knowledge of coding still you can create fantastic site for your self using these readymade and free WordPress plugins. There are lots of WordPress plugins available freely on wordpress.org for all the need you may have.
Whatever you need whether it is social sharing, comments, analytics, designing, seo or anything there are all the plugins available which can make your work easier. It is very easy to get started with WordPress since WordPress is packed with so many useful and readymade features. However, there are still some essential plugins required to ensure that visitors can get the most from your website and also to make your website useful for yourself and others also.
But there are thousands of WordPress plugins you could install and sometime you will find more than 10 plugins for same purpose and providing different features. Which means it can be challenging and very confusing to choose from those plugins. Here is the list of my favorite and essential plugins. I use all these WordPress plugins in most of my WordPress websites according to requirements.
1. Contact Form 7
As a website owner you probably know that it is not only important to provide clear information about your business but also provide an easy way to reach at you. Site visitors can inquire about your services or any other thing related to your business. Placing a contact form is a common option for that.
Some sites do not have contact form where some have a page with an email that you can click and opens your email client. Even some sites put the email as a image to avoid being scanned on the web and receive spam. All of the previous cases are wasting the potential and benefits of a contact form.
Contact Form 7 is a WordPress plugin that can used to create contact form on your site easily. It can manage multiple contact forms as well. And the most interesting part is that you can customize the contact form according to your need. The Contact Form 7 supports Ajax-powered submition, CAPTCHA, spam filtering, etc… You can also receive an email instantly when someone make a contact request.
Download Link for Contact Form 7: https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7
Comments can be a really good source of information and an efficient way to engage your site visitors in discussions about your business/services. But comment spammers can often try to improve their site’s search ranking by posting comments with dummy content and inbound links to their site. Here Askimet can help, this WordPress Plugin checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
Download Link for Askimet: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet
Every website owner/webmaster should take regular backup of entire site because it is one of the best defense against any sort of security threat toward site.
BackUpWordPress can back up the entire site including database as well as all the files. The BackUpWordPress plugin is very simple to install and much more easier to use. It can also work on shared servers as well because it does not require that much memory. It also provides a facility to schedule the backup to make the backup process automatically, and this plugin can send the backup on specified email address as well. This is the best WordPress plugin for Backup out of plugins I’ve used so far.
Download Link for BackUpWordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/backupwordpress
4. WP Super cache
To keep the bounce rate of your website very low, speed may be the first thing you need to look after. Website visitors often hate waiting and can be frustrated by buffering videos and pages that pop together as images slowly load. And this is bad user experience. This WP Super Cache WordPress plugin lets you cache your website pages in order to achieve maximum performance.
WP Super Cache is a very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
If you’ve been running your WordPress blog or website for a while and there is lots of content then this plugin may be a life saver for you.
Download Link for WP Super Cache: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-cache/
W3 Total Cache is also a good option along side with WP Super Cache. It is also very popular plugin and providing rich set of features as well for caching .
5. Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Now a days everyone tries to rank their site higher in Google Search results and because of that marketing firms earning good revenue with the “SEO”. In my view it is the most complete SEO plugin available for free in todays date.
This plugin is having wide range of features which can help in SEO. It first and foremost helps you write better content for page/post and forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing content. And then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
Download Link for Yoast WordPress SEO: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo
All in one SEO Pack is another useful plugin related to SEO.
6. Google Analytics for WordPress
It is most powerful tool out there for monitoring and analyzing traffic for your website. It can provide complete information about your site visitors. Google Analytics by Yoast WordPress plugin made it easier to use Google Analytics in WordPress sites. This plugin can help you tracking your site easily with latest tracking codes.
Download Link for Google Analytics for WordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress
7. Google XML Sitemaps
Getting a site indexed in search engines is very important thing and a sitemap is a way to do this. Indexing means the structure of your website containing all pages, links, assets including images and videos, will exist in only one page in XML/HTML format. The search engines can easily read about your site with specified time interval by viewing your site’s sitemap file which will be submitted in the webmaster center.
Google XML Sitemaps will generate XML sitemap to help most search engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc… to better index your site. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it automatically notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
Download Link for Google XML Sitemaps: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator
XML Sitemap plugin is another option, it is a short and simple plugin that will create sitemap automatically. There are no other options or procedures, just install and start using it. Contrary to other sitemap plugins that generate sitemap files, this plugin will add a rewrite rule and store your cached sitemaps in the wp-content/sitemaps folder.
You can switch from default WordPress commentting system to something else.
Disqus arguably allows better subscription opportunities, extra moderation options, feature related articles and discussions and even better login integration with social media. I used it on many of the WordPress websites I worked on in past and it is working well for all.
Download Link for Disqus: https://wordpress.org/plugins/disqus-comment-system/
CommentLuv is another option and it is also highly popular plugin. It will encourage more comments on your blog/article by rewarding site visitors by automatically placing a link to their last post at the end of their comment (CommentLuv plugin visits their site behind the scenes and retrieves their latest blog post, twitter tweet or Digg submission with a link). This works especially well for all visitors who are running their own sites and promoting their sites by commenting on various blogs. It is a great way to encourage backlinks and enhance the amount of visits/comments on your blog.
It has been a big player in social media sharing for many years. This WordPress plugin offers large set of icons and design for social sharing. This plugin can provide a facility on your blog where users can share content of your site in over hundred and twenty services.
Download Link for ShareThis: https://wordpress.org/plugins/share-this
AddThis WordPress Plugin is also another option. It is great and free plugin for social media sharing. There is also a premium service available but for basic requirements free one will work well. AddThis service supports over three hundred social media services. This WordPress plugin allows you to choose from a range of icon designs and sizes.
10. WP Show Stats
Lastly as an author of this plugin, I also like to include this plugin into the list. Mainly because I think it can be very useful for all the sites built with WordPress, no matter what concept the site built upon.
While running a WordPress blog it is not enough to have a good hosting, beautiful theme and content. There is also another important thing is to analyze your website.
It is extremely difficult to find the best WordPress plugin which can provide facility to analyze your website with interface where you can see how the WordPress elements are used in you WordPress site. It is also difficult as there are thousands of plugins available in the WordPress plugins directory so it may be a case where one can not choose the best for their usage or need.
WP Show Stats is comprehensive plugin which provides everything you needed to keep an eye on your blog statistics. WP Show Stats is an analytics tool for bloggers. When your blog is very large this plugin allows you to improve your blog performance and keep track on pages, posts, categories, tags, users, etc…
It is simple WordPress plugin that embeds charts in your blog and shows the usage and numbers related to blog. It can act as your personal WordPress dashboard. All the charts are shown using Google Charts.
Download Link for WP Show Stats: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-show-stats
Quite often I receive requirements to build a business website. With the WordPress plugins listed above I am completing the websites in no time. Hope it will help someone else too.
If you have any suggestions for other great and really useful WordPress plugins then do let me know I will add them to the list above.
I tried my best to be as generic in preparing this blog as I could. There can be a lot of contradictory opinions about information I shared. But these WordPress plugins have proven to be great in my website development experience using WordPress.