12 WordPress Plugins your Website Needs
WordPress plugins are pieces of software that add functionality and extra features to your website. With over 48,000 free plugins available, it’s safe to say that there’s a plugin for pretty much everything.
NB: In this post ‘Wordpress’ refers to WordPress.org. This is opposed to WordPress.com which is a much more simplistic platform. Plugins are not available for WordPress.com.
For beginners, it is useful to know some of the most used WordPress Plugins for the running and maintenance of your website.
Here are some of the plugins you may want to install first.
This is one of the most useful plugins for WordPress as it can be used to improve your website’s SEO including creating a sitemap. It has many more features which come in handy when you’re trying to get your website noticed.
Google analytics gives a detailed report of visitor behaviour on your website. Installing the plug in gives you access to tons of useful information such as page views, bounce rate and session duration.
Web security is more important than ever with even the biggest companies being at risk of security breaches. Therefore one of the most important plugins to install is one that protects the security of your website. Sucuri is a trustworthy plugin that monitors and protects your site from attacks.
It is important to back up your website and of course, there is a plugin for that. Business owners cannot afford to be careless, as without back up you risk losing your website and your business.
If you hope to run your business by selling your product online, you’ll need an eCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is a free plugin that turns your website into an online shop, integrating seamlessly with WordPress.
Aside from the running of your website, there are also tons of plugins that can be used to customise your website. These plugins add valuable functionality, and also help to make your website unique. Here are some of the best on offer.
Contact Form 7
Contact forms allow visitors on your website to contact you in a simple and easy way. The Contact Form 7 plugin allows you to add multiple easily customisable contact forms to your website.
This plugin adds responsive image galleries to your website, and using the album extension you can also add photo albums.
Simple Social Icons
When exploring a business, most consumers look across multiple platforms. Having a social media plugin means you can add social media buttons to your website, allowing visitors to move easily between each of your platforms.
Having this plugin lets you display multiple instagram feeds on your website. This gives visitors to your website a sneak peek of your instagram account without them having to leave the site.
This plugin makes it easier to keep your branding consistent throughout your entire website. To find out more about the importance of strong branding click here.
Large images can drastically slow down the performance of your website. WP Smush offers a free and easy way to reduce the size of your images to make sure your website runs smoothly.
WP Super Cache
You can optimise your wordpress site using a plugin called WP Super Cache. By using this, the performance of your website will improve meaning it will load faster and be more responsive.
Although you can have as many plugins as you’d like, be thoughtful in the ones you choose. Usually, free plugins do not have support available, so it is best to do your research initially. Read reviews and get advice from other users who have installed the plug in previously, as some can slow your website down.