One of the most shining aspects of WordPress is its rich plugin collection, which allows users and developers to extend the websites’ functionalities and abilities beyond the core installation. In this case, users can tailor their sites to meet their specific needs with custom functions and features. As estimated, there are over 53,000 WordPress plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory now. Even, there are many other options from the third parties. While choosing some options for your site is not easy, here, we have listed some of the best WordPress plugins you should consider for your site.
Here, we need to mention that all the available WordPress plugins can be categorized into multiple groups, such as security, SEO, e-commerce, contact and many more. There is no need to install multiple plugins that have the same function. In this case, we are going to list some typical, useful and popular plugins for some important categories. If you need the extra suggestion, you can check our plugin category or contact us for more suggestions.
For Security: Better WP Security
There is no system that can be completely safe and secure. Even WordPress that takes security issue seriously has some bad security track record. So you need to take some precautions to protect your WordPress powered site away from hackers and malicious attackers, and the plugin called Better WP Security can be the best choice for you.
Better WP Security combines WordPress security features and techniques, tracking almost all the loopholes and vulnerabilities at one time, without the need to worry about feature conflicts and the missing of anything on your site.
Besides, you don’t need to learn too much about WordPress and your site, Better WP Security will automatically keep dangers caused by vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software away from sensitive areas like login and admin panel.
From the Settings screen of this plugin, it is clear that you can cover almost all the security related aspects for your WordPress site.
- 404 detection – Prevent users from snooping around your pages to exploit automatically.
- Away mode – Turn off the access to the website admin on some schedules.
- Banned users – Block any suspicious user agents and IP from accessing your site.
- Local brute force protection – Prevent the randomly guess login by attackers to your site.
- Database backup – Avoid the loss of important information.
- File change detection – Monitor the whole website for any unexpected file changes.
- SSL – Ensure the safe communication between servers and browsers.
These are just the typical aspects. You can also get the additional features such as strong password enforcement, system tweaks, WordPress salts and more.
For SEO: WordPress SEO by Yoast
The number of your visitors and your page views are greatly influenced by the rankings on the search engine, so you have to improve the SEO of your website. Here, we highly recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast.
WordPress SEO by Yoast has a special snippet enabling you to preview the look of your post or page in the search results, so you will know whether your title is adoptable, and whether your meta description is appropriate or not. Besides, it offers Page Analysis for careless webmasters, checking whether all the images have a keyword-rich alt tag, and whether the meta description make sense.
Some of the key highlights of this plugin are listed in the following.
- Better content score – This is a useful feature actually. With the snippet preview, you can know what you blog post will appear in the SERPs. By the proper modification, you can increase the page ranking and CTR rate greatly.
- Page analysis – This feature will check some simple aspects you might forget. For instance, it may test whether you have added the alt tag for your images with the keywords if necessary, whether you have added the meta description and whether the description contains your keywords.
- Meta & link elements – You can control which of your pages that Google can show in the search result pages and which cannot.
- XML sitemap – This plugin allows you to add the most advanced XML sitemap functionality with much ease.
For E-Commerce: WooCommerce
If you want to set up a WordPress based eCommerce store, then you’d better use the WooCommerce plugin to further enhance your shop front, after all, you need to make your online store be unique and attractive. This plugin works well with any theme, so you can choose any WordPress eCommerce theme to beautify your site.
If you want to know the daily sales, customer feedbacks, stock levels and some other statistics, you can simply make use of its smart dashboard widget or the report section, which allow you to view all the stats in an easy and detailed way.
Besides, WooCommerce comes with all the necessary features for any online stores, including PayPal standard gateway, Mijireh Checkout, offline gateways, flat rate shipping, Google Analytics, ShareYourCart, and much more.
If you want to learn more, you can check this WooCommerce review. Frankly speaking, if you are looking to set up a WordPress based online store, this plugin is a perfect solution.
- Sell anything at any time and any place. The products can be both the digital ones and the physical ones.
- Ship to any place you want. You can choose the free shipping, real-time shipping calculators or the flat rate shipping.
- Extensive payment options – There is a bundle of payment options you can choose, including the major credit cards, the popular PayPal, BACS, cash delivery and more.
- Full control – You can always get the full control over your business sites, from the stock management to tax settings, from product showcase to customer account creation and many more.
For Contact: Contact Form 7
This plugin allows you to add contact form to your WordPress website in an easy manner, as well as make up the form and its contents flexibly. It supports many other features like Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, file uploading and Akismet spam filtering, so you can get your form as powerful as you like.
Contact Form 7 is very easy to customize, so if you think the default form is too simple and you want to add more fields, you can simply edit the form template Edit section to insert as many as you want. Besides, you feel confused to generate tags which are needed to add fields to a form, you can use the Generate Tag tool offered by Contact Form 7 to help you.
For Photo Gallery: NextGEN Gallery
To be frank, a beautiful and attractive gallery which full of amazing photos can be a strong reason for your visitors to come back to site and stick around. Here, we recommend you using NextGEN Gallery, which is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin with more than 7.5 million downloads.
With it, you can easily upload, delete, and manage your galleries, batch uploads, add meta description with key words, edit thumbnails, and group galleries into albums. Besides, NextGEN Gallery offers 2 front-end display styles for you to choose: slideshows and thumbnail galleries. And both of the two allows you to control the site, style, timing and light box effects freely.
For Speed: WP Super Cache
This plugin is mainly used for the better improvement of the website running speed. Once enabled, it will generate the static HTML files from your WordPress site that is totally dynamic. After that, your server machine will not process the heavy PHP scripts but serve that file directly. Generally, these static HTML files can be served to 99% of your users. And each cached file can be served for thousands of times. Even, some of these people can be served with the custom cached files for their tailored needs.
There are three caching methods used by this plugin.
- Simple – This is the recommended way to use this caching plugin. It will serve a supercached file by PHP.
- Expert – This is the fastest way with the help of Apache mod_rewrite.
- WP-Cache caching – This option is used for the known users, feeds and URLs for the exclusive needs.