If you own a WordPress blog or you are running a commercial portal over WordPress, here are some must-have plugins that can stand you out. These plugins are selected after wide analysis and have no promotional motives. If any of these plugins helped you in any way and have optimized your blog performance then please do let us know in the comment section.
1. Jetpack by WordPress.com
This is an all-in-one toolkit for WordPress. Jetpack is by default installed in your WordPress theme. In special cases, it may not be there but having it and installing it is like a boon to your WordPress blog. It has a whole lot of features that can reduce the need for many other plugins. Also, it is very lightweight and widely used by bloggers.
Features offered in free version:
Site Stats, Anti Spam (Will block spam comments), Protection from Malicious attacks, Downtime Monitor (Tracks if your website’s health is OK), Image Accelerator (Helps you load your website faster), Carousel slideshows (Image slide shows), Testimonials, Theme enhancements (Infinite Scroll, Free Widgets), Site Maps, Social Media Integration (Buttons to share your post over Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.), Automatic Social Media Sharing (Posts are automatically shared over connected profile once you publish them), Email Subscription, Related Posts (Post suggestions) Discussion Forums for posts and Basic Customer Support.
Features offered in Pro version:
Security (Automated Scanning of Security Threats), Backups (so you don’t loose anything), Search (Powerful search which can be integrated to your blog), Unlimited Video Hosting, Search Engine Optimization, Google Analytics, Faster Customer Support (Quickly resolve all your issues).
2. Akismet Anti-Spam
This plugin is mainly intended to stop the spammers who try to spam via comment section of your post. Sometimes the spammers will comment with links for promotion purposes. These links can contain malwares clicking on which can harm your computer like anything. This plugin can help you to get rid of all spammers very easily.
3. All-in-One WP Migration
This is very important plugin for all WordPress websites. How ? This plugin actually can export a copy of you blog into a file and then you can use that file to create a new installation of the same blog. So in simple words, this plugin can help you to move/copy your blog from one location to other location.
Premium version of this plugin can help you to migrate your blog to a cloud storage service.
Although we use WordPress for installing our themes but still all the front end development which happens behind the curtain is done with the help of HTML, CSS and JS files. Now because we are using readymade tools like themes/plugins to make up our website, their corresponding CSS and JS files will have repeated code and sometimes they will create conflicts. These conflicts and repeated code will reduce the loading speed of your blog and then it will also impact the search engine rankings.
To get rid of all this and to optimize your HTML, CSS and JS files, you can install Autoptimize.
5. Yoast SEO
Search Engine Optimization is something that all of us are looking for and it is one of the essential items in the checklist when we run our personal blog or commercial portal. Though SEO is a big industry nowadays, still we have so many workarounds that can help us optimize our search engine rankings without having to pay for it.
Yoast SEO is one of the most favorite plugins of bloggers around the world. The plugin helps you to write content which is search engine friendly. The plugin has different checkpoints for different parameters. Once you see a green signal for all those checkpoints, your content is likely to be the most competent content.
6. Contact Form 7
Now a days, all the blogs use some type of form to increase interaction with audience and to get a user base of people using their blogs. Contact Form 7 is a plugin which provides all the basic form features for absolutely free. Although, there are multiple plugins related to form over WordPress Plugin Directory but the most used contact form is Contact Form 7. It is very easy to use Contact Form 7. You can create a form and just plugin in the short code of form wherever you want to use it. You can create multiple forms and use them with the help of short codes available.
7. Easy Table of Contents
Blogs are generally lengthy and sometimes readers are looking for only a specific topic of our blog. To navigate and head up to the topic, it takes lot of effort and sometimes the reader may leave your blog. So to get rid of this problem and make your readers a comfortable read, you can make use of Easy Table of Contents. It automatically creates a table of all your headings and subheadings with hyperlinks so the reader can navigate to his/her choice just by a click.
8. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is most useful when you have so many promotional links attached to your blog. Pretty links can help you create smaller links hiding the promotional link so that you can maintain the dignity of your brand and get rid of big promotional links.
Most bloggers love to use images while creating new blogs and images are really helpful in making your blog very rich. While adding images to your article increases the number of visitors, it also increases the loading time of your blog.
Smush is a wonderful plugin which can help you to reduce the size of image files and improve performance rapidly. Once you have your blog optimized and loading time is reduced, there are high chances of your blog being ranked over search engines.
10. WP Mail SMTP
This is again a very important plugin which can make your life very easy. How? By default, WordPress does not allow you to send and receive emails because it requires an email server configuration. That means, WordPress will not be able to send any health/confirmation alerts or any other reports via email but once you install WP Mail SMTP, you will be able to use services like Gmail/Mailgun/SendGrid to send/receive emails.
Aside from being an engineer, I am a software developer, an enthusiastic musician, a regular reader and a hobbyist writer. I love traveling, exploring new places and, of course, playing games (all sorts).