Top 5 Wordpress plugins, get the best for your site

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The internet is constantly evolving, with people trying to improve their websites to be the best they can be, every day.

Some people with in-depth technical knowledge and enough time on their hands will be able to create a custom site or make bespoke updates, without the need of a third party. But for the majority of website owners out there, customising their site requires help and lines of code that has been developed by someone else.

For Wordpress users, there is the option of installing plugins to their website to provide added functionality. This article will discuss the top 5 Wordpress plugins to get the best from your site.

What is a Wordpress Plugin?

A plugin is like a small capsule, that has lines of code within it, that performs particular functions. By plugging this capsule into your website, it extends the capabilities of what your site can do. Plugins are not limited just to Wordpress sites, but a Wordpress plugin is written in PHP, which is the language Wordpress is built on. This means that the plugin can join with your website easily.

Plugins are very important to the functioning of Wordpress sites and are vital to getting your site to perform how you want it to. Just on the wordpress.org directory, there are more than 48,000 free plugins to choose from, with even more available on Github and ones that can be bought.

How Do You Use Plugins in WordPress?

Select plugins from the sidebar in Wordpress, then click add new. Use the search bar to find a plugin that provides the function you need, then click the install now button. Below are our top 5 recommendations for Wordpress plugins.

Yoast SEO

If you’re creating and managing a website, it’s almost inevitable that you will come across search engine optimization at some point. SEO is a way for people to find your website online, through search engines such as Google and Bing.

Yoast SEO makes it easier to control the basic onsite SEO requirements. It will analyse your pages and provide recommendations for improving their optimization. Some functions it offers are:

  • Meta title and description analysis
  • Page readability
  • Keyword targeting
  • Alt tags
  • Page indexing
  • XML sitemap generation

WP Rocket

If a site does not run quickly, or run at all, people will not spend any time on it. There are plugins that can help your site to run quickly and efficiently, WP-Rocket is one of them.

For $49 you can have an annual license for one site, this lets your site implement page caching, which will greatly improve load speed for repeat visitors. Alongside this, the plugin implements lazy loading, and reduces bloating of code.

Gravity Forms

You might not have realised it before making a website, but contact forms are slightly complicated to create. With gravity forms, the work is done for you. With a simple to use editor, you can configure your form however it’s needed and you can even split the form over several pages.

Google Analytics

This plugin is almost an essential for anyone serious about growing their website. With Google Analytics, you can understand how many people are visiting your website, where they are based, and what their activity on your website is.

With the data, you can create reports around performance and use this to make decisions on how to improve your site further and reach new audiences. By having these statistics, you can see what pages are performing well, what ones aren’t and if there are any opportunities to create a more engaging website.

UpdraftPlus

It’s an action that should be etched into your every activity. Backup your work. Unfortunately it’s something that a lot of people don’t consider with their websites.  If you’ve ever had to restore a website, you’ll understand just how important this is.

With UpdraftPlus, it’s much simpler to backup and restore a website. The files can be stored in a cloud provider you choose, including Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3, amongst others. There is both a free and a paid for service to match your needs and resources.

There are so many Wordpress plugins out there that you’ll be able to find a plugin for almost anything you need. It’s important to remember that you should only install plugins that you will use as having too many installed on your site can create excess amounts of code that needs to be loaded and will slow down page speed. Even so, they’re an amazing invention that lets website creation be that much more accessible for people without the technical knowledge to code the functions themselves.