What should be the next move after installing a WordPress website and setting up all the pages with necessary text, layout, and graphics? Well, your next focus should be installing and configuring initial plugins for a WordPress website.
Plugins are considered as the building blocks of your website which brings important functionality. Effective plugins allow your customers to browse the website with ease. And the right set of plugins can assist you to take your business to the next level.
This article is mainly for those individuals who are thinking of making their website gorgeous with the easy to go interfaces. Below, I have listed 10 initial plugins for a WordPress website. Luckily, the stuff doesn’t require any programming language to use them. You can install them by a single click on your mouse, customize and use them with ease.
Selecting The Right Plugins
WordPress has introduced thousands of plugins to use for different purposes. According to the official plugin repository, WordPress has over 47,000 Free and Premium plugins to date and the number is constantly evolving. No matter what kind of website you are running or what is your niche, there are always particular plugins for each site which make it great.
Regardless of your website category, there are some essential tools that you need to install just after setting up your website.
The essential plugins help your website scale up the performance, prevent it from attacks, boost search engine rankings and ultimately drive potential customers.
But the problem is you are unfamiliar with the tools and probably you have never heard of their names before. Therefore, with the huge repository, you must be overwhelmed by choosing the perfect tools to make your website more functional and user-friendly.
Often users ask, “How will I find the right plugin for my business?” Which option should I go with, Free or Paid? Let me sort out all these things. So, let’s start!
10 Initial Plugins for WordPress Website
Akismet- one of the vital plugin which helps detect spam comments in your blog and prevent the users from spamming. It is a default plugin that comes with every WordPress installation.
Basically, it is an anti-spam tool that checks all the comments and filters out the spammy ones. If you have a blog site, then you probably know that spam is a ridiculous problem.
Say you didn’t use the moderation option for blog comments. Even if don’t install the plugin, you cannot mark the suspicious comments. As a result, your blog will face Search Engine thread for allowing the spammy comments.
Akismet rescues you from this thread. Akismet is essential if you accept any sort of user-generated content on your website.
Once you have the plugin installed, Akismet will filter all the comments, publish only the unique one and clear the suspicious comments. As long as you are with this awesome tool, you don’t have to delete the spammy comments anymore, Akismet will make the task itself.
The plugin comes at Free for personal website and blogs. The free version offers 50,000 comment check every month. If you have a commercial site, you may have to subscribe to its monthly plans. The premium plan offers advanced spam protection and security solutions including the access of a monthly dashboard of statistics and blocks the most obvious spam.
Jetpack is the other powerful plugin after Akismet. This is one of the most recommended tools by the WordPress Engineers. Jetpack comes with a fantastic package of awesome features for your website to rise higher and make a success.
Generally, the plugin ensures your website security, traffic growth, website performance, image optimization, improve the website appearance and lot more.
It’s a one-stop solution for every website needs. By preventing brute force attacks, Jetpack keeps your website safe. It helps you increase website traffic by automatically sharing your published article to third-party services.
If any problem arises, it notifies you instantly and suggests you take possible steps. Also, it creates XML sitemaps so that search engines can index your website easily.
The plugin’s additional features include social sharing, post by Email, spam-free comments even a mobile theme that is responsive and lightweight. Once you start using the plugin, you can lower down the other relevant plugins as Jetpack is specialized for several tasks.
3. W3 Total Cache
Ever wondered how a website reaches the top in the search results for some particular keywords? Is it only for quality content, backlinks, informative videos, useful resources, and an eye-catching infographic or are there any hidden features?
Performance- one of the most important SEO factors. Faster websites rank higher in the search engines which drives more visitors to your business website and convert them into potential leads.
No matter how lightweight was your website for the first time, the more files (contents, images, videos) you will upload to your website, the more your website will be heavy.
I know a website requires a constant update for better search engine rankings. And you don’t have the time to compress your files before uploading. So, what’s the solution?
W3 Total Cache is the savior here. After installing the plugin, it will cache your pages and posts which reduce page loading time and scale up website performance drastically.
In my opinion, I found the plugin increases a website’s performance by 80%. After installing the plugin, you should configure it according to your business website or blog.
4. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Smush Image Compression and Optimization is mostly known as WP Smush or Smushit is the other effective tool that reduces the image’s properties and increases the website’s performance.
Image is one of the most important key factors which easily grab the visitor’s attention. By uploading informative images, you can deliver your business message more effectively than writing lengthy content.
But the problem is a single image taken up a lot of storage space which slows down your site. At this stage, you may think of writing content rather than uploading images but wait. You can compress the uploaded photos.
With this plugin, you can optimize all kinds of image formats. JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc. It saves a lot of storage space on your website by using superb compression techniques.
As soon as you install the plugins, it will start smashing the uploaded images right away. No matter how big the images are, it will compress them up to 80%-85% without any impact on the image quality. WP Smush allows the users browsing a lightweight website at ease.
You can use the free version however premium version is also available which comes for free with a 14-day trial.
5. Yoast SEO
Whether you have a business website or a personal blog, what is your main focus? Obviously, your goal should increase online presence, boost website rank and show it on the top in search result pages.
Boosting a website’s rank requires a lot of work. The one which is needed most is SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
There are 2 parts of SEO- on-page and off-page optimization. Before focusing on the off-page SEO task, you need to complete on-page which includes making the webpage on-site SEO-friendly.
Yoast SEO is your intimate friend doing the job effectively. It is one of the most used WordPress plugins. The awesome tool suggests you create better content, design your webpage according to search engine algorithms and improve ranking in search results.
The plugin allows you to write a Meta title, Meta description and set the focus keyword that you want to rank. Additionally, it helps you improve your website appearance, create XML Sitemaps and robots.txt content, RSS settings, various permalink tweaks, social media integration, and lots more.
You don’t have to be worried about duplicate content and the tool can detect duplication within your website.
You can view keyword density, the ease of content readability, minimum word count recommendation, inbound and outbound links, and image ALT (alternative) tags as well. Moreover, the plugin’s advanced page analysis functionality informs you of the common mistakes and suggests to solve them.
6. Contact Form 7
If you are conducting online business through your website, allowing your customers to contact you should be the first priority. Not only for a business website but you need the form for blog site also for more customer engagements.
Contact Form 7 lets you fulfill the requirement effectively. Although people use Twitter and other social networking sites to get in touch, the importance of contact form has not diminished yet.
Among the hundreds of forms, Contact Form 7 is the most advanced plugins for WordPress. The tool’s drag and drop online form builder allow you to create email subscription forms, contact forms, payment forms, order forms, and other types of forms easily.
Besides creating multiple forms, you can manage them at a time. You don’t require coding knowledge to create the form.
The plugin can be easily customized according to your business information. It also supports Captcha, Ajax-powered submitting and Akismet filtering to prevent spam. It is especially vital for those business individuals who have revenue-generating websites.
7. Google Analytics For WordPress By MonsterInsights
After publishing your website, you must monitor it to gauge the website performance, visitors, bounce rates, etc. to know how it is performing on the search engines and SEO stats. You will need the assistance of an effective plugin as you can’t generate these reports yourself.
Google Analytics is one of the popular and most recommended statistical tools for understanding your audience, understanding traffic and catering to them is a great technique to increase your user traffic. Therefore, using an effective Google Analytics tool for the WordPress website is an obvious priority.
In order to fulfill the requirement, MonsterInsights is one of the great plugins out there. The plugin lets you know where the visitors are coming from, how long are they staying on your website, which page are they visiting, etc.
Besides, you can monitor various real-time stats, track user views from several platforms, receive multiple demographics and interest reports.
If you have a business website, then the plugin will provide you a complete report of your business stats including product popularity, order values, conversion rates, etc.
Thankfully, the tool is integrated with Google AdSense which generates ad performance reports as well. In addition, the plugin will let you track outbound link tracking, download numbers, event tracking, and more.
8. MailChimp For WordPress
Is there anyone who doesn’t know the power of Email Marketing for a growing business? Email Marketing helps a business reach to the targeted audience and generate potential leads. Through a promotional Email, you can deliver alluring messages and exciting offers to urge your customer to purchase your service.
To do the task efficiently, you need an effective email marketing tool to send bulk messages, manage your subscribers, and track the results.
Integrating MailChimp with your WordPress website will make the task easy. MailChimp claims themselves as the best Email Marketing tools which are absolutely authentic. The tool will help you create beautiful subscription forms on your blog.
If you are looking to use it for business purposes, you can try the paid version and enjoy advanced features. With the plugin, you can create stunning opt-in forms and even integrate with the other contact forms. You will have full control over your subscriber list and send them monthly newsletters easily.
9. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
As long as you have a website, you need a reliable backup system for any inconvenience. When we discuss a website’s security, there is no better option than having a powerful backup. As a business owner, you will never compromise losing your customer and business data for any hardware failure or an attack.
More than millions of individuals including me recommend using UpdraftPlus as it is one of the most reliable plugins to backup and restore your website data with just a few clicks. The tool is specialized to create actual-time backups of your website.
With UpdraftPlus, you can keep daily backups of your website and manage several websites through a single dashboard. It also comes with powerful spam protection and detects threads on your website and emails you with the possible solutions.
Did your website or blog just go down or hacked?
No worries- just restore the website and have it as good as new. Although the plugin is free, advanced features can be availed by purchasing the premium packs.
WooCommerce is the must-have plugin if you run an online business. The plugin has been widely accepted and the most trusted eCommerce solution.
With plenty of features, the tool will enable you to build a feature-rich online store within minutes. You can get access to the advanced capabilities by upgrading to the premium versions.
With the plugin, you can sell anything, smartly. According to WordPress, 30% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce.
It offers you sell products in all sizes and shapes, multiple configurations, offer product variations and even sell affiliate products from the other marketplaces. With the paid version, you get access to memberships, re-curing subscriptions, and bookings.
By installing the plugin, you will get full control over your online store which allows you to monitor shopping stats, manage orders, and list products. WooCommerce ensures complete security of your customer’s payment options.
Now it’s time to finish. I hope this article helped you in choosing the essential plugins for your WordPress website. As mentioned above, the tools enhance the site performance, optimize speed, improve SEO and ultimately assist you to grow your business.
However, if you require more plugins for your website which you are unfamiliar with, simply with that one that has the highest number of active installations and good customer reviews.