To understand the best WordPress Plugins for your website, you first need to understand what Plug-ins are. If you were a website developer some years ago, you would need to be proficient at several coding languages to add functions to your website. Suppose you think of something simple like adding a social button to your site like Twitter, for example. The web developer would need to write a code or a link to Twitter and add an image on all the pages.
With the introduction of WordPress and its many associated Plug-ins, this is no longer the case. All a developer or site builder needs to do now is search for a Plug-in and install it with the click of a button.
Why Do We Need WordPress Plugins?
We can’t truly understand why we need plugins until we’ve planned our site and understood what we want from our site. When we have a good idea of the functions the site requires, we can understand the best WordPress Plugins for its needs.
What Do WordPress Plugins Do?
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To understand WordPress Plugins is to understand that there’s nothing they cannot do. WordPress.org is an open-source project meaning anyone can produce any Plug-in they wish. This means for every problem with a WordPress website; there is a solution in the form of a Plug-in. Many plugins are used for data capture and SEO. We will look at some of the best SEO WordPress plugins shortly because it’s on the list.
Which WordPress Plugins Do I need?
The first thing to do here is please, please never have more than one Plugin doing the same job. If you do, the only failure will follow.
Secondly, the Akismet anti-spam plugin, which is now the best-known Plugin, is no longer free, so I suggest using WP-spam shield or SI CAPTCHA anti-spam.
So What Are The Best WordPress Plugins, And Which Ones Do I Need?
For this WordPress Plugin tutorial, I will outline what I believe to be the minimum requirements to run a WordPress website safely and successfully, starting with a list of WordPress plugins and a description of the function.
So, let’s get started with our list.
1. All in one SEO Pack
2. Google XML Sitemaps
3. Hide Title
4. Mail Subscribe List
5. Pretty Links
6. SEO Smart Links
7. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam
9. WP Fastest Cache
10. WP-Spam shield
11. Table Maker
12. Contact Form 7 + Download Monitor + Email Before Download
Notice that number 12 contains 3 plugins which I want to talk about as a whole because these are used together to create a subscription before the download function to your site.
Also, as a starting note, it’s always wise to run on as few plugins as possible due to the recourses these plugins use. Don’t start to panic; it’s just something to consider when you’re adding your plugins because the more you install, the more resources will be used. This could end up affecting the efficiency of the site, such as loading speeds.
All In One SEO Pack.
The all-in-one SEO pack does what it says on the tin. One of the best SEO WordPress plugin ever! Essentially, it installs an interface that allows you to configure your site SEO, so the search engine can easily make sense of your content.
It includes all these options
- *XML Sitemap support – submit your sitemap to Google and Bing and improve your SEO
- *Google Analytics support
- *Support for SEO on Custom Post Types
- *Fine tune Page Navigational Links
- *Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend the functionality
- *ONLY free plugin to provide SEO Integration for e-Commerce sites, including WooCommerce
- *Nonce Security built into All in One SEO Pack
- *Support for CMS-style WordPress installations
- *Automatically optimizes your titles for Google and other search engines
- *Generates META tags automatically
- *Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
- For beginners, you don’t even have to look at the options; it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
- For advanced users, you can fine-tune everything to optimize your SEO
- Google XML Sitemaps.
The Google XML sitemap plugin will generate an XML sitemap to help search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com better index your blog. This sitemap describes your site to the crawlers sent out by the search engines, meaning those search engines understand your pages and can serve these pages to people looking for your content.
The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress-generated pages and custom URLs and notifies all major search engines every time you create a new post or page.
This plugin has been around for 9 years and is highly rated as a plugin providing a complete XML sitemap for search engines without slowing your site down. So clearly one of the best WordPress plugins in my view.
This is a simple plugin that you will appreciate once you start creating pages and posts. If your page has the same name as your content title, then this will appear twice at the top of your page. What if you wanted your page name and content title to be the same but only show once at the top of the page. This plugin allows you to hide the page name to give you a single view.
Mail Subscribe List
If you plan to create a mailing list, then a subscriber mailing list will be essential for you. Visitors are allowed to enter their name and email address on your website, and the details are stored and available to view and modify. The data capture can be added to your WordPress site as a widget or added to a page using a shortcut code.
Advanced features include 3rd party integration, mass emailing, and double opt-in options to qualify your leads. Clever coding means this plugin works with all email service providers and allows the exportation of the mailing list. The customization is also impressive, including all the following areas that can be displayed as you prefer.
- “prepend” -> Adds a paragraph of text just inside the top of the form.
- “show name” -> If true, this with show the name label and input field for capturing the user’s name.
- “name txt” -> Text that is displayed to the left of the name input field.
- “name holder” -> Text that is displayed inside the name input box as a placeholder.
- “email txt” -> Text that is displayed to the left of the email input field.
- “smallholder” -> Text that is displayed inside the email input box as a placeholder.
- “show submits” -> If true, this with show the submit button, return required to submit the form.
- “submitted” -> Text/value that will be displayed on the form submit button.
“thank you” -> Thank you for a message that will be displayed when someone subscribes. (Will does not show if blank) The list of customization is longer than this article allows, but I think you get the idea of just how versatile this plugin really is.
Pretty Link is a must-have plugin for any affiliate marketer to protect their affiliate links and make their readers feel better about navigating to product pages.
A typical affiliate link may look something like this.
mywebsite.com/[email protected]=?00006454543/img-4988c?-8976756thef?-/hojbv599977ee444=0 As you can see, it is not very attractive, and some people do not want to click on such a link, but what if you could change that link to something like this
Instantly, it’s more friendly and more descriptive, and all you need to do was enter your original URL into Pretty Link and add the link name of your choice and click a button. In addition to cleaning up your links and protecting potentially valuable affiliate links being stolen, Pretty Link can also track and report on the use of your links. Without a doubt one of the best WordPress plugins out there.
SEO Smart Links.
This is another amazing SEO WordPress plugin, helping you create internal links to your pages and posts, which tells the search engine crawlers how important certain pages are and really helps with your SEO.
The SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding pages transparently.
SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam.
Whenever a reader leaves a comment on your post, they must enter CAPTCHA anti-spam before submitting.
- This is to prevent spam attacks that fill your comment in a tray within hours.
- Features include:
- *Configure from Admin panel
- *Valid HTML
- *Allows Trackbacks and Pingbacks.
- *Setting to hide the CAPTCHA from logged in users and or admins
- *Setting to show the CAPTCHA on the forms for comments, registration, lost password, login, or all.
- Sociable gives you the option to add multiple social buttons to your site.
It is a feature-packed plugin allowing a degree of customization so you can select and customize features like text, color, and length to ensure visitors have a great Sociable Experience. This is a free Plug-in with over 1.5 million downloads so far which is a testament to its abilities and popularity as one of the best WordPress plugins.
WP Fastest Cache.
Every time a user opens a web page, both the server, the website, it’s on, and the computer viewing the website utilizes resources such as CPU, Memory. When pages are rendered, PHP and MySQL are used on the server, taking up precious resources. The more users or visitors, the more resources are used. This plugin helps the process by creating static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress site, meaning fewer resources are used and load times are reduced. The setup is simple. You don’t need to modify the .htacces file. It will be modified automatically.