WordPress is not only a blogging platform, now it has become most advanced CMS also. You can use WordPress installation for any type of website, ranging from a simple blog to a large eCommerce website. You can use WordPress for membership website or for a video or other multimedia publication, and much more. Do you know how these customizations are possible – WordPress Plugins or themes or custom coding in application core?
Actually, the whole flexibility is only possible because of different types of WordPress plugins. In short, WordPress plugins make it more advanced and useful than other platforms. You can use different types of plugins for different functions of WordPress website or blog. Moreover, there’s probably a plugin for any function you want on WordPress. So, selection of plugins depends on your personal requirements.
10 Must Have WordPress Plugins.
Below is the list of the essential plugins for every WordPress website, with their alternatives too. If you want to take your blog to the next level.
Must Have Free WordPress Plugins:
JetPack is a powerful WordPress plugin to make your website more feature rich. It can be used to replace more than 10 plugins. JetPack integrates a self-hosted blog with WordPress.com, which already has lots of advanced features. After installation, you will have to connect it with a WordPress.com account.
JetPack Alternatives: Not available yet. Practically you have to use more than 20 plugins for all the features of JetPack.
WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is still number one plugin to handle all around SEO requirements of your blog. Almost every SEO expert is using and recommending this plugin. It’s my favourite SEO plugin, that is why I am using it on all my WordPress blog.
This plugin has a great SEO potential to boost SEO of your blog. It shows an option box below in which you can customize search engine result. In general tab, you can edit snippet view, focus keyword, SEO title and meta description. In Page analysis tab, it shows overall SEO score. In ‘Advanced’, you can customize few other options like 301 redirect, follow or non-follow options etc. In ‘Social’, you can edit social media snippet and featured image.
This plugin also has its own Settings page with lots of other useful options to take your blog’s SEO to the next level.
WordPress SEO Alternatives: All in One SEO Pack
In WordPress installation, spam comments and form entry is one of the biggest problems. It may harm the whole WordPress installation, so it is always required to remove it continuously. Although you can do this manually too, but it is not possible for an active blogger to spend hours in deleting these useless contents.
If you are more serious about the security of your WordPress blog, Akismet can make sure there are negligible spam attacks on your blog. It’s free for basic use.
Akismet Alternatives: Antispam Bee
Blogging is basically an interaction between you and your readers. There should be a perfect balance and useful relationship with your readers. Although relationship starts as they become your reader, but there should also be an ease of communication between you both. This great job can be done by a perfect plugin called Gravity Forms.
This plugin will help you to make everything related to forms from the simple contact form, user generated contents, payment forms to a complex lead generation box etc.
Alternatives: Contact Form 7
Google Analytics helps you to see what is happening on your blog. This gives you an overall data of how, how much and from where your visitors are coming. This data is very useful for perfect content creation, advertising and targeting purpose. This plugin will do what you need is a Google analytics tight integration.
Alternatives: WP Google Analytics
Perhaps you know the importance of collecting email addresses on your blog. So, if you want to attract more subscribers to your blog, you have to use a perfect opt-in form on your blog. You should add better, sweet and simple opt-in forms on appropriate places on your blog. Practically you don’t know which is going to be the best place for opt-in forms on the blog.
For different places, you have to install more than one plugins for the same purpose. But if you are looking for one-stop WordPress plugin for any type of opt-in forms, you should try Optinmonster. It’s very easy to use, and it has options to add opt-in form almost on every effective place on your blog.
Do you know what is the main and permanent traffic source? Social Media, paid or organic traffic? Of course, it is the organic traffic from any search engine, and it should be your first priority to increase the potential of your blog to get more and more organic traffic. There are thousands of blogs writing the same thing on the web, there may be a tough competition for your blog to appear on the top of the result page.
Writing a good quality content is not enough to compete in this race, you have to tell Google and other search engine that you have better content. Do you know, how can you do this?
SEO is the best practice to get a special attention of search engine towards your blog. But is it easy to get the attention on right time? Submitting sitemap of your blog in Webmaster tool is the best practice to tell Goolge you have a new update on your blog on real time. But technically creating a sitemap is not a very easy job for everyone.
Sitemap plugin for WordPress is the best tool to tell Google or other search engines that you have that there is some fresh and new content on your blog. This helps them in indexing your blog faster than usual. If you are not using a sitemap, you should add it as fast as possible.
Alternatives: In-build sitemap in WordPress SEO by Yoast.
The ultimate goal of blogging is to make money from it or get quality traffic for your business. Using call to action (CTA) button is one of the easiest ways to convert traffic into the desired goal of blogging. Hello Bar is a very effective plugin to get special attention of visitors on the most important pages of your blog. This is very light and easy to use as counting 1, 2, 3 and go.
Who likes a slow website, which takes a lot of time to load completely, do you? Now even search engines like faster websites, therefore they have added speed as one of the most influencing factors for SEPR.
W3 Total Cache can help you to increase speed and performance of your WordPress blog. You must use it, especially if you are using a Shared or VPS without CDN. It also provides an easy option to add CDN to your blog, but it’s not necessary for small and medium size blog.
Alternative: WP Super Cache
Your blog is just like a machine, so it can have technical problems at any time. But who knows even a small error in your blog can delete or destroy your blog. Also, if you are a hot blogger, there may be a list of bad guys who do not like your blog, so they always try to do something wrong on your blog.
To avoid such undesired situation you should make a recent backup of your blog. As a blogger, you may not have enough time to do this manually, because it’s irritating.
There are lots of WorPress plugins for this, but BackWPup is most popular and almost number one WordPress backup plugin . Basically, it’s a free plugin but for the very advanced feature you can use its pro version, which is not required for small and medium size blog.
WordPress has a great potential to adjust itself for any type of website. This amazing customization can be done by using different types of plugins for specific purposes. So, selection of the best plugins from a large collection always depends on your personal requirements. But these are must-have WordPress plugins for any kind of website.
It does not matter what type of website you have, use these plugins to boost the potential of your WordPress blog for maximum results from it. Which is your favourite plugin?