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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you will have heard of WordPress. It is currently the most widely used CMS (content management system) on the Internet. WordPress has over 60 million users and powers about 25% of all websites on the Internet today. And this isn’t just because it’s free, but because it is also very easy to use, fast, and flexible enough to meet the needs of any user.
To get the most out of your website, however, you need plugins – small pieces of code that extend your website’s functionality (and they’re not nearly as creepy as that sounds). In this article, we take a look at some of the best WordPress plugins around right now.
What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress doesn’t do everything. It is only a content management system after all. That means it doesn’t come with built-in features for handling things like SEO, user logins, or social media integration. Instead, to extend its abilities, WordPress has plugins. WordPress plugins are little snippets of code that can be added to your website to add any number of features.
They are considered extensions for the core functionality of the WordPress platform as they extend its basic functionalities and offer new features that make your blog more efficient and effective in reaching your audience and vice versa. They are also known as “add-ons” or “extensions”.
Rank Math for SEO
The most important component for any site, let alone a WordPress site, is its ranking in search engines. If no one can find your website, it’s not doing you much good, is it? Rank Math helps to increase your site’s organic search engine ranking by making sure your site is optimized for SEO. The plugin also helps to stop unnecessary backlinks from ruining your rankings, and it can even prevent you from being penalized by Google due to excessive spam. You can use this plugin to do things like optimizing your title, description, and tags for better SEO, add relevant keywords throughout your content, use stronger link anchor text, and even set a Google Structured Data code to tell Google that your website has a contact/address/phone number.
WordFence for Security
You probably don’t want your website to be targeted by hackers, but unfortunately, it happens a lot more often than you would expect. In fact, about 30% of all websites are hacked or have some sort of malware on them. Luckily, there is a WordPress security plugin that can protect your website from all of the above and more. This plugin is called WordFence and it is one of the most widely used security plugins around. WordFence not only scans your website for viruses and malware, but it also has a firewall built-in that can block suspicious IP addresses from accessing your website. This plugin also has a malware removal tool, and it can even prevent hackers from accessing your site in the first place.
Google Site Kit for Analytics
While the two plugins above were focused on keeping your website safe and getting it to the top of search engines, this next plugin is more focused on helping you understand how your visitors are using your website. Google Site Kit is perfect if you want to track your site’s traffic, understand your customers and work out how to improve your website. It is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to know what type of people visit their site and what they do when they get there. You can use the plugin to see where your visitors come from, what pages they visit on your site, how long they stay there, and even how they found your site in the first place. Other useful features of this plugin include visitor insights, tracking goals and campaigns, integration with Google Analytics, and even the ability to create custom user segments.
WP Forms for Contact Forms
As well as being a great way to build your online presence, a website is also the perfect way to make connections with potential customers. After all, what better way to let someone know about your business than by actually letting them know about it? WP Forms helps you to add a contact form to your website that can be used to collect information from visitors. It also automatically stores this information for you so you can refer back to it later. With this plugin, you have complete control over what information is collected, where it is stored, and who has access to it. You can also choose to share your contact information with those who fill out the form if you wish to do so.
Jetpack for Basically Everything
Now, this plugin is one you will have to be careful about, but only because it is so useful. It is called the Jetpack plugin and it is provided by the parent company of WordPress (Automattic). All of the functionality of this plugin is dependent on how much you pay for it. The higher the package you purchase, the more functionality you get out of the plugin. For example, the “Pro” package gives you access to things such as a stats and insights system, a social media management system, a mobile editing and publishing system, and a traffic moderation system. Jetpack also gives you access to a secure system that can help you moderate your traffic, protect your site from malicious users, a caching system that speeds up your website, and even a more advanced SEO tool.
ShortPixel for Image Optimization
The last plugin we will be covering today is one that is going to help your website’s speed. We have already covered how to speed up your WordPress site, so now we need to look at images. ShortPixel will help to optimize all of your images for you, reducing their file size and speeding up your website in the process. This is perfect if your images are taking too long to load because it can help to reduce your page load times. Even if you don’t use this plugin, you should still be optimizing your site’s images. After all, every second your website is taking to load is one more second that your visitors are waiting for your content.
Now you have 5 WordPress plugins that will help you take your website to the next level. You have security, analytics, a contact form, image optimization, and speed improvements. They can also be used together to improve your website in a number of ways. For example, the image optimization plugin will help to speed up your site by reducing the file size of your images. It can also prevent your images from slowing down your site due to excess images being on your pages. Your website is a reflection of your business, and making sure that it is as efficient as possible will help you to generate more leads and boost your sales. These plugins can help you to achieve that and more.