9 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should Install
While the core features of WordPress allow you to do a ton of customisation, there is still a lot missing. One way to overcome this is to develop the features yourself and integrate them into your theme. But why re-invent the wheel? The best way to give your theme the functionality that you want is to use WordPress plugins.
With over 42,000 WordPress plugins to choose from, not including the premium ones, it’s likely there’ll be one that fits your need. There are, however, some essential WordPress plugins that you should install. So here is a list of the top 9 essential WordPress plugins to install on your website.
The WPForms plugin allows you to easily create contact forms. The drag and drop editor makes this plugin really easy for beginners to use. You also have a number of customisation options to style the contact form. The non-premium version allows you to build simple forms while the paid version gives you greater control.
EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin is essential for speeding up your website. If you have used Google’s PageSpeed tool you will probably have an error regarding image size. Installing EWWW Image Optimizer will take care of this for you. It compresses the images as you upload them to your media library. This will allow your website to render faster. Be careful not to over optimise your images as this can distort them.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress. It allows you to ace your on-site SEO by making it easy to add meta tags and write blog posts. If you want your website’s SEO to be successful, this is the WordPress Plugin you need.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is another important WordPress Plugin for site speed. This plugin allows you to cache each page as well as setting expiration dates for the cache. You should use this plugin to cache the pages on your website that are likely to remain static.
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP for short has been promoted Google for quite some time now. AMP allows you to serve the pages of your website, usually blog posts, to mobile users faster. It does this by simplifying the layout and dependencies of a web page to display only the necessary elements. This allows users to load your articles quicker, creating a better user experience. This plugin does this for you automatically.
ManageWP – Worker
If you manage more than one WordPress site then this is the plugin for you. It allows you to manage each site from one dashboard. You have the ability to push updates, view and schedule backups, monitor security and performance. If you manage websites for clients you can also add them to the dashboard too. The plugin has a lot of premium features you can buy for $1p/m.
Use this plugin to cache and minify your websites scripts and styles. It also gives you the ability to inject above-the-fold CSS to the header as well as deferring render-blocking scripts to the footer. You can pick and choose the exact scripts you want to optimize rather than optimizing them all. Optimizing some of your scripts might cause them to break. This plugin works really well with WP Super Cache
ACF – Advanced Custom Fields
ACF gives you tons more customisation than the standard WordPress interface. This plugin gives you the ability to add over 30 different field types. These include textareas, WYSIWYG editors, range sliders and much more.