WordPress is the primary need that any blogger will come across. One of the most widely used blogging platforms, WordPress does come with its own set of settings out of the box. Even then, there is also a chance for improvement and added customization.
Adding a few plugins will definitely help you make your WordPress installation more functional and even ready for enterprise solutions. We present the top ten coolest WordPress Plugins for your benefit. Let us discuss the top 10 WordPress plugins that we have chosen from hundreds of them available online.
What are Plugins?
Simply explained, Plugins are small pieces of software that work within another program. You can use these plugins to add additional functionality to your website.
What makes WordPress plugins your best companion is the fact that they do not need any kind of coding. Plugins are created using PHP programming language. They can be used to perform a set of applications and thus can be helpful even when you have no programming knowledge.
One of the advantages that these plugins offer you is the high degree of customization. They allow easy installation or uninstallation and thus will not affect the normal functioning of your website.
Top Ten Must Have WordPress Plugins
Well, having understood what a plugin is and how it helps you customize your website, it is time to list out the must-have plugins for WordPress. Please note that plugins are designed for a specific purpose. A broader classification can be SEO Plugins, Plugins for speed optimization, Social media plugin, and security plugin among a huge list of other functionalities.
This is one of the most popular plugins used for WordPress. In fact, it is one of the default plugins you can use with WordPress.
The plugin works with an extensive API as well. The major function area of the plugin is to filter spam comments. Designed as an anti-spam filter, Akismet lets you check the status history so that you can find which comments have been treated as spam.
You can also view the links within the comments and remove inappropriate ones. If you are using it for personal sites and blogs, it is free, while for commercial uses the plugin offers monthly subscription plans.
Images talk more than the text. And that is exactly what makes them an essential part of your blogs. The images can also drive your point more effectively.
However, images tend to take up more space. This can slow down your site considerably. But, you cannot undermine the importance of images on your site either. That is exactly where a plugin called WP Smush can come to your rescue.
WP Smush lets you compress your images without compromising the quality. The plugin can work with an image in any format including JPG, PNG, or GIF formats. The advanced compression technology used in the plugin ensures that you can save storage space.
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As any seasoned blogger should be aware, Yoast SEO is the powerful plugin that takes care of the SEO requirements of your website. The plugin comes out of the box with every WordPress installation.
Yoast guides to make your content SEO friendly. It suggests the minor (or at times, major) tweaks you can incorporate into your website to improve your search engine ranking. In fact, it works from two perspectives. You can use it to make your content user-friendly so that it is readable with ease, and also SEO friendly.
Some of the ways it helps you include letting you choose a focus keyword and use the keywords effectively. There are several sections within the plugin that handle page analysis, SEO, and readability statistics. In essence, the plugin helps you master search engines without any trouble.
W3 Total Cache
Static page caching can help you save site loading time. Not only cache but the plugin also lets you optimize your site in more ways than one.
A cache is a place where a program stores the data temporarily so that the site will be opened faster when the user opens the same page next time. Caching can be the best way you can use to improve the performance of your site. The plugin stores your data in the form of HTML files. This will enhance the site loading time and its performance completely.
This will also affect SEO in a positive way.W3 Total Cache is one of the popular and excellent caching plugins for WordPress. It comes with several features like page cache, database caching, and object caching.
The 301 redirect errors can be detrimental to the popularity of your site. There are a few plugins that would help you manage the redirection issues.
Maybe you have changed the permalinks on your site and forgot to redirect the same. When a visitor to your site visits a path that no longer exists, they will land on a page that does not exist. If that happens with your site a couple of times, that can be a sure way to disappoint your visitors.
Redirection is a plugin that can be extremely helpful in such cases. It helps you manage all 301 errors and also helps you keep track of the 404 errors. Whenever you change the URL of a page, the plugin will add a 301 redirection. You can also add 301, 302, and 307 redirections manually to this plugin.
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The plugin can be useful at a time when you migrate from an older site. This can be helpful in cases where search engines and search queries request the old URLs.
Security is one of the important aspects you need to take care of. Hacking is something that can throw all your blogs out of sync. That is precisely what a security plugin takes care of.
The web is filled with several bots and malicious sites that can harm your hard work. Keeping these hackers away, and securing your website can one of the important tasks you need to take care of. Wordfence is one such plugin that can handle the security of your site.
The plugin comes with several security features rolled into one. Some of the worthy mentions can be firewall protection, malware scanning, and login security among others.
The Wordfence security plugin helps you track your site for real-time traffic that includes bots, 404 errors, and logins. You can also use the blocking feature to block the known kind of attacks. In all, it is an all-time capable plugin for your blog.
Jetpack is an all in one plugin that helps you in more ways than one. It is a must-have plugin for all your requirements.
It does add multiple features to your website. Improved security, better performance, and features to engage your visitors are some of the features that add up real value to your site.
It helps you have proper engagement with your readers. Spam free comments, social media integration, related posts, reply by email are the way with which you can have a perfect too and fro communication with your visitors.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin helps you create an XML sitemap of your blog automatically. You should always have a sitemap in place if you really want to rank better on search engines.
Indexing your blog and its content would be an easy task with an appropriate plugin. Nothing can beat the performance of Google XML sitemaps in that regard. If you have a sitemap in place, it would be easy for the web crawlers to find the content and structure of your site.
This will also be helpful in retrieving the results in an effective manner. With Google XML Sitemaps, your content will be notified to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Taking a backup of your site is always one of the most needed tasks you need to perform with your site. Though the hosting companies do take care of backing up your site, it may not be a good idea to rely on them alone.
BackUpBuddy is one of the most popular plugins you can use for backing up your content. The plugin is known to have a straightforward way of functioning without much ado. It helps you in migrating your website as it can take a complete backup and easily migrate onto another site.
The plugin can also work with a host of different cloud services like DropBox and Google Drive. You can schedule regular backups. The plugin is capable of taking full backups or even database backups. BackUpBuddy can also be used to selective backup of your site as well.
Share by SumoMe
User interaction is one of the most important ways to popularize your blog. Social media is one of the most practical ways to engage with readers. A good plugin that can take care of this is Share SumoMe.
The plugin lets you add up social sharing buttons to different sections of your blog. You can also add it up as a floating bar. The site does support over 15 social network sites. The plugin can show up the social share counts. You can also have a count of total shares.
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The Share by SumoMe is quite helpful in choosing a network that brings more traffic and makes use of it to further improvise your blog. In fact, you can also pinpoint the social networks that have not been performing well. This can be the best way to make improvements to your social circles.
The Final Thoughts
Well, that would conclude our list of top ten must-have WordPress Plugins in 2017. We have made an attempt to include the plugins from different genres.
Including all the popular and efficient plugins may not be an easy task in the top ten kind of articles. Our list may not be exhaustive, but we are sure we have made an attempt at including all sorts of plugins that should get your work done.
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The list above includes plugins for security, social interaction, user engagement, and backup requirements to name just a few. We assume that we have been able to cover all your needs in WordPress plugins in this collection.
Have you used any of these plugins in your blogs? If you have used them, we would be glad to know about your experiences. Do share your views and opinions with us.
If you have used any other plugin and want to let us know about them, we would welcome you to share your favorite WordPress plugins with us. We will be glad to know about them.