One of the reasons WordPress is used so widely (40% of websites) is because of its extensive plugin library. As I write this post, it has over 55,000 free plugins, and thousands of more premium plugins, all created by skilled (and some not-so-skilled) software developers.
Not all of these plugins are created equal though. Some are great. Some… not so much.
When choosing the plugins to use on your WordPress site, you need to be careful to choose trusted plugins that have a higher number of installations, solid reviews, and are well supported. Otherwise, it’s easy to get in trouble and bog down your site and/or cause security issues.
Here are five of the top five plugins I recommend. We use these on nearly all of our supported websites.
This plugin is by-far, the best SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to configure, provides plenty of helpful recommendations, is very well-supported and is very lightweight.
Yoast SEO is installed and running on over 5 million websites as I write this post. It’s definitely a must have if you’re not already using it.
This plugin is an “all-in-one” performance plugin that handles some of the most impactful web performance best practices in a single plugin. It’s a great 80/20 approach to performance as it handles image optimization, database optimization, caching, minifying, and more.
It also automates most of these processes over time to make performance optimization simple on your website. About 10 minutes of configuring this plugin will have your site running much faster than ever before.
That said, you’ll need to be careful with the database and image portion of this plugin. You can get yourself in trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing. Contact us if you’d like us to set this up for you.
Check it out here – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/
I started using Wordfence a few years ago when I had a request from a client to lock down their website because they had some hacked links. This is a web application firewall that sits on top of WordPress to thwart off would-be attackers from gaining access to a website.
It has several security features, such as IP throttling and blocking, user lockouts, blacklisting, login security, proactive scanning, alerts, and more. Knowing how to configure it properly is a must however, so let us know if we can help you with that. You can get yourself in trouble and even lock yourself out of your own website if you don’t use it correctly.
Check it out here – https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
Really Simple SSL
This plugin is great so making SSL encryption simple on a website. It handles redirects from http files to make them load over https. This ensures all information shared on the site is protected, especially form data. You can configure it in just a few clicks and make sure you get that ever-important padlock in your browser.
Check it out here – https://wordpress.org/plugins/really-simple-ssl/
We create a lot of forms for our clients, from contact forms to quote forms and even forms that do things such as patient intake. Ninja forms is one of the most popular form softwares out there. It makes creating forms very simple, offers a lot of addons if needed, and is quite lightweight and well supported.
Check it out here – https://wordpress.org/plugins/ninja-forms/
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