Plugins are definitely one of the best things about WordPress.
Plugins are essentially packages of code that allow you to add extra functionality to your website. There’s pretty much a plugin for everything!
There are currently over 50,000 plugins available, so which ones are my favourites?
In this post, I’m going to share my favourite plugins for WordPress.
1 | Yoast SEO
When it comes to SEO, there is a load of plugins out there to help you to better optimise your website and it’s content. My SEO plugin of choice is Yoast SEO.
Yoast SEO is a free plugin that analyses the content of your posts and pages and based on keywords it provides suggestions for how you can improve your content.
Not only that, Yoast SEO has many other helpful features that will help drive organic traffic to your website. It allows you to easy submit sitemaps to search engines, it integrates with the Google Search Console, and it provides important meta information that is required for Rich Pins on Pinterest and Twitter Cards. It’s a very powerful and useful plugin to have.
I’ve shared a few posts on Yoast SEO so if you are interested in reading them you can find them all here.
2 | Akismet
I’m sure if you allow for commenting on your website then you will know how much of a pain spam comments can be.
Personally, I don’t like turning on comment moderation because that makes more work for me! So instead I use an anti-spam plugin called Akismet.
Akismet catches comments left on your WordPress site that it determines to be spam. So far, Akismet has caught almost 7,000 comments here on HollyPryce.com, which is crazy!
Want to learn how to install and setup Akismet? I’ve got a tutorial for you which you can find here.
3 | UpdraftPlus
Making regular backups of your website is so important. You wouldn’t want to lose all of your hard work, would you?
When it comes to making backups, my go-to plugin is UpdraftPlus. It’s a free plugin that allows you to schedule automatic backups, and it automatically sends a copy of your backup to a remote storage location, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Once you’ve set up UpdraftPlus correctly, you don’t have to think about making backups because it’s done for you.
If you’re interested in learning how to install and set up UpdraftPlus on your own website, check out this tutorial.
4 | WooCommerce
You may or may not know that you can easily add an online shop to your website using a plugin.
One of the best e-commerce plugins for WordPress is WooCommerce. It’s a free plugin that allows you to sell both physical and digital products, and it easily integrates with some of the most popular payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe.
Although I’m not currently using WooCommerce myself at the moment, I have used it on my client’s websites and I’m launching a project very soon that will utilise it (stay tuned for that!).
If you’d like to start using WooCommerce, I recommend checking out the tutorials I have created on installing and setting up WooCommerce.
5 | WPForms Lite
A contact form is pretty much an essential part of any website.
I personally use WPForms Lite for creating forms on my website. What I love about this plugin is how easy it is to use. All you have to do is drag and drop the fields you want to use into place and paste the shortcode that is generated wherever you want the form to be displayed on your website.
I have a tutorial on creating a simple contact form using WPForms Lite if you are interested in learning how to set one up.
6 | Advanced Custom Fields
Advanced Custom Fields is hands down my favourite WordPress plugin as a developer.
Advanced Custom Fields allows you to add your own fields to the WordPress admin area. As a developer, I use this plugin to make my client’s website as easy as possible for them to customise without having to touch a single piece of code.
Although this is a free plugin, there is a paid version of it. I don’t often purchase plugins, but I love Advanced Custom Fields so much I have actually invested in the pro version. So you know it must be good!
7 | W3 Total Cache
I know that I go on and on about website speed a lot, but having a slow website could really be affecting your ranking in search engines.
One way in which you can improve the loading time of your WordPress website is installing a caching plugin.
This website explains caching far better than I ever could, but basically, it prevents WordPress from needing to reload everything every time you reload the website. Therefore, your website will load quicker.
My favourite caching plugin to use is W3 Total Cache. Out of all the caching plugins I’ve tried, this one seems to be the most effective, and when I install in on a website I usually see an immediate difference in the speed of the website.
8 | Smush
Another way you can improve the loading time of your website is optimising your images.
I have many people come to me and tell me that their website is slow to load, and I’d say about 90% of the time the main issue is images.
The good news is you can install a plugin that will optimise your images for you. Personally, I use Smush (its full name is “Smush Image Compression and Optimisation”) and it works wonders for me.
Duplicator is a plugin I use a lot with my clients and it saves me so much time and work!
Replicating a WordPress website can be a complicated process, particularly if you aren’t comfortable with working with databases, but Duplicator makes this process relatively pain free.
10 | Classic Editor
I have to come clean to you guys; I’m still not ready to let go of the classic WordPress editor! I’ve been using WordPress for a decade now and I’m finding it hard to part with the editor we all know and love.
I’m also finding that when I do use the new Gutenberg editor it can be quite buggy, so until those issues get ironed out I’m using the Classic Editor plugin to revert the posts and page editor back to the original one.
WordPress has said that the Classic Editor plugin is only going to be supported until 2021, so I know I’ll have to bite the bullet and move over to the block editor.
So tell me, what is your favourite plugin?