You just created your brand new website now you need to know the best WordPress plugins to use.
With over 50,000 WordPress plugins it can be a little overwhelming for someone just starting out.
This guide will take you through not only the best plugins but also those that you should consider essential for starting your online business.
What is a WordPress Plugin
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website? They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.
They can offer and improve security, forms, SEO, page speed and just about anything you can think of for a website.
However, be aware that the use of too many can impact your site speed and that can mean the loss of visitors and high bounce rate.
The total number to use depends on your site and what you need, but the general rule of thumb would be between 5 and 10 – but this is just a personal choice, try things out, see what works.
Different websites and different Niches may require different plugins, however, there are some plugins that every blog should consider.
This post will include Free plugins and some that are paid to upgrade for more features.
Best WordPress Plugins for 2019
This list includes some of the best WordPress SEO plugins, security plugins, speed optimization plugins, marketing, and social media plugins. These plugins will help you to make your site robust, secure, SEO friendly and complete.
1. Yoast SEO (Free): Premium Available
I’ve spoken about Yoast SEO in a previous post, Free SEO Tools and I just love the plugin.
Everyone will tell you that to help with ranking on the Search Engines you need to optimize your SEO. This plugin has it all for me.
Since the day I installed and started using it my posts have been transformed, and here’s why:
I write my posts as naturally as possible without concentrating on filling all my content with keywords. The Yoast plugin lets me know if the SEO and Readability of my posts are good or not.
You can see if your post title and Meta description are SEO friendly. Adjust your title and description to suit your needs.
Yoast SEO checks the content of the post and feeds back if it will be readable to the visitor to your site.
Not everything has to be Green but try for as many as you can.
As you can see, in terms of readability the plugin is looking at sentence length, paragraph length etc. It’s a guide but it helps a lot.
Finally, Focus Key phrase. This is the SEO friendly keywords you want to use within your post for ranking on the search engines.
In this case, I used Free SEO Tools as my key phrase. It tells me I could do with more key phrases in the higher level sub-headings.
I could also work on my image Alt Attributes but everything else is good.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t want to be without Yoast SEO as my go-to SEO Plugin of choice.
Over 1,000,000 people can’t be wrong.
2. WP Forms Lite (Free). Can upgrade to Pro.
All websites need a contact form. It makes it so easy for your visitors to get in touch with you.
WP Forms is, without doubt, the most friendly contact form plugin with its easy drag and drop form builder.
You can create simple contact forms, payment forms, polls and just about any other type of form you can think of for your website.
Here’s how the WordPress Plugin Works
Set up a new form using one of the templates.
Simply drag and drop the boxes you want within your contact form
When you’re done, just create a new page in WordPress, name it, hit add form and insert the form you created.
Simple as that.
Once again, this is a great plugin. There are many forms plugins on the market but I think the users and feedback speak volumes for the ease of use of this plugin.
3. WP Smush Image Optimization (Free) Can Upgrade.
Images can significantly slow down your website which is why it is essential to save all your images optimized for the web.
Resize, optimize and compress all of your images with a powerful and free plugin.
WP Smush has just a few settings that need to be configured but it is really very simple to use.
It has a slider to enable automatic compression – the creator calls it ‘smushing’. This is one of the nicest features because once you have it enabled, the plugin will automatically compress new images as you add them to your WordPress media library so you don’t have to worry about doing anything automatically.
It also allows you to choose which file sizes in your WordPress library to optimize. It even detects special sizes defined in your WordPress theme.
When you add an image to your WordPress library WP Smush can resize it automatically for you.
Full image resizing is a great feature that takes the worry away for you. The plugin also detects what the current maximum image size your theme is set to display so you have an idea of what to set your maximums at.
The great thing here is that once set you can forget everything as WP Smush will do the work for you with all the images you add.
If you have just added WP Smush to your WordPress site and you are already up and running it has a great feature call Bulk Smushing.
You should only need to do this as a one-off but you can have it resize and compress all your current images with the click of a button.
On the free option, you get to ‘bulk smush’ 50 images at a time. But you can do them over and over so if you have say, 200 images, you just run it 4 times.
With Premium, you can do the lot at once.
4. Analytify – Google Analytic Dashboard (Free)
If you have Yoast SEO installed you might quickly learn that there isn’t an easy option to link your Google Analytics to your site.
This is where Analytify comes in. Analytify is one useful WordPress plugin for Google analytic users to check Google analytic stats right from the WordPress dashboard.
Which means you can see you Google Analytic without having to leave your site.
It also lets you check individual posts/pages stats from the post editor section.
I know that MonsterInsights is a hugely popular plugin and I tried it previously. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to link with my Google Analytics account, which I believe has happened to a few people.
I stumbled upon Analytify and I’m glad I did because it has turned out to be a great addition for me.
5. Sassy Social Share (Free)
Sassy Social Share enables your website users to share the content over Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit and over 100 more social sharing and bookmarking services.
It’s an easy to use social media plugin for WordPress with tons of options. It comes with support for many social media websites, and you can add buttons in post content as well as a sticky floating social menu.
I know there are so many social plugins out there. I have used a few. Sassy Social Share is the one that I settled with and I like it a lot, as I found it easy to set up and it seems to suit my website. Like everything, it’s a personal choice.
For me, I just like the options available to me and it’s very easy to use.
6. WP Super Cache (Free)
Excessive load times can harm your website in more ways than one. There are quite a few ways to improve your site’s speed but caching has the greatest impact.
WP Super Cache is easily the most popular free caching plugin. It works by creating static HTML files that are stored and served to visitors as well as caching and displaying files tailored to individual users.
The plugin is customizable and is a useful tool for both beginners and experts. It comes with three modes you can activate — Simple, Expert, and WP-Cache caching — so you can choose the best option for both your site and your level of expertise.
Once again, the choice of a plugin is up to the user. This is my preference and works well for my site.
7. Akismet Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin (Free)
Akismet is one of the default plugins of WordPress that comes with every new WordPress core installation. It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.
The plugin provides a status history for each comment so that you can learn which comments were found spammy by Akismet.
The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs while you have to subscribe to its monthly plans for commercial sites. Premium plans provide advanced security solution besides spam protection.
8. MailChimp for WordPress (Free)
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services to manage subscribers, send emails and track results in the bulk. On the Free version, you can have up to 2,000 subscribers which is great if your just getting started.
To integrate MailChimp for a WordPress site is really easy with the plugin MailChimp for WordPress.
It’s a free plugin which allows you to add beautiful subscription forms to your blog.
The plugin lets you create beautiful opt-in forms to add more subscribers to your email list.
These are just a few of my personal preference WordPress plugins that I use/used on my website.
There are a lot of plugins out there and a lot are a personal choice of the user. However, some of those outlined above are hard to better in their areas.
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Do you have a plugin that you love and want to share in the discussion?
Please leave your comment s below and I will respond to everyone who does.
Good luck with your website building plugins.