Self-hosted WordPress sites are versatile platforms for building a business. The secret to WordPress’ flexibility and functionality lies in customizable plugins that allow users to handle multiple tasks with minimum effort. Here are some of the top WordPress plugins for security, SEO, website optimization, analytics, and marketing.
Best WordPress Security Plugins
Security is an important consideration in today’s world.A well-secured website provides current and potential customers with a safe, consistent experience. These plugins can help prevent security issues or get a websiterunning quickly after resolving a security problem.
Sucuri’s website security and firewall app handles multiple threats: DDoS, malware, XXS, and brute force attacks. The company specializes in security for WordPress sites. In addition to blocking hacker attacks, Sucuri also offers website auditing, malware cleanup, and more.
This free security plugin thwarts would-be hackers by limiting the number of times users can enter their admin username and password before locking down further attempts. Login Lockdown records IP addresses. Default settings allow up to three attempts in a five-minute period before initiating a one-hour cooldown. However, these settings are generally adjustable through the Options menu.
Keeping a current site backup enables admins to get websites up and running again after a security breach. With BackupBuddy users can implement the plugin’s automatic backup feature for a complete backup of their website and peace of mind. Prices start at $80 per year for one website.
Must Have SEO WordPress Plugins
SEO tools help your website rank higher in search engines. Multiple factors influence page ranking, including keywords, usability, and using headers and meta tags effectively. Use these plugins to optimize your WordPress website content.
Yoast SEO plugin is a user-friendly website optimization tool. Yoast SEO helps users select and use keywords effectively for both visible and behind-the-scenes content. The readability feature enables users to gauge whether posts are easy to understand. Other Yoast SEO features improve how pages look in search engine results. The bare bones version is free,and premium prices tend to be affordable annually.
Rich snippets provide extra information about your website content and blog posts to search engines. In turn, that can improve how your content is displayed in search results. Examples of rich snippets include star ratings, reviews, and images. This free informational plugin can help you get Search Engine Results Page (SERP) enhancements and improve click-through rates to your WordPress blog or website from search engines.
Broken links and 404 (page not found) errors frustrate visitors and increase bounce rates. The free Broken Link Checker is a plugin for WordPress that monitors broken links and notifies users that corrections are necessary. It also provides monitoring and notification for missing images for quick replacement.
Having well-defined tags and categories is one factor that influences SEO rankings. This free plugin for WordPress is an SEO tool that enables new users to tag and categorize posts effectively. Effective tags and categories make site navigation easier and streamline visitor experiences.
This free plugin for WordPress automatically creates an XML sitemap of your website when activated. XML sitemaps allow search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to read and index the content on websites more efficiently, which can increase rankings and SEO traffic to your website.
Most Popular Image and Site Optimization WordPress Plugins
Website optimization also affects page rankings; visitor bounce rates increase when pages load slowly. These WordPress plugins reduce page load time and improve website performance.
The native version of WordPress does allow the creation of basic image galleries. You can create rich, engaging, visually appealing and responsive image galleries using the Envira Gallery plugin. Create multiple image galleries, albums, lightbox popups and more with this image gallery plugin.
Sliders display interactive content like photos, announcements, and products. Soliloquy sets the bar for WordPress slider plugins. It is streamlined and beautiful without slowing page load time. Prices start at an affordable per year rate; upgrades include WooCommerce integration, templates, scheduled slides, lightbox and carousel features.
This ingenious plugin lets users convert websites to app format. Visitors can view the site from their smartphones instead of being limited to desktop access. The best feature is that users do not have to direct traffic to the App Store for the site to be usable. Pricing starts at $69 for one website.
This freemium plugin caches pages from your WordPress site as static HTML then displays them to users. Since the site does not have to load a new page every time someone accesses it, page load times reduce significantly. Theupgrade offers more versatility and the free version still has plenty of features.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can cache and load the static content on your website — like images. You can speed up your website using CDN because the static content no longer needs to load every time someone visits your site. MaxCDN is among the most reliable CDN services for WordPress websites.
We are a visual society, so using images on webpages makes sense. However, those same images take up valuable storage space and increase page load times. WP Smush compresses images;the pictures look great but take up less room and load quickly. Often it is wise to try the free version or upgrade to WP Smush Pro for a 30-day trial before trying a paid subscription.
Best WordPress Analytics Plugins
Analytics tools provide information about how visitors reach sites and their activities during each visit. This information is invaluable because it indicates the best investment for marketing dollars. These plugins are essential for any business.
This plugin integrates with Google Analytics to provide traffic information for your WordPress website. Learn how visitors approach your site and how long they engage with your content with this tool.
Jetpack is a jack-of-all-trades WordPress plugin. In addition to analytics, it also helps users optimize images, customize website appearance, and keep your WordPress website secure. The WordPress team created this free plugin.
Smart Marketing WordPress Plugins
Marketing techniques can make or break a business. These online marketing plugins help users collect, store, and use contact information for marketing campaigns.
WordPress to Buffer is a plugin you need to allow your WordPress site to communicate with Buffer automatically. With it, you can send updates to Buffer automatically every time you update your WordPress blog or website.
Converting visitors who are leaving a site into valuable email leads is a necessity in today’s e-commerce economy. OptinMonster enables users to do just that. With pricing options as low as $9/month, there is no reason not to use this plugin.
Building web forms without a developer is possible with this drag-and-drop form plugin. Website and mobile-friendly contact forms, payment forms, and more are available with this plugin. The lite version is free. Premium plans offer features like PayPal and MailChimp integration.
MailChimp is an email marketing tool that assists users with creating email campaigns and tracking results. The MailChimp WordPress plugin integrates with contact form managers like WooCommerce, Buddy Press, and the default WordPress forms, among others. MailChimp offers a free version and annual upgrades with price breaks for additional sites are available at higher tiers.
Constant Contact is a beginner-friendly email marketing platform. It includes integrated tools for adding signup forms and works well with lead generation software like OptinMonster. Pricing is based on email list size, with a 60-day free trial and discounts for prepayment for six month or annual periods.
WordPress plugins improve functionality and provide valuable tools for web content creation and analysis, marketing, and more. Knowing which plugins to use on your WordPress site can help you grow your business online and optimize your website appearance.
CEO, Flying Cow Design
Attended University of Auckland
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area