WordPress Plugins: These Are the 20 Absolute Must-Haves

WordPress is great. Not only because you can use it to set up damn good blogs and websites for free very quickly. But also because with the huge selection of WordPress plugins you can incorporate exactly the functions you need. Instead of a huge overall package, you install a basic version and only add what you need.

There is only one catch: the number of plugins is unmanageably large. There is not just a gigantic number of functions that can be implemented through them. There are also several plugins for each function that do more or less the same thing. Therefore, especially at the beginning of your WordPress career, you need a list that gives you an overview of the best WordPress plugins.

WordPress plugins: what do I have to consider when choosing?

Most WordPress plugins are free and easy to set up after installation. Still, you shouldn’t overdo it. Because the more of the little additional programs you use, the slower your page loads. Some plugins address exactly this problem, but that would be quite cumbersome. Prefer to work according to the principle “less is more”.

So before you start installing, first make a plan of what exactly you want. Which functions should your site have later and which gimmicks can you do without? Of course, it also makes sense to check regularly whether there are updates or better alternatives to your plugins. Because with outdated plugins you increase the security risk from hackers for your website. You can recognize good WordPress plugins mainly by the fact that they have good reviews from other users and are regularly updated.WordPress Programs

These are the best WordPress plugins for 2021

Now we want to introduce you to a whole range of suitable and helpful plugins with which you can bring your website forward.

1. UPDRAFTPLUS WORDPRESS BACKUP PLUGIN

Imagine the worst case: suddenly your website is gone. There were server problems, an update tore up your site or you were the victim of a hacker – there are many reasons. Fortunately, you have an up-to-date backup to keep the damage to a minimum, right? Even if your provider creates backups for you, you shouldn’t rely on them alone. You never know how old your provider’s backups are and whether they are actually flawless and complete. So play it safe and use Updraft to ensure that your site is up-to-date. Updraft is available both as a free version and in various premium packages.

2. YOAST SEO

If you want to get ahead on Google, you cannot do without search engine optimization or SEO for short. That is why the SEO plugin from Yoast is an absolute must-have. It not only allows you to comfortably add meta descriptions and titles and creates XML sitemaps for you, but also helps with a simple traffic light system to bring your texts into shape. Another advantage is the Flesh Reading Ease value that this plugin calculates for you. This indicates how well your text can be understood and goes into detail on the style such as sentence length and the use of connecting words. Yoast SEO is available as a free version as well as a paid premium version.

For legal reasons, you must inform your site visitors if cookies are used on your site. Since every WordPress site uses cookies, you have to deal with the topic automatically. For example, tracking codes such as Google Analytics can only be activated if the site visitor has consented to the use of cookies.

4. ANTISPAM BEE

Nobody likes spam comments that blogs clog and clutter. Antispam Bee reliably helps filter out and block them. It deletes spam comments and automatically moves them to the appropriate folder, where you can conveniently delete them from time to time. Thus, Antispam Bee relieves you of this very annoying and time-consuming task.

5. OPTINMONSTER

For many, hardly anything is more important than visitors who keep coming back. Because the success of the project often depends on it. In this context, OptinMonster has a supportive effect with its well-functioning lead management. The plugin ensures that your website offers many functions and options so that customers and visitors get stuck with the so-called lead magnets and your conversion rate improves at the same time. So if you want eye-catching offers for maximum engagement, you can do this well with the paid plugin OptinMonster.

6. WORDFENCE

Wordfence costs a lot of storage space, but it more than makes up for it. It has a firewall as well as a virus scanner and also checks whether changes have been made to the WordPress files by malware or hackers. It also compares your installed plugins with the versions on the WordPress server and also detects minimal changes. Wordfence is available as a paid premium version.

7. WP SUPER CACHE

WP Super Cache is a good choice among the free WordPress plugins that reduce the loading time of your site. Caching means that a new request is not sent to the database with every new page visit, which significantly increases the loading time. Corresponding plugins store the necessary data temporarily and thus ensure a rapid page load. Even if WP Super Cache works reliably, a thorough check of your site is necessary after activation. Because sometimes the dynamic elements of online shops lead to difficulties with caching plugins. As a rule, however, there should be no problems.

8. WP FASTEST CACHE

Another alternative for good loading times is WP Fastest Cache. But don’t use more than one caching plugin at a time to avoid difficulties. If you are working on your site in the meantime, remember to clear your cache regularly so that you can really see the current page version. However, this plugin is chargeable.

9. WP SMUSH

While we are talking about loading time, graphics also play an important role. The larger an image, the slower it loads. This pisses off visitors and is penalized by Google. WP Smush shrinks the images that you upload to the media library. You can also reduce existing images with just a few clicks. This saves you loading time and storage space.

10. WP SWEEP

WP-Sweep also provides more free storage space. As the name suggests, this broom sweeps away all unused and duplicate files. This also includes deleted comments, spam, or automatic drafts. In addition, WP-Sweep optimizes your database tables.

11. AUTOPTIMIZE

Autoptimize also reduces the loading time of your page. To do this, it compresses the CSS and JavaScript files that you use on the page. The smaller file size already gives you speed. In addition, the plugin directs the calls to the footer of the theme, which further reduces the loading time.

12. WP ROCKET

This plugin is the first choice for many when it comes to improving the performance for Google ranking. WP Rocket is one of the best “all-in-one” plugins and optimizes the loading time of your website. In addition to a good page caching function, this plug-in can also convince with other functions such as combining Google Fonts, HTML, and CCS as well as LazyLoading for images and videos.

13. WPML

Would you also like to address website visitors from other countries and therefore avoid the risk of bad translations? Then you should use WPML. Because this paid plugin enables different language versions of your web content. The premium version offers you functions such as translation aids for articles, entire pages, or menus, but also automatic browser speech recognition. This means that you can not only offer a multilingual website, but also an optimal user experience for visitors from abroad.

14. REDIRECTION

Sooner or later you will have to deal with the topic of redirects. Redirection allows you to set up 301, 302, or 307 redirects very intuitively. It also shows you 404 error messages so you can set up correct redirects. So neither search engines nor your site visitors see the non-existent site. If you change your domain once, you can use this WordPress plugin to notify the search engines of the move and thus do not fly out of the index.

15. CONTACT FORM 7

With Contact Form 7 you set up and manage contact forms. The plugin offers functions such as text fields, checkboxes, an email field, and other features. If a page visitor uses the form, you will receive an email that you can adapt with this plugin. You can also set the visitor to receive a copy of this message. To comply with the GDPR, you can add a consent checkbox for data protection. Here the user consents to the processing of his data before he can send you a message.

There is hardly anything more annoying than when set links are no longer up-to-date after a while and lead to nowhere. But the more content you have, the more difficult it is for you to control all links at all times. Broken Link Checker does this for you and finds broken links and missing images. In addition, this plugin prevents search engines from following broken links. These links are processed via the plugin page so that you do not have to search for individual posts first.

17. THRIVE ARCHITECT

Thrive Architect enables you to design pages individually and easily. It boosts the well-known WordPress editor, in which you write your texts either in visual or in text mode. It offers you a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Without any programming knowledge, you can individually design pages here using drag & drop. Great landing pages are no longer a problem. The paid plugin was developed together with others by Thrive Themes.

18. WOOCOMMERCE

If you want to set up an online shop, WooCommerce is the plugin of choice. It is suitable for physical and digital products in different variants. It offers the option of instant downloads for buyers or to distribute third-party affiliate products. It is also possible to calculate the shipping costs in real-time free of charge. Last but not least, the plugin supports various forms of payment. Depending on the features you want, you can add memberships or recurring subscriptions with premium extensions.

19. CUSTOM SIDEBARS

Do you know the problem that you would like to have different elements in the sidebar on your homepage than on the page with your achievements or your blog posts? Custom sidebars make this possible. It allows you to design different individual sidebars and set in which areas of your page they are displayed. In this way, the widgets in the sidebar can be tailored precisely to the respective page.

20. LIMIT LOGIN ATTEMPTS RELOADED

To crack a WordPress site, hackers often use the brute force method: They try as many passwords as possible until they happen to find the right one. Limit Login Attempts Reloaded is the successor to Limit Login Attempts, but the principle is the same: You determine after how many incorrect logins attempts a block will be activated and how long it will last. With this, you make brute force attacks impossible or at least very, very difficult.

Conclusion: the less, the better

As I said at the beginning, there are countless important WordPress plugins. With this list, you have a very good overview of important and useful plugins with which you can get very far. And the more precisely you know what you want to implement, the more specifically you can search for other plugins. But remember: having a lot of plugins doesn’t mean that your website just keeps getting better. On the contrary: more plugins make a website slower and possibly more vulnerable. Therefore, think carefully about which plugins are really helpful and which you can easily do without.

Related Articles

MORE