One of the benefits of WordPress is the ease of optimizing your site, fixing issues (i.e. 404 Errors), and making overall site improvements. With hundreds of plugins available, it’s easy to find one that helps bring your ideas to life but sometimes, it’s hard to find one that works how you want it to.
Our team has utilized all different plugins for all different reasons, from making site edits and fixing 404 errors to ensuring a website is properly optimized, but there are 14 that you’ll always find us using on our own site and our clients’ sites. They are the most essential plugins in our eyes and today, we’re sharing them with you!
The Best WordPress Plugins
All In One SEO
An easy-to-use SEO plugin that allows you to connect Google Analytics to your website, optimize the content on your website, and it has several features making it easy to customize how your site looks when shared across social media. When you’re in the All in One SEO dashboard, you’re also able to easily check the performance of your website, view/update your sitemap and robots.txt files, block bots, and even add Schema to your site!
One of the most widely used SEO plugins, Yoast SEO offers several features most SEO plugins offer: the ability to edit your metadata throughout your site, change how your site appears when shared across social media, control over your site’s breadcrumbs, and more. The one thing that really sets this plugin apart from other SEO plugins (in my eyes) is the SEO analysis it provides you with for each page on your website. This is incredibly helpful if you’re not as well versed in SEO but want to make sure your content is fully optimized!
Content Management Plugins
WordPress Popular PostS
The WordPress Popular Posts plugin can be utilized just about anywhere on your website to help promote blog content that is popular on your website. With several settings, you can decide how many posts to show, how you want them to look, and even if you want the content pulled from specific categories. This is a great plugin to implement on your sidebar!
WORDPRESS RELATED POSTS
Keep users on your site longer and decrease your bounce rate with the WordPress Related Posts plugin! Once activated on your site, the plugin will appear at the bottom of single post pages on your on-site blog, providing users with related content they might be interested in.
Keep your content ideas and editorial calendar together all in one place with our favorite editorial calendar plugin. Once installed and activated, it’ll add a calendar to the posts section of your WordPress dashboard that will display all of your content in calendar format. All of your drafted posts can be dragged and dropped around in the calendar and will update once they’re scheduled out with the day and time.
Social Media Plugins
jQuery Pin It Button for Images
Pinterest is one of our favorite tools to utilize! From inspiration to engaging your audience and driving traffic back to your site, we always have the search engine opened in our tabs. If you’re trying to increase pins from your site, the jQuery Pin It Button for Images adds a small pin it button over all of the images on your site, making it easier than ever for users to pin your content.
Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed
No more fussing with your website code to implement your Instagram feed right on your site! Smash Balloon allows you to easily implement your Instagram feed right on your website for visitors to your site to see. There’s a bunch of customization settings to get your feed stylized to fit the look and feel of your website.
Site Improvements Plugins
CMP – Coming Soon & Maintenance
Having a coming soon/maintenance plugin that you can rely on when things go awry or you’re making updates to your site, is crucial. With CMP, it’s easy to create an under construction page that can be turned on/off whenever you need it. With a slue of customization features, including using your own fonts and inputting email forms, you’ll never want to use another coming soon/maintenance/under construction page plugin ever again.
Have an image-heavy site? When updating to a new theme, the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin will resize all of the images on your site to fit within the themes image sizing so it doesn’t look funky!
INSERT HEADERS AND FOOTERS
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to add a piece of code to the header or footer of your website? The Insert Headers and Footers plugin adds an area to your site settings where you can easily drop in code to the header or footer of your website without having to edit the code on your site directly.
If you only need to add a piece of code to a certain page on your website (think, a specific newsletter pop-up!), the Header Footer Code Manager plugin is also wonderful and easy to use!
From quick hello’s to inquiries for your services, as more people visit your website, the number of inquiries you receive is also going to increase. Ninja Forms is an easy drag and drop contact form builder that creates beautiful contact forms that work properly. You can even set up thank you page redirection if you want to track those conversions!
Security & Performance Plugins
WordFence is one of the best security plugins you can add to your WordPress site! It not only monitors your site for malware but also protects your site from malicious IP addresses and keeps your login page secure.
In our eyes, the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is the best of the best. It automatically checks all comments that come in through your website to ensure they aren’t spam, helps protect against misleading links, discards spam comments for you, and provides you with a status history for all of your comments.
Unless you have the time and knowledge to be editing your website files, this redirection plugin will allow you to easily set up 301 redirects, monitor your permalinks, and monitor 404 errors on your site.