The main advantage of WordPress is that you can extend the functionality of your website (or add new features) even if you have no programming skills. You can do so thanks to the availability of plugins. There are thousands of WordPress plugins you can download on the official plugin directory of WordPress. Not to mention websites like CodeCanyon and Divi Marketplace. We have curated the most essential WordPress plugins you need to install on your WordPress site.
One crucial thing. Although you can install plugins on your WordPress, installing too many plugins is not the best practice as it can slow you down your website. Each plugin requires server resources to work (RAM, storage, and so on). When you install unneeded plugins, not only will it slow down your website, but it will also waste your server resources.
Here are 6 of the most essential WordPress plugins you need to install on your WordPress site.
Essential WordPress Plugins
1. Page Builder Plugin: Elementor
We are now in an era where a page builder plugin plays a vital role in web creation with WordPress. A page builder plugin is pretty much helpful in creating the core static pages of your website. From the homepage, about page, contact page, and so on. Elementor is one of the best options for page builder plugin.
Isn’t there Gutenberg already?
Gutenberg is great to create static pages, other than blog posts. But you can do more with Elementor. In addition to creating the pages, you can also use Elementor to create custom templates for your theme parts such as header, footer, single post, single page, archive pages, and so on thanks to its theme builder feature. On top of that, Elementor offers way better, pleasurable experience when it comes to page creation. With Elementor, you no longer need to install a form builder plugin, popup builder plugin, and so on (Read: 20 Features You Can Unlock with Elementor Pro). There are several plugin types that can be replaced with Elementor, including:
- Form Builder
- Popup Builder
- WooCommerce Builder
Elementor also supports integrations with services like Mailchimp, WhatsApp, Discord, ConverKit, and so on.
Elementor itself is released as a freemium plugin. You can download the free version of Elementor on WordPress.org. While for the pro version, you can download it on its official website.
If you find Elementor doesn’t suit your needs, you can switch to the following Elementor alternatives.
- Divi Builder
- Zion Builder
- Beaver Builder
- tagDiv Composer
- Visual Composer
- Oxygen Builder
2. SEO Plugin: Yoast
Search engines are the best sources to get organic traffic for your website. In order to make your content appear on the front page of search engines, you need to make sure that they have been optimized for search engines. How to check if your content is SEO optimized? You can use an SEO plugin. Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
One of the main features offered by Yoast is SEO analysis. The feature works upon content creation, allowing you to check that every piece of your content has been optimized for SEO. From the title, headings, URL, image, and so on. You will see a green indicator when your content has met all aspects related to SEO.
Yoast also allows you to set custom meta description and custom SEO title for your content. In addition, it also comes with supporting features like breadcrumbs, XML sitemaps, social media integrations, and so on.
- Rank Math
3. Email Marketing: MailPoet
Email is another marketing channel you can maximize other than SEO. Investing in email marketing is more worth it than social media as it is not affected by algorithms. The only challenge is how you can get high open rates.
Open rate — as well as delivery rate — are two of the key parameters for successful email marketing. We strongly suggest you use MailPoet for email marketing. First and foremost, you can run the whole marketing processes — from managing the email subscribers to sending email newsletters — right from your WordPress dashboard. Second, MailPoet has a relatively high open rate compared to other email marketing services. When someone subscribes to your email newsletter, they are required to make a confirmation via an email sent to their email address. This makes sure that they really want to subscribe to your newsletter (also make sure that the email address is really active).
In MailPoet, the are two statuses related to user subscription.
MailPoet comes with a built-in email delivery service so that you don’t need to configure the email delivery yourself. If you have subscribed to services like Amazon SES and SendGrid, MailPoet gives you freedom to use them.
Just like MailPoet, the following plugins also offer an all-in-one email marketing solution for WordPress.
- Newsletter Glue
4. Security Plugin: Wordfence
Security is a crucial aspect for a website, but not everyone is aware of it. Or they actually aware about it yet have no idea what to do to secure their website. Wordfence is a security plugin you can install to secure your WordPress site. It will protect your website from cyberattacks — brute force in particular. Wordfence automatically blocks suspicious login attempts to protect your website from brute force attacks. You can also manually block certain IP addresses if you find them suspicious. Wordfence also comes with a firewall feature to protect your website from malware.
5. Caching Plugin: WP Rocket
There are a lot of ways to speed up your WordPress site. One of the common ways is by installing a caching plugin. WP Rocket is one of the most popular caching plugins you can consider. In addition to adding caching functionality to your website, WP Rocket also allows you to disable unneeded built-in features of WordPress with a few clicks.
WP Rocket Alternatives
- Borlabs Cache
- SG Optimizer
6. Backup Plugin: UpdraftPlus
Your website is your digital asset. Because of it, you need to make sure that your website is always safe. Not just safe from cyberattacks or malware, but also safe from server crash or accidental misconfiguration.
If something bad suddenly happens to your website (e.g., server crash), you can simply restore your website if you have the backup of your website. That’s why regularly backing up your website is crucial. While you can backup your WordPress site manually, using a backup plugin will make your job a lot easier. UpdraftPlus is one of most popular backup plugins for WordPress. UpdraftPlus allows you to store the backup files to services like Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive. You can set the backup frequency. From daily, weekly, to monthly. You can also select which files (themes, plugins, uploads) you want to include in the backup.
- BoldGrid Backup
- WP Time Capsule