Establishing a robust online presence requires a lot of effort and resources. However, if you are still unable to get the right design and functionality, you are just shooting an arrow straight up into the air.
While WordPress is indisputably a powerful and invincible platform, it still does not come with a complete functionality, which is actually a good thing, since you don’t get to stuck with the same thing as your competitor.
It surely comes with tons of functionality, the core software still lacks a lot of functionality. Fortunately, it offers a wide variety of plugins to fill in the missing pieces and help you get exactly what you want. These plugins are designed to provide you with every type of customization. As a matter of fact, there are more than 40,000 plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory along with hundreds of premium plugins provided by many plugin providers.
Choosing the right plugins for your projects from such a huge directory can be a challenging and hectic chore. Thus, I have compiled a list to top essential plugins that every WordPress website requires irrespective of its size, length, and type.
1. Yoast SEO, formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular and most advanced WordPress SEO plugins that enables you to optimize your WordPress website for search engines and drive huge traffic to your website from the search engine results page. The plugin assists you in optimizing your archives, taxonomies, homepage, your site’s social accounts, RSS feed, breadcrumbs, permalinks, metadata, and titles.
Yoast SEO not only helps you insert appropriate meta tags but also optimizes your website as a whole. It also comes integrated with a page analysis feature that helps the writer write better content that has maximum readability.
Amazing features of WordPress SEO Yoast
- Adds the most advanced XML sitemaps functionality to your WordPress website
- Lets you add a link to your RSS feed pointing back to the original article for better RSS optimization
- Also equipped with a breadcrumb navigation functionality for your WordPress galleries and albums
- Supports Google+ sharing tags and comes with a Facebook Opengraph implementation
- Is fully multisite compatible
- Also integrated with import & export functionality
- Is available in more than 24 languages
- Has page analysis functionality to help you write better content
2. W3 Total Cache
According to a recent statistics, a web user tends to abandon a website if it fails to load in 3-5 seconds. This clearly indicates how significant it has become to optimize your website for speed and performance. Fast loading websites not only have the tendency to rank higher in the search engines but also drive more traffic and conversions. W3 Total Cache is a cache plugin that is designed to help webmasters accelerate their websites’ speed and performance.
It allows you to provide compressed and cache web pages to your readers while minimizing the load on the server. It automatically stores a static webpage on the user’s browser after their first visit and quickly loads the cache page when they again visit your website in the same browser, improving user experience considerably.
Outstanding features of W3 Total Cache:
- Offers WP-CLI support for query string updating, cache purging and more
- Comes integrated with a transparent content delivery network (CDN) management with Media Library
- Enables you to import post attachments directly into the CDN or Media Library
- Allows caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Is highly compatible with dedicated servers / clusters, virtual private / dedicated servers and shared hosting
JetPack is yet another popular and useful WordPress plugin that is basically a suite of powerful features. A variety of content tools, enhanced website performance, improved security and visitor engagement features are all part of this amazing WordPress plugin.
It also provides a lightweight and responsive mobile theme option, enabling you to make your site look presentable on all different devices and screen sizes available out there.
It also comes integrated with many advanced features including Post by Email, Related Posts, Social Sharing, spam-free comments and more.
All in all, JetPack has almost every features you may need to run your WordPress website successfully.
Additional features of JetPack
- Equipped with image Performance tool that lets you optimize and boost the images loading speed
- Integrated with insights and Traffic Growth feature that informs you about the number of visits to your website
- Provides utmost security that secures your site against brute force attacks and unauthorized logins
- Equipped with Centralized Management system to help webmasters manage plugins and menus, check enhanced site stats, and publish posts for all of your websites.
- Also includes many customization options such as configurable widgets, notifications and subscriptions, galleries and carousels, contact forms and custom CSS to let you customize the look and feel of your website.
If you have an up and running website or planning to launch one, you must be looking forward to receiving tons of comments on it from your followers, fans and readers. However, it is important that every comment you get on your website will be worthy and valuable. In fact, more than half of these comments will be spam added to harm your website significantly. They not only make it difficult for the webmasters to know which comments are genuine and which are fake but also affects your search engine rankings drastically. Akismet is one plugin that is designed to help you to prevent spam comments on your website.
The plugin automatically monitors spam comments and block them before they do any harm to your blog or content.
Additional features of Akismet
- Integrated with a discard feature that allows you to block the worst spam, saving you disk space while boosting your website performance.
- Scans all comments and filters out spam comments automatically
- Displays URLs in the comment body to disclose misleading or hidden links.
- Allows moderators to check the number of approved comments for every user
- Offers a status history that lets you check which comments were caught or cleared or marked as spam
5. Google Analytics +
Google Analytics + is a product of WPMUDev, a leading WordPress themes and plugins provider, that allows you to track how and when users visit your website. It provides you the opportunity to improve your website in terms of content, SEO, design and more.
It is an amazing tool that also comes with a wide variety of advanced features including analyzing shopping behaviors of users to improve your products’ performance, checking your website’s interest for advertising and tracking site’s demographics. In a nutshell, it lets you seamlessly track statistics for your complete website with a fast setup.
Impressive features of Google Analytics +
- Has a Powerful Multisite integration where only one tracking code is required for an entire network
- Provides Individual post statistics to let you better understand your traffic and content readability
- Equipped with a statistics module for Edit Post
- Also provides analytics dashboard widget
- Is seamlessly integrated with statistics screen
- Provides statistics visits, page views, and Bounce Rate
- Allows you to see visit duration along with users and sessions
- Provides information about new visits, top referring links, and top post and pages
- Integrated with world map with visitors by country and graphs for fast visual reference
- Also Integrates with Domain Mapping
- And is fully Pro Sites compatible
BackupBuddy is the most beginner friendly and extremely useful WordPress migration and backup plugin. It enables you to rapidly set up an automatic backup schedule for your site which can be stored in the cloud. BackupBuddy is a paid plugin developed by iThemes, a leading themes and plugins provider, that also lets you move to a new domain or host easily.
Impressive features of BackupBuddy
- Lets you choose which files to exclude from the backups
- Provides a free malware scan of your site
- Comes equipped with server tools to track down possible hosting issues
- Integrated with a WordPress CRON Manager to view, delete or manually run WordPress scheduled
- CRON jobs on low traffic sites
- Also scans and repairs database
7. Digg Digg
Digg Digg is an all in one social media share WordPress plugin that allows you to add almost every social media platform’s sharing button to your website to make your site social friendly. Digg Digg is a free plugin that comes with tons of advanced features to get you more likes and shares on your content.
Impressive features of Digg Digg:
- Lets you add sharing button vertically, horizontally, in static bar or even in a floating bar
- Supports almost all social media networks available including the latest ones such as Instagram and Pinterest
- Also, supports send button, show faces, multiple languages and thumbnail generation
- Offers support for email and print services
8. Google XML Sitemaps
The XML sitemap is one of the most important elements of any website. A sitemap makes it easier for Google to crawl your web pages. Google XML Sitemaps is an advanced WordPress plugin that allows bloggers or webmasters to create XML Sitemap for their website or blog that significantly improve their website’s SEO. It allows crawlers to scan the complete structure of your website and retrieve it more efficiently.
Impressive features of Google XML Sitemaps:
- Generates a special XML sitemap to help search engines such as Ask.com, Google, Yahoo and Bing to better index your website
- Supports every type of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs
- Automatically notifies every search engine about a new page or page added