Essential WordPress Plugins 2018
WordPress may not be the most glamorous website-building platform when it’s fresh out of the box. The ability to customize it with themes and WordPress plugins has, however, made it the most popular CMS among web designers.
A plugin can be a lifesaver. If you want your website to perform a certain function, you can have a plugin developed to handle the task. But there are usually several on the market capable of doing the job.Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of plugins out there, which can make finding the best one a time-consuming chore
A powerful plugin from the brilliant team behind the WordPress software itself (Automattic), Jetpack is a must have a plugin for every WordPress website. As the name suggests, it offers a pack of awesome features for your website to fly up high and make it a success.
Jetpack takes care of your site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance and a lot more.It features enhanced distribution which automatically shares your published content to third-party services like search engines and helps to increase your reach and traffic. Additionally, it creates sitemaps so that search engines can easily index your site.
Most of all, it protects your website security by preventing brute force attacks. It also monitors your site every five minutes for downtime and instantly notifies you for any issues found.
Akismet is yet another plugin developed by the people behind WordPress (Matt and his team at Automattic). It is one of the default plugins of WordPress that comes with every new WordPress core installation. It is basically an anti-spam plugin which checks all comments and filters out the spammy comments.
The plugin provides a status history for each comment so that you can learn which comments were found spammy by Akismet or the moderator. Moderators also can view the number of approved comments for each user, see the URLs in the comment body and remove the suspicious links.
The plugin is free for the personal site and blogs while you have to subscribe its monthly plans for commercial sites. The premium plans provide advanced security solution besides spam protection.
It is a useful plugin to protect your WP security.
You can add some really cool features to your websites with the Content Timeline plugin. If you have well-organized content, such as articles, blog posts, comments or reviews, or a story-telling sequence; why not display it in a timeline?
Content Timeline is the ideal solution for mobile sites. The timelines are responsive, and swipeable. They can be dynamically loaded as new content appears, or you can load them by drag and drop in any sequence you choose. Content windows can always be added or deleted, or the sequence changed; and, if need be, you can edit content inside its own window.
Customizable Cards permit adding a title or explanation to a given timeline, and pre-made customizable timelines are included to help you get started. Simply replace the existing content with you own.
No doubt, search engines are the major source of traffic for every website. The number of internet users using search engines is reported to increase steadily, making the importance of Search Engine Optimization more relevant than ever. Fortunately, there is a great plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress users.
Yoast SEO is an awesome plugin which guides you all the way to create better content and improve your ranking on search results. It focuses on creating the content which is useful to the users as well as technically SEO friendly. The goal is to help the users, gain trust and sustain the rankings which they call sustainable SEO.
Firstly, it makes you choose a focus keyword and use the keyword appropriately in the article you are writing. Page analysis feature checks if you have used the focus keyword everywhere on the image alt tags, meta description, headings and the whole post. Furthermore, it suggests you to properly set up the text and images for better usability and visibility for search engines.
In addition, it helps you improve the way your page/ post looks on the search results with snippet preview. Creating better headlines and catchy Meta description can greatly increase the click-through rates for your site. It has added Readability feature which helps you to create a simple and understandable content.
Finally, here is another plugin called All in One SEO Pack which works quite similarly. You can try this too.
As a website owner, one of the most crucial things to do is to keep your site secure from the hackers. It is something that you cannot afford to ignore. There may be thousands of malicious bots on the web which can attack your website anytime and destroy your entire work in no time. That is why you must always prevent the spams and keep your website secure.
To keep your WordPress site secure, there are many security plugins available in WordPress. Among them, Wordfence Security is the one you can rely on. The plugin features Firewall protection, malware scan, blocking, login security, live traffic monitoring and a lot more. The plugin lets you monitor all your traffic in real-time including robots, humans, 404 errors, logins, logouts etc. as shown in the screenshot below:
With the monitoring your real-time traffic, you can be aware of the security threats your site is facing and take an instant action against it.Moreover, the plugin has firewall application which prevents your site from being hacked. Blocking feature blocks all the known attackers, malicious networks which can be harmful to your site. To enhance login security, it adopts Two Factor Authentication while it also checks the strength of all the user and admin passwords. This technique can greatly help you to fight brute-force attacks.
In conclusion, Wordfence Security is a great security plugin for WordPress.
XML Sitemaps (FREE)
As you activate the plugin, it will automatically create an XML sitemap for your site making it easy to index. A sitemap enables the search engine bots view the complete structure of your website and retrieve the results more efficiently.
The plugin notifies all the major search engines every time you publish something on your site.
WP-Optimize is a great tool for cleaning up WordPress database and optimizing WordPress. It automatically removes the unnecessary data from the WordPress without manual queries. The plugin always keeps your database optimized for the best performance.
There may be a lot of useless data in your website which weighs down your site while you may not be even aware of it. With the plugin installed, you have lots of work done automatically. It removes all the spammy and un-approved comments, trash posts, and comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks etc. It will keep your database always clean and optimized.
W3 Total Cache (Freemium)
WordPress caching is one of the best ways to improve website performance. The general idea of caching is storing the website data temporarily in the cache so that it loads faster the next time the user opens the same page. Cache is a place to store something temporarily in the computing environment.
To enable caching in WordPress, you can use WordPress caching plugins. Caching plugins will cache your posts and pages as static HTML files which are served to the users. This reduces page loading time drastically and helps to optimize overall site performance. Additionally, enhanced site-speed will profoundly impact your site SEO.
W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin is one of the most popular plugins and probably the best caching plugin for WordPress. It features page cache, database caching, object caching, browser caching and a lot more. Besides, it lets you integrate CDN services to reduce page load time. Besides, it has options to minify and HTTP compression of the HTML, JS, and CSS files so that you can save bandwidth up to 80%.
With the reduced loading time, you will get better ranking on search results which consecutively result into high traffic and more conversions.
Alternatively, you can use WP Super Cache which works quite similarly to the above plugin.
User Registration (Freemium)
WordPress user registration is yet another integral feature you would not want to miss. Essentially, ‘register’ feature is available on default WordPress installation which can be enabled from WP dashboard following the given steps.
Go to your WP admin panel > Settings > General.
As shown in the image above, you can simply put a check on the ‘Anyone can register‘ option to enable WordPress registration or membership feature.
Once it is enabled, users now can find a register option at your website’s login page ((e.g: yoursite.com/wp-login.php). Now, users can get registered to your site by entering a username and email, however, it doesn’t look ideal.
First, it’s not user-friendly that a user must find the login URL to get registering option. Next, as a website owner, you cannot collect more information as it has a limited two-field form allowing users to enter just a username and email.
Therefore, you need a virtual WordPress registration plugin. Thankfully, here is a carefully crafted simple and user-friendly plugin at your disposal: User Registration.
User Registration is a free drag and drop user registration plugin for WordPress. The plugin comes up with a plenty of amazing features so that you can easily create a beautiful front-end user registration form within a few minutes.
Some of the main features of the plugin are Unlimited registration forms, multi-column support, ReCaptcha support, email notifications, etc. In addition, you can extend its features by purchasing its premium add-ons.
The LayerSlider WP plugin does much more than add a slider to your website that displays attractive content; but static content nonetheless. With LayerSlider, you can do much more than move words or pictures across a page. You can in fact, create stunning slideshows, image galleries, and animated landing pages. You can even use this plugin to build your entire website.
LayerSlider’s features include a drag and drop editor, a set importable templates to help you get started, and an astounding array of animation options. Multi-step animations and loop transitions, parallax, hover, text animation with flying words and letters – you name it.
Full-width, full size, and full-screen sliders that look and work perfectly on any device can also be integrated into your websites.
You’ll have to look long and hard to find a comparable slider plugin on the market – likely without success.
Broken Link Checker (FREE)
You might have a great website with a remarkable number of daily visitors and doing a good business too. But have you ever thought about how users will react if they landed on a broken page? You can make a guess – that’s how you lose the possible customer as well as create a worse impression about your site. That’s devastating – you hate broken links.
And, here is good news – a handy plugin will monitor your website for all the broken links. Just install the free plugin Broken Link Checker and take a nice nap because it will do the job automatically. The plugin checks all your posts, comments and other content for broken links and instantly notifies you if any are found. In addition, it reports on the missing images as well so that you fix them quickly.
Furthermore, the plugin has options to prevent search engines from following the broken links, display the broken links differently etc. You can get notifications either via email or WP dashboard.
We’ve seen the future! Website personalization – Showing the right content, to the right person, at the right time. And it’s available now for WordPress from Logic Hop.
Logic Hop feeds real-time data from your visitors into “conditions” that you create to dynamically display content. Sound complex? Surprisingly, it’s not… Click-to-add logic and shortcodes make personalization intuitive and even fun. Increase conversions, make more sales – The future is here! Try Logic Hop risk-free and see.
WooThumbs – Awesome Product Imagery
The key feature the WooThumbs plugin provides is the flexibility it gives you to modify the default image area on a product page. WooCommerce allows only a single default image for your product variations. WooThumbs, on the other hand, allows the creation of multiple supportive images.
Final Tiles Gallery
The Final Tiles Gallery plugin is one of the most widely used gallery plugins in professional photography websites. Rather than simply allowing the website designer to create a standard-looking image gallery, Final Tiles Gallery enables creation of a gallery that is unique to the requirements of that designer or his/her client.
A unique grid layout feature gives a designer or client complete freedom to specify individual image size and aspect ratios throughout the gallery.
Yellow Pencil is a CSS editor plugin you can use to edit a WordPress website’s design in real time. Doing so involves nothing more than clicking on an element you wish to customize visually. Fonts, colors, positions, animations, and more, can be modified to suit your needs.
This frontend design plugin’s 50 styles properties gives you an added level of control of your website content. No coding is necessary.
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