WordPress is a great platform for creating a blog. You have everything you need in order to start writing your first articles. However, if you want to extend the functionality of your website, you will need to install different plugins, based on your needs. While some WordPress plugins are free, for some of them, more advanced, you will need to pay a premium fee.

In the following article, I will share some of the plugins we use on a regular basis, when we build websites for our clients.

  1. Yoast SEO. You probably are aware of the fact that search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor if you want to improve the traffic you get from the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Installing this plugin will help you optimize all your blog posts and pages, by giving you tips on how to improving the SEO and readability. The plugin has both a free and a premium version.
  2. WordFence Security. WordPress is a very popular platform and for this reason it is highly targeted by hackers. Numerous bots crawl the web, searching for vulnerabilities in all websites. Installing a plugin like WordFence (there are other options as well) will help you block these intruders. It can scan your website for malware, it has a firewall, brute force protection and other cool features. You can choose from a free and a premium verion.
  3. LiteSpeed Cache. Having a fast loading website is very important nowadays and there are many tools that help you measure this speed (GTmetrix, Pingdom etc.). Through the common requirements you will find enabling cache, image optimization, minify CSS, minify javascript, minify HTML and more. All these can be achieved with LiteSpeed cache. I especially like it’s image optimization tool, which, from a point on, can be put on autopilot.
  4. Caldera forms. If you want to be contacted by the people visiting your website, than having a contact form will help you achieve that. Contact form 7 is the most popular plugin that can do it, but it is known to slow down your site. This is the reason why we use Caldera forms instead. More than that, Caldera has conditional logic in it’s free version. You can also try WPForms or Ninja Forms.
  5. WP Optimize. You already know it, you want your website to be fast. To help with that, WP Optimize will clean up all the unnecessary stuff from your database, keeping it lighter. It can also de-fragment your MySQL database. It is free for some basic functions and you will have to pay a premium for more advanced features.
  6. Updraft Plus. One more back-up is never too much. Even if I always create back-ups from the hosting account and keep them in a different place, I often use this plugin to make extra back-ups, just in case… It has also the option to schedule the back-up process and store the files on your favorite cloud service. Free and premuim versions are available.
  7. Cookie notice. If you get traffic from users within the European Union, then your website needs to be GDPR compliant. This is were the Cookie notice plugin will come in handy. It will help you inform the people, visiting your site, about your their privacy.

BONUS: All-in-One WP migration. We like this plugin very much. Every time we start a project, we first build the website on the local environment. After it’s finished, we need to move the site to the host and here is were this plugin helps us. We also use it to create back-ups that can be easily tested. If your site is at the beginning and not very complex, rest assure, you will not reach this limit. The free version has an upload limit of 512 Mb and you need an extension to remove it.

There are other awesome plugins out there, but these are the ones we use most often.
What plugins do you use on a regular basis?

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