WordPress has an overwhelming amount of functionality built into it. And their massive plugin ecosystem is the icing on the cake. Plugins offer developers enhanced website functionality, decreased development time, and more.
Not only do plugins assist in reducing the heavy lifting of development components, some of them can make a noticeable, positive impact on your site’s performance.
In this blog post, we are going to breakdown some of the easiest, cleanest tools that we’ve used here at Code Authority to help customers with their brand-new WordPress sites.
The Best WordPress Plugins
Yoast SEO - 5+ million active installations
Yoast SEO is one of the highest downloaded WordPress SEO plugins of all time. It is both comprehensive and educational for website owners to use. Its search engine optimization toolset enhances your site’s readability by offering insight to improve the text within the webpage.
If you know anything about SEO, you know that keywords and content are among the highest rankings factors for search engines. Yoast SEO assists digital content writers with keyword ideas and implementation for the web page, as well as assisting users in indexing or re-indexing a site using Yoast with just a press of a button.
You can execute keyword research on the WordPress dashboard itself and Yoast will tell you where it's missing on your pages so you can rank better for that keyword, too.
Yoast SEO also allows users to add meta descriptions to their posts – giving users an added bonus to their on-page optimization.
One of the best parts of Yoast SEO is that most of its best features are free to download and implement for your website! Premium users do get enhanced features, as well as premium access to the Yoast SEO support team.
W3 Total Cache - 1+ million active installations
This fantastic web cache tool optimizes the speed of your website, which both programmers and users love! W3 Total Cache works to improve your website’s performance by reducing webpage load times.
Page speed is another important ranking factor in SEO. Thanks to the “Speed” update to Google’s search algorithm, page load speed is now taken into consideration. How fast your content displays on a user’s screen can either encourage them to keep pursuing the website or will leave them irritated and searching for the next option.
WordPress users should strive to improve page speed for SEO purposes if they want to rank high on search engines and beat out the competition.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization - 1+ million active installations
Going hand-in-hand with W3 Total Cache, Smush Image Compression and Optimization also helps with website performance by doing exactly what the name implies: compressing images.
This easy-to-use tool bypasses a lot of technical know-how, giving users the resources they need to accurately compress images for their website, as well as offering technical support for those with questions.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization preserves the quality of your image, so you can have a high-quality image without the massive payload that would otherwise negatively impact your page speed score.
Google XML Sitemaps - 2+ million active installations
Google XML is a plugin that will generate a sitemap for your website. This feature is handy for SEO because crawl bots will take advantage of this to index your site faster.
Indexing lets search engines know that your website exists or has been updated. If you want your page to be seen by potential customers, you need the website to be indexed because it provides visibility on search engine result pages.
Web developers often use this plugin because Google XML Sitemap’s capabilities ultimately lead to improved SEO, which in turn impacts the revenue of the client’s business.
MonsterInsights Analytics - 2+ million active installations
This plugin is an easy-to-use tool that helps integrate your Google Analytics dashboard with your WordPress site.
At Code Authority, we use Monster Insights Analytics to consolidate client websites with their analytics account for ease of use and increased accessibility. It makes managing multiple accounts a lot easier, and installation is hassle-free.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, it is an extremely powerful tool that provides insights, metrics, and recommendations to better reach your target audience and improve site performance, user experience, and more. Not to mention it’s free!
Akismet - 5+ million active installations
Akismet blocks spam comments from your WordPress website.
The spam protection plugin keeps your website free of annoying spam, which gives WordPress website owners peace of mind. Rather than having to deal with suspicious, frustrating, and sometimes nonsensical comments, the plugin takes care of it for you.
You now have more time to create content for your website as opposed to dealing with spam below your existing material!
Jetpack - 5+ million active installations
This plugin was developed by the same team that designed WordPress.
Jetpack is a suite of tools that can optimize your site and make it more secure. By offering security essentials, Jetpack ensures the digital protection of your WordPress site.
Complete with traffic, management, and design tools, the plugin also equips users with the necessary means to keep their WordPress site performing at a high level.
Although Jetpack is not as straightforward or as focused as the other WordPress plugins on this list, the plugin is a great choice for those with personal and small businesses needing security resources.
WooCommerce - 4+ million active installations
WooCommerce is a freemium e-commerce storefront, which is endlessly customizable. It allows business owners to utilize features and functionality that best fit their organizational needs.
The WordPress plugin offers website owners the ability to sell both products and services to consumers with safe and secure online payment.
Instagram Feed is a customizable social media feed that pulls images directly from your Instagram account onto your website.
The social media plugin provides some benefits for your business’ social media efforts, as users can subsequently follow the account that is linked on your website.
It also adds interactive visuals to your website. When a user touches the photo on the Instagram feed, it takes the user to your business’ profile. There, they can view the content and even subscribe as a follower.
If you’re building a WordPress website, you want to equip it with the most efficient and powerful, yet necessary, plugins as possible. These plugins can also highlight and mention link building opportunities like letting you know which pages you should link together and what domains you should connect to.
Consider the aforementioned plugins when developing your first or next WordPress website and see how the plugins impact your SEO, user experience, and security. It’s likely these resources will play a big role in the success of your website!
Of course, our team at Code Authority can also handle all of your WordPress needs by developing SEO-driven websites for your business. Our in-house SEO Analyst, John, is highly experience and he is happy to consult with you regarding your website’s SEO practices.
To get in contact with John or any of our other SEO agency specialists, contact us today, and we’ll set up a free consultation to discuss your business’ digital solution needs!