There are many WordPress plugins out there just about anything from inserting ads on your WordPress blog to security plugins that protect your WordPress site from hackers. However, there are some plugins you must-have regardless of your niche, website, or blog.
These plugins are necessary for protecting your WordPress website or blog, helping it run efficiently, and help your content rank faster and better in search engines for more quality traffic.
These are the ones we are going to focus on and recommend you must use to help you achieve your blogging or business website objectives.
What is a WordPress plugin?
A WordPress plugin is a written code in form of an App, addon, or extension designed to extend the functionality of your WordPress website.
Plugins are used for various reasons ranging from website designs, security of your WordPress site, enhancement of your search engine optimization to sharing your content through newsletters or on social media websites linked to your website.
Note: Even though you can virtually find any plugin to help accomplish your WordPress tasks, it is not good to have too many plugins on your website. This will cause issues such as site slowdown and broken links among many other issues.
This is why we focus on the most important plugins you should have and avoid the temptation of installing too many on your site.
So let’s get into the list.
Must important WordPress plugins
Without no further delay, Let’s jump into our list
#1. Akismet Anti-Spam
With so much spam online today, there is a good reason why Akismet anti-spam made the number on our list of must-have plugins.
Akismet is designed to protect your site from spammers and prevent you from publishing malicious content that might cause more harm to your website and business.
This plugin scans each comment from a large global database of spam and filters them for further actions in the admin section of your WordPress site.
In many cases, Akismet detects and blocks obvious spam and a result saving your hosting disk space and making the website run faster.
If you have not installed and activated this plugin, you must have an alternative system that prevents your website from spam and malicious content while saving you disk space and unnecessary issues that might cause harm to your website.
#2. Insert Headers and Footers
This is another super helpful WordPress plugin designed to make it easy for people with less development skills to easily insert codes to the header, body, and folder of their website.
It makes it easy to insert code like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, custom CSS, and more to your WordPress site header and footer without the need to edit your theme files.
In many cases, you need to add specific codes to the header section of your website to track ad performance, audience behavior, or simply confirmation your site in the case of Google webmaster tools.
This process require going to your host to locate the index or home page file to edit the code to insert your code. To many people who are not sure on how to navigate these complex code editing, it becomes a nightmare.
With Insert headers and footers, you can easily insert your code where necessary and it’s done. Anyone can easily do it without the need of hiring a developer.
#3. Rank Math SEO
So when it comes to search engine optimization, it is necessary to have a plugin that will help optimize your pages and blog posts. I mean each of them.
Rankmath has completely changed the game of SEO in WordPress. It comes with abundant features to improve your SEO performance and the free version is as great as you can imagine.
Rank Math SEO helps link up with your search console and Google analytics, it helps create and optimizes your sitemap, optimize your images, schema data, manages admin roles, automatically detects broken links, and helps with redirection among other important SEO stuff.
It’s powerful and helpful when it comes to content optimization such as adding keywords, meta descriptions, and titles, image alt, internal and external links.
Though for many years Yoast SEO is considered the best SEO plugin, currently, Rankmaths have made it very difficult to choose between yoast and Rank math when talking of the best SEO plugin.
I personally use rankmath and so I have seen many experts shifted their gears too.
It’s recommended and must have if you care about ranking your websites in search engines.
Optimizing your images is key to your wordpress website performance in terms of speed and rankings in search engines. By image optimization, we mean make your images less heavy and load faster.
Smush or “Smush it” is one sure plugin that gets the job done in various ways. This plugin helps with resizing your images, lazy load, and image compression.
It works in various ways such as bulk smushing helping you optimize all your previously uploaded images in your directory or media removing all the unwanted load on your images and website.
The amazing thing is that, it does all these without your images losing quality.
#5. Contextual Related Posts
This feature is necessary for many bloggers who are willing to display other related blog posts below or at the end of each blog post.
The purpose of this is to get people to engage with your content more, offer more information to your audience, and get them to spend more time reading or interacting with your content.
Contextual Related Posts is one of the most feature-rich plugins with support for thumbnails, shortcodes, widgets, custom post types, and CSS styles. The inbuilt cache ensures that you have related posts without excessive load on your server.
It’s simply built to solve the issue of related posts and above all, it’s free and very easy to set up. You can use extra code to customize it to suit your display looks as well making your related post to look more attractive.
The reach and success of your content depend on email marketing which involves sending newsletters to subscribers each time you publish a new blog post or have something important to share periodically.
This makes building email list very important throughout your blogging career.
Mailpoet like many other newsletter plugins allows your visitors to easily subscribe to your mailing list right on your WordPress website without been redirected to another page or site.
It has multiple email templates for anyone to build attractive emails just with few mouse clicks.
What’s unique with MailPoet is the ability to build and save your email newsletter templates, create and send follow-up emails just like autoresponder email systems, track emails and show metrics of your recipient behavior.
It can be integrated with your WooCommerce email customizer and many other marketing tools within WordPress.
When it comes to protecting your wordpress website, Wordfence is known to be one of the most important and perhaps the best wordpress security plugin.
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect WordPress blog or website.
With millions of malware attacks these days, you can’t afford to leave your website unprotected. This is the reason why we recommend having Wordfence to ensure the protection of your WordPress and prevent it from the bad guys.
It is best known for detecting and blocking malicious traffic such as the type used in DDoS attacks. It uses Real-time IP Blocklist blocks all requests from the most malicious IPs, protecting your site while reducing load.
#8. Shared Counts
One thing you must have is social media share buttons on your wordpress site. It is important as it make it easy for people to share your content on social media.
Social media is massive and important to content marketing. This is while you must have these icons displayed to enable people to easily share your content.
In fact, you should encourage them to share your content by having plugins such as shared counts on your blog. It’s important and helps increase your reach and visibility online.
Search engines consider social signals as a ranking factor which is why you should also take it seriously.
Though there are numerous social media share icons, we recommend shared counts.
Though you will find many alternatives to these plugins shared in this post, in any case, you should and make sure you have security plugins, anti-spam plugin, SEO plugin, newsletter plugin, social share plugin, related post plugin, and many others that help you monetize your blog.
These plugins do a lot in optimizing your content to rank on search engines, getting more people coming back to your site and protecting your website from hackers and spam.
If you find this post helpful, please share it and let us know what you think about the plugins we listed here in the comment section.