9 WordPress Plugins Your Website Absolutely Needs

Whether your site is already built on WordPress or you’re just beginning to discover the wonderful features that WordPress has to offer, you may already know that there are thousands of features available through easy-to-install plugins.

Expanding the functionality of your site and keeping it secure are simple with the right plugins, but with so many to choose from, it can be challenging to figure out which ones to use.

In order to provide some assistance, we’ve compiled this list of the WordPress plugins that are on our absolutely must-have list.

1. Updraft Plus

UpDraft Plugin
You never know when a plugin or theme update will break something else on your site.

Put your mind at ease by creating automatic backups of your website with this essential tool. You can even save your files to a remote location such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

The Migrator add-on is also well worth the minimal cost to move your site from one location to another (for instance, from a test to production server).

The peace of mind this one supplies puts it at the top of our must-have list.

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital step in getting your site to rank high within the search engines which, in turn, brings visitors to your site.

Optimize your pages’ titles, content, meta descriptions, images and more with this important plugin.

Get ratings on how well all of your pages and posts are optimized, as well as tips on making SEO improvements.

3. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin

If you’re not actively tracking your user statistics with Google Analytics (a free tool, by the way), then you are really missing out.

This plugin will not only enable you to add the GA tracking code to your site, but also adds your analytics reports directly to your WP dashboard.

You’ll be able to get a quick overview of your web stats, as well as track your posts’ performance every time you log into your site.

4. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms Plugin

Every business website should have an easy-to-use form that enables potential customers to reach out to you. However, some form plugins are overly complicated and prone to errors.

The Ninja Forms plugin has a simple and easy to use interface with lots of customization options. There are several premium add-ons you can purchase for more power, including one for creating a multi-part form. Add-ons for Stripe and PayPal integrations are also available.

 5. Favicon by RealFaviconGenerator

Favicon Generator Plugin

While once thought of as a nice to have feature, favicons have quickly become the website norm.

Many themes come with the ability to create and install a favicon for your site, but if yours isn’t one of them, this plugin will do the trick.

Help build your brand recognition by quickly creating and installing an icon that looks great on any platform or device.

6. iThemes Security

iThemes Security Plugin

Securing your site is a necessity in order to prevent hackers from accessing your site’s database.

iThemes Security allows you to strengthen user login credentials, block IP addresses that shouldn’t be accessing your admin panel and even set an away mode to make your WP dashboard unavailable during certain hours.

7. IP Geo Block

IP Geo Block Plugin

For many users, implementing iThemes Security is enough to protect your site from hackers.

But should you find your site the target of frequent brute force login attempts, you may need an added layer of security.

Eliminate malicious access to the core files of your site by blocking IPs or blacklisting whole countries with this robust plugin.

8. Sassy Social Share

Sassy Social Share

Some themes come with social media widgets installed, but you may not like how they look or function.

This plugin is a great alternative, allowing your users to not only follow you on social media, but to also easily share your content. There are lots of customizations available, including icon size, shape and placement on your page.

9. Easy Like Box

Easy Like Box

If you have a Facebook page for your business, you may as well engage with your visitors by asking them to like your page.

There are many plugins available for this functionality, but this one seems to be the most straightforward to implement through the use of a widget.

Are there any plugins that we missed that you feel are essential? If so, please let us know!

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Laura Swords | SwordsNet Designs
Written by: Laura Swords
Laura Swords is the founder of SwordsNet Designs, which provides web and graphic design solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. With over 20 years of corporate experience in both the IT and marketing arenas, she possesses the unique combination of technical and creative skills.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SwordsNet Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Comments

  1. April 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for the informative article – very helpful!

    • April 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      You are most welcome, S.L.!

  2. Bob Preston-
    April 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Awesome article! I’m new in the WordPress world and it is good to know that my website can be easily backed up using a plugin. My web host offers free weekly backup which is awesome, but it is really good to have my own backup.

    Thanks.

    • April 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Always a good idea to have a backup that you can access quickly and easily!