What Are WordPress Plugins And Which Ones Are Essential?
You must have heard the popular saying: “there’s a plugin for that”.
Truly, there is a plugin for whatever feature you seek to improve on your website. You just have to find the essential ones that you need.
WordPress allows you to customise your website by providing functions and features that would help enhance your content.
If you would be able to achieve this, then you must know how to use plugins to your benefit.
You have access to about 55,000 WordPress plugins that help you to create e-commerce stores, photography websites, newsletters and other aspects that ensure that your website runs excellently.
If you are a beginner or a developer, you can handle the installation of plugins to increase the functionality of your website.
First, you must understand what plugins are.
Table of Contents
What Is A Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software that was structured to perform certain functions or include features in your WordPress website.
It is written in PHP programming language and works only on self-hosted websites. With ease, you can install a plugin to your website requiring no knowledge of code.
With a plugin, you can extend the functionality of your website to make it unique. It includes options that help you configure and customise your website to fit into the needs of your audience, your preference and the goal of your site.
They work the same way apps function for your mobile phone.
Plugins also allow you to improve a regular WordPress website to a blog, a membership site, a functioning online storefront that handles all the complex needs that your website has.
Benefits Of WordPress Plugins
There are various benefits of using WordPress plugins that you get to enjoy when you install them. They are necessary for you to create a smooth and user-friendly website that would hook your audience.
Enhances User Experience
To improve the ease of navigating your website, plugins are essential.
You want your users to be able to access the necessary information on your page with ease and that is what WordPress Plugins help you to achieve.
Plugins help your audience to find content with ease and even leave their comments and opinions about it.
With plugins, your users can also subscribe for regular updates from your page and also contact the administrators of the site for more details. With the right plugins, you can achieve this with effectiveness.
Includes Security Features
Although WordPress comes with basic security features that would help safeguard your website, however, you need more than that.
Your website is a product of hard work and investment in terms of time and money. This is why you need the extra security that plugins can offer you.
With plugins, you can set up alerts, user verifications, firewalls and spam blockers to ensure that your website is adequately secured.
Using protective plugins serve as a guarantee against security breaches that could ruin your website.
Speeds Up Loading Time
You have to grab the attention of your audience within a short time, this is why the loading time of your website must be as short as possible.
If your website takes too long to load, it would discourage users from visiting your website which would mean bad business for you.
Using the appropriate plugins will help you speed up the loading time by optimising images and reducing their sizes, also plugins help you in enabling cache.
With an enhanced loading time, you increase your website authority both on search engines and to your users.
Improves Site Appearance
The face of your website matters greatly in catching the attention of your users.
Some WordPress themes that are responsible for the appearance of your website rely on plugins to fully maximise their potential.
Some of these plugins are page builders.
By choosing the right plugin, you can include extra features to your websites like sliders, galleries, designer font and media players.
With plugins, you can make your site look better and more appealing to your users by integrating features that would aid navigation.
Plugins help you to get your site working in little or no time.
It does not require the rigorous process of understanding code nor do you need expertise in design when you can easily download plugins on WordPress.
All you have to do is install them to make your content development process quick and effective.
With just a few clicks on your dashboard, you can do almost anything using WordPress plugins. It gives you access to features and functions that have been prepared for your usage beforehand.
You don’t have to worry about building anything from scratch because plugins have got you covered.
To develop an advanced website is normally costly. You would have to employ a web designer and developer to help you build it from scratch.
If you are a beginner, that means you would have to spend thousands just to publish your content online.
WordPress as a platform uses its exceptional plugins to provide for all you need for your site.
You can get free plugins that would work effectively for your website. Even the premium ones are always below a few quid which is easily affordable.
This money is cheaper than what you would have to pay a web developer or designer to help create a website.
Plugins are important to your WordPress website because they offer you a wide range of features and functionality for any website of your choice.
They are software that offers you an increased level of flexibility to configure your page in whatever way.
Plugins give you the freedom to either turn on some features or keep them off. You can use it to modify the website to match the design that you want to ensure that the entire site forms a coherent whole.
If you even want to remove a plugin, the option is available and easily accessible.
Essential Plugins For Your WordPress Website
For you to run a high-quality website on WordPress, certain plugins are necessary for you to have. Out of the various plugins available, these have distinguished themselves by offering exceptional functionality.
- Elementor: This plugin has both a paid and free version. It has a drag-drop editor that helps in designing your website pages. It helps you to actualise your design goals through the use of widgets. Elementor has advanced web creation features that would help you create unique websites. It reduces the number of plugins that you have to install by combining different features.
- Hummingbird Pro: If you want to optimize the speed of your website, Hummingbird is a great plugin choice. It enables caching, improves execution time and helps in enabling text compression to make your website fast. Hummingbird scans your site and offers a quick fix to your website with just one click. You get higher speed scores, satisfied users and a better ranking on search engines by using Hummingbird.
- Smush Pro: This plugin is an image compressor that helps you to resize your images so you would have a better loading speed. Smush would compress the size without reducing the image quality. In just one click, this plugin allows you to compress about 50 images at the same time. Also, it helps you detect the images that are slowing down your website speed. It can process all types of images and work on various sites.
- Defender: Defender is a WordPress plugin that is responsible for keeping your website secure. With this plugin, all the areas of vulnerability of your website are covered and made invisible for attackers. It would replace your admin, camouflage your plugins and themes, change your permalinks and block access to PHP files.
- Rank Math SEO: If you want to effectively optimise your website for search engines and even social media, Rank Math SEO is a plugin that you should get. It is a free plugin that helps in optimizing your content for an unlimited number of keywords. The setup process is easy. This plugin is integrated into both Google Search Console and Google Schema markup to offer you a wider range of functions.
- Yoast Duplicate Post: With this free plugin in you can easily duplicate and clone posts that are alike without going through the trouble of building them from scratch. It speeds up your content creation process by allowing you to copy pages and posts on WordPress in one click. Yoast Duplicate Post opens you up to multiple possibilities that would enhance your work. It has over 3 million users who use it to save time.
Each of these plugins has its specific features and functions that would help your website look better, gain more audience and rank well on SERPs.
If you kickstart your website with them, you would position yourself well for your users to be able to access you with ease.
WordPress is a popular platform that allows you to publish your content with ease.
For you to access the potential on WordPress, then you must install the appropriate plugins to extend the features of your website.
Now you already know what a plugin is, the benefits and the essential ones that you need to install.
If you need more information on how to install plugins on your website, watch the video above.
More lessons in this guide
About Scott Latham
For over 15 years, I have been building and implementing WordPress web design and SEO, having worked with some of the largest companies across a range of industries to see their business growth to the next level.
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