WordPress did not dominate the web right from day one back in 2003. Several changes have been effected by web developers to make it the number one Content Management System on the internet. The following year, a critical WordPress development that came with the release of WordPress version 1.2 was unveiled, WordPress Plugins architecture.
The chances are that if you are reading this, you have an idea of what WordPress Plugins are. However, let’s go ahead and delve deeper for context. There are many reasons why websites exist. And, for a website to offer great experience whether to you or your user, optimization is vital. Plugins are known to provide this. In definition, they are software bits that add functionality to your WordPress site. They integrate with the WordPress software to power it up depending on their function.
On your WordPress admin dashboard, you find a ton of features that ensures your interaction with the site is fruitful, as well as that of the people interacting with it. Most of these features are because of plugin integrations.
We already saw that plugin codes are integrated into the WordPress open source to enhance it. But what exactly is their function? WordPress plugins API offers developers an enabling environment to add or modify existing WordPress functionality.
There being a whole world of possibilities to which we can take advantage of with websites, it presents us with an overwhelming choice of what to go with for WordPress plugins. Owing to that, we decided to explore popular WordPress plugins that you can install and improve your WordPress site.
Disclaimer: This list was created with a focus on user ratings, level of functionality, website type compatibility, and the number of downloads. Our opinions are independent, and we are not affiliated with any of the plugin developers.
A website can barely survive on the web without written web content. Consequently, this content needs to be optimized for search engines by use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques that will improve it’s ranking on SERPs, that is search engine results pages. Yes, you can add SEO content on your site, but without a tool that analyzes it thoroughly, your presumed SEO content might rank past the second page of search results, which are rarely visited.
That is where Yoast SEO comes in. Yoast gives you insights and feedback on your content as you upload it on the editor. It analyzes your keywords, word choice, meta descriptions, slug URL and many other aspects of SEO, giving you a gist of how your content will perform on SERPs.
Jetpack is an all in one WordPress plugin that lets you enhance security, performance, and management of your site. This free WordPress plugin comes with essential features such as site stats, sidebar customization, high-speed CDN for images, attack protection, among many others that will ensure your site is functioning optimally.
The most useful feature of Jetpack is the high-speed CDN for images. Images on your website take up space, which in return can increase load-time. Conversely, this is not a good thing. For your website to have impactful user engagement, its load speed needs to be at its lowest.
Content Distribution Networks (CDN) are systems of interconnected web resources that distribute content across many servers to offload your website. This ensures a faster rendering of content for people interacting with your website.
Are you selling products online? If you aren’t, you need to consider it, and for good reasons. Integrating eCommerce features on a WordPress site is made easy with WooCommerce. This free and powerful WordPress plugin gives you the power to add products catalogues, integrate payment options, shipping services and many more features on a new or existing site
In a world where online shopping is gaining popularity fast, you need to jump on the bandwagon now to ensure you are ahead of your competitors.
WooCommerce is highly customizable depending on the nature of your business, qualifying it as the best eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Do you need people to contact you via your website? Or better yet, are you looking to collect contact information of your audience through your website? If yes, you need to install WPForms plugin. Put merely, WPForms allows you to create user friendly sign-in, subscription, and payment forms using a drag and drop feature.
The best part? WPForms is highly mobile responsive, thereby ensuring access across a wide range of mobile devices. Additionally, this powerful plugin comes with templates that you can quickly edit and customize for yourself.
WPForms is in two versions, the lite and pro version. The huge difference between the two is features that you allowed access. In short, WPForms is the premium version of the lite.
What comes to mind when you hear the word spam? For us, it’s malicious content with ill intent. It has become amazingly easy to fall victim of spam in this digital era. You as a website owner is vulnerable as much as your web visitor.
Akismet offers WordPress users control of the content that they are sharing on their websites, and that which is being shared by others interacting with them. It’s a powerful scanner that checks for spammy content across an extensive database that is regularly updated.
This plugin requires you to add its API from their website for it to perform its function. When activated, Akismet will ensure that you are fully protected from spammy content.
Closely related to Akismet is this powerful WordPress firewall plugin. With cybersecurity and web content security becoming major concerns across the web, the need for stringent measures is on the rise.
This powerful security scanner includes a Threat Defense Feed that provides the Wordfence’s architecture with malicious IP addresses, updated firewall protocols, and malware signatures that it relies upon to make your site safe.
More so, the plugin comes with a 2-Factor authentication login security feature that adds extra security on login forms. This WordPress plugin is worth having installed on your site.
We are currently cruising on Web 2.0, a wave of websites that promote user engagement and participatory culture. That explains the recent trends of website designs that we have been experiencing. With many businesses turning to social media for promotions, conversions and interactions, social media platforms are booming right now.
For that reason, your website needs a way that prompts the user to share your content with their friends. Enter Social Media Share Buttons WordPress plugin. This amazingly useful plugin lets you place custom social media icons on any part of your website, thus improving the User Interface.
It’s quite likely that you will rarely be creating tables on your website, but when that time comes, you might wonder what tool to use to make and manage beautiful tables. May it be for a blog post, pages, or widgets, TablePress provides a shortcode that you can embed onto the site and improve the design of your website.
TablePress can also be developed to add filtering, pagination, and sorting for the tables created, thus expanding the usability of the content on them.
Tables are useful primarily for business websites. One reason is that they are visually attractive. The second reason why you need TablePress plugin is the import and export in machine-readable formats such as CVS, Excel, and JSON feature.
There is nothing as terrifying as walking down a rough road in the dark. Do you know what’s also terrifying? Running a website without analysis of its performance on the web.
MonsterInsights provides you with a whole load of handy statistics on how your site is performing in several areas, helping you figure out what’s working and what’s not. This WordPress plugin is specifically for Google Analytics, the most revered analytics tool on the web.
And since Google presents itself as the unchallenged search engine of the century, analyzing how your site is performing on it can give accurate data.
MonsterInsights provides you with comprehensive reports on content, search console, behavior, audience, and many others that you can use to grow your business.
A website URL redirect is essentially a command that instructs a browser to replace a URL, that is probably not working, with a new one. So, whenever someone follows a broken link, for instance, gets to the exact page, but with a different URL.
This process of creating and managing URLs is tedious and quite technical. However, you don’t need to worry about that. Redirection is a free WordPress plugin that ensures your web content is still, and customers don’t abandon your website.
The plugin takes care of the 301 redirections, permanent redirects, to ensure web visitors are not met with an error 404, or Not Found error.
Redirection is widely used and requires little or no technical knowledge to operate.
With WordPress powering up over a quarter of the internet, 31%, it’s safe to say that it’s a giant. A giant in the sense that its possibilities are endless when development is in context. Now that plugins are such a key feature in WordPress development, we expect high-end sites that come with incredibly useful features to solve our daily problems.
There is a funny comment in these lines, “there is a plugin for that” that is so popular across the WordPress community. In as much at this comment is a funny reference, it might as well be right. It implies that the possibilities of WordPress plugins are endless, and we believe that.
Did we miss to include your favourite WordPress plugin on this list? Do let us know down in the comments section.
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