13 Essential WordPress Plugins You Must Install

Did you ever think why WordPress is one of the most popular CMS than others?

If not, let me explain.

WordPress provides limitless possibilities, flexibilities, and thousands of free themes as well plugins. You can achieve almost any function with the power of plugins, and the best thing is there are numerous developers available that you can find on freelance (freelance, Guru, and UpWork) websites to develop your desired feature.

There are many benefits of installing plugins apart from functionalities like it can improve productivity, task scheduling, workflow and there is no need of technical skills.

No matters if you are a newbie or blogging for a while you need to install following “must have WordPress plugins.”

essential wordpress plugins

List of Essential WordPress Plugins You Must Have

1. Yoast SEO

Without SEO your site will never make a good position in search engines. Yoast SEO is the best free SEo plugin to fulfill the requirements for SEO. A newbie may find it difficult how to optimize site content. Yoast provides suggestions for optimizing your content.

Not only optimization but it also provides suggestions to write the better contents. The plugin stores the content readability and provides guidelines to improve it. When you complete the post writing then just scroll down and see what you can do for SEO and readability. Yoast also helps you to tell search engines what is the original location of the article so to prevent from copy scapes.

Yoast allows quick search engine indexing in search engines as it has XML sitemap creating function. You can control site indexing and de-indexing for any specific posts/pages. Moreover, by connecting the search console with Yoast Search Console, you can detect issues in your site directly from the WordPress dashboard.

2. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is another essential WordPress plugin for WordPress sites to improve performance. Another very essential plugin for a Blog is W3 Total Cache. You might know site performance is one of Google’s ranking factors. Some hosting providers develop their caching plugins like SiteGround. But if your hosting provider did not offer any then use W3 Total Cache plugin to make the cache of static contents and thus improving your site grade.

This plugin makes the cache of pages, databases and other site objects. Moreover, this plugin totally supports SSL and AMP. With W3 Total Cache you can enable the browser cache as well. By enabling this feature when someone visits your site the web browser downloads the static contents like images, javascript, etc. And so that next time the page load more quickly.

You can easily integrate the CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN’s consists of numerous servers which are located in many places all around the globe and cache static data of your site. When a visitor browses your website, it loads site content from the nearest CDN server to the visitor. After configuring the plugins, check your site grade in GTMetrix or Pingdom. W3 is so the best caching plugin and highly recommended to use. Along with activating cache, you should choose the best WordPress hosting for high speed hosting and server response time.

3. iThemes Security

Your website needs to be secure from all the parameters. Usage of WordPress growing tremendously so the hacker’s attacks too. iTheme Security is a free plugin with plenty of useful features. It secures your site in more than 30 ways. For quickly securing, just run Security Check it will automatically activate the vital security layers.

This plugin protects against the Local and Network Brute Force attacks. It also has user lock-out feature. When someone tries to access your login URL page and type wrong username or password, then he/she will automatically block.

For free it permits to create the database backup. If you want to learn more about creating site backups, read out this guide; How to Create the Complete WordPress Site Backup. iThmese security also includes two-factor authentication, malware scanning, and reCAPTCHA features but these are premium.

4. WPForms

You should create an easy gateway to communicate between your users and clients. But how? Creating a contact form is the simplest way. There are tons of plugins available in WordPress repository, but WPForms is beginner friendly and drag-drop plugin. You can create various types of forms such as Donation, Newsletter, Billing and suggestion form, etc. It is available in both free and paid version. If you just start a blog then go with the free version.

With WPForms you can build your own customize forms, or just use the simple pre-built form. Moreover, with suggestion form, you can create a form for receiving feedbacks from customers/visitors. And you don’t worry about site speed as it is a lightweight plugin and did not slow down your server. You can also integrate the reCAPTCHA service to control spams.

5. Ultimate Nofollow

You need to add nofollow links at some point in time. Suppose you write an article where you have to give a link to the other site. But the other site is not well reputed so adding the dofollow link to that site is also bad for you. So in such conditions, you should use the NoFollow tag. Furthermore, if you are an affiliate marketer then always use nofollow tag for affiliate links. Here visit Google Link Schemes.

It’s totally free plugin. After activating the plugin when you insert a link in the post while editing in WordPress editor, you’ll see a box. Just check the box if you want to add the Nofollow tag.

6. Redirection

Redirection is the another must have WordPress plugin to implement 301, 302 and 307 redirections. This type of plugin is useful when you migrate a post or a page from the other website. There is no need to leave the WordPress dashboard for redirection. Just get into the plugin setting. This will also provide complete details about how many times redirection takes place, where the visitor found the URL etc.

Whenever you modify the post URL make sure to redirect it to the new URL. You can check logs including 404 error logs to keep an eye on the redirected links status.

7. Monarch

Monarch is a premium WordPress plugin to add social sharing options in your site at different places. This includes almost 40 social media options to add with a clean and eye-catching theme. The social sharing buttons can be shown at 8 different locations like at sidebar, bottom, and header of the post, etc. Moreover, you can select the button shape like circle and rectangle shape. Monarch also offers different hover effects.

Monarch includes popup feature. This feature allows you to show the social share buttons after a certain period of time that you set. This is a very attractive way to receive social shares. You can even automate the pop up after certain actions like when someone scrolls down till the end of the page or when someone makes a purchase.

With Monarch, you can add social buttons on the image as well. In our opinion, this is a marvelous plugin full of customization. You can manually design fly in, popup and inline templates. But there is no free version available you need to subscribe for premium.

8. Akismet

Spamming can harm your site, So you need to control it. Akismet is a free spam comments controller. Once you successfully activate the plugin, enter your API key and then it will automatically filter spams. You can select whether to remove spams automatically or send them in the spam folder.

You can review them by visiting spam folder to check if they were not marked as spam by mistake. Here note that the spam folder only holds the comments for 15 days. After that, it will automatically delete all comments permanently.

9. Updraftplus

Updraftplus is a free plugin to take site backup. With this essential WordPress plugin, you can create backups of selected files such as themes, database, plugins, etc. or the whole site. You can either use manual or automatic backup feature to take auto backups after a certain amount of time like hours, weeks, or months.

There are plenty of remote location to store your site backup like One Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox, etc. Updraft also sends you an email about the backup reports. It is advisable to create a full backup of your site in order to avoid future grief. If you don’t know how to configure the plugin, then read this article: How to Create the Complete WordPress Site Backup using Updraftplus.

10. Thrive Content Builder

Thrive Content Builder is designed by Thrive Themes. You can separately design a page or a post. It allows adding attractive buttons in the post like “Subscribe Now” or anything which you want to write on the button (CTA text). Thrive builder include tons of eye-catching icons to make your post more gorgeous.

You can add boxes and columns with your desired color scheme. With this Thrive Content Builder, you can add “Click to tweet button” and “rating star” boxes as well. eCommerce or product sellers can add pricing table to build sales page with money back guarantee badges. Some other prominent feature includes call us button, content table, countdown timer and Google maps embed, etc…

Do you want to present the comprehensive view of the reviewed product at the start? Thrive content builder can do it very quickly. There are no programming skills needed; it is totally drag and drop based tool. We are using it since very long time and it’s best all in one visual editor. Still, if you need help then here is Thrive builder complete video guides.

11. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is also developed by ThriveThemes, this plugin is used to build an email list and comes with dozens of prebuild signup form templates. It’s kind of challenging to build a mailing list. But with the help of Thrive Leads you can create it easily. You can add different types of opt-in forms like Popups, Content Lock, Screen filler, Slide-In and Sticky ribbon, etc. Similarly like the Thrive Content Builder here you also have the drag and drop feature.

There are built-in templates which you can fully customize as per your need. Furthermore, you can add animation to opt-in form for its eye-catching entry. You can set the opt-in form that when to trigger? There are four main ways like show up when some thinking to exit your site, after some duration, at scrolling or when a visitor hit on a particular element.

With advanced targeting feature, you can show an opt-in form within specific posts or categories. There is also a monitoring dashboard to track your list building campaign to take necessary actions.

12. Pretty Link Lite

As the name shows, this plugin is used to create beautiful and clean looking links. This plugin use to masks the lengthy, complicated, and ugly looking affiliate links to short/custom URLs. It provides a detailed report of the number of hits that each URL receive. It includes the permanent (301) as well as the temporary redirection (302/307) feature.

Mostly it comes into play when you are using affiliate programs. The affiliate links consist on tracking parameters and combination of alphanumerics. In the settings section, before using you must config it. You must set up it to use nofollow tag for each affiliate links and use 307 redirection attribute.

13. Google Analytics for WP Dashboard

Last but not least, It is very important to keep an eye on the number of visitors. Using this must have analytics plugin, you can find out what users are mostly looking for on your website. Google Analytics is a totally free plugin that provides different information such as the page views, visitors, sessions, pages, bounce rate and organic searches, etc.

With Google Analytics for WP Dashboard, you can observe the traffic insights of the last three years. You can also track the country from where your site gets most of the visitors. This plugin presents not only the whole site insights but also statistics of each post and page. So without leaving the WordPress dashboard, you can get comprehensive insights of your blog visitors.

These are some must have WordPress plugins that you must install on your blog. If you think we have missed any essential WordPress plugin, then feel free to share below in the comments section below.

Wayne Robinson

Wayne is an enthusiast web hosting and server management expert with over 8 years of experience dealing with different kinds of hosting companies. He is also familiar with web hosting technical stuff and server optimizations and shares thorough, well-tested reviews and guides on the same domain.

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