In this post, I have laid down the top 5 best WordPress plugins that I have been using for a long time now.
Are you developing your website using WordPress Content Management System (CMS)? And if you haven’t then I would love to invite you to read my blog on 10 easy steps on how to make a website.
I know you will love WordPress for being an amazing Content Management System that makes your and my job easy to design our websites from scratch with the help of a pool of amazing plugins.
For almost everything, there is a plugin to get the job done, thanks to WordPress plugins that have made it easy to learn how to make a website.
After you have created an initial structure of your website or blog you might need few important plugins to give your website a meaningful look. Like in the case of SSL; though you have already activated it on your hosting account, you still need to install a plugin to make it functional.
I know it as a beginner it gets overwhelming sometimes to choose the right plugins for your website, that is why I want to share with you the plugins that I install and activate in the first go whenever I have to design a website for myself of my clients.
Here is a list of the top 5 best WordPress plugins that you must need to install soon after WordPress installation is done.
- Really Simple SSL
- W3 Total Cache
- Rank Math
- Google Site Kit
#1 Best WordPress Plugins – Really Simple SSL
Really Simple SSL automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https.
To keep it lightweight, the options are kept to a minimum. The entire site will move to SSL.
I not only recommend this plugin but would advocate and declare it a MUST to have plugin for your WordPress site or blog
Three simple steps for setup:
- Get an SSL certificate (you already have it Free from ThouHost)
- Install and Activate this plugin
- Enable SSL with one click
What does the plugin actually do
- The siteurl and homeurl are changed to https.
- Your insecure content is fixed by replacing all http:// URL’s with https://, except hyperlinks to other domains. Dynamically, so no database changes are made (except for the siteurl and homeurl).
- The plugin handles most issues that WordPress has with SSL, like when you’re behind a reverse proxy/loadbalancer, or when no headers are passed which WordPress can use to detect SSL.
- All incoming requests are redirected to https. Default with an internal WordPress redirect, but you can also enable a .htaccess redirect.
- Cookies set with PHP are set securely, by setting them with the httpOnly flag
Though most of your SSL requirement would be taken care of by the free version of Really Simple SSL but should you choose to opt for the premium version, you can get it here.
Pro features of Really Simple SSL
- The mixed content scan, which shows you what you have to do if you don’t have the secure lock yet
- The option to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security
- The option to configure your site for the HSTS preload list
- Advanced security headers for additional security
- Mixed Content Fixer for the back-end
- More detailed feedback on the configuration page
- Certificate expiration check: get an email when your SSL certificate is about to expire
- Premium support
#2 Best WordPress Plugins – W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache (W3TC) is the total performance solution for optimizing your WordPress Website. It improves the SEO and user experience of your website by increasing website performance and reducing load times by leveraging features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.
I highly recommend installing W3TC plugin on your WordPress website as it is the only Web Performance Optimization (WPO) framework for WordPress trusted by millions of publishers, web developers, and web hosts worldwide for more than a decade.
An inside look of W3 Total Cache:
Benefits of W3TC
- Improvements in search engine result page rankings, especially for mobile-friendly websites and sites that use SSL
- At least 10x improvement in overall site performance (Grade A in WebPagetest or significant Google Page Speed improvements) when fully configured
- Improved conversion rates and “site performance” which affect your site’s rank on Google.com
- “Instant” repeat page views: browser caching
- Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering quickly and can be interacted with more quickly
- Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site; visitors view more pages
- Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods
- Up to 80% bandwidth savings when you minify HTML, minify CSS and minify JS files.
Key Features of W3TC
Though you may not have access to every feature in your free version. But with the premium version you will use all the features and get hang of it with time and requirement.
- Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private / dedicated servers and dedicated servers / clusters
- Transparent content delivery network (CDN) management with Media Library, theme files and WordPress itself
- Mobile support: respective caching of pages by referrer or groups of user agents including theme switching for groups of referrers or user agents
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
- Caching of (minified and compressed) pages and posts in memory or on disk or on (FSD) CDN (by user agent group)
- Caching of feeds (site, categories, tags, comments, search results) in memory or on disk or on CDN
- Caching of search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) in memory or on disk
- Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of fragments in memory or on disk
- Caching methods include local Disk, Redis, Memcached, APC, APCu, eAccelerator, XCache, and WinCache
- Minification of posts and pages and RSS feeds
- Minification of inline, embedded or 3rd party CSS with automated updates to assets
- Defer offscreen images using Lazy Load to improve the user experience
- Browser caching using cache-control, future expire headers and entity tags (ETag) with “cache-busting”
- Import post attachments directly into the Media Library (and CDN)
- Leverage our multiple CDN integrations to optimize images
- WP-CLI support for cache purging, query string updating and more
- Various security features to help ensure website safety
- Caching statistics for performance insights of any enabled feature
- Extension framework for customization or extensibility for Cloudflare, WPML and much more
- Reverse proxy integration via Nginx or Varnish
Speed up your site tremendously, and improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins or how you produce your content.
#3 Best WordPress Plugins – Elementor
Elementor is a robust and user-friendly page builder designed for WordPress with drag-and-drop options that work like magic.
I would highly recommend to use Elementor as page builder for all your websites because this plugin helps you create beautiful pages using a visual editor.
This WordPress plugin is an all-in-one solution. It’s designed for you to build dynamic websites quickly, therefore letting you control every part of your website design on a single platform.
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned web developer, this WordPress plugin (Elementor) website and page builder serves equally. You can start with the basic version which has almost everything you need to create a beautiful layout of your website or blog.
Enjoy Elementor – Free For Life
No credit card required, free for life. Explore Elementor’s drag & drop live editor and start building responsive websites today with 40+ basic widgets and 30+ templates. Get started with Elementor’s Free plan.
Should you feel that you need to add more features to your website then choose Elementor Pro version, which comes at an affordable cost. Check the pricing here.
Should you feel that you are not satisfied with the offerings of the plan you chose, you can avail the 30 Day Money Back Guarantee on all the plans.
The basic version of Elementor will serve the purpose, but it is good to have the Elementor Pro, which gives you access to the premium options with Pro widgets, 100s of Pre-Designed Templates & Blocks, therefore, making your designing fun and easy.
The most professional WordPress Website Builder out there. Elementor Pro vastly improves your design workflow and lets you design faster and better than ever. Get access to more professional widgets, options, and tools to really push your design to the next level.
#4 Best WordPress Plugins – Rank Math
SEO is the most consistent source of traffic for any website. We created Rank Math, a WordPress SEO plugin, to help every website owner get access to the SEO tools they need to improve their SEO and attract more traffic to their website. ~Rank Math
Having a website does not serve the purpose if it does not get featured by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is much needed and critical for your website to get traffic from these search engines. SEO helps in getting organic traffic and takes two to three months to set up everything for your website.
I found Rank Math the best option for SEO after comparing it with other SEO plugins like Yoast, All-In-One-SEO, etc.
It is the host of intelligent features that brings top SEO capabilities in your hands that were previously out of reach. The smart automation features give you the power of an entire SEO team with just a few clicks.
A well thought out design, powerful features, and years of development by the MyThemeShop squad make Rank Math a game-changing SEO plugin that will level the SEO playing field in your favor to help increase traffic.
Why is Rank Math such a game-changer?
I have added a list of few of the features (source Rank Math website) for you to go through and make a choice for best WordPress plugin for SEO and I am sure you will love it.
- Auto Configuration — All you have to do is set a few options, and Rank Math will configure itself perfectly for your website.
- Super Fast SEO Plugin — Even after packing so many features, Rank Math has a negligible load on your server, thus making it one of the fastest SEO plugins for WordPress.
- Automatic Keyword Suggestions from Google — Get keyword suggestions from Google as you start typing letters in the focus keyword field of Rank Math.
- New SEO Analyzer — Rank Math’s built-in SEO analysis will give you SEO recommendations that you’d normally spend hundreds of dollars to get.
- Elementor SEO – Deep integration with the Elementor Page builder. Now, you don’t need to go back and forth between tabs to configure your page’s SEO. Everything related to SEO for Elementor can be configured in the visual editor.
- Page Builder SEO – The Rank Math plugin’s content analysis works perfectly with popular page builders and themes like Divi Page Builder & Theme, WPBakery, Avada, Astra, Themify, Beaver Builder, Page Builder Framework, Schema theme, Flothemes, OceanWP, etc.
- Optimize UNLIMITED Keywords At Once — You can optimize your post for up to 5 different keywords by default with the Rank Math plugin and can use a filter to optimize for unlimited keywords.
- Image SEO – With Rank Math’s perfect solution to add ALT & Title tags on the fly, to optimize images, showing inside the content, and that too for FREE, there is no reason to choose any other SEO solution that does not provide all the essential SEO features.
- Web Stories SEO – Make any Story created with Google’s Web Stories plugin SEO-Ready. Automatically adds AMP friendly Schema markup and Meta tags.
- Translation Plugins Support — Rank Math works flawlessly with the top translation plugins like WPML, TranslatePress, Weglot, Polylang, etc., making it a perfect companion.
- XML Sitemap – The Rank Math plugin comes with a fast loading Sitemap feature that works with different post types, including the custom ones and provides deep controlling. One can also generate a Locations KML file via filter for Local Sitemap, & a WooCommerce Sitemap.
- 1-Click Import From Yoast — With a single click of your mouse, Rank Math can import all your settings from Yoast SEO & Yoast SEO Premium to itself. The transfer is instant, and you don’t lose any SERP rankings as a result.
- 1-Click Import From AIO SEO — Rank Math can also import all your settings from AIO SEO & All in One SEO Pack Pro in a single click. The transfer is instant, and you don’t lose any SERP rankings as a result.
- 1-Click Import From All In One Schema Rich Snippets — Rank Math can also import all of AIO’s Rich Snippet & Schema Pro settings in a few clicks, which help preserve your rich rankings when moving to Rank Math.
- 1-Click Import From SEOPress SEO — With a single click of your mouse, Rank Math can import all your settings from SEOPress & SEOPress Pro SEO plugin to itself. The transfer is instant, and you don’t lose any SERP rankings as a result.
- 1-Click Import From Redirection — Moving all your redirects shouldn’t be a hassle. That’s why we have made importing redirections from the popular Redirection plugin as simple as clicking a button.
- Google Keyword Suggestion — When deciding on focus keywords, Rank Math can help you discover more keywords by pulling in automatic keyword suggestions from Google.
#5 Best WordPress Plugins – Site Kit by Google
Once you are done with the SEO using Rank Math plugin you will need to monitor the traffic on your website. I would highly recommend installing the Site Kit by Google to keep track of your website traffic.
Site Kit is the official WordPress plugin from Google for insights about how people find and use your site.
Site Kit is the one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make the site successful on the web.
It provides authoritative, up-to-date insights from multiple Google products directly on the WordPress dashboard for easy access, all for free.
Site Kit includes powerful features that make using these Google products seamless and flexible:
- Easy-to-understand stats directly on your WordPress dashboard
- Official stats from multiple Google tools, all in one dashboard
- Quick setup for multiple Google tools without having to edit the source code of your site
- Metrics for your entire site and for individual posts
- Easy-to-manage, granular permissions across WordPress and different Google products
Site Kit shows key metrics and insights from different Google products:
- Search Console: Understand how Google Search discovers and displays your pages in Google Search. Track how many people saw your site in search results, and what query they used to search for your site.
- Analytics: Explore how users navigate your site and track goals you’ve set up for your users to complete.
- AdSense: Keep track of how much your site is earning you.
- PageSpeed Insights: See how your pages perform compared to other real-world sites. Improve performance with actionable tips from PageSpeed Insights.
- Tag Manager: Use Site Kit to easily set up Tag Manager- no code editing required. Then, manage your tags in Tag Manager.
- Optimize: Use Site Kit to easily set up Optimize- no code editing required. Then, set up A/B tests in Optimize.
Choosing the best WordPress plugins for your website or blog is crucial for the design, security and traffic and it is crucial to limit the number of plugins as well because it will impact your website load time as well.
Therefore, I chose to give you an overview of the 5 best WordPress plugins that will help you not only design a beautiful website but you may not need more than these at least at the initial stages of your web design journey.
You can always start from the basic or free version first and then upgrade to the premium version if need be. However, if you want to unlock the greater potential and get access to pro features then it is best to opt for premium versions at the outset.
Should you be using any one of the plugins in my top 5 list, feel free to leave a comment. Let us know your experiences – strengths or drawbacks. Let’s make the community more helpful!
The plugins are rated high in the WordPress repository as well as in their own landing pages for their powerful support and awesome features.