Have you ever started building your WordPress site and felt bombarded with all the plugin choices available? Sometimes it seems like you’re swimming in a sea of endless options, with no sight of dry land.
It can be a bit overwhelming, huh?
Luckily, the list of plugins you actually need is quite short. In fact, if you go a bit bonkers with installing plugins, it can do your website more harm than good.
To help you find the right ones, I’ve compiled this short list of basic plugins.
These are my favorites for any type of website. I’ve got a whole other list of favorite plugins that I consider for special purposes, but that will be a different post.
Contact Form 7
If you want your WordPress website to reach its fullest potential, you need to offer a way for readers to contact you. And Contact Form 7 makes that easier than ever.
You can create and manage multiple contact forms with this plugin. It’s perfect for the local business owner that doesn’t know how to code because you can customize the form straight from the settings.
As the cherry on top, Contact Form 7 supports Ajax-powered submitting, Akismet filtering and CAPTCHA. Or in simpler terms: it fights SPAM.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache can also help to improve web server performance during high traffic periods, which is crucial for larger websites.
In a world of instant gratification, having a slow-loading website could leave you with less traffic. To help you visualize the impact, here are a few noteworthy stats from KISSmetrics:
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Important Reminder: Don’t forget to deactivate this plugin when doing website updates. Otherwise, you may have difficulty viewing your changes.
It always amazes me how much spam fills the Internet. No one wants to read a bunch of spam comments on your blog. But without the proper filter, that’s exactly what will happen. Before you know it, the spam will drown any quality comments you’re receiving.
And that’s where Antispam Bee saves the day.
Antispam Bee is a reliable, free plugin that catches spam attempts and filters them out. It can keep up with your business website without costing you anything. What’s not to love?
Creating backups and doing migration seems like an overwhelming technical task. Chances are words like easy and beginner-friendly don’t come to mind.
That is, until just now as I tell you about BackupBuddy.
This plugin stores your backups on the cloud, letting you live stress free knowing all your content is secure. As companies invest hundreds and thousands of dollars into content, it’s more important than ever to have a secure backup.
You never know when you may need it.
The Events Calendar
There are plenty of calendar options when it comes to WordPress, but I enjoy how customizable this one is for beginners and experts alike. You can modify it to fit all your calendar needs. Plus, it has a comprehensive template system.
You can download both a free and paid version.
SEO is so important, especially for local businesses. Getting found online often happens in the search results. And if you’re not there, you’re losing out on potential customers each month.
So, it’s time to invest in some SEO.
Yoast SEO is by far my favorite plugin for this because it’s not just for SEO – it comes with complete website optimization tools. Here are a few of its features:
- Add titles and descriptions to articles.
- Add open graph meta data.
- Do page analysis.
- Publish XML sitemap.
- And much, much more.
Best of all? It’s easy to install, setup and use. That’s why I recommend it to all my students.
Okay, there you have it! A few of my favorite plugins.
Do you have any favorites that I didn’t include on this list? If so, share it in the comments below! I’d love to hear your ideas because I love learning about new great plugins!
And remember, if you want more specific plugin ideas, stay tuned for upcoming posts. 🙂