Creating a good website is easier said than done. You need an appealing, intuitive, easy-to-navigate design that’s spam-protected and optimized for search engines. Most people’s first port of call is WordPress, the most popular system for content management in the world. Seventeen posts are published on WordPress every second.
Open Source with Free Plugins
WordPress is open source, but that’s just the beginning of its benefits to users. It also allows you to install plugins – apps to add new features to your site. They help you protect your site from spammers, optimize it for search engines, and create an optimal user experience.
They are also quite numerous. The official directory has tens of thousands. This makes choosing the best ones for your needs somewhat challenging, especially considering sites have different demands.
Regardless of the niche, every WordPress website needs specific plugins. This article makes some recommendations. Before you get started, you’ll obviously want to set WordPress up in the best way possible. Here’s a guide to installing WordPress and a list of some plugins your site needs.
1. Yoast SEO
What good is a website, even the most beautifully designed, if no one knows about it? It’s like the tree in the forest that didn’t make a sound when it fell. At the same time, search engine optimization is incredibly complicated. With this plugin, your SEO becomes a piece of cake.
Yoast lets people choose a keyword and optimize their site based on that. There are two tabs at the top. The second one shows where to optimize your URL, meta description, and title.
The second is what appears under the URL and title. Yoast uses traffic lights to communicate the status of your SEO. If it’s red, it needs improvement. Yellow is acceptable, and green is good.
The other tab communicates text readability and offers tips to improve it.
2. WP Super Cache
A slow website can lead visitors (and potential customers) to lose patience and navigate away. A cache is a place where data is temporarily stored. Your browser keeps files from previously visited sites, so it doesn’t have to load them from scratch every time. The cache reduces loading time.
What does WP Super Cache do? It cuts down on page serving time by creating static pages. Rather than processing full scripts, it serves the pages.
This plugin also makes caching on mobile possible. Simply activating it will cut down on load time, not to mention the wide variety of controls and features that can be configured.
To avoid your visitors’ patience wearing thin, don’t hesitate to install WP Super Cache.
Spam comments will show up as soon as your website goes live, and many of them will look real. This ruins user experience and clogs up the site. It would be best if you dealt with spam comments promptly. If you don’t, you might start losing traffic to your site. Eventually, this will hurt the brand you’re trying to establish.
Akismet is an effective and reliable anti-spam plugin that can take care of this. Created by WordPress’ parent company, it has been downloaded almost 40 million times.
You need an API key to begin using Akismet after installing it. This is very easy to do. When you’re done, paste the key into the box and select the destination of unwanted comments.
Page builder plugins make it possible to create pages with modules, sections, widgets, and more. While there’s no shortage of these on the market, most either don’t have the features you’re looking for or are too expensive.
There are back-end and front-end builders. Front-end ones let you make edits in real-time. When you change something, you can see how it looks as you’re making the change.
Elementor is a user-friendly, simple, feature-packed front-end editor. It’s free and lets you control every component of your website. It comes with ready templates to save time. You can also reuse custom layouts.
Contact forms are a common way to get in touch with a business. Mobile users won’t take the time to copy and paste your email. WPForms is a plugin that creates contact forms. There are templates to choose from. You also have the option to customize the form. For instance, you might want to delete the subject line or add a phone number field.
Once you’re done, press a button at the top to embed the form and paste the shortcode where you want it to appear.
The mobile-friendly, responsive forms come with customizable yet straightforward styling. You can make as many forms as you want. The plugin can also prevent bots and spam.
Last but not least, you can customize the confirmation notices people will see when they open your form.