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5 Essential WordPress Plugins Your Website Needs

Let’s face it: your website is the face of your business within the digital world. Choosing the right content management system (CMS) will play a huge role in the overall experience and appearance of your website.

WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful CMS for building websites. Its open source capabilities allow you to customize your website to the very bone. An amazing feature of WordPress is the various professional plugins you can download in order to add key features and functionality to your site in the most seamless way possible – five of which we recommend you mobilize today.

  1. Yoast SEO

    An important step of building web pages is setting up meta tags. Essentially, meta tags are snippets of text within the source code of your website that describe the content on each of your web pages. 

    If you aren’t a coder, going into your website’s HTML to update meta tags can be a daunting task. 

    Yoast SEO takes the guesswork out of updating your web pages’ meta tags. It is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to easily set titles and meta tags, while targeting specific keywords in order to optimize your web pages for SEO. 

    You’ll be able to specify an SEO title (the ‘headline’ of your search result) and a meta description (a short piece of text underneath your search headline, describing what users can find on your page) for each web page. Yoast SEO will let you know if these are too long, or if your targeted keyword is missing.

    The plugin also shows you a preview of what your meta tags will look like within search results, giving you more control over the appearance of your website. 

    The true power of Yoast SEO is the fact that it will score your meta tags and page content based on your focus keyword and best practices. 


    Key Takeaways

    – Create content that helps you rank in search results through SEO and readability analysis
    – Preview how your web page information will appear within Google search results
    – Optimize your web page content with keywords people are searching for

  2. Gravity Forms

    One of the easiest and fastest ways to have users contact you via a website is through a contact form. But if your contact form is hard coded, it’s nearly impossible to make easy and efficient updates without going into the backend of your website. 

    That’s where Gravity Forms comes in handy.

    Gravity Forms allows you to easily build custom forms and flows to connect with your users and expand your reach.

    The plugin is an intuitive drag-and-drop tool, so that you can seamlessly build and maintain contact forms on your website. It facilitates freedom in form design by allowing you to apply custom CSS, and also mobilizes built-in spam prevention so that you can block bots through CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA.


    Key Takeaways

    – Build seamless contact forms with the plugin’s user friendly drag and drop features
    – Create forms that adapt to any device or resolution
    – Fend off bots with anti spam and Google reCAPTCHA capabilities

  3. Wordfence

    Wordfence is one of the most popular WordPress firewall and security scanners on the market. It’s a comprehensive security solution that protects your website from threats and malicious traffic. It also provides a detailed and intuitive dashboard that displays website health and potential threats.

    Key Takeaways

    – Identify and block malicious traffic through the plugin’s Web Application Firewall
    Protect your site from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts
    – Monitor your website’s health and potential threats through a detailed and intuitive  dashboard 

  4. Smush Image Compression

    Images are key when it comes to the design of engaging and beautiful websites. However, high quality images can take up a lot of real estate on your server which can heavily impact your site’s overall load speed. This can be extremely damaging to your website’s user experience, and also harm your search engine ranking, as Google will not deem your website as “worthy” within search engine results if your site contains pages with slow load speeds.

    One way to resolve this is to manually compress each and every image on your website, which  can be very time consuming. 

    Enter: Smush.

    This plugin compresses and optimizes your images automatically, which gives you the freedom to post numerous images across your website while keeping your load times speedy. It also detects and alerts you when there are images on your website that should be compressed. 


    Key Takeaways

    – Enhance your Google PageSpeed with one easy click by compressing and optimizing up to 50 images at a time
    – Receive alerts when images are slowing down your website and easily locate their location
    – Take control of image resizing by setting a max width and height, and large images will scale down as they are being compressed

  5. Advanced Custom Fields

    Want more control over your website content and how it’s organized on your editing screens? 

    Advanced Customs Fields is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add extra content fields – more commonly known as Custom Fields – to your WordPress edit screens, and can allow you to build websites faster. 

    Fields can be added all over WordPress including posts, media, comments, users, and more. 

    The plugin can be leveraged to give clients control of their content without the need for shortcodes or page builders, making it easier for you as a business owner to update website content.


    Key Takeaways

    – Add more custom fields to your website so that you can efficiently add and update website content
    – Utilize the plugin within posts and create easily adjustable dynamic pages, such as team pages, service pages, portfolio, etc.

 

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to designing and maintaining a great WordPress website. WordPress plugins are easy and reliable tools when it comes to adding functionality, security, and other features on your website. They give you a ton of freedom without the need to have everything hard coded on your website, giving you more control over it.