One of the great things about WordPress is its plugin ecosystem thats baked into the core of its CMS. This means there are a vast community of developers creating plugins to extend WordPress’ core functionality to the point where you can almost make it do anything.
The plugin landscape is …ups and downs. The open WordPress plugin repository hosts hundreds ( probably thousands ) now of free plugins that you can install from the get-go. Be careful! a lot of these are great. Many of them are also bloated, inefficient and cause more problems than they solve.
When the sites we build in house require custom functionality; we create our own plugins each with a razor focus on supporting a single feature to keep the sites we build lean and fast, but there are a lot of situations where it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel.
Here’s a list of 10 WordPress plugins that every website should probably install – and if not these ones then at least some variation of it.
- Advanced Custom Fields: This plugin gives you the ability to add extra, custom fields to your WordPress edit screens. It can be a game-changer when you want to add additional content, like extra text, images, and more. It’s useful because it can greatly enhance your WordPress site, making it more flexible and personalised.
ACF WordPress Plugin
- WordFence: A leading security plugin, WordFence provides a firewall and malware scanner to protect your WordPress site. It’s especially useful in protecting your site from malicious traffic and providing robust login security, making your website a safer place for both you and your users.
WordFence Security Plugin
- TinyPNG: This image optimisation plugin helps speed up your site by reducing the file size of your images without sacrificing quality. It’s essential for providing a faster, smoother user experience, especially for visitors with slower internet connections.
TinyPNG WordPress Plugin
- WP HTML E-Mail Template Designer: This plugin allows you to design your own HTML email templates for WordPress. It’s useful for maintaining a consistent and professional brand image in all of your email communications.
HTML E-mail Template Plugin
- WP SMTP: WP SMTP helps you to send email from your WordPress site via an SMTP server rather than using the PHP mail() function. It’s important because it helps to ensure that your emails are reliably delivered and less likely to be marked as spam.
WordPress SMTP Plugin
- W3 Total Cache: This plugin increases server performance and reduces download times, leading to a faster, more responsive website. It’s particularly useful for improving site speed and performance, which is crucial for keeping visitors on your site longer.
WordPress Caching Plugin
- GDPR Cookie Compliance: As the name suggests, this plugin helps your website become GDPR compliant by giving your users full control over cookies. It’s essential for respecting your visitors’ privacy rights and meeting legal requirements.
WordPress Cookie Consent Plugin
- Ninja Forms: Ninja Forms allows you to create and manage multiple forms for your WordPress website. This plugin is useful for easily creating professional, interactive forms for visitor inquiries, surveys, and more.
WordPress Form Builder Plugin
- Popup Maker: Popup Maker allows you to create and customise popups on your WordPress site. It’s useful for grabbing your visitors’ attention, whether you’re collecting email addresses, displaying a promotion, or sharing important news.
WordPress Popup Creator Plugin
- Yoast SEO: This is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for search engine optimisation (SEO). Yoast SEO is useful for improving your website’s visibility in search engines, making it easier for people to find your site when they search for relevant keywords.
WordPress SEO Plugin