What are the Compulsory WordPress plugins to install? There are hundreds and even thousands of WordPress plugins available either for free or paid. When you have just started your WordPress blog, you might be overwhelmed by the plugins with the features that sound promising to make your WordPress blogs perform outstandingly. However, it is impossible to install all of the best plugins in your WordPress blog as they will make your blog heavy and slow. For me, the less plugins you install in your blog with maximum functionality are better than several super plugins that overlap each other. Installing the compulsory WordPress plugins will make your WordPress blog run faster. You might also similar functions of these plugins in a bundle like what I have in Thrive Themes. That is one reason why I changed into Thrive Themes
Minimum Types of Compulsory WordPress Plugins
I am not frightening you right now. According to recent Web Technology Survey,
WordPress is used by 58.7% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 25.3% of all websites.
Because of the popularity, there are a lot of vulnerable hackers and malware threatening WordPress as an open source CMS. WordPress bloggers might not be aware how vulnerable WordPress is. They neglect the security aspects and underestimate the effects might happen to the unsecured blog. There are some ways to avoid the security problems. One of the way avoiding the threat is by installing the security plugin. There are some popular security plugins you can install in your WordPress blog. Here are some of them:
- Wordfence is a free plugin that can scan your blog for threatening possibility, detect the threatening malware and hacks, protect the blog with enhancing password, blocking country and IPs, and limit the login attempts.
- Sucuri Security will audit activity, monitor file integrity, scan remote malware, and harden security.
Some activities in the dashboard will cause your blog perform more slowly. Sometimes, the busy blog will show some abnormality that can annoy the performance as well. Caches will store files that are not used anymore to the blog and pile them so that when certain data or query is needed, users will pass the unused files before they come to the needed files. That is why we need to install the cache plugins to make sure that we don’t keep the trashes so that the blog speed is maintained. Here are a couple of top cache plugins:
SEO stands from Search Engine Optimization. There are millions of websites in the virtual network. They compete to get the first position in the search engine in their keywords. In other words, the internet uses the prefix www (world wide web) as it is like a spider web. the search engine will crawl around the web to find the best site that suit to the keywords searched. Therefore, the use of the right keywords with the right method will affect the visibility of the website in the search engine. The process or the method of using the keywords in the website to get better ranking in the search engine is called as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
To ease WordPress users in the SEO, we can use the SEO plugins properly because all websites want to get the best rank normally. Here are a couple of the popular SEO plugins:
- Yoast SEO
- All In One SEO Pack
It is weird when you find your blog has a comment that use other languages than the language you know. There are sometimes other comments that contain pornography or promotion. Those are spamming. It is something ridiculous actually to get those spams in our site. We cannot control our dashboard all of the times. Well, it seems WordPress has admitted about the high spamming risks in the platform so that Akismet as an anti-spam plugin has been provided automatically in each WordPress site.
Although Akismet is a must have anti-spam plugin, but there are other anti-spam plugins as alternatives in case you don’t work well with Akismet:
Social Following and Sharing Plugins
Working on a website cannot be separated from the social media relationship. When you are going to get connected with your audience in the social media, you should put the social following plugin that enables the readers to reach you in the social media. By reaching you in the social media they will know your content earlier and easier.
The social following plugins are sometimes integrated with the social sharing function. The social sharing function will ease the readers to share your contents to the social media. Nobody will read your content without the social media. Can you see the importance of social media following and sharing? There are hundreds of the social media following and sharing plugins, both the free and the paid ones.
If you have just started blogging, you might want to use the free plugins. Here they are:
Since Social media play huge roles in the website growth, I think paid plugins will give good return of investment as well. Here are some premium social plugins I like:
- Warfare Plugin
- Ultimate Social Deux
WordPress is like a house that needs regular cleaning up. Cleaning up cache is not enough to make the blog perform well. Database cleaning up is also needed to boost the blog. Lacking of the cleaning up can make the blog disfunction as well.
WordPress websites don’t include only files, but they also include tables that stores data of your blog, start from your personal to the technical data, from the name of the website, the comments, the people who comment, the titles of the posts, the tables for setting, to the dates of the posts. Those tables are organized by the SQL database. It is impossible for us for just keeping writing all of the time. There are some times for us to maintain the blog by changing the theme and the settings. We add more information and delete some of them. The data stored keep changing.
The changes in the website don’t automatically change or clean the stored information in the tables or in the database. The older the website is, the more complicated the database will be. Therefore, regular cleaning up is needed. You can clean up by yourselves when you understand my SQL database, but it will be risky when you don’t understand how to do this properly.
The database backup and cleaning up plugin will be needed to help you back up and clean up you website’s database. Here is a couple of popular cleaning up and optimizing database plugins:
Other Posts Plugins
When readers are interested to know more about the contents of your website, you should not make them confused about the other place or the other contents they can relate with the recent content they are reading. The other posts plugins will keep the readers stay in your website. When you still only have a few posts, it will be easier for them to browse. However, the more posts you have, the more confused visitors will be. By showing them other posts to visit, they will browse around your website. The other post plugins can be classified into some types of plugins:
- Recent posts
- Popular posts
- Related posts
They can be displayed in different ways:
- Plain titles only
- Thumbnail only
- Thumbnail and excerpt
- Thumbnail and titles
Here are some of the free plugins:
A contact page is a compulsory feature a website should have to get the audience contact the owner or the administrator of the website directly. Rather than asking them to copy and paste your email address, it is better to have the form plugin to get them write on. You also can use this form for other purpose, such as survey. Here are some free form plugins for you to choose:
When someone find your content through the social media and visit it, they will have two possibilities. They might read it and feel interested or they might read it and leave. It doesn’t take a long time to make them deciding to leave and never come back. When you have a subscriber plugin, you might get their contacts to convert them into customers in the future. The subscriber plugin will ask the visitors fill in the name and the email address. They are also called as Optin plugins. Some of the subscriber plugins just stay in widget, but some of them can pop up in one or many different places. Some of them can display ordinarily, but some others can show different backgrounds and layouts. Here are a couple of free versions:
For me, I use Thrive Lead from Thrive Themes to get more conversion. Since I use Thrive Themes as my blog’s theme, the subscriber plugin is included already.
What are your compulsory WordPress plugins to install?