When you set up your WordPress website, you’ll be tempted by a wide array of plugins that can do all kinds of things to enhance the functionality of your site—but how do you choose the best ones?
Here are five plugins to consider for any new WordPress site.
1. BackupBuddy (premium)
Making regular backups of your WordPress site is so important. They can save the day should your site get hacked or you accidentally lock yourself out. To keep your content safe, we recommend downloading a WordPress backup plugin.
BackupBuddy is one option to look at. This plugin puts the backup, optimization, and repair of your database on auto-pilot. It keeps your database happy and ensures you don’t lose your hard work if your server has issues, you experience conflicts, or your site is exploited. This plugin not only backs up your WordPress database, but you can also use it to duplicate, migrate, and restore websites.
With BackupBuddy, you can schedule your backups daily, weekly, or monthly. BackupBuddy automatically uploads your backups to Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, Stash (their cloud service) or as an email to you. It offers premium support and a generous gigabyte of cloud storage to store your backups.
Another option to consider is VaultPress, which now is bundled in Jetpack, a plugin developed by Automattic (WordPress.com).
2. Yoast SEO (freemium)
SEO should be factored into any website build. Search engines are the main source of traffic for most websites, and you’ll want to optimize your site to feature high up on their search rankings.
WordPress has many SEO plugins, but Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time. Yoast guides your SEO efforts and forces you to choose a focus keyword for your articles and pages and makes sure you use it. Using the prompts within the plugin for each post will ensure you start ranking for the keywords your customers are searching for.
The plugin also serves as a comprehensive solution for all your on-site SEO needs. It helps with various functions including XML sitemaps, SEO titles, site speed, meta descriptions, breadcrumbs and a whole lot more. Best of all, it’s free.
Upgrade to Yoast SEO premium for additional keyword optimization, up to 5 per page, and a reading ease score. What’s more—Yoast SEO updates automatically according to changes in Google’s algorithm every two weeks.
3. Optinmonster (premium)
OptinMonster is well known among smart marketers and business owners, and there’s a good reason for that. This powerful software provides you with everything you need to generate leads and convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers.
OptinMonster claims that over 70% of your site’s visitors drop in once and never come back. The idea behind this plugin is to convert these abandoners. Using this plugin will transform your contact forms and target marketing expertise.
With this plugin, create beautiful opt-in forms that display personalized and relevant information—all based on your site visitors’ interests. Track your conversions to get better results all without writing a single line of code. Anyone running an online shop, take note: this ingenious tool even has methods to reduce cart abandonment.
You can begin reaping the benefits of OptinMonster starting at $9 a month.
4. WordFence (freemium)
Keeping your website safe from hackers, malware, and spam should be top of the agenda. To make sure your site is running smoothly, available to your visitors and out of harm’s way, you’ll need a security plugin.
WordFence will audit your site for any potential security problems, including backdoors, malware, and vulnerabilities. This powerful tool has such an extensive set of features, including a firewall to keep threats at bay, two-factor authentication, built-in caching, traffic analysis (including bots), IP blocking, and blocking malicious networks.
The free version even includes features to keep WordPress sites safe and off spam lists. The premium version comes with a news feed which constantly updates the plugin with the newest security threat defense mechanisms to keep your website safe. As a single plugin solution to your WordPress security needs, you can’t get much better than WordFence.
5. MonsterInsights (free)
Once your site goes live, how do you know it’s actually working?
Unless you’re blessed with an immediate barrage of signups or sales, it’s not easy to figure out what’s happening. With the help of Analytics tools, you can answer these questions and more to figure out what’s keeping them from converting.
WordPress analytics plugins are there to help you make sense of what is happening with your visitors. The Monsterinsights plugin allows you to start tracking your site visitors within minutes. Its user-friendly dashboard displays helpful statistics about your website to give you insight into your visitors’ habits, behavior, and preferences. There’s also a pretty neat feature where you can observe your website in real time.
We hope this roundup is helpful. If you know of other essential plugins for your WordPress website, let us know in the comments!
And if you still haven’t set up your website, consider EasyWP—managed WordPress hosting from Namecheap. We make it easy to install WordPress on your website so you can be up and running in no time.