This article details what plugins we recommend for all WordPress websites.

What is a plugin?

A plugin is an extra bit of software, that can be added to your WordPress website, to add extra features and functions. Plugins can either be downloaded for free directly from WordPress, or purchased from independent companies.

As web designers, we use plugins on our websites, primarily to improve performance and security. However, we also install plugins to add features such as: live chat, reviews, members areas, shopping carts, and much more.

What plugins do we recommend?

There are three plugins that we recommend each website use. These are:

  • WP Rocket
  • Wordfence
  • Yoast SEO

WP Rocket

wp-rocket.me

This plugin is essential for improving the performance of your website. The speed at which your website loads is crucial for both user experience and search engine rankings.

Your visitors are far more likely to be engaged with your site if it is fast and they can quickly access the information they are after. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely their visit will convert to a sale.

The speed at which a website downloads is one of the biggest factors in determining search engine rankings. A fast site will top trump a similar, but slower site. Speed is becoming increasingly important as more people use mobile phones and rely on 3/4G coverage to access the internet.

The cost of this plugin is $39 a year, but worth every penny.

Wordfence.com

Wordfence is the #1 security tool to protect your website from spambots and hackers. Every website is a target for hackers and you should ensure it is as secure as possible. This is especially true if you have client data stored in your website’s database.

Using Wordfence gives you peace of mind that your site is protected 24/7. It can also help site performance, by blocking spammers, who can slow your site down.

This plugin is a bit pricier at $99 a year, but definitely worth it.

 

Yoast SEO

yoast.com

Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded plugins out there. This plugin enables you to optimise your website for search engines. If you want to be found on Google, Bing, etc installing Yoast is essential. In the free version, there are a lot of features that enable you to optimise content and configure the structure of your website. In addition to the free plugin there are also two paid Yoast plugins that are often worth investing in.

Yoast Local – The local plugin is especially useful if you are local business and want to get found for local search terms, such as ‘web designers Edinburgh’.

Yoast Premium – The premium version is worth paying for if you need to redirect a lot of old defunct pages to a new URL. There are also additional features to help with optimising content etc.

Yoast SEO is free. Yoast Local costs £69 and Yoast Premium £89.

That wraps up the core plugins we use, but there are loads more we regularly install including:

Zen Live Chat

This plugin provides live chat feature that can really help convert enquiries into sales.

WP Simple Booking System

Perfect if you want an availability calendar on your holiday cottage website.

WP Forms

The best plugin for creating bespoke forms on your website.