These are the most essential WordPress plugins that all website-builders should install on their sites.

WorPress plugins serve as great tools to add functionality to your website. When building a new site, there is a core group of plugins that are essential for any website no matter the niche. In this article, we are going to discuss those plugins that you must install on your website.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is always one of the very first plugins that I install on my websites. We all know the importance of SEO (search engine optimization). Yoast SEO makes doing the on-page SEO super easy.

You can designate the exact keyword that you want to target for that piece of content. And, it also allows you to customize the search title and meta description that shows up in the search results. Yoast SEO is an absolute must-have.

2. Jetpack

Jetpack is a great plugin that does it all. It was developed by the creators of WordPress, so you automatically know it’s going to be good. Its features include: site stats and analytics, social media sharing, related posts, hack protection, site backups, and much more.

I mainly use it for the stats and related posts features, but the rest that it has to offer is just icing on the cake.

3. Akismet

This one was also developed by the guys who created WordPress. It basically functions as a filter that prevents spam from taking over your website. If you are new to WordPress, it won’t take you long to realize how many people will try to post spammy comments to your blog. Akismet filters out the spammy ones for you so you don’t have to.

4. Divi Builder

I live and die by the Divi theme. It’s the theme I use to build all of my websites. The Divi Builder plugin is a premium plugin that is included with the theme. It allows you to use drag and drop technology to build great-looking websites with ease. It’s a lifesaver for people who don’t know how to code (like me).

5. Pretty Links

Pretty Links is a  plugin that lets you to shrink, cloak, track, and organize links on your website. I like to use it with my long, ugly affiliate links. Instead of keeping track of every one of your affiliate links, which is impossible, you can set up a pretty link for each one incorporating your own domain name.

Then you’ll be able to tracks the stats and analytics for each link. And on top of that, it just makes it easy to remember. The Pretty Links plugin is a must.

6. BackWPup

WordPress backups for your website are an absolute must. I cannot stress this enough. If something happens to your website and it crashes by some freak accident, you better have a backup or else you’re screwed. But if you do have a backup handy, no worries, you just can restore it back to normal in a matter of minutes.

That’s where the BackWPup plugin comes in handy. It lets you easily create a backup file of your website and it syncs and saves directly to your Dropbox account.

7. WP Smush

Did you know that images play one of the largest roles in determining the site speed for your website? It’s true. Every website needs images. It’s a requirement. But when you upload image files that are large, it can really slow down your site which detracts from the user experience. That’s not good.

But the WP Smush plugin can save the day. It automatically optimizes or ‘smushes’ down the size of your image uploads and will dramatically increase the speed of your website.

8. Redirection

The title of this plugin says it all. There are times when you create a you page or post and you need to change the permalink. The Redirection plugin lets you do so with ease.

It also comes in handy whenever you have to migrate pages from an old website (which is what I did when I moved my main site from the Blogger platform over to WordPress).

9. WP Broken Link Status Checker

No matter how much maintenance you perform on your website, eventually some type of error will occur. One of your pages will break or one of your outbound links will stop working. It’s just out of your control. That’s why you need a plugin that will automatically check for these errors for you.

The WP Broken Link Status Checker plugin does just that. It will find all the broken you on your website for you. Then, all you have to do is go fix them or remove them altogether.

10. WP Super Cache

I’m not a fancy technical website person. All I know is that you want your website to be as fast as possible. Caching, so I’m told, is one of the best ways to increase website speed. That’s why this plugin is so valuable. Once you install it, there will be a noticeable difference.

11. Bloom

Bloom is another plugin that is included with the Divi theme. Basically, it’s an email opt-in plugin that helps you grow your email list by adding opt-in forms to your website. When someone signs up through your Bloom opt-in form, they are automatically added to your email list.

12. 404Page

An error that, unfortunately, we see far too often when browsing the interwebs is the 404 or Page Not Found error. This error occurs when you click on a broken link (like we mentioned earlier) or if you type in a website that doesn’t exist.

This will eventually happen on your website as well, and the visitor will end up on an ugly 404 error page. But with the 404page plugin, you can customize what your 404 page looks like. This is important because you can include links to useful content that the visitor may be interested in, rather than the error page that leads to nothing.

13. MailMunch

MailMunch is another plugin that I used to help collect email addresses. Like Bloom, it allows you to create beautiful opt-in forms. But I mostly use this one to create opt-in popups that work really well on a few of my sites.

14. Open External Links in a New Window

This one is simple. By default on WordPress, whenever you link to an external website, when the visitor clicks on the link it will automatically open up in their current tab. This isn’t good because it takes the visitor away from your site. By using this plugin, you can make it where, instead, all external links will open in a new tab or window.

15. Q2W3 Fixed Widget

There’s nothing super fancy about this one. It allows you to enable a fixed or sticky “floating” widget in your sidebar which stays put as the visitor scrolls down the page. This is a good spot for an email opt-in form because it can increase clickthrough and conversion rates.

Conclusion

So now you know some of the best WordPress plugins that every website needs. Each time I build a new website, the plugins listed here are the first ones I always install. They provide all the basic features that every website needs.

So go ahead, give them a try and let me know what you think. Also, did I leave one off that you think deserves to be on the list? Are you ready to build a website of your own? Click here to check out my step-by-step guide that will make the process easy for you, especially if you have no prior knowledge of coding or website development. 

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