The world of WordPress plugins is vast and much like the ocean, over half of it is unexplored and full of terrifying monsters. With over 50,000 plugins available and more being published daily, it can be hard to find out the best plugins to use on your site. Do you select a plugin based on popularity? Should you bother to read reviews? To help out those struggling with deciding between WordPress plugins the iNNOV8 team got together and came up with a (slightly unbiased) list of the 10 best WordPress plugins.
Yoast SEO – Free and Paid Options
By far Yoast SEO is our favorite plugin for SEO. For a brief moment, I considered getting it tattooed across my knuckles. But really, this is the all in one SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s a great way to start learning basic SEO practices. If you have been struggling with writing to SEO standards the content analysis tool is unbeatable. The free version also can set canonical URLs for you so duplicate content won’t be penalized. There are even templates to help write SEO titles and meta descriptions.
Feeling fancy? Upgrade to their premium version to be able to track related keywords, internal link suggestions, and a cool social preview tool.
Ninja Forms – Free but Offers a Membership
Every website needs a contact form how else are you going to get in touch with curious users? Ninja Forms makes building a contact form simple and quick. For the not tech-savvy the drag and drop builder will make professional looking forms. While developers can add filters or custom field templates, Ninja Forms doesn’t limit the number of forms that you can make and they include anti-spam field options.
Their membership has some add-ons for layouts, multi-part forms, and payment options.
Monster Insights – Free and Pro versions
Are you looking for a way to better monitor the traffic on your website? Monster Insights is the easiest way to connect Google Analytics into your site. With this plugin, you can see how users are interacting with your site. This plugin shows all reports right inside of the WordPress dashboard along with steps you can take to help optimize your site to increase traffic. It really is a great plugin for anyone that wants to get to know their audience better.
While the free version is great, this plugin is one that I recommend to pay for. There are a few reports that are worth the price.
WooCommerce – Free
If you need to sell something on your WordPress site, you need to add WooCommerce into your site like now. It’s a free open source eCommerce plugin to help anyone create an online store of their dreams. It has a handy set up guide to help users build their store within minutes. This plugin includes setups for product, carts, and check out pages. Set up both credit card payments and shipping options without a hassle. It even has a tax calculator to save precious time trying to figure out sales tax.
Being that it’s open-source it allows for full ownership of the shops that users build. WooCommerce allows you to run your online store without needing a web development team to manage it.
Akismet – Free and Paid Options
Spam comments and email is the bane of every site owner. It can be annoying and time-consuming to clear it out. Sometimes spam comments stay up and visible for a while before anyone notices them. Akismet will check both comments and forms and allow you to moderate comment spam. Every comment has a status history so users can view when it was caught by Akismet and when it was cleared or marked as spam. There is a discard feature that can ultimately block the worst of spam.
Akismet offers both a free and pay what you want versions for personal sites and blogs. But to monitor just one professional site it’s $5/mo which is worth saving you the hassle of doing this yourself.
Smush – Free and Paid Options
Beautiful images are a must on any site, but these images also tend to be HUGE. Large non-optimized images will start to slow down a website faster than you can create an analogy based on children’s story. Smush is a great plugin to start lowering images sizes but not losing the quality. Smush has lossless compression, automated optimization, and image resizing. There is also a tool to help find those large images that are hiding in the darker parts of your website.
Smush Pro comes with a larger bulk smush (free allows for 50 at a time) along with some other options to help keep photos in check and not slow down your website.
Broken Link Checker – Free
Your Friday nights just cleared up because this plugin does exactly what you think it does. Broken Link Checker scans your site and sends reports of any broken links. There are even options to have broken links display differently and to tell the search engines to not follow those links.
This plugin may be simple but perfect just the way it is.
Duplicate Post – Free
As you can probably guess what this plugin does. With the power to clone posts of any type creating profiles for team members or creating a visual standard for blog posts has never been easier. Duplicate Post is also open-source so it can be customized for even the most niche uses.
Code Snippets – Free
Okay developers, if you aren’t using this plugin on the daily we need to talk. Code Snippets is the easiest way to run PHP code snippets on your site without needing to add them to the theme functions file. So say goodbye to long messy code! One of the coolest features of this plugin is being able to be exported to another site. The editor has tags to help manage and organize snippets and a full-featured code editor.
Really though, save some hair and cry fewer tears by adding this to any site you’re developing.
Redirection – Free
Does it say a lot about us that a lot of our favorite plugins don’t require a lot of explanation? Redirection is a plugin that helps manage 404 errors and 301 redirects. Staying on top of these two things will help traffic and SEO rankings. It’s extremely easy to use, allows for importing and exporting CSV spreadsheets, and overall makes fixing links so much easier.
So there you have it, iNNOV8’s list of the 10 best WordPress plugins to help you work smarter and not harder.
Do You Need Help With Your WordPress Site?
If you’ve added a few too many plugins and are having trouble maintaining them, reach out to us! We offer WordPress Maintenance plans to help non-developers get back to doing literally anything else.