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8 Plugin Recommendations From A Web Designer

As a web designer, I’ve had tons of experience over the years when it comes to testing out different plugins and their features. A question that many clients will often ask is “What are the top plugins that you recommend?”. Given the fact that there’s currently over 50,000 plugins throughout WordPress, providing a quick answer to my client’s isn’t always the easiest. This is why I decided it’d be quite helpful (for both myself and my clients/readers) to put together a list of my top favorites as well as a description of each plugin. (You can check current number of plugins on the WordPress site here: WP Plugins.)

 

Search Engine Optimization:

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results— this is often referred to as “natural” or “organic” results. Fortunately, WordPress has plugins available to help you out with this and make the process of ranking your website just a bit easier and less time consuming. The following is one of my top recommendations:

1.) Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the top, most popular SEO (search engine optimization) plugins for WordPress users. WordPress alone is technically quite a good platform for SEO so installing this plugin in addition to that will only help you to improve your website or blog. It helps to enhance your writing, checks if your posts are long enough, and whether or not you’ve written a meta description and if that meta description contains your focus keyword. The Yoast SEO plugin also has the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality in any WordPress plugin. You can check it out for yourself by simply searching for it on WordPress or by going to the Yoast site here: yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

There is both a free and premium/paid version of the plugin, depending on how advanced you’d like to get.

 

2.) WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache helps your site to load faster which is great for SEO. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an html file is generated, your webserver will serve that file rather than processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WP PHP scripts.

 

Security:

If you’re serious about your website or blog, then you need to pay close attention to the WordPress security best practices. Ensuring that your website is secured will help prevent it from being hacked. On average, approximately 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks due to certain plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software. Each week, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing. Here’s a few of my favorite plugins to help keep your website secured from malware and hackers:

 

1.) Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security is a plugin that I’ve used for a while now and love it! It’s been SO helpful in helping to keep my website secured. Some of theWF Security features: Real-time blocking of known attackers. If another site using Wordfence is attacked and blocks the attacker, your site is automatically protected!  Scans core files, themes, and plugins against WordPress.org repository versions to check their integrity.  View all of your traffic in real-time, including humans, robots, 404 errors, and logins/logouts.

 

2.) iThemes Security 

iThemes Security is another wonderful plugin that I’ve used for quite some time. This plugin works to protect your site by blocking bad users and increasing the security of passwords and other vital information. It also prevents brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts and scans your site to instantly report where vulnerabilities exist and fixes them within seconds.

 

Social Media:

Increasing your number of shares throughout your blog will help to grow your traffic, so you want to make sure your readers have an easy to find option of sharing your content. When you have social sharing buttons on your site, people are more likely to share via these buttons. Here are some of my favorite plugins to use when it comes to social media:

 

1.) Click To Tweet

Click to tweet is a plugin that allows you to easily create tweetable content for your readers. You can put  your own custom text in the “box” and if a reader decides to share the tweet, all they have to do is click on it and it’ll be shared to twitter. Below is an example:

Coffeewithkaylie.com is a blog that provides tips for Entrepreneurs+Bloggers Click To Tweet

 

 

2.) SumoMe

I LOVE SumoMe! This is a plugin that adds social media sharing buttons to either the side of your website’s page, at the header, or the footer. It’s very easy to use and makes gaining shares on your content so much easier! This is what it looks like:

(the squares on the left of the picture)

 

 

Uncategorized:

 

1.) WP Maintenance Mode

WP Maintenance Mode is a plugin that allows you to add a temporary “Under Maintenance” page to your website so while you make changes and alter your website, viewers will be shown a page that displays “Under Maintenance” when they visit your site.

 

2.) Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a very popular plugin installed by users all throughout WordPress. With this plugin, you can add simple, yet unique contact forms to your website. People can fill out their information and submit it back to you, hassle free.

 

Hope this helps you find new and useful plugins for your site! Be sure to share. 🙂

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply Cara

    This is very handy to know! I’ll be installing a few of these. 😊 Thankyou!

    August 27, 2017 at 3:52 am
  • Reply Lorna

    I’m planning to go self-hosted soon. Genuine thank you for putting all the useful plug-ins on one list!

    August 27, 2017 at 4:49 am
  • Reply Sophie

    Great list, some of these I already use and some I’m definitely going to look into!

    August 27, 2017 at 11:22 am
  • Reply Alix Maza

    I’ve heard raves about most of these, but WP Super Cache caught my eye!

    Alix | apintsizedlifeblog.com

    August 27, 2017 at 11:30 am
  • Reply Jolena Irving

    Thanks for this list! I have been running my blog actively for about 2 months now, and I know I’ll refer back to this list as I go.

    August 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    I have Yoast SEO and Wordfence – love them both!

    August 28, 2017 at 11:31 am
  • Reply Tara

    TOTALLY agree with almost all of these. Yoast is the bomb!!! Another one I like is WP Smush. That has helped the loading time of my website significantly by compressing images. It’s a good one!

    August 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply Sally

    Thanks for the great tips. I want to convert my site from Wix to wordpress and change the entire layout….. It’s going to be a lot of work and I have many things to think about.

    August 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Love and use most of these on my site!

    August 29, 2017 at 12:47 am
  • Reply Amoya

    Such an a helpful post!

    August 29, 2017 at 1:01 am
  • Reply www.angelinawatson.com

    Saving this for sure! Super helpful

    August 29, 2017 at 1:47 am
  • Reply Michaela

    Woohoo I already use most of these. Thank you for sharing

    Michaela | http://www.graceandcoy.com

    August 29, 2017 at 3:02 am
  • Reply Jane

    This is totally helpful. I haven’t heard about Wordfence Security and I needed something like this. Thank you so much 🙂

    August 29, 2017 at 3:47 am
  • Reply Vanessa

    Thank you so much for this! There are so many options, I never know which plugins to use.

    August 29, 2017 at 4:56 am
  • Reply Katrina McGhee

    Thank you!!! I have been wondering how to do the click to tweet! Thanks so much for this. 😊

    August 29, 2017 at 6:21 pm
  • Reply Heidi

    LOVE the idea of Yoast SEO and WP Super Cashe. I’m always looking for ways to improve my site’s SEO, and I started this blog at ZERO…. meaning I didn’t even know what SEO meant! Thanks!

    August 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm
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