WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that enables you to create a website or blog from scratch or to improve an existing website. It is a very popular platform, used by millions of people around the world.
One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is because it is very easy to use and there are thousands of plugins available, which can be used to add new features and functionality to a WordPress website.
This article will share with you the 10 best WordPress plugins to optimize your website. We will also explain how WordPress users can use each plugin to get the most out of it.
What Are Plugins?
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Plugins are software programs that extend the functionality of a WordPress website. They are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
There is a WordPress plugin available for almost everything you can think of. And best of all, many plugins are available for free. Typical WordPress plugins categories include the following:
Content Management Plugins
These will help you to manage your content better, by providing features such as custom post types, taxonomies, and custom fields.
For an extra layer of security to your WordPress site installing WordPress plugins is a must. They can help to protect against hacking attempts and malware.
Performance WordPress plugins improve the key functionality features of your WordPress site. They can help to speed up your website, by caching static files and eliminating unnecessary code.
These are some of the most popular WordPress plugins. They help to optimize your WordPress site for search engines. They provide features such as keyword research, sitemap generation, and social media integration.
Web Analytics Plugins
Web analytics allow you to collect data about your website visitors and track their behavior. This information can be used to improve your website and marketing efforts.
Top 10 WordPress plugins you have to install now
Remember, when selecting a plugin for your WordPress blog, it is crucial to choose one that is well coded and maintained. A poorly coded plugin can introduce security vulnerabilities and performance issues to a WordPress website.
Now, let’s look at the 10 best WordPress plugins for optimizing a website.
1. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a powerful caching plugin that is used to improve the performance of a WordPress website. It does this by creating static versions of your pages and posts and storing them on the server's memory (RAM), hard disk, or CDN.
When a visitor requests a page, the static version is served from the cache, instead of having to generate the page dynamically, which requires more resources.
W3 Total Cache is available as a free and premium version. The free version is sufficient for most websites, but the premium version includes additional features such as fragments caching, and the ability to cache pages that are typically not cached by WordPress, such as search results pages.
Install and activate the W3 Total Cache plugin.
On the left-hand menu on your WordPress page:
- Configure the caching settings from the Performance -> General Settings page.
- For Choosing the type of caching you want, check the "enable" box, then Disk: Enhanced, for the method.
- Enable the Object Cache and Fragment Cache if they are not enabled by default.
- Configure the other settings as desired.
- Click the Save all settings button to save your changes.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress SEO plugin that helps you to optimize your website for search engines. It does this by allowing you to add metadata to your pages and posts, such as titles, descriptions, and keywords.
Yoast SEO also includes advanced features that will check your content for common SEO issues, such as whether or not you have used your keyword enough times, or if your title is too long.
The WordPress SEO plugin has a robust free plugin version with everything for website optimization. But for a professional copywriter, you might desire additional features such as the ability to add meta tags to more than one page at a time, and access to Yoast's support team.
You can only access these features that are available by installing the premium plugin version.
Using Yoast Plugin
Once installed on your site, Yoast will become visible in blog posts and pages generated. Using AI the tool does behind the scene analysis and shows your SEO score and improvement suggestions.
Yoast SEO is one of the several essential SEO plugins for optimization of search engine rankings.
3. Google Analytics for WordPress
Google Analytics plugin is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to track the traffic to your website. It is a very popular service, used by millions of websites around the world.
The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin makes it easy to add your Google Analytics tracking code to your WordPress site and to view your website's traffic statistics within the WordPress admin area.
Using the Google Analytics WordPress plugin
Using Google Analytics can help you in identifying key indicators of how your website is performing. Here are a few key features:
- Time on page: Time on page is an important aspect of how site visitors are interacting with your site. For example, high exit rate pages indicate low user experience or the page lacks what the users are looking for.
- Bounce rate: shows the percentage of users exiting immediately after viewing one page. If the percentage is low, the page is the site performing well. Any bounce rate above 70% should be alarming to website owners.
- High website visitors and low leads: This is an indicator your site is optimized for the wrong audience. To avoid this you might need to rethink your marketing strategy to target the right audience.
Jetpack is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. Jetpack was created by WordPress.com, and it includes a number of features that are typically only available to websites that are hosted on WordPress.com.
Some of the features that are included in Jetpack are:
- Social media integration
- Security features
- Website stats
- Email subscription forms
- Ability to create a custom homepage.
Jetpack's free version is loaded with a bunch of features, though there is a premium plugin as well.
The premium version includes additional features such as the ability to create a custom domain for your website, and priority support.
What you can accomplish with the Jetpack plugin:
- Improving website security: This includes timely security alerts and recovery measures in case of attacks.
- Anti-spam protection: deleting spam comments among others.
- Improvement of the user experience: increasing site load speeds, by use of tools such as Jet pack boost and Jetpack CDN protection against brute force.
5. WP Smush
WP Smush is a powerful image optimization WordPress plugin that compresses images on your website to reduce file size. This can make a big difference in site speed, especially if you have a lot of images on your website.
To use WP Smush, install it from the WordPress plugin directory and activate it. Then, go to the WP Smush settings page in your WordPress dashboard, and configure the plugin settings.
Using the Smush WordPress Plugin
Once installed, you can use it to compress images to enhance WordPress site load speed. Upload your image via the Smoosh Image compression page, and check a few image compression settings. Once done, click update settings, to save your changes. Every image uploaded will now be compressed automatically.
6. All in One Wp Security and Firewall Plugin
The all-in-one WP security and firewall plugin is one of the best WordPress plugin that includes robust security features to help secure your website.
How to Use AIO WP Security
You can use the AIO WP Security plugin to secure your WordPress site in a number of ways.
Some of the things you can do with this WordPress plugin include:
- Creating strong passwords for all user accounts
- Restricting login attempts to prevent brute force attacks
- Enabling two-factor authentication for logging in
- Adding a security question to the login form
- Hiding the WordPress login page
- Creating a user account whitelist
- Monitoring user activity with the activity log
OptiMonster is probably one of the most popular conversion optimization WordPress plugins in the market. It allows you to create beautiful and effective opt-in forms with a simple drag and drop form builder, to grow your email list.
One of the main features of Optimonster is to capture the exit intent of site visitors. This helps in capturing leaving customers and converting them by offering a lead magnet.
The plugin includes a number of features such as:
- A/B testing
- Exit intent popup forms
- Page level targeting A
- Ability to create custom forms.
Building Opt-in Form With Optinmonster
Creating an effective opt-in form with OptinMonster is easy. Simply install and activate the plugin, then create a new form.
You can then choose from a number of templates, or create a custom form. Once you've created your form, you can then configure the settings to determine when and where it will be displayed.
8. WP Rocket
Wp rocket is one of the best WordPress plugins that is designed to improve the performance of WordPress websites. The plugin creates a static version of your website and serves this to site visitors instead of dynamically generating the pages each time they are accessed.
WP Rocket includes a number of features such as:
- Page caching
- Browser caching
- Cache preloading
- Gzip compressing
- Lazy loading images
The great thing with WP rocket is it combines so many functionalities in one plugin, which ordinarily would require the installation of multiple plugins. Besides, it is an easy-to-use plugin, making it a beginner-friendly plugin for website owners.
How to benefit from WP Rocket
To use WP Rocket, install and activate the plugin. Then, go to the WP Rocket settings page in your WordPress dashboard and configure the plugin settings.
9. Broken Link Checker
In the process of creating content, some pages might be renamed or deleted, causing a loss of links. Keeping up with this issue might not be easy, especially as the website grows. However, all this can be solved by installing a Broken Link Checker.
It is one of the best WordPress plugins that help you find and fix broken links on your website. It monitors your website for broken links and notifies you so that you can fix them.
Here are a few of its features
- Overall link checking in pages and posts
- Make broken links appear differently in posts
- Hiding the broken links from search engines
- Broken links identification
10. WP Forms
WPForms is one of the best WordPress plugins for form building on WordPress sites. It allows you to create custom forms and surveys for your website in a matter of minutes by using simple drag and drop features.
This makes it one of the easiest ways to start off the email marketing journey, by subscriber acquisition for lead generation.
The WordPress plugin includes a number of features such as:
- Drag and drop form builder
- Pre-built form templates
- Conditional logic
- Multi-page forms
- File uploads
- Payment integrations
How to Install and Use WP Forms
Once you've logged click on the downloads tab forms, simply install and activate the plugin. Then create a new form using the drag and drop form builder. You can then add the form to your website using the shortcode or widget.
Where to Find the Wordpress Plugins
These are some of the best WordPress plugins that you can use to optimize your website. While there are other great WordPress plugins out there, these ten plugins are a great starting point for anyone looking to improve the performance of their WordPress website.
When configuring the pages of the site through Wordpress, several suggestions of plugins will appear according to the action you are performing. Wordpress itself presents a page with all the plugins available for installation. Be sure to use the best ones on your website!