We use WordPress to create all of our clients’ websites because it is such a robust and powerful platform. It offers a vast array of features and flexibility as standard, as well the ability to customise its core with over 52,000 options from the WordPress Plugin Directory.
These are often free, although there are many premium options available, and they allow you to create a website that is truly unique and provides a wonderful user experience, for site admins and visitors alike.
Here are 10 of our top-rated WordPress plugins that can help to transform your website from good to great. They include everything from security, SEO, backups and more.
These days security is paramount. The WordFence security plugin is the most popular security plugin and deservedly so. With premium and it can do everything from run simple firewalls to a complete security audit. I install this plugin immediately on every site I build. You can find out more about WordFence here.
After security, backing up your site is a very close second. For a simple and powerful solution that doesn’t affect your websites speed, UpdraftPlus is the one I recommend. From the moment it is active you can backup, restore, cline and migrate your site. You can automate backups of files and databases, scheduling them from hourly to monthly. You determine how many backups to keep and for how long. There are options for remote storage in places like DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive and more. You can even choose which files to back up and to be emailed when your backup is complete. For more details click here.
3. Child Theme
When working in WordPress using child themes can save you a lot of pain. You can make adjustments and try out ideas without It takes the risk out of customisation. But you don’t want to spend hours and hours creating a child theme – which is why I love Child Theme. Because it works in one click. From the dashboard, navigate to appearances, select/upload the theme you want to change and click on the child theme option. All done.
4. Remove HTTP
Search engines are giving preference to sites that are secured with SSL certification but when you install an SSL certificate on an existing site you can encounter problems. Browsers will serve a warning to your site’s visitors for what is known as mixed content. Some of your website’s assets are served from secured HTTPS and some of the content from unsecured HTTP. This plugin fixes that issue without any hassle. Simply install and activate and the changes are immediate. Again, this is a plugin that saves hours and hours of time. Find out more here.
5. Yoast SEO
There are a lot of different plugins that you can choose from for SEO but Yoast is head and shoulders above them all. It is the most downloaded WordPress plugin of all because it offers a comprehensive solution.
It allows you to add SEO title, meta description and meta keywords to every page and post on your site. It lets you edit the social previews of each and post as well.
You can write custom titles, create sitemaps, ping search engines with updates and so much more. To find out what Yoast can do for your website click here.
Bloom is produced by Elegant Themes, and while it hasn’t been around for long, it is certainly one of the most comprehensive email opt-in plugins for WordPress. It has a very modern design, is completely responsive and offers many different features to help you grow your email list.
It has a variety of placement and trigger options. You can have a pop on exit intent, or a sidebar after x seconds above content or below. You can also incorporate as many forms as you like on as many pages or posts as you need.
The forms are customisable with over 100 templates to choose from. Another great feature is the ability to split or A.B test your form types and designs. Find out more about Bloom here.
7. Google Analytics Dashboard For WordPress (GADWP)
There is quite honestly no point in having a website if you don’t know how successful it is, and the best way to measure that is with Google Analytics. For a it is incredibly powerful. With this you can view the number of visits to your site, of visitors, bounce rates, organic searches, pages per visit, and more directly on your WordPress dashboard.
It also allows for segmenting of your post reports and performance details of each post and page of your site. It also includes real-time tracking for of visitors, acquisition and traffic sources details. It installs the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows full code customization, while also allowing you to track events such as downloads, emails, outbound links, affiliate links and fragment identifiers. Find out all the details here.
8. Yuzo Related Post
Yuzo Related Post by is a powerful related post solution. You can share related posts on pages, posts, media and even contact forms. You can set how many posts to show, include or exclude categories and tags. You can style the widget in a variety of ways using and images. It also has a caching system that optimises the related post thumbnails for faster loading times.
Read more about Yuzo Related Post plugin here.
9. Use Any Font
To ensure that your site is unique and flawlessly conveys your brand you need to have excellent typography. You can import fonts from Google fonts, or you could Use Any Font. It is quick and easy to setup with no knowledge of CSS required. It supports all major browsers, even Internet Explorer! You can choose the font in the WYSIWYG editor on every page and post. Find out more here.
The last one is another from Elegant Themes. Monarch allows you to display social media sharing buttons in a floating top bar, pop up, above or below content and on a fly It is completely mobile responsive and you can also add sharing buttons to images.
The buttons themselves can be styled in a number of ways, look fantastic and support 20 different social media networks. It is a robust solution that is very easy to use. Find out more here.
That is my list of the top ten plugins for your WordPress website. This list covers list building, security, SEO, backups and more. They are all part of creating a remarkable user experience for visitors to your site.
No matter what it is you are trying to achieve on your site, there is a good chance that someone will have created a plugin that does it for you.
If I have missed one of your please add it in the comments below.
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