Sometimes, it can be difficult to discern between plugins that our site actually needs and plugins that do nothing but take up space and clog up our site. In this post, I’ll be sharing my favorite WordPress plugins that I think are essential to having a successful WordPress website.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 might just be my favorite plugin of them all. [su_highlight background=”#ffe75f” color=”#000000″]It’s just so simple and it just works.[/su_highlight] If you want to add a simple but full-featured contact form to your site, Contact Form 7 is the plugin to use.
One of the things I love most about this plugin is how easy it is to customize and how user-friendly it is to use. After installing and activating the plugin, you’re able to create multiple contact forms for your site and customize them each to your liking. For each contact form you create, there’s a tab in the settings to edit the form, to edit your email settings, to edit the default messages the plugin returns to users, and an “Additional Settings” tab for more advanced customization.
Overall, I think this is probably the BEST contact form plugin for WordPress and it is absolutely essential if you want to include a contact form on your website!
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins to aid you with SEO – and for good reason. This plugin has loads of features, even in the free version, that help you optimize your site for search engines.
SEO can be really overwhelming and complicated, especially if you’re just beginning to get familiar with it, but this plugin really simplifies the whole SEO process and makes it easy to not only ensure you’re including elements to optimize your site for search engine results, but also helps you see when things aren’t going well or when there’s an error.
Yoast is a great plugin that’s maybe overhyped, yes, but it’ll still be worth your while to download and install this plugin if you have any desire to improve your site’s SEO.
Akismet is a plugin that comes standard with every WordPress site – obviously, it’s your decision whether to activate it or not, but it comes pre-installed when you install WordPress to your site. Needless to say, it’s an extremely popular plugin – it has really good star ratings on the WordPress plugin page, as well.
The reason this plugin is so essential is because there’s almost no site that wouldn’t benefit from this type of plugin – it’s simply an anti-spam plugin, and nobody wants spam. According to its WordPress plugin page, the major features of Akismet include:
- Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
- Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
- Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
- A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
You can see why so many people find this plugin helpful – it has several useful features that do a bunch of work to prevent one of the worst things that can happen to a website – spam. Do yourself a favor and get rid of your site’s spam and prevent future spam by downloading and installing Akismet – you won’t regret it.
Jetpack is a plugin that’s actually made by WordPress.com, which is nice because you know it’s trustworthy and made my people who really care about quality.
As for what the plugin’s actually for, it’s kind of hard to define. I’d say it’s kind of an “all-in-one” plugin – the major features of the Jetpack plugin, according to the WordPress plugin page, include:
- [free] Site stats and analytics
- [free] Automatic sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and WhatsApp
- [free] Related posts
- [paid] Search engine optimization tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com
- [paid] Advertising program that includes the best of AdSense, Facebook Ads, AOL, Amazon, Google AdX, and Yahoo
Basically, Jetpack consists of a bunch of little tools and stats that help you manage and oversee the development your website.
Although the Jetpack plugin is developed by none other than WordPress.com, I’ve noticed that it seems to be pretty buggy a lot of the time, which is probably one of the reasons it has quite a few one-star ratings on its WordPress plugin page. However, if you can get past the bugs, Jetpack is otherwise a great plugin with lots of great features that come with the comfort of knowing its developed by WordPress.com.
Alright, that’s all of the plugins I consider to be essential to running a successful WordPress website! If you found this article helpful, feel free to share the post on social media or leave a comment letting me know you enjoyed it. What are your favorite WordPress plugins – do you agree/disagree with any of my preferred plugins that I listed? Let me know in the comments, and leave any plugin advice you have to help out the rest of us on our plugin journey! Thanks for reading! 🙂