7 Useful Plugins to install after installing WordPress

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You've installed WordPress. Great.

The advantage of running your website with WordPress is the vast range of plugins available that can enhance your website and add rich features, many of them free to use. Always be careful when adding new plugins, take a full back up of your website (files and database) first, check that the plugin has a good reputation and is up-to-date.

Here are some of my go-to plugins that provide extra power and features to a WordPress website.

Plugin 1. Back Up

It's essential to back up your WordPress content, files and database on a regular basis. Especially if you are adding regular new content. Your hosting will probably be backing up some of your data. It's prudent to set up additional back-up for extra peace of mind, so that should anything happen to your site or content, you can quickly get everything back in place.

  • FREE Updraft Plus - The World’s Most Trusted WordPress Backup Plugin >> Updraft Plus
  • PAID FOR Backup Buddy - Protecting Half a Million WordPress Sites Since 2010 >> Backup Buddy
  • PAID FOR Vault Press - World-class Backups & Security for WordPress >> VaultPress

Plugin 2. WordPress SEO

Adding SEO refinements and functionality to your site content will certainly go towards better visibility online. Adding an SEO plugin is only a part of your SEO strategy, still a great place to start.

  • FREE Yoast - Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimised WordPress site using the Yoast SEO plugin >> Yoast
  • FREE All in One SEO Pack - One of the most downloaded WordPress plugins (over 30 million downloads since 2007). Use All in One SEO Pack to optimise your site for Search Engines. >> All in One SEO

Plugin 3. Security

All websites need security. The internet is constantly bombarded by hackers and bots who want to disrupt online activity. Having additional security on your WordPress website gives you additional peace-of-mind that all is safe and secure.

  • FREE and PAID FOR WordFence- Secure your website with the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin. Firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security & more >> WordFence
  • FREE and PAID FOR Sucuri WordPress Security Plugin - Activity Auditing | Integrity Monitoring | Malware Scanning | Security Hardening >> Securi

Plugin 4. Forms

Gathering more information from your website visitors and enquirers is made easier when you use simple forms. Adding a form to your website gives you the opportunity to request information that is critical to an enquiry, such as email details, telephone numbers, specific service required etc

  • FREE Ninja Forms - The most powerful, flexible, and easiest WordPress form builder in existence! >> Ninja Forms
  • PAID FOR Gravity Forms - Gravity Forms is the Easiest Tool to Create Advanced Forms for Your WordPress Powered Website >> Gravity Forms

Plugin 5. Caching (Speed)

Page load speed is becoming ever more important for both your visitors and for Google SEO. Site speed is affected by many factors, not all of them on your website or your website content. However adding a caching plugin can improve your page load speed. So well worth adding.

  • FREE WP Fastest Cache - The simplest and fastest WP Cache system >> WP Fastcache
  • FREE Speed Booster Pack - Features options to improve your website performance and get a higher score on the major speed testing services. >> Speed Booster Pack

Plugin 6. Image Optimisation

If your website contains lots of images and graphics then ideally you need to optimise their dimensions and file size. Having a large number of images on your website can slow page load speed, so optimising them when they are uploaded can improve load speed.

  • FREE SmushIT - Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API. >> SmushIT
  • FREE Imsanity - Imsanity automatically resizes huge image uploads. Are contributors uploading huge photos? Tired of manually scaling? Imsanity to the rescue. >> Imsanity

Plugin 7. Easily Add Scripts

It's increasingly necessary to add 'scripts' to your website, in the header or footer to enable things like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel Tracking or marketing tracking codes. Typically these are added by your web professional or an area on your Theme is included especially to add this type of code. If you want to take control or your theme doesn't have this area this plugin is ideal for you.

  • FREE Insert Headers and Footers - This plugin allows you to add extra scripts to the header and footer of your blog by hooking into wp_head and wp_footer. >> Insert Headers and Footers

The Takeaway

Adding lots of plugins to your WordPress installation isn't always a wise move. They need to be backed up and kept up-to-date and can cause code conflict issues. However when added prudently for very specific purposes, plugins can enhance your website for you and your visitors.

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Belinda White | WP North East

Belinda White | WP North East

Belinda White, WordPress Training Consultant. WordPress Training, WordPress SEO Training - Creative Director at Arttia Creative Limited. Creative designer with over 20 years experience in the UK web and design profession.

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