Web Designer: Top 10 WordPress Plugins
A web designer can use plugins to access and automate nearly endless functions and features on a WordPress website. There are so many plugins available that it can be hard to know which will be the most useful. In this post, we outline the top ten plugins recommended by our web designer.
1. Yoast SEO
This plugin helps you to optimize your website for search engines by allowing you to define your title and meta description tags, create an XML sitemap, and set up content types. For every page or post you create, Yoast gives you a green, yellow, or red light indicator plus suggestions for how to improve the SEO for that page. And the best part is that the free version is plenty robust for most small businesses.
Akismet is available by default on every new WordPress installation, and we recommend using it if you allow commenting on your website. This plugin filters comments that look like they don’t belong, indicating spam.
3. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a cache plugin, meaning that it speeds up the loading of your WordPress pages. Additionally, it can boost your site’s performance with options like HTML code minification, deferred loading of images, database optimization, and more. There is no free version, but starting at $49 it is a worthwhile investment.
4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
This powerful, free plugin shows you how many people are visiting your site, where they’re from, and how long they’re staying on each page. It can also generate fully customizable reports about site performance. The best feature is that it integrates with Google Ads and supports AdSense, allowing you to track conversions and see which pages and posts are making the most money.
5. Gravity Forms
Gravity forms is our web designer favorite for expanded contact forms. It allows you to create complex forms (including order forms with pricing fields) easily and set them to appear and disappear at scheduled times. This is another paid version only, at a flat $59.
Redirection allows you to redirect a user from one URL to another. This is critical because every time you delete or modify a piece of content, you need a 301 redirect so that search engines can still find it. Without that redirect, any edit to your permalinks can tank your SEO.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular free WordPress plugin for e-commerce websites. The free version offers the ability to accept major credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, and COD. It can also calculate shipping and taxes and has useful inventory management tools. The paid version allows for cart abandonment emails and single-page checkout, among hundreds of add-on functions.
Every web designer knows that security breaches and unforeseen incidents can take down a website in a split second. Regular backups are critical to getting your site up and running again with as little delay as possible. BackUpWordPress backs up your entire WordPress site, including your database and all your files, on a schedule and timeframe that you set.
Images are much larger files than text and therefore take longer to load. Imagify automatically compresses images you add to your media library to increase page loading speed without sacrificing quality. It is free to use up to a certain number of images, after which you must subscribe to the service starting at $4.99/mo.
10. iThemes Security
iThemes Security helps protect your site from hackers, bots, and malware. The free version gives you options to protect your site from brute force attacks, list permissions for key files and directories, block access to specific IPs, and more. The pro version, which starts at $80/yr, allows you to enable two-factor authentication, integrate a Google reCAPTCHA, and other advanced settings.
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