In spite of the fact that one should use the least number of plugins for their WordPress website, the truth is that beginners and intermediate website owners cannot totally ignore them. Though we staunchly support installing least number of plugins on your site, we believe there is no harm in using plugins from reputed developers who provide regular updates and decent support.
We only use WordPress for our sites and have tried hundreds of plugins for our websites. Mentioned below are some of the plugins which we found extremely helpful.
1. Advanced ads
Running an authority website and being one of the top publishers in your niche means advertisement is one of your main revenue streams. From Adsense to direct advertisers, we have tried it all. As anyone running multiple ad networks simultaneously on the website would know, managing and tracking ads is a difficult yet important task, especially when advertisers are paying you by the impressions. We have tried a series of ad management plugins for WordPress in the past, including Google’s own DFP, but none has been able to fulfill our requirements as has been done by Advanced ads plugin. With a series of Add-ons offering amazing features, this is a must-have plugin for your website once you are ready for running advertisements.
Having social media accounts on all popular networks is a must today not only from the perspective of promoting your content but also for search engine optimisation of your website. Again, we have tried several social share plugins before using Social Warfare (We have been using them now for more than a year now). The plugin has the finest, lightest and smartest looking social buttons and offers “unparalleled” options for customisation. Perfect for your responsive website as well, this plugin is the finest one out there with some amazing customer and technical support.
3. AMP for WP
AMP is not just a trend but a necessity now. Page loading speed is one of the factors Google uses to rank your web pages. If you are serious about ranking high in search engines, it is important to convert your pages to AMP. If you are technically impaired like us, then AMP for WP is the best plugin out there which will help you to automatically convert your website into an AMP version. The plugin is used by some of the top websites in the world and also has a great development team behind it. It has a series of add-ons and also offer premium support for additional payment.
4. PB Sandwich
From building your email list to selling your (or affiliate) products, professional-looking sales and landing pages are a must. WordPress is an excellent CMS tool but lacks some important features. Page builder sandwich is a front-end drag and drop page builder tool which makes building professional looking pages a piece of cake. It might get a bit buggy sometimes and has a learning curve to it, however, it is surely one of the best in the market out there.
This plugin is specifically for those websites that are supported by Genesis framework themes. One of the advantages of using Genesis themes is the flexibility and ease it offers for customising your website. If you are not a technical guy (or even if you are), this plugin will save you a lot of time by providing a variety of options to customise and make design changes to your theme right from your WordPress dashboard.
6. Yoast Pro
SEO plugin is a must for your WordPress website and honestly, there are plenty of them out there. Having tried a couple of them before deciding and sticking to Yoast SEO Pro, we must say it has everything we need. Of course there is a free version as well which is totally sufficient for your website; however, if you are serious about your business, then go for the premium one.
One of the main reasons which negatively affect the website performance and speed is the weight of the images. If you have several images on your website which have not been optimised before uploading, then they can seriously bring down the overall performance of the website. Kraken Image Optimiser plugin is a life-saver. You just have to upload the plugin and it will not only optimise the new images but also the ones in the media gallery. For more amazing results use “Tinypng.com” along with Kraken.
This one is pretty straight-forward. Pioneer is anti-spam technology, Kismet Anti-Spam plugin has been around for a long time. If you have a WordPress website or planning to start one, then sooner or later you will face the issue of dealing with spam comments. Segregating spam from genuine comments is a time-consuming and mind-numbing job, which you will have to do manually if you do not have Akismet. Also, spam can be a potential threat to your website. Be wise, use Akismet. Enough said.
9. Thrive Leads
Content marketing is imperative whether you are selling products or services. You will also need professionally looking optin forms presented to the readers in a way which is not obstructive and irritable. This is where thrive leads come in. With a dozen of ways to collect emails from your readers, thrive leads is one of the finest plugins out for lead generation. If you want to make a serious relationship with your audience through email marketing, then thrive leads plugin is a must for your website.
We have been selling digital products for more than 7 years now and have used every method out there to automate the product delivery system. Easy Digital Download is the most feature-rich and widely used WordPress plugin out there (even for non-digital products). EDD also has a marketplace which features a dozen of essential Add-ons which can be used to make your store have all the functionality which a famous commerce website will have.
Over to you…
Which according to you are the most important WordPress plugins in the market today?