If you’ve just created your first WordPress website you’re probably wondering how you can gain more traction to it. The vital thing in any website is content. If you don’t have great content in your site, no optimizations will help it success. But if your site content is more or less ready to go, you can seriously improve your website’s popularity and visibility just using the right plugins which will make your content stand out.
Here you’ll find a magnificient list of must have plugins for any type of WordPress site. Best plugins for WordPress blogs, commercial sites, landing pages, WooCommerce sites – you name it. They are all essential if you want your WordPress site to be safe, fast, easy to use and SEO-friendly.
11 WordPress plugins you must have in your site:
- Yoast SEO – best WordPress SEO plugin
- Google Site Kit – one of the easiest WordPress Google Analytics plugins
- WP Fastest Cache – super WordPress speed optimization plugin
- Smush – free WordPress image compression and optimization plugin
- Really SImple SSL – to make your WordPress website HTTPS-ready in a single click
- EditorsKit – extremely useful WordPress plugin for adding or removing Gutenberg blocks
- Fullscreen mode B gone – plugin for disabling annoying WordPress editor fullscreen mode
- Simple CSS – one of the easiest ways to add CSS to WordPress website
- GDPR Cookie Consent – best free WordPress GDPR plugin
- Yoast Duplicate Post – best WordPress plugin for copying posts and pages
- WordFence Security – for securing WordPress website and scanning it for malware
All of these plugins can be downloaded via links in plugin descriptions, or you can find them in Admin >> Plugins >> Add New Plugin section of your WordPress site.
Lets start with the first recommended plugin.
Yoast SEO is the most advanced and one of the easiest to use WordPress SEO plugins. It adds all the necessary markup for search engines, automatically generates website sitemap, and has loads of customization options for any page, post or taxonomy you may find in your website.
Yoast also adds SEO optimization form to every postor page in the site so you can visually see how page’s meta tags will look like in search engines. It automatically counts symbols for meta data to make sure the information amount is just enough, and gives recommendations how you can improve SEO results while adding or editing content on your site.
If it sounds complicated, actually it’s the opposite. You can install the plugin, enter meta titles and meta descriptions, and Yoast will make sure everything else is covered. Highly recommended.
Google Site Kit
oogle Site Kit plugin is lets you easily integrate Google Analytics to your website so you’ll know how many visitors come to your site.
You get all the metrics about your site and individual pages – where visitors come from, how they find your website, which pages are most popular. It also integrates main Google search console data, Google Adsense (can be activated or not depending on your needs). All of these tools can be accessed using WordPress admin panel.
The strongest advantage of this plugin for me is that you can check main Google Analytics data for every single page or post individually so you’ll know how any of your posts perform in organic search.
WP Fastest Cache
Every WordPress website need caching and code optimization plugins to make sure it works as fast as possible. Faster the website loads, better it looksand feels for visitors and search engines.
That’s why I personally recommend WP Fastest Cache plugin for the job. It’s free version is good enough for most of the websites – it optimizes HTML, JS, CSS pages, and automatically creates cached versions of every page and post in a WordPress website.
You may find more “advanced” WordPress plugins which can make websites even slightly faster, but usually they either use enormous amounts of storage in a server, or “overcompress” pages so they no longer work properly. WP Fastest Cache almost never cause any compatibility issues, and just does it’s job flawlessly.
Usually there are two things that slows down WordPress websites – ineffient code (WP Fastest Cache helps with that), and large and not optimized images. Smush plugin automatically compresses images on upload, and optimizes all the previously uploaded images if needed.
It also lets WordPress lazy-load images – this technique makes websites even faster.
Really Simple SSL
You probably know at least a couple of sites with notifications “website may not be secure”. It happens when website does not have SSL certificate, or it’s built in a way that most of the content is loaded using HTTPS, but there are still some images or other files loaded using HTTP. It does not create any confidence for website visitors, and it’s quite bad for SEO too.
Really Simple SSL WordPress plugin lets you switch all of your website to HTTPS in a single click. Just make sure that your domain has valid SSL certificate. If it does, then all you need to do is to install this plugin and activate SSL in your website in just one click. All the internal links will be converted to HTTPS automatically.
If you’re new to WordPress you’ll either love or hate it’s Gutenberg post and page editor. It lets you add dozens of types of content to any post or page in seconds. And it’s great, sort of.
It’s great to have lots of Gutenberg blocks in editor, but once you get used to it you’ll probably notice that you use no more that 10-20 percent of all the available blocks. EditorsKit plugin lets you disable all the Gutenberg blocks you don’t use. It makes WordPress site administration much more simple. My clients love it.
EditorsKit also lets you add more editor options if needed – for example justify text and more advanced table editor. And much more tools which might be useful, especially for writers. Read more about the plugin here.
Fullscreen mode B gone
Probably the most annoying Gutenberg (WordPress block editor) function is Fullscreen mode. Not everyone needs it, and it’s not very easy to turn off, especially for novice users.
To make things worse the fullscreen setting is not stored in WordPress settings database – it’s saved in user’s web browser. So every time you switch computer or browser, Fullscreen mode is on, again. Fullscreen mode B gone disables it automatically so you don’t need to disable it yourself all the time. Brilliant plugin! Here’s tutorial how to install it – click here.
WordPress lets you relatively easy add custom CSS code to your site using Customizer. The problem is that Additional CSS field is tiny and quite basic.
Simple CSS plugin adds a section to your WordPress admin menu where you can comfortably add CSS code, including proper code colors to make CSS syntax stand out. Simple and clever plugin.
GDPR Cookie Consent
Yoast Duplicate Post
Imagine that you’ve just built a great looking landing page in your WordPress website. And you want to make a copy of it – with different heading, call to action buttons. But the main page structure should stay the same.
Here’s where Yoast Duplicate Post plugin comes to help. It lets you make a copy of any post or page in WordPress, even if it’s built from huge amount of blocks. Quite handy if you build landing pages or other specific structure pages or posts which need to be replicated.
Generally WordPress is a safe CMS if you don’t use questionable quality plugins and themes, and regularly update it’s core, plugins and themes.
But even if you think that your website is safe you may also want to add additional layer of security to it. Wordfence plugin does just that – it adds additional security to login forms, automatically checks for old, possibly unsafe or unnecessary code in your WordPress installation. It also lets you scan the whole website for security issues and malware.
Wordfence also logs all the failed login attempts, and even successful other site’s administrators logins. Plugin can automatically send email if someone logs to your website. A handy function if you want to know what’s going on in your WordPress site.
In case you have even more recommendations
If you think this list should contain more must have plugins for WordPress sites let me know!