These top 5 must have WordPress plugins lists crop up all the time, and while we like them for a chance to see peoples opinions of what’s still on top, they can be frustrating because rarely do they actually contain a decent selection of plugins that most people can use.
We’ve compiled a list of extensions that we’ve tried, tested thoroughly and actually found to be of benefit to hundreds of sites. No silly filler content just things that help your site perform safely, securely, reliably and with decent functionality.
There are plenty of security apps out there for WordPress and a lot of them do a good job but for me the beauty of Wordfence is it’s not intrusive, no slowdown of performance it just works.
One of the features they seem to have down much better than others is the ability to ignore, and remember to, custom theme files. No repeated alerts and warnings time after time for your own customisations if it’s from part of a core theme.
I’ve been using Wordfence alongside others for years and while some sites with other similar systems have had issues, I’ve never seen a site with Wordfence installed compromised, be it on the free version or the paid. Couldn’t recommend more highly.
This is something that can get left out. Rich Snippets are the way to make your search results stand out, including review ratings, images, nicely formatted and sent to the search engines they can be a huge help on Click through rates and just make your site look more professional from the point even before people have clicked.
Ignoring them these days is a big negative for your online presence and All in one Schema.org does it so flawlessly that it’s a no brainer.
3) Yoast Freemium
Probably the best know overall SEO extension out there and that’s for a reason. Marking pages as nofollow, xml sitemaps, editing meta data and analytic monitoring is all in there, what more is there to say? Get your free SEO Health Check.
If you are looking to install and set up the Yoast WordPress plugin, see this great video walk through below from Darrel Wilson:
4) Tablepress FREE
There was a time when tables were on every web page because it was the only way people could shoehorn pictures in there. Now they are seeing a comeback as a much more suitable way of presenting complex data, recipes or whatever else people want to put in.
Tablepress does a really fantastic job of making beautiful looking tables without it being a chore. Simple installation and easy table creation can really help with your data presentation and, given it’s free, there’s very few that will have requirements this plugin doesn’t cover.
5) Insert Headers and Footers FREE
Going a bit left field with this one but more and more people are using tracking codes for everything, be it analytics, your CRM systems, specific ad campaigns, Facebook pixels etc and adding code to the header or footer is normally a good way of putting it in.
Rather than mess with template files this makes it easy to get that code in the header or footer, and more importantly change it, within seconds.
So there you have it – our top 5 must have WordPress plugins currently out there. There are THOUSANDS of WordPress plugins on the market, ranging from free to paid. We would be keen to hear from any developers or web designers on their favourite and most used plugins. Leave yours in the comments below.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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