9 Most Important WordPress Plugins Every Website Owner Needs
top wordpress plugins
WordPress plugins are an essential component of the WordPress platform architecture , helping you get great functionality through pre-developed ready-made tools. Instead of appointing a developer to develop the required functionality on your site, you can rely on a ready-made plugin and install and activate it in a few minutes.
For example: Do you want to convert your WordPress site into an online store? Just install the WooCoomerce add-on with which you will find a complete system that manages products, payments and shipping processes in a secure software environment developed and updated by Automattic.
What distinguishes the WordPress system is that it has a large base of open source WordPress plugins that website owners can easily rely on in their sites without having to write code. Where professional developers put the plugins in the WordPress plugin store that depends on the security and trust criteria to accept the plugins, then the plugin becomes available to any site owner.
Mostly, developers offer the add-on with a free version available to any site owner who can download and activate the add-on on their site with certain features, and the developer is offering higher features in the add-on with a paid version for a monthly subscription or so, which is an excellent marketing strategy .
But for site owners, at this point we are going to recommend you some reliable WordPress plugins that you can get enough of in the free version to get some of the basic functions that help your site to succeed.
You will find that some other sites recommend you the best 20 add-ons and the best 30 additions, but in this explanation we recommend the 9 most important add-ons that you need according to our previous experiences, and the reason for choosing those nine add-ons and also some alternatives to them so that we put in your hands the best option.
First: Free WordPress plugins to protect the site
At the beginning of the list, we recommend the most important and necessary plugins that help secure your site and protect its content through some basic measures as follows:
1- Wordfence Security
After you release your site to users, the next and most important step is to secure it from malicious files, prevent hackers from accessing it, and check it regularly. Some security add -ons do this, and one of the most popular free add-ons for this role is the Wordfence add-on .
The extension provides a firewall that prevents malicious files from accessing your site, and a scan tool is provided to ensure the effectiveness of security measures and block potential attackers from entering your site .
The add-on contains a paid version with higher features, but the free version of the add-on is enough for you to ensure the most important protection measures. The extension has been installed and activated by 4 million sites at the moment to help them block suspicious activities, monitor the site from malicious attacks or hacking attempts, as well as protect against code injection
In the event that there are some potential threats or risks in your site, the extension will send you an email notification and what is the recommended action to guard against this risk.
Even if your site is a personal blog in which you publish your opinions or a static site that contains general information about your business, and you think that it does not contain sensitive information, there are many unexpected risks that may occur to your site, whether from some amateurs or from some hackers who They work collectively to randomly target a large number of websites.
There is also the Sucuri add -on, which provides valuable features to protect the site more in the paid version, which reaches to check your site every 30 minutes. However, the free version of Sucuri comes with limited features compared to Wordfence.
Therefore, we advise you to install and activate Wordfence on your site as one of the necessary extensions that you need at the beginning, regardless of your site, and you can review the rest of the procedures for protecting your site later.
The second most important WordPress plugin that you need on your site is the Jetpack plugin , which comes with many multiple features interconnected to help your site succeed. Where the extension provides you with several features, some about visitor statistics on your site, the other to protect and secure the site and some other features to improve the appearance of your content.
The extension includes features related to securing your site such as protecting your site from a force blind attack, monitoring your site staying online, scanning your site for any malware, and backing up your site. The extension also provides some marketing features such as the appearance of site statistics in the control panel, the ability to show related posts, as well as adding a sitemap to your site and many other features. And through a panel you can control these properties to show them what you want.
The plugin is reliable as it has been developed and updated by the Automattic team (the team behind the WordPress platform) since 2011, and you get all these features completely free of charge, and this is the most important thing about the plugin, which made it get the use of more than 5 million website owners.
Also, if you are building your site for free on WordPress.com , you get this plugin integrated into the system, because the WordPress team considers the plugin as one of the system kernels that provides the most important features that website owners need.
But you might think that you don’t need all of these features in one plugin, and maybe you are looking for these features in other single plugins that perform better especially since WordPress has thousands of open source plugins?
The answer is that this depends on the needs of your site and the features you want to include in it, as well as on other add-ons that you will rely on to meet these features, whether they are free or paid, and therefore this solution (installing the Jetpack extension) saves you the trouble of searching and trying several different add-ons, but you get All of these solutions in one free add-on.
Doing a periodic backup is one of the most important actions that you do periodically in order to preserve your site data from loss, as you keep a backup of your site files and databases in a safe place (preferably a cloud service), to be able to restore the last backup in case Your site fails.
UpdraftPlus does this task efficiently by being able to make a manual backup or an automatic backup in which you upload the backup copy to any external service provider (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Google Cloud…) to make a scheduled command for the period you specify ( Every day, for example) back up your entire site.
In the same way, you can restore the backup with one click, whether restoring or loading the database only, plugins only, site designs only, uploaded files only, or restore the entire copy. And all these features in the free version of the add-on that you can count on.
Second: Free WordPress plugins for site performance
We complete the list with some other plugins that help your site perform, enhance its visibility to users, and better control its design components, as follows:
4- W3 Total Cache
Also, among the additions that you will undoubtedly need is the addition of W3 total cache or one of its analogues for its important role in clearing your site’s cache , which helps in increasing the speed of the site and giving users a better experience of use.
The extension stores a copy of your site in the cache when the visitor comes to it, and then when the visitor comes back to browse again, it uses the cached copy previously, which takes less time to load the site and thus the user enjoys a faster browsing experience. There are several extensions that do the job, but W3 total cache is the most popular since 2009 and has had over 1 million active installs to date.
You can install and activate the extension easily, then from within the extension settings you will be able to make cache settings, enable lazy loading , CDN settings , as well as settings for browser caching, databases and pages.
Site speed is what helps improve the user experience on your site , and this procedure in using cache is common and preferred for site owners, and therefore we advise you to rely on this extension to take advantage of that feature.
5- Yoast SEO
Once you launch your website, the first thing you care about is SEO optimization of the website’s content and pages, in order to get targeted traffic from search results. Yoast SEO plugin helps you automate many SEO tasks.
The extension performs several technical SEO tasks, such as adding a site map, the ability to add Meta description to site pages, adding the site logo to social media platforms, redirection processes, and identifying orphaned content that did not previously receive mentions.
The extension also has advanced algorithms that recommend making some internal links, recommendations with keywords, and after writing the content of the page and article, there are signals that tell you the extent to which your content is compatible with SEO, whether in the use of the keyword in titles, during content and in the description of images, as well as placing Internal and external signals and content word count.
The reference also gives some recommendations regarding the readability of the content such as the length of paragraphs, the enhancement of the visual element, the consistency of the sub-headings, the use of keywords and the distribution of content words.
Of course, Yoast relies on software algorithms to produce these recommendations, which may not be accurate at times, especially with Arabic content, and the human element remains more accurate in producing the content better, especially when you are writing to the visitor and not writing to the machine, but the tool helps you explore some recommendations that may be overlooked Sometimes you forget about it or forget it during the book.
Thus, the tool provides you with integrated solutions that help you improve the SEO of your site.
Once your site or blog is installed and the comments feature is available , you will find hundreds of spam comments that come to you from all directions by random posting programs that some advertisers use to promote their products or services in an annoying manner. This has a negative impact on the user experience when he sees dozens of annoying promotional comments, as well as affecting the ranking of your site in search engines by discovering that Google spiders have a lot of unreliable links or broken links on your pages.
Also, manually deleting these promo comments will be a burdensome burden for the site owner on a daily basis, and therefore we recommend that you initially rely on the Akismet add -on, which is one of the add-ons package developed by Automattic and relied on by more than 5 million users so far.
The extension has an advanced cloud algorithm that distinguishes between natural comments and spam comments, and then blocks the unwanted annoying comments to be automatically blocked before adding them in the comments, and therefore this will not affect the performance of your site. You will find the statistics of the blocked comments in the plugin control panel within your site .
The add-on starts with a free version that is sufficient for you for personal use, and you can get a paid version with higher features. Another free add-on that helps you with the same task with other features is AntiSpam Bee , which many website owners rely on at the moment.
Third: Free WordPress plugins for website design
7- Gutenberg Blocks
Do you build and design custom pages for your site using the Gutenberg component editor ?
Unlike WordPress that used to be based on the classic editor , the plugin editor with recent updates from WordPress is now more customizable in helping you design site pages by drag and drop without the need for mostly independent third-party plugins.
It doesn’t have the plugin editor It doesn’t have all the components that help you design your website pages as required, and here comes the Gutenberg Blocks plugin which has many plugins for reviews, classified content, skimas, quotes and other components.
Also with the same idea comes the Genesis extension , which is open source and contains several components that help you build your site better.
There are some other website builder plugins that help you design your website elements by dragging and dropping some of them are free and some are paid such as seedProd, beaver, divi, Elementor, Visual composer and others, but they work with an editor separate from the main editor and with independent features, which constitutes Often a burden on your site’s performance, especially if your site’s content is large.
Therefore, to ensure a faster experience for your site, it is recommended to rely on plugins that are built into the component editor (Gutenber blocks, genses) and similar plugins.
Once your site is launched, you will find yourself needing to create user forms, such as data filling forms, contact forms, subscriber registration forms, etc. WP Forms will help you create attractive forms and control their properties through drag and drop without having to write code.
The extension helps you customize the form fields and texts that are shown to the visitor. Then, after publishing the form, you will be provided with a short code for the form that you can insert on any page of your site (home page, communication page, services page..etc), as well as the ability to add CAPTCHA to prevent random registrations.
Also from within the extension control panel, you can import or export a set of data that you have obtained, and the extension can be integrated with several other applications such as (GetResponse, Mailchimp, Zapie, AWeber) and you can preview the statistics of users.
After you launch your WordPress site and want to convert it into an online store or sell products through it, the first addition that we recommend to you is WooCommerce , which is the most popular add-on for building online stores that 28% of online store owners rely on.
With the free version of the extension, you can categorize products, add fixed and multi-type products, display tangible products, add digital products, customize shipping options, manage payments and receive money, add options to increase the value of the deal ( UPsell & Cross sell ) and integrate with many other applications.
Like the rest of WooCommerce’s components, it is an open source tool that you can control and is updated periodically by the Automattic team and so far more than 5 million sites rely on it. The extension also supports a lot of additional extensions (some of them are free and some are paid) we talked about many of them in some articles under the WooCommerce category .
Whether you want to create an online store, or you have an existing site and want to add an attached store to sell products, WooCommerce is the first add-on we recommend to you. In the event that you do not want to sell products on your site, there is no need to use the WooCommerce extension.
Previously, we talked about the most important add-ons that website owners need as a building block for their sites successfully. These add-ons help you secure and protect your site and improve its appearance and performance. There are thousands of other plugins and we talked about some of them under the WordPress plugins category , but we have recommended the most important plugins that you need.
We didn’t like to make the list too long and recommend too many add-ons , but we limited ourselves to really necessary ones and mentioned why each one should be used individually. We advise you not to activate an add-on on your site until after verifying the reliability of the add-on and its usefulness for your site, because in the end it is several software codes that constitute a load on the site, and therefore you need to ensure the security of those codes as well as their usefulness for you.
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