With over 50,000 WordPress plugins to choose from the decision can cause just as many headaches as good plugins are supposed to prevent. In this article, I will go over my must-have top 5 WordPress plugins for 2020.
With SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) being at the forefront of any good web designers mind, having a great plugin to handle the tricky bits and guide you through the process is essential.
While WordPress is SEO friendly straight out of the box, there are other best practices you should follow to increase your website’s traffic and that’s where a great plugin comes in.
Rank Math offers both free and paid versions, what’s included in the free version alone is a show stopper. Rank Math will help you generate sitemaps, add meta tags and connect your site to Google Search Console among other things. It will help you to optimise your site for social media and more. Everything is covered in this amazing little plugin and with a huge following of users help is always easy to find, so you should definitely check it out.
Having a lightning-quick website is essential for both great user experience and that all-important SEO. One of the rookie mistakes made by most web designers is not optimising their images for the web, I go into more detail on how to do that in this article Image Optimisation For The Web, Tips & Tricks, these steps should be followed before using the Smush plugin for optimum results. A top performer time and time again to help with image optimisation is the WordPress plugin Smush.
Smush will scan all images that you upload to your website plus those you already have on your website and work to optimise them even further. Smush will compress, resize, turn on lazy load, improve pages speed and it’s completely FREE!! What’s not to love about that.
Now, this is a monster I like, the Mike Wazowski of WordPress plugins. Monsterinsights goes hand in hand with Google Analytics (GA) which is a must-have for any website as it helps you track traffic, keywords, the geographical location of visitors, pages being viewed, clicks and more, you can easily monitor how your website is performing.
Monsterinsights will link with your GA account and present the results directly on your WordPress dashboard in a user-friendly easy to digest fashion. Monsterinsights is one of the most popular plugins out there and it’s used by big hitters like PlayStation, Microsoft and FedEx.
WP Rocket is a caching and performance optimisation plugin which will greatly improve the load time for your websites. If you’re not familiar with ‘cache’ and what it means, here’s a short break down… cache (pronounced cash) is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. When it comes to your internet browser the cache is a temporary storage area where website data is held until it is needed again.
WP Rocket does charge but you may find it worthwhile paying to avoid the headache of manually sorting what this plugin can do for you automatically. WP Rocket uses file minification to help speed up the load time of your WordPress website, it creates lighter files and calls on images to be loaded only as needed; for example only loading them as the user scrolls the page, in turn this creates a faster website that is much more user-friendly.
It should go without saying, but security is of huge importance on any website, it’s amazing how many people don’t even consider this and leave themselves open to hacker and malware attacks.
A great WordPress plugin that will work as your websites bodyguard is Wordfence. In their words “Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe. Rounded out by a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive security option available.”
Wordfence offers both free and premium paid versions, and is certainly one of the most popular and trusted security plugins out there with over 3 million installs at the time of writing this article. Don’t let the security of your website be ignored, cover yourself now and protect yourself from future attacks.