My Three Must Have WordPress Plugins
One of the main reasons for having a WordPress site is the immense range of plugins available. Through plugins, you can add all sorts of functionality to your site. The plugin ecosystem is so vast that you have to be disciplined not to overload your WordPress site with too many plugins.
The right list of plugins will be unique to your site and your needs. That said, in this post, I'm going to tell you about the three plugins I recommend for all WordPress sites. I'm also going to include some alternatives you may want to check out as well.
Having a decent backup plugin is a must for all WordPress sites. Even if your website hosting comes with backups, you should have your own independent backup system that sends your backups to a remote location.
My Pick: Updraft Plus
Updraft Plus is my go-to backup plugin. The free version of Updraft Plus ticks all the required boxes:
- It's easy to install and configure
- You can set the backup schedule
- You can take manual backups
- You can connect it to remove storage options such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
The premium version of Updraft Plus adds automatic backups when you update your theme and plugins, and more granular control over the backup scheduling. It also adds the ability to send your backups to multiple remote storage services.
SEO plugins improve how your site appears to search engines and social media platforms. As well as taking care of some things straight out of the box, they also guide you on things you can implement to improve your site's rankings.
My Pick: Yoast (for now at least)
Yoast SEO Plugin is the king of SEO plugins. With over 5 million active installs, it is one of the most popular plugins on WordPress. It is the go-to choice when it comes to WordPress SEO.
The main reason people reach for an SEO plugin is the ability to set the meta-data that search engines use when they list your page. The meta-data plays a vital role in how your pages appear in the search results.
Yoast may be the go-to plugin today, but that may not be the case forever. A new SEO plugin called RankMath has been creating quite a buzz. I certainly intend to try it out on my next personal project.
Most websites use images to some extent. Most of the time, the images we use on our sites start off being far larger than we need. It has always been good practice to reduce the size of each image, and to compress the image, making it faster to load. The faster your site loads, the happier users (and search engines) will be.
Resizing and compressing images used to be something you would have to do manually using image editing software. Thankfully, WordPress has several plugins that can do the job for you automatically.
My Pick: ShortPixel
ShortPixel is easy to set up and provides fantastic image compression. It will resize images as they are uploaded and includes a bulk processing tool for images already on your site.
The only significant limitation is that you can only process up to 100 images per month on the free tier. One hundred images per month will be more than enough for most websites. When the free tier is not sufficient, you can pay for additional credits. ShortPixel has a range of subscriptions. You can also purchase batches of one-time image credits.