Undeniably, WordPress sites (both new and existing) need plugins which are a must-have for optimum functionalities and maximum productivity.
Are you just starting a new WordPress site or blog, and wondering what set of plugins to install? Or you already have a full-fledged blog and looking for some plugins to extend the functionality of your site?
In this article, we will show you the best and must-have plugins you need to install on your WordPress website or on your clients sites.
But before then, let’s enlighten WordPress newbies on what plugins really are, and why they need them on their new WordPress sites.
What Are Plugins?
Plugins (also called add-ons or extensions) are essential components of a software that adds new functions to provide support for specific features or functionality. Widely used in digital audio, video, and Web browsing, plugins add richness to websites and blogs. Today’s prominent websites and blogs are powered up by various plugins depending on what they offer. Most plugins offer website security, optimization, online payment gateways and so on.
Think of plugins like your favorite apps on your mobile phone. They help you achieve some important tasks right? You’d want to make sure you download the important ones so as to avoid taking much unnecessary space. Same is applicable with websites when you just create a new one.
Types of Plugins
You also need to note that there are two categories of plugins which are Basic and Premium.
Basic Plugins: These category of plugins offer basic functionalities to your WordPress websites and blogs. They form an integral part of your website such as for security, for contact purposes, lead generation and many more. They are also grouped into four sub categories which are Featured, Popular, Recommended and Favorites.
Premium Plugins: These are enhanced plugins created solely to carry out double or triple duties of the basic plugins on WordPress sites. They are usually tagged with average prices on developer sites based on their functionalities. Most of them are offered on monthly plans, yearly renewals and lifetime packages.
Why You Need Plugins
Every website owner needs some amount of plugins to run his or her online business smoothly and efficiently. You need plugins to carry out important features on your WordPress sites like;
- Lead generation and conversions
- Maximum site security from potential malware viruses and hijacks
- Site backups
- Site speed and performances
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugins
- Monetization purposes such as selling of memberships / online courses and much more.
- Data analysis
Okay, so now that you have more knowledge on what Plugins are and what they can do, let’s quickly show you some of the must-have plugins for both your new and existing WordPress sites. We will list both basic and premium plugins in this article.
Lead Generation Plugins
This category of plugins helps you attract leads and retain customers. Not only that, they help you close pending sales. Many startups using WordPress often find it difficult to generate new leads. And as a result of this, some WordPress plugin developers are coming up with rich in-built tools to surmount this hurdle.
Check out some of them listed below;
1. Hello Bar
Hello Bar helps you conveniently attract and convert your users into paying customers with simple campaign tools such as modals, slidders, alert bells, and page takeovers
With Hello Bar, you can easily gain more followers and grow your audience. And most importantly, convert them into leads. Your visitors won’t leave your site anymore without first taking action.
Certainly, you need Hello Bar to:
- Increase visitor engagement
- Generate leads on a continous basis
- Grow your email list
- Build your social media following
- Reduce cart abandonment to enhance your revenue
HelloBar is one of the best B2B lead generation tools most savvy online marketers use nowadays. In order to improve your B2B marketing strategy, we’ll recommend you start using Hello Bar.
How to use: Hello Bar is a standalone application that integrates with WordPress. You must have an account with Hello Bar in order to take advantage of this plugin. Create a free HelloBar account.
Pricing: Hello Bar plans starts from $29/month and above. It has a free version but with limited features such as logo customization, integrations with the most popular email marketing softwares and other premium support.
WPForms is the best drag and drop WordPress form builder, which is used by over 4M+ smart website owners to build engaging contact forms and surveys.
With WPForms, you can create payment forms for your clients, Newsletter forms for your email subscribers, registration forms for events and a whole lot more.
Additionally, WPForms works seamlessly with an essential add-on called Zapier for automatic leads generation, online payment gateways like PayPal and much more. (See our article on how to connect WPForms with Zapier).
With WPForms, you can easily build online forms in minutes and sue them on your WordPress site and WooCommerce store. It is easily customizable and can adapt to your needs depending on what you want to use it to achieve.
If you want to avoid excessive work-load with your contact forms, then we recommend you start building forms with WPForms today.
Pricing: WPForms premium plan costs $39.50. There is a basic or lite version of this plugin with limited features. However, you can start with that, while you consider upgrading to the premium version over time.
Optinmonster is an Hello Bar alternative lead generation plugin that helps convert and monetize your website traffic. The usage of Optinmonster ensures your time, money, and traffic-driving efforts don’t go to waste.
With Optinmonster, you can increase your email list of subscribers, get more leads from your traffic, make more sales if you have an online store and lots more benefits.
How Does OptinMonster Work?
- It’s drag and drop feature lets you customize your campaigns to your taste or choose from available templates.
- You can now go ahead and personalize your content with behavior automation to show your offer for your website visitors, so that anytime they visit your site, they will be shown your offers.You also have to take into consideration that your offerings have to be juicy in order to experience great conversions.
- Once your offerings start showing up on your site, then you will need to use the real time stats gotten to do some split test to know where and which of your products and/or services to concentrate better on to maximize more conversions.
Pricing: Optinmonster plans is from $9 and above.
SEO plugins help your WordPress blog rank better in search results. Their sole purpose is to help your site get easily seen or found by searchers on the web or internet.
Just as their slogan depicts on their site; Yoast is for everyone. And yes! you will need to solidly optimize your WordPress site to give you the best conversion rates and benefits.
Yoast is every website owner’s favorite when it comes to achieving optimum search engine optimization.
As a small business owner and a marketer, It is imperative you optimize your WordPress content, boost your local visibility, improve your videos, optimize your online store and many more. You can also use it to create a sitemap for your WordPress site along with several other great features.
WordPress Security Plugins
As a new website or blog owner, you have to be extremely cautious and concerned about securing your website from time to time. For optimum security, you have to ensure you use the best WordPress security plugins that are constantly updated.
5. Google Recaptcha
Google recaptcha helps in preventing spam bots on your contact forms, WooCommerce login forms and other types of forms on your websites.
I’m sure you must have encountered some sites asking whether you’re not a human or prove you’re not a robot. Or seen some login portals containing the recaptcha box for you to tick before gaining access into the site.
Hence, it’s imperative you also do the same to your website in order to prevent spam bots etc from gaining access. That why we will be recommending the reCaptcha plugin by Best Web Soft as one of the must-have plugins for your WordPress sites.
ReCaptcha by Best Web Soft plugin is an effective security solution that protects your WordPress website forms from spam entries while letting real people pass through with ease. It can be used for login, registration, password recovery, comments, popular contact forms, and other. reCAPTCHA Versions such as Version 3, Version 2, Invisible are included.
The free version is limited to WordPress default pages such as the login form, registration form, and comment form.
While the premium version helps;
- eCommerce sites protect their WooCommerce login, registration, reset password and checkout forms.
- Forum sites using BuddyPress, bbPress and wpForo login and registration pages.
- Mailchimp for WordPress email users.
- Divi login and contact forms.
- Ninja forms, Jetpack forms, Contact Form 7 and Gravity forms.
After successful installation on your site, your users are required to confirm that they are not a robot before the form can be submitted. It’s easy for people and hard for bots.
How to Install Google reCaptcha by Best Web Soft Plugin
- Register your domain name with Google reCaptcha service to obtain your API keys and add the keys to the fields in the plugin. Get your API keys.
- Install and activate the reCaptcha by Best Web Soft plugin from the WordPress repository and insert the API keys.
- Copy the shortcode provided into your contact forms.
- Add the reCaptcha shortcode provided to your login pages/posts and other contact pages.
Data Analytics Plugins
Data analytics plugins provide accurate metrics and insights on your website users, which help you take decisions depending on what information gathered. Check them out below.
6. Google Site Kit
Site Kit for WordPress by Google combines other useful analytic tools to help grow your site.
Managing a successful site can be complicated. Site Kit makes it easy to set up and configure key Google products, giving you authoritative and up-to-date advice on how to succeed on the web.
Site Kit is ideal for you if you want easily digestible information about audience and revenue performance, all in one place. The plugin lets you easily set up Google tools on your site and see everything in a single Dashboard inside WordPress. No code editing required.
You get to connect other vital and must-have Plugins for your WordPress sites such as:
- Search Console: Which measures your site’s Google Search traffic and performance.
- Google Analytics: Which tells you how users find, use, and engage with your WordPress site.
- PageSpeed Insights: Which analyzes your site and suggests ways to make it faster.
- Google Adsense: Which allows you to show ads automatically on your WordPress site.
Setting up the free and open-source plugin – Google’s Site Kit on your WordPress is pretty simple.
- Visit the Plugins>>Add New in your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Search for Site Kit by Google.
- Install and activate.
- Follow instructions to set up tools like Adsense, Anayltcs, etc.
MonsterInsights is the best WordPress analytics plugin, which is used by over 3M+ website owners. When connected to Google Analytics, it gives you insights of people visiting your site such as real-time analytics, user behavior reports, SEO ranking reports and much more on your WordPress dashboard without the need of visiting Google Analytics site.
With these rich data at your disposal, it will help you know what line of actions to take next so as to achieve a maximum conversion rate on your website. And I’m pretty sure you’d want to know important information like – where your visitors are coming from, what they do on your site, their age, gender and much more. All these vital info will you get in one place.
Here’s why smart business owners and savvy online marketers love MonsterInsights:
- Publishers (Bloggers): Do you want to be a professional blogger? MonsterInsights will help you write better and well engaging contents to serve your audience and in return drives in more traffic to your site.
- Store Owners (eCommerce): You need the plugin if you plan on selling products and services on your WordPress site, as it will help you make more sales thereby reducing cart abandonment and much more.
- Business Websites: As a business owner looking for more opportunities, it will help you write contents that convert, which will in turn get you new email subscribers and a whole lot more.
- Other outstanding features such as seamless interactions with other popular plugins, higher profits, more revenue, more retention of readers, clients and customers among to mention but a few.
Pricing: MonsterInsights costs $49 only, and comes with premium features for free for a year.
Speed Performance Plugins
You need superior speed performance WordPress plugins to speed up our WordPress sites and blogs especially, if you run your sites on shared web hosting plans.
Ideally, it’s best to always go for either WordPress hosting or managed WordPress hosting plans in order to avoid low speed performances. Here are some of the best WordPress speed performance plugins you can use.
8. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is unarguably one of the best speed performance caching plugins for WordPress sites. WPRocket is widely used by bloggers, eCommerce businesses, freelancers and agencies because of its ability to boost core web vital scores.
Above all, WP Rocket will help you;
- Retain your website visitors
- Achieve better SEO rankings
- More conversions and revenues
Pricing: WP Rocket costs only $49, which is inclusive of premium features.
Get a faster WordPress site in a few clicks with WP Rocket. It takes less than 3 minutes to set up.
We hope this article helped you take steps on choosing some of the must-have plugins you need for your WordPress sites to succeed on the internet. Kindly subscribe below to our newsletter for more tips and tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.