Popular WordPress Plugins

WordPress is, of course, super powerful and flexible. But arguably, plugins are the true turbo of the WordPress functionality.  With so many plugins on the market, how do you know which ones to choose or where to start?

Here’s the list I shared with the WordPress based on our research team. There are few must have plugin to help quickly optimise sites. 

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin on the market with over 5 million downloads. Yoast simplifies the task of configuring your SEO settings and crafting your metadata. With the Yoast plugin, it’s very simple to change the page title and metadescription for every page, directly within the editor of each post. 

Yoast “highlights” the text in red, yellow, or green so I know the correct length and how well I’m doing on a writing the page description. 

Yoast has both a free and a premium version. The free version of Yoast is very robust. In fact, we use the free version on the MS IT Solutions blog. 

But, if you want a little more help, the premium version is only £79 + VAT per year and comes with extra insights such as keyword exports and internal linking suggestions

2. W3 Total Cache

Website caching is an effective way to speed up the load time of your website. If that sounds appealing to you, then this plugin is just what you need. W3 Total Cache does a ton of work. It stores a static copy of your pages, makes your CSS/HTML/Javscript files smaller, and handles content delivery network (CDN) uploads. Not only will your visitors enjoy a faster site, but you can also save money in bandwidth costs.

3. Smush Image Compression

Large photos can affect the loading time of your website . But, high quality, compelling images are often important to convey your brand message and deliver a certain “feel” to your website. If you’re a professional photographer, high quality images are of utmost importance to show off your portfolio. 

This is where Smush Image Compression comes in. Smush will compress or reduce the download size of your photos without sacrificing image quality. 

The free version of Smush will work for most websites, but photographers, web designers, or hosting resellers may want to take advantage of the paid version.   Smush Pro will compress and resize images up to 32MB and use the Smush Pro CDN (content delivery network) to render the photos, taking even more load off your website.

3. Smush Image Compression

Large photos can be one of the most taxing things on a website’s load time. But, high quality, compelling images are often important to convey your brand message and deliver a certain “feel” to your website. If you’re a professional photographer, high quality images are of utmost importance to show off your portfolio. 

This is where Smush Image Compression comes in. Smush will compress or reduce the download size of your photos without sacrificing image quality. 

The free version of Smush will work for most websites, but photographers, web designers, or hosting resellers may want to take advantage of the paid version. At $49 per month for unlimited sites, it’s still a pretty good deal, especially if you’re responsible for multiple sites.  Smush Pro will compress and resize images up to 32MB and use the Smush Pro CDN (content delivery network) to render the photos, taking even more load off your website

4. WooCommerce

Ok, so, you won’t need this plugin if you aren’t selling products online. But, if you plan to have an online store, WooCommerce is our top recommendation for eCommerce on a WordPress website.  

WooCommerce is an all-in-one solution for your online store. It comes with product, cart, and checkout pages, calculates taxes, and keeps product inventory. 

Pro tip: in most cases, you need a design theme that is compatible with WooCommerce. I once had a client that launched a beautiful website. Their next step was to create their online store. By the time they got to me, I had to build their website again in a WooCommerce-compatible theme in order to set up their online store. Save yourself some time, and start with a compatible theme. 

5. MonsterInsight

Used by over 2 million websites

MonsterInsights is a must have Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to “properly” connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can see exactly how people find and use your website.

The best part is that it shows you all the important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.

You can then optimize your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue. 

MonsterInsights has a free version, but the true power of it only unlocks when you upgrade to the Pro version.