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5 best plugins for WordPress that are absolutely essential

5 best plugins for WordPress that are absolutely essential
Nastya Kuznetsova
Content manager

Plugins extend WordPress functionality. You have to be a bit of a programmer to add a form on a website without plugins. You have to be a bit of a sysadmin to configure caching. Unless you are not, just install a plugin and play with settings in a user-friendly interface.

Before creating a website using WordPress and installing plugins, you have to install WP on a hosting server. Vepp will help you with that.

Vepp is a service for website and server management. You just choose a template and this is it. Vepp will upload WordPress on a hosting server and take care of technical details.

It is important for every website to expand in 5 ways we have chosen: Page builder, SEO optimisation, analytics, caching, contact forms. Here’s the selection of popular extensions.

1. Page builder—Elementor

The default WordPress page editor allows to add only text and images. Default links, bullets, bold or italic text, that’s what we can do there. Not much, right?

Free WordPress page builder Elementor allows to modify standard pages the way you want. Add buttons, sliders, comments, and more. Build the pages from various blocks yourself.

Some of the page builders force users to edit the code, otherwise you won’t be able to make much difference. Elementor is a different one. This tool is even able to process the dynamic content. For example, adding the author information to every blog post is not a problem at all. The styles will remain the same everywhere.

The premium version Elementor Pro is 49$ a year and allows to build pages for one whole website, three websites for 99$ a year, thousands for 199$ a year. Premium version also has some extra features and widgets. For instance, “global widget” i an element which you only set up once, and then add in one click. If you change the settings, they will apply everywhere.

To get started you may use knowledge base, video tutorials and community support.

More about Elementor

2. Optimisation—Yoast SEO

Free Yoast SEO plugin will help with the latest search engine requirements and your website promotion. With this plugin, it is easy to create an XML site map, edit the titles, meta tags and breadcrumbs. Set up internal linking, embed shema.org markup, and more. Yoast SEO will also give you some hints on each SEO parameter, which is perfect for the beginners.

The Premium version for 90$ a year suggests corresponding key phrases and internal links. It sets redirects from deleted pages and modified URLs. Technical support is available via email.

There is a knowledge base on extension website. You may also report about the faced issues on Yoast SEO GitHub.

More about Yoast SEO

3. Analytics—Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

This plugin helps integrating Google Analytics into your website. You can monitor metrics right from the WordPress admin panel.

Sign in to your Analytics account, install the plugin and the Analytics section will appear. You can monitor the number of users, channels and traffic sources in real time mode. View standard and detailed reports. The whole plugin functionality is free.

English interface and documentation. You may report about the faced issues on the plugin GitHub.

More about Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

4. Cache—WP Super Cache

Caching helps speed up page loading and reduce server load.WP Super Cache creates pages copies (static HTML or PHP files) and saves them inside cache. When a user requests a page, WordPress doesn’t create it from scratch. It sends the browser previously saved HTML copy or quickly assembles a page from PHP files.

WP Super Cache is free and easy to understand cache plugin. It compresses the website pages and clears the cache from outdated files.

It has detailed documentation in English and community forum support.

More about WP Super Cache

5. Creating contact forms—Contact Form 7

To make it easy for the visitors to contact you, and for you to answer them, there are feedback forms. The WordPress plugin Contact Form 7 allows to create a feedback form fast, add some fields to it, and modify the appearance of it. There is an option of adding a notification for those, who sends a message — “It’s all right, we got your message!”. You can also set up email templates. You will get the email with a message about a typo on your website or a callback request.

The are some more settings for advanced users such as enhancing the functionality with JS code. For example, adding Google Analytics events.

Contact Form 7 is a free plugin. It has documentation and a support forum.

More about Contact Form 7

+ The plugin of the plugins—Jetpack

If you want it all and now, download Jetpack. This plugin alone replaces 30 different WordPress plugins. Jetpack basic options are protection and optimization of your website. But there are more. Webform options, social media, publications, comments, widgets, and images instruments. You may set up subscriptions, links, mobile theme, and many more.

Most Jetpack options are free. But there are 3 paid variations as well. You will get a priority tech support for 33$ a year. There are automatic website checks, malicious code cleanups, Google Analytics integration, and more for 105$ a year. For 286$ a year, you will get premium themes, automatic backups, Elasticsearch integration.

You may read the Jetpack blog for news and tutorials. There is a forum and technical support for everyone. However, paid version owners have a priority.

Jetpack is an excellent plugin, but a heavy one. It suits the beginners who want to try many functions and avoid a plugin conflict.

More about Jetpack

+ Plugin for online stores—WooCommerce 

Powerful yet free e-commerce plugin! The full functionality from creating products and categories to managing promotions and emails. There are integrations with a hundred paid and free extensions in case basic functionality doesn’t satisfy your needs. For example, WordPress WooCommerce Multilingual to create websites in multiple languages, YITH WooCommerce Wishlist for wishlists.

There is documentation, tech support for everyone, forum, and GitHub.

More about WooCommerce

Plugin conflict

There are many WordPress plugins created by many developers. Sometimes the conflict between plugins, with your theme or WordPress version takes place and causes website errors.

The plugins mentioned in our article weren’t reported to conflict with each other. They are generally considered non-conflict. But be careful with other plugins installation. Check forums and users feedback first.

Nastya Kuznetsova
Content manager