WordPress plugins make working on WordPress a lot easier. Using plugins, you can add a variety of functions to your WordPress website to optimize your web pages better. You don’t really need to know coding or complicated codes in order to be able to use WordPress plugins. All you need to do is download the plugin that you need and the plugin would just integrate with WordPress.
If you look for WordPress plugins, you would find an endless list of them with different functionalities. While some plugins are for free, others are commercial. With that being said, to make it easier for you to find the best WordPress plugins, here’s a list of 15 best WordPress plugins that you must have.
1. Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO Plugin is one of the best WordPress Plugins out on the market. It has been there since 2008, providing some of the most useful tools that aim at enhancing the spot in the search results. If you are using the standard version of Yoast SEO Plugin, you would be able to have a complete control on the site breadcrumbs. You would also get advanced XML sitemaps functionality. You can set canonical URLs that help to avoid duplicate content. It also provides templates for title and meta-description.
Yoast SEO Plugin would provide you with tools that would let you craft SEO friendly content. The snippet preview provided by Yoast would give you an idea about how your post would look, both on PC and mobile. If you are using the premium version, you also get various extensions, like News SEO, Video SEO, Local SEO, and WooCommerce SEO extensions.
2. All-In-One- SEO Pack Plugin
All-In-One- SEO Plugin has been there since 2007 and is yet another trusted WordPress plugin. It helps in automatically submitting your sitemap to Google and Bing. It also submits image sitemaps to both the search engines to enhance image SEO as well. You get support from Google analytics and Google AMP. Other perks are- canonical URLs, custom types of posts, redirecting attachment pages to parent pages, optimizes title automatically, and is compatible with many other plugins.
While beginners can use this plugin by just installing without using codes, advanced users can make their own optimizations. The highlight of this plugin is that it provides a WooCommerce extension for free.
3. The SEO Framework SEO Plugin
The SEO Framework SEO Plugin generates automated titles, descriptions, canonical URLs, tags for various social media platforms, and much more so that the page has everything that Google loves. It also prevents SEO attacks through paginated exploits in WordPress. If you have a 404 page or empty categories, this plugin would prevent these pages from getting indexed. At every step, while you craft your content, you would be prompted to follow the guidelines that help you come up with SEO friendly content.
4. Squirrly SEO Plugin
Squirrly SEO plugin provides users with some of the advanced functions, like integrations on social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.), keyword rankings, on-demand audits. Besides these, it is also soon coming up with Google Analytics and search console integrations as well. For beginners, it also has a free step by step coaching sessions to enhance learning in SEO.
Squirrly SEO plugin is a good option for people who look for both guidelines and tools to go about optimizing their content. It helps you conduct a keyword research and also gives you suggestions as to how trending any topic is on social media. It also provides you with insights about whether a keyword would rank or not. In case a keyword doesn’t rank, you wouldn’t be wasting your time on that keyword.
5. WP SEO Structured Data Schema
Two of the major factors for a page to rank well are structured data and schema. Structured data means you would be using standardized search engine vocabulary to rank well. WP SEO Structured Data Schema helps users optimize their posts with that respect. It is also an apt plugin if you are trying to enhance your rankings by using rich snippets. If you plan to stop using this plugin and remove all the schema that has been created, you can do so as well. Overall, WP SEO Structured Data Schema helps in enhancing how your posts look in the search results in a way that it would rank better. With that being said, many people are waiting for a premium version that would give more options and functions.
6. Short Pixel Image Optimizer
Image optimization and image SEO is just as important of a factor in enhancing rankings as is the rest of the SEO factors. Short Pixel Image Optimizer helps in compressing all the images and PDF documents, even older ones so that the images and PDF documents are optimized according to the SEO guidelines. This plugin functions in the background, which means all you have to do is install it and let it do its work. it doesn’t have any file size limit, so it would compress images of just about any size. Also, it works with most image formats. If you don’t want to optimize an image or certain images, you can select the thumbnails and exclude them from being optimized. It works well with other popular plugins that most people would use.
7. 404 to 301
One of the SEO factors that can impact your page rankings is the 404 error. If your website has any such page with the message flashing ‘404 error- page not found’, you might be at a great loss. 404 to 301 is a WordPress plugin that helps in taking care of the 404 errors. When you have this plugin installed, it works by redirecting 404 pages to any other page that you set with the help of 301 or another status. Thus, the search engine bot wouldn’t crawl these pages. This plugin lets you customize and set a page for the 404 error pages. You can also enable email notifications on 404 errors. The plugin gets various updates from time to time and is free of cost plugin. If having a huge log data is your concern, you can also delete the logs by going into bulk actions, selecting clear logs, and submitting.
8. WP Maintenance Mode
Sometimes, as you are making changes to your page or blog, people can’t find the page. so, to explain to the users that your page or blog is undergoing some changes, it is important to display a page that gives them the message. WP Maintenance Mode is a plugin that lets you add a maintenance page to your blog. If you are launching a new website, you can even set a coming soon page for your website. This plugin gives the flexibility of customizing the pages according to the user’s will. You can make changes to the background color, pattern, texts, fonts, size of the text, and a lot more. The plugin also lets you create a responsive design and has some SEO options as well.
9. Google Reviews Widget
Google reviews widget is a plugin that lets you see the up to 5 Google business reviews per location in the sidebar widget. These real reviews from users who post them on G+ add more reliability to your business and increase user confidence. While for the standard version 5 Google reviews are the limit, you can get more than 5 reviews on your website if you use the business version. Some of the perks of using this plugin are that it supports dark websites, takes zero load time irrespective of what your website speed is, and work even when Google is not available.
10. Simple 301 Redirects
Simple 301 Redirects is a plugin that can be used to redirect the pages of your website to other pages on the website, whatever page you choose. When you redirect an old page to a new page using Simple 301 Redirects plugin, the incoming links to the old page would automatically pass along to the new page along with the page-rank. For anyone who is looking for just one functionality, that is, redirecting pages and nothing more than that, this plugin does justice.
11. Premium SEO pack- WordPress SEO Plugin
Pretty much as the name suggests, Premium SEO pack- WordPress SEO Plugin is a plugin that aims to enhance the value of a content with respect to SEO. This plugin comes for free. It helps in modifying the title, meta-description, keywords, images, etc. in a way that they comply with the SEO standards. It helps you optimize your page for social media platforms as well, with customizations from your side. This plugin functions well with various e-commerce plugins, like WooCommerce, works well with WordPress multisite as well.
12. Smart Crawl SEO
Smart Crawl SEO is a good plugin for beginners who are looking for an automated plugin that helps with SEO. Once you set up this plugin, it analyzes the website and based on the analysis, comes up with settings crafted specifically for your page. While it helps with SEO factors, like meta description and title and leverages social media, it also gives an indication about the readability of your posts. Besides that, it also helps in maintaining the right keyword density- not more and not less than what is required. The plugin also sends out the message to Google that your site needs to be recrawled whenever you post a new content on your website.
13. CMP Coming Soon Maintenance
CMP Coming Soon Maintenance plugin is yet another one for taking care of a website which is under maintenance or is coming soon. This plugin offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to the design of the page that you plan to display. Right from the color, the background to the message that should be flashing on the screen, you get to customize pretty much everything. The advantage of using this plugin is that it comes for free, which is why many people prefer it. It also has the options of whitelist and blacklist that allows you to run this plugin on selected pages.
14. WP Smushit
WP Smushit is a plugin that helps in compressing and optimizing images so that they don’t affect the page loading speed. Many times, people don’t realize that the images they have on their website are so large that they greatly affect the loading speed of the page. You can choose the dimensions for your images and all that this plugin would do is compress the image, retaining the suggested size. WP Smushit plugin also works well with a number of other WordPress plugins. Once you start using this image compressing plugin, or any other good plugin for that matter, you would be able to witness how it changes your page loading speed and makes the website more efficient.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that helps you customize the looks of your website. it has a number of helpful tools that help you with the task of customization. It offers about a hundred themes out of which you can choose what is good for your website. The plugin also provides integration with official WordPress mobile apps. Besides that, you can also schedule posts for social media and automate social media posting. You would also have an access to SEO tools for major search engines, like Google and Bing, and popular social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, etc. It also provides security from data loss, hacking, and downtime through regular backups, secured logins, and a high-level authentication.
These are some of the most popular WordPress plugins that help in optimizing the content and website in ways that it would rank better. WordPress plugins are the lot easier to use and customize as opposed to how many people think. It does not require the user to have a prior knowledge of codes, and the plugins work seamlessly with WordPress. Many of the plugins are exclusively designed for beginners so that they don’t have to sweat a lot. On the other hand, some other plugins are crafted for advanced users so that they have more liberty in using the plugins. Based on your knowledge of SEO, make sure you choose the right kind of WordPress Plugins that lets you work well with them.
Author bio: Jafar Sadhik is a creative content writer has an experience of 4 years in fully managed SEO content writing. Currently, employed at Stan Ventures, number one Indo American white label SEO service providers.