Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Website

WordPress is a powerful, easy to access content management system that can be used to create almost any website solution with the right content, layout and functionality.

But that’s the reason we would put WordPress at the top of our list, it’s actually with WordPress comes a massive library containing thousands of plugins. With such a huge library at our disposal, we rarely encounter obstacles as there is more than likely a plugin available that offers a comprehensive solution.

What is a Plugin?

When a piece of software does not offer a feature or function, a plugin can be installed into the software to add features to the software it would not normally have. Commonly encountered plugins that you may have come across already are plugin or ”extensions” to your internet browser software, such as adding java or adobe flash functionality to internet explorer.

Plugins for WordPress can add a whole host of features, as well as taking care of tasks for you entirely, which is why we make good use of some of the most well known and useful WordPress plugins to make our lives easier, below I will talk about what they offer and how they may also be able to help you if you’re also running your own WordPress website or blog.

Here are 3 essential WordPress plugins that will save you time:

WP Smush

Optimising all of the images for your website can be a very time-consuming process, especially is your website is full of images and galleries, this is why Wpmudev have brought out a plugin so automatic and easy to use you’ll rarely find yourself back in your image manipulation software transforming all of your images into lower quality JPEGs one by one.

The free version of WP Smush allows your to compress every image on your website at the click of a single button. Whilst the compression isn’t exactly massive (10-20% reduction in size for each image usually), these reductions really do add up on image-heavy websites.

Each time your click the ‘smush’ button, 50 images on your websites will be compressed, as it is all handled by the plugin you can get on with other things whilst WP Smush handles your image compression, just remember to keep the tab open, as it will stop compressing if you do!

If you’re willing to pay for the pro version, you can expect a whole host of powerful extra features, such as faster, more efficient compression (2x compression with no loss in quality!) and larger bulk compressions loads with each click.

You can download WP Smush here.

Yoast SEO

If you’re struggling to get your WordPress website to appear in search engines, then Yoast SEO is an essential for your website. Yoast have made this plugin to bring SEO to the typical website users, making tasks such as editing your headings, keyword optimisation and density, meta snippets and readability with great features like a live SEO rating system for your page that updates itself as you type, a live preview of how your page will appear in search engine results pages, and completely takes care of things like your robots.txt, .htaccess and sitemap.xml files in the background without you ever having to worry about them.

The free version of Yoast will be more than enough for most websites and blogs, however, if you’re looking to take your search engine optimisation to the next level then Yoast SEO premium will open up some powerful features to you, such as easy redirect setups, multiple keywords targeting for each page, and even provide suggestions to improve your content and internal linking quality.

You can download Yoast SEO here.

Contact Form 7

If you’re a business, or just want people to reach you easily through your website, then a website contact form is a must. Creating a contact form from scratch doesn’t take very much HTML, CSS and Javascript, but if you want your contact form to perform standard actions such as file uploads and validation checks, then it can begin to really take up time.

Contact Form 7 does away with all the flashy, over the top visuals to provide you with a powerful, yet simple looking contact form builder plugin rich with features.

It’s easy to configure, novices and experts alike will love this plugin as it keeps things straightforward whilst also allowing complete customisability if really needed.

Contact Form 7 is open source software, meaning it’s completely free and always will be, you can donate or download Contact Form 7 here.

There are so many more plugins we could go on about, we will likely cover more of them in the future. If you’re new to WordPress then you can consider these plugins essential as not only do they take some of the harder tasks and make them some of the easiest, they’re all (mostly) free!

 

 

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