These WP plugins make your website even more powerful.
Here I present the best WordPress plugins that you should definitely use to make WordPress safer, faster and even more powerful.
WordPress plugins are additional building blocks for WordPress. With them, WP can be easily expanded with many functions.
Most are available for free and can be easily installed with just a few clicks. At the end of this article, I will also give general tips that should be considered when choosing WP plugins.
By the way, you can automatically search for and install all WordPress plugins on this page in the WP Dashboard.
WordPress SEO plugins
Optimize your website for search engines.
When it comes to search engine optimization, WordPress is already well equipped by default. But especially beginners benefit enormously from an additional SEO plugin, because these plugins give tips on how to optimize an article for a certain keyword, and offer many other functions that improve the ranking on Google and Co.
After installing the Rank Math SEO Plugin, a snippet preview is displayed in the WordPress Editor, with which you can see how the page will be displayed on Google.
At the same time, the plugin automatically gives tips on how to further optimize each article for a certain keyword for Google search. It also offers countless other functions.
Search engine optimization or SEO is a very technical thing and certainly, not everyone will go into depth here. In my opinion, the best search engine optimization is when you concentrate your energy on really good content. Because Google’s job is to find them. And the search engine is actually getting better and better there.
But the Rank Math SEO Plugin can actually bring a lot with very little effort. I find the tips for optimizing an article that appears automatically to be particularly helpful.
More Plugins for Search Engine Optimization:
- Yoast SEO: Another SEO plugin just like Rank Math. It comes with a free version and a premium version. Premium version costs a one-time fee of $89 for one website.
- SEO Friendly Images: This plugin automatically adds alt and title tags to all images, which can have a positive effect on Google ranking.
- Broken Link Checker: Automatically checks whether all links on the website still work.
- Redirection: With the Redirection Plugins you can create redirects for pages to which you have assigned a new Internet address.
WP Plugins for Loading Time Optimization
How to make WordPress even more powerful?
The longer it takes to load a website, the more visitors jump off before they have even looked at the content. The speed of a website has even become a ranking criterion for Google.
The following WordPress plugins help to improve the performance of WordPress and thus the loading times of your WordPress website.
WP Super Cache enables significantly faster loading times by temporarily storing and minimizing the program code of WordPress. In the test, it was named the fastest free caching plugin, right behind the paid WP Rocket plugin, which is available for $39.
I definitely recommend installing this WordPress plugin. With Google’s page speed test, you can then test to what extent the loading times have changed. Try it out and see for yourself how big the difference is on your website!
More WordPress Plugins for Performance Optimization:
- W3 Total Cache: If there are compatibility problems with the WP Super Cache plugin, this WordPress plugin can be used as an equivalent alternative.
- Autoptimize: With some WordPress hosts, caching is already included and the use of caching plugins is blocked. With Autoptimize, the size of the source files can still be minimized, which then further reduces the loading times.
Anti Spam Plugins for WordPress
Every webmaster who has activated comments on his website knows how annoying comment spam can be. These WP plugins automatically detect spam and thus considerably facilitate the moderation of user comments.
I also recommend installing the “Email Address Encoder” WordPress plugin that automatically encrypts email addresses and thus blocks spam robots that automatically search the web for email addresses.
The WordPress plugin Antispam Bee should definitely be installed if you have activated comments on your own website. It automatically detects suspicious comments and improves them. The plugin is available free of charge, ad-free and no registration is necessary.
I recommend under SETTINGS > ANTISPAMBEE to set the following settings: “classify BBCode as spam”, “validate IP address of the commentator”, “include local spam database” and “mark recognized spam, do not delete”.
More Anti-spam Plugins for WordPress:
- Email Address Encoder: This plugin automatically encrypts email addresses in the source code. There is no difference between visitors. However, email addresses are invisible to spam robots.
- Math Comment Spam Protection: This plugin adds a simple math task to the comment form to block spam robots.
- Askimet: This plugin is already installed by default. It sends all comments to a server in the USA and uses a database to check whether it is spam. This procedure violates European data protection rules. In addition, the plugin is chargeable.
Contact Form Plugins
Make it easy for your visitors to contact you.
A contact page and a form with which visitors can contact the website operator are certainly standard on every website. With these WP plugins, the whole thing can be implemented particularly quickly and easily.
Contact Form 7 is the most popular WP plugin for contact forms. It offers everything you need, is free of charge and is particularly easy to set up. After the installation, you will find the menu item “Forms” in the left column of the WordPress Dashboard. There you can create new forms and then easily integrate them on all desired pages using a shortcode.
Alternatives to the Contact Form 7 plugin:
- Ninja Forms: This plugin offers more functions than Contact Form 7 and is suitable for more complex forms. The basic version is free, there are fees for extensions.
- Gravity Forms: This plugin also offers many other functions and is, therefore, more complicated to use. Its basic plan costs $59/year.
Image Gallery WP plugins
Get beautiful picture galleries with just a few clicks.
WordPress has included an image gallery as standard. How beautiful it looks depends on the theme you use. If a nice picture gallery is important for your own website, you should choose a WordPress theme from the beginning that contains a nice picture gallery.
As an alternative, you can also use the following WP plugins. They can be used to implement different types of image galleries with just a few clicks and without programming knowledge.
The Nextgen Image Gallery plugin is one of the most popular WP plugins and is used by over a million websites. With it, beautiful picture galleries can be implemented in no time at all.
However, certain themes can cause problems, which is why the plugin in the WordPress Plugin Directory was rated with only 3.2 out of 5 stars. If it doesn’t work properly, you can switch to alternative plugins.
More Picture Gallery Plugins for WordPress:
- Envira Gallery Lite: This plugin scores with fast loading times and simple operation. The lite version is free, the premium version is available from $29.
General Tips for Choosing a Plugin
You should consider these points when choosing a plugin.
There are now over 40,000 free WordPress plugins listed in the WP Plugin Directory. But there are also many plugins that are no longer being developed and may, therefore, have security gaps. In the following, I explain some important points that you should definitely consider when choosing a WordPress plugin.
1. Topicality & Popularity
With a quick look at the plugin page in the WordPress Plugin Directory, you can quickly find out whether the plugin is being regularly developed and how many websites it is currently using.
Regular updates are important so that any security gaps can be identified and remedied. In addition, updates are necessary so that the plugin remains compatible with the current WordPress version in the future.
If a plugin is installed on many websites, you can assume that many users are satisfied with the functions. Frequently installed plugins usually have a large, active developer community behind them. This ensures that the plugin remains up to date and works safely.
2. Reviews – What feedback Do Users Give?
You can check whether the plugin does what it promises by looking at the reviews. It should be noted that the average rating of up to 5 stars is only relevant from a certain number of reviews.
With a click on “1 star”, you can view the comments of users who were dissatisfied with the plugin. This feedback may indicate problems that might arise when using this plugin.
3. Author, Translations and Compatibility
The author of the plugin is noted right below the ratings and, like many other plugins, this developer has already published. With a look at the author’s page, you can check how serious the author is and how much experience he already has.
The “Translations” item shows whether the plugin has also been translated into German.
And with the selection fields at the point “Compatibility“, you can check whether the plugin is compatible with your installed version of WordPress.
By the way, you can check which WordPress version you are currently using in the WP Dashboard at the bottom of each page.
WordPress offers an incredibly wide range of functions. The WordPress plugins allow everyone to install only those functions that they really need on their website. This keeps the program code of WordPress slim, which leads to faster loading times and greater stability.
I recommend everyone to take the time to select and test WP plugins. With Google’s page speed test, you can also check to what extent the loading times of a WordPress website change when new plugins are installed. The Performance Profiler plugin can also be used for the same purpose. It creates a report of the resources your website needs.
Plugins that are no longer used should definitely be deactivated and deleted. You should also make sure that you always have the latest version of all plugins installed. This increases the security of your WordPress installation and ensures that everything works smoothly.
What kind of plugins do you use on your homepage? I would appreciate further suggestions and a discussion on this topic in the comments.