10 Essential WordPress Plugins

Without these plugins, my systems just don’t function well. My top priority when looking for WordPress plugins is security, then page speed. You either love WordPress or you hate it. There doesn’t seem to be too many people on the fence. 

Most haters are programmers that believe they produce something better, stronger and safer, good for you. I use to be like them and the only thing I read about WordPress was that it was insecure. 

So when I change from the darkside, I realized that all systems are insecure out of the box, and you have to take precautions to keep yourself safe. 

  1. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening
    • The Sucuri plugin provides site security information. If knowledge is power, than you need this plugin just for the satisfaction of knowing what is going on with your site security. It can be configured to alert you of system changes and any updates that are required.
    • Add this to the Sucuri Firewall solution and you have a complete website security solution that improves your website performance and isolates your site from security threats.
  2. Wordfence Security
    • Wordfence Security is different to Sucuri in that it runs on your site and is excellent at blocking nefarious login attempts. Wordfence also monitors the security of your site, but the feature that I rely on the most is the Brute Force Protection.
    • By setting the firewall to immediately block an IP address if the attempted login username was incorrect, you are removing access before the user accidentally gets it right. The lock time-frame can be modified, but my preference is to lock them out early and leave them locked out for months. If the user is willing to contact me about the lockout, I can restore there access and help them through their mistake.
  3. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
    • UpdraftPlus is my go-to plugin for website backup and migration. The plugin is able to schedule regular backups off-site to Dropbox and manage the Dropbox backups into folders by name.
    • Updraft central is a subscription service that I use to manage all of my sites. From the Central console I am able to check backups and schedule site updates to keep all of my sites up to date.
  4. Really Simple SSL
    • This plugin does what it’s name describes. If you are moving a site to https, and applying a security certificate, this plugin modifies your settings to make sure all references to http (images and links) are modified to https. With this feature you shouldn’t have the problem of both http and https content on your page.
  5. EWWW Image Optimizer
    • Site speed is one of the key factors in SEO. EWWW Image Optimizer is able to modify your images to display at the optimum size without your page resizing your images each time they are called. This process is able to reduce your page size and reduce your page load time. If you subscribe to their CDN solution your images can then be delivered by their CDN for the most efficient result.
  6. Autoptimize
    • Autoptimise is an onsite cache and compression plugin. It is able to reduce your file size and prepare them for the fasted possible delivery. Page speed and mobile usability are key factors in Google search for page performance.
  7. Cookie Notice
    • This is now a standard for compliance.
  8. WPForms
    • This is my go-to web form creation platform. So many possibilities and addons for web-forms here that you really to need to do some research and investigate. From standard forms to payments and content creation solutions, WPforms is a must.
  9. Yoast SEO
    • Yoast SEO will teach you the right process to follow to achieve SEO. It challenges you to correct articles to web standards. By following Yoast SEO standards, your site can be at it’s most optimal in the eye’s of Google and your audience.
  10. Redirection
    • Redirection will save you. If your site over time has many changes made, it is sometimes difficult to make sure that any changes don’t leave orphan articles or pages. Redirection can detect the orphans and redirect them to an appropriate alternative. This means that Google wont penalize you for having broken links on your site.

I hope you find something of benefit from my list of 10 Essential WordPress Plugins, leave a comment below. If you have any other essential plugins, please share them here.

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