WordPress plugins add functionality and additional features to your website. Continuing from our recent blog post “Proven WordPress Themes” we cover the essential WordPress plugins and those that help optimise your website.
We will examine the essential WordPress plugins for your WordPress website and those that help optimise your website for speed and improved user experience.
If you are not sure how to install a WordPress plugin visit the link below for instructions.
The first two plugins are essential for security and backup. There a few options available to WordPress users.
The plugins that we across all our websites include Updraft Plus for website backup and Wordfence for website security.
This plugin will help you backup your website. Backups can also be completed via your WebHost.
After installation, there are easy steps to make your first backup. Users can also set the how many and control when and how often to schedule backups.
Another great feature allows the user to set the backup to save to remote (external) storage, including cloud storage and email.
If issues arise, it is fairly easy to revert back to a previous backup.
Backup Alternatives: VaultPress; Duplicator.
Wordfence is one of the most popular security plugins used for WordPress.
The free version includes a malware scanner and security alerts (e.g., plugin and theme updates; changes to your website).
The security alerts and scans are features of Wordfence and include instructions on how to fix any issues.
Setting up Wordfence is a bit more complicated than Updraft, but there are some great resources across the internet to help users.
Check out this link for help with Wordfence setup:
WordPress Security Alternatives: Sucuri; iThemes
W3 Cache – Optimisation Plugin
W3 Cache is an optimisation plugin. In layman’s terms, this plugin will help speed up your website, improving user experience.
This is completed by caching all aspects of your website, reducing download times, and integrating with a CDN (content delivery network).
With Google’s new algorithm changes coming into effect in May 2021 it is important that websites are quick loading and offer an improved user experience for visitors.
Compared to the two prior plugins, the setup for W3 Cache is a bit more complicated. We found using this guide a great resource.
Once you’ve set up W3 Cache to optimise your website you’re all set to go.
NB. If you ever have any issues with missing elements of your website we recommend that you use the purge cache options for all or specific pages available within W3 Cache.
Optimisation and Cache Alternatives: WP Rocket; WP Super Cache.
Wrapping it all up
There you have it. I’ve now introduced you to two essential WordPress plugins and one plugin to help with optimising your website. You’re now ready to create your first web page.