WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) for websites that enables updating the website without the knowledge of coding. Plugins are basically codes or programs that you can install on your WordPress website to add more functionality to it. Plugins can be easily downloaded and installed automatically on your WordPress site. Once installed, it will normally be on the left side menu of the WordPress dashboard or the Installed Plugins page.
Plugins are created by individuals and organisations. So be sure to use plugins that are widely used and updated frequently to avoid having backdoors to your website. Even though there are some security concerns, the pros more than outweigh the cons. Without the use of plugins, it is very expensive and difficult to build all features that you want from scratch. Plugins are one of the essential benefits of having a WordPress website as it bridges the knowledge gap to allow people with no coding knowledge to improve their website.
The first thing to know is that you can find all WordPress Plugins in the official wordpress directory here. There are over 58,000+ WordPress plugins that you can choose from, how would you know what is safe and useful for you? We whittled it down to 5 plugins that all WordPress websites can benefit from and easy-to-use for almost all administrators as well.
#1 – Yoast SEO
5+ million active installations
A website requires 2 elements to be an asset to your business.
- First Element – A website that can convert visitors into leads. Singapore Best Web Design (SBWD) creates awesome lead generating websites for our customers. That means when visitors enter, there is a high chance they will become a lead for your business.
- Second Element – Get your website found! The more website traffic, the more business. That can be achieved through digital marketing, advertising and SEO, which helps your website rank highly in search engines.
If you have no plans to hire a SEO agency, which can be quite costly at the start, use Yoast SEO to do the best you can to optimise your website for search engines index and rank you. It is very intuitive to use, just follow their instructions, tutorials to greatly improve your website’s SEO score.
#2 – WP Mail SMTP
2+ million active installations
WordPress websites by default uses PHP mail function to send out emails. Depending on your hosting provider, that can sometimes be blocked. That means that you or your customers might not be receiving email notifications from the website. Imagine losing an online business enquiry that could potentially be worth $100,000? Ouch.
SBWD will install WP Mail SMTP for our clients to have a more reliable email deliverability. To do it on your own, you would need to:
- Create an email or decide on what existing email address to use.
- Setup the SMTP incoming and outgoing server settings in the plugin settings.
That way, mails will definitely get sent out.
#3 – WP Fastest Cache
1+ million active installations
Most businesses are hosting their websites on shared servers, which means shared resources and shared bandwidth with other websites on the same server. You need to do your part to speed up your website by using caching. Caching helps to your web pages to load faster, improving the speed and overall user-experience for your website visitors.
WP Fastest Cache is one of the simplest plugins to use, and it typically helps improves most WordPress websites that have never done caching before. Once installed, there are a list of checkboxes for you to select and tooltips which explain what each of the setting will do such as:
- Browser caching
- Mobile caching
- Minify HTML
- Minify CSS
- Minify JS
- Lazy Load
- And many more
For customers that are under our website maintenance package, we will backup the entire site before running the cache plugin just to be safe. If you would like to know more, you can read more from our article on website maintenance – things to do regularly.
#4 – Smush
1+ million active installations
This is another plugin that is extremely easy-to-use and it reaps huge rewards for your website. Search engines and website visitors place great emphasis on speed. If you created the website on your own or engaged a novice website design company Singapore, chances are that your images and media are not optimised, meaning the file sizes are needlessly too large for web browsing, causing the web page to load slow, which will affect your search engine ranking and potential business.
Smush plugin helps to optimise your image files to improve your site speed, without compromising on image quality with lossless compression. Using the plugin is a breeze so you don’t have to worry that it is very complicated. Aside from images, SBWD will optimise your videos and pdfs before uploading them onto your website, which can slow down a website as well if you do not optimise them. Some videos and pdfs we receive from clients are huge, like 1GB videos and 100MB pdfs!
#5 – Loginizer
1+ million active installations
There are various security plugins available on the Wordpress Plugins Directory but it can be quite confusing to use and certain features, if activated, might affect the website. We recommend installing Loginizer, which helps to prevent bruteforce attacks, where someone runs a bot to keep trying to login to your website admin dashboard.
What is does is block an ip address if it detects too many failed login attempts. At the most basic level, it will stop someone from crashing your site or hacking into your WordPress dashboard from the login page.
We take it a step further for customers that engage our website design services. We will install a tried and tested suite of security plugins and configure it to make your website as secure as possible. Websites under our website maintenance package will receive the same implementation as well.
We hope that the above few plugins will help your WordPress website improve in performance and security. At the end of the day, having a reliable website design company that can help you to constantly improve your website will be the best option for your growing business. We are always available to provide a free website consultation of your current website and what can be improved for the frontend and backend of the website. Contact now for more information.