The Best of the Best, WordPress Plugins 2018
One of the greatest things about WordPress is the sheer number of themes and plugins available, for free, on the official WordPress website.
There are tens of thousands of free plugins that empower you to extend the functionality of your website with features that can take your site from a regular blog, to a site that can compete with Fortune 500 Companies.
But with so many options, it can often get difficult to decide on which plugins to use on your WordPress Website. Especially since there is a lot of overlap between many of them.
That’s why I started to create videos and posts to highlight the plugins I feel would best fit, with the vast majority of websites.
You might recall my previous Top 10 WordPress Plugins for 2017 article. The list has changed a bit, with new plugins added, while some stayed the same.
When setting out to create this post and video, I asked myself, “what features and functionality do most websites need”? That was my starting point as I researched and selected which plugins would be featured in this list.
This list includes some plugins that are extremely popular and a couple that are rising up the ranks within their specific niche.
They cover various types of functionality that every website can benefit from. So enough of a build up, here’s the list in no specific order.
Note: there are actually 11 WordPress Plugins featured in this list because one is a notable mention.
WordPress Security Plugins:
Keeping your website secure is a top priority and this aspect of website management, can’t be taken lightly.
- WordFence Security – this plugin needs no introduction. It is one of the most widely used and respected names in the WordPress Security Space. It protects your website with an advanced firewall and options that will keep hackers out. If properly configured. Checkout my WordFence Security Setup Video.
- iThemes Security – this is another very well known and highly recommended Security Plugin that has over 30+ ways to protect your website, for free. With this plugin, you can pretty much lock down your website, preventing malicious actors from accessing your site. Checkout my iThemes Security Setup Video.
- Updraft Plus – backing up your database and files should be a major part of your overall security policy. In the event of a breach or failing hardware, you can migrate and restore from a backup. Updraft Plus is the most popular backup plugin on the official WordPress website. This plugin will give you peace of mind.
WordPress Performance & Optimization Plugins:
Page-load time is extremely important to your website visitors and is also a major Google Ranking Factor.
- WP Smush – With smart phones having cameras that help turn everyone into a budding photographer, pictures are easy to take. Those very same pictures tend to be very large and can slow down your website. That’s where this plugin comes in. It will reduce the file size of your images and can help improve the performance of your site. Compressing pictures are an important thing to do. Check out my WP Smush Review.
- WP Fastest Cache – this plugin is one of the easiest cache plugins for WordPress. While this is a crowded space to be in with so many big names, this plugin will not disappoint you and will help your site load faster in the browser. Checkout my video on setting up WP Fastest Cache.
- Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions – WordPress websites use a MySQL Database which helps make your website more dynamic and data driven. But that also means that there’s often data leftover in your database after you deleted plugins, revisions etc. This can reduce the performance of your database and in tern, your website. That’s where this plugin comes in. You can manually optimize your database and you can even set an optimization schedule to automate the task. Checkout my video on Database Optimization.
SEO, Social Media, Google Analytics & Contact Forms
Social media can help drive traffic to your website. SEO is all about creating high quality content that’s optimized for users and search engines. Crunching data and analyzing data is important. Having a way for people to get in touch with you is vital. The plugins below, address these topics.
- Yoast SEO – when it comes to search engine optimization, Yoast is the preferred plugin that’s used by millions of WordPress Powered Websites. It will help you ensure your content can thrive in the search results, if used properly. Checkout my How To Setup Yoast SEO Video.
- Social Media Share Buttons & Icons – if you want your blog posts and website to be viewed by many, then you need to get people to share your content with their network and also follow you on yours. This plugin makes this an easy thing to do.
- WPForms – every website needs a contact form. While this is also a crowded space, WPForms provides the type of features you need in an easy to use, no shortcodes needed, drag and drop form generator.
- Google Analytics Dashboard – it’s important to gather as much data on how people are getting to your website. Where are they coming from? What are their demographics? When do people visit your site most? These are all important to your content creation and sharing strategy. Google Analytics is the number one free solution that provides you all this valuable data. This plugin makes it easy to view all this data, right in your dashboard of your website. This means you don’t need to log into two different platforms.
Managing a highly functional, feature rich website is made easy with WordPress and the various plugins that address some of the most important parts of a website. This list of Top 10 WordPress Plugins for 2018 will help your website reach new heights in 2018.
Hopefully you found this article and video helpful. Feel free to share this post with other website owners. As always, thanks for reading.