WordPress is best known for its flexibility and easy to use features. You can find hundreds of different ways to customize the website based on the requirement. There are thousands of WordPress themes and WordPress Plugins available to help you do that. While themes help you extend the design and layout of the overall website, plugins help you to extend the functionality of the website.

Essential WordPress Plugins

There are certain WordPress plugins which are very important for any WordPress site and most of those plugins are Free to download and use. When you set up a new WordPress website or blog, you must install a few very essential plugins for the performance of the website in terms of SEO, Speed, and Security.

WordPress SEO Plugins

To make your website well optimized for SEO, you need to install WordPress SEO plugins. SEO plugins not only help improve the SEO rankings of the website but also help you understand how SEO works. There are many plugins to choose but always go for the most popular ones.

  1. Yoast SEO Plugin
  2. Rank Math

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Page Plugins

AMP or Accelerated Mobiles Page is an open-source project by Google designed to help webmasters and publishers create mobile-optimized pages that load instantly on mobile devices. AMP pages load way faster than regular mobile pages. You should make your page AMP friendly to improve your mobile page load. (There are cons of using AMP but for new blogs, it is okay to ignore cons)

  1. AMP for WordPress
  2. AMP for WP – Accelerated Mobile Pages
  3. Facebook Instant Articles & Google AMP Pages by PageFrog

Website Cache Plugins

Website speed is very important for both, Humans and Bots. To speed up the website you need to have your dynamically generated page turned into a static page. Static pages load faster than dynamic pages. There are many Cache plugins for WordPress, you can choose on these. Most of these cache plugins are developed in a way that, it makes any non-tech or beginner user easy to use.

  1. WP Super Cache
  2. W3 Total Cache
  3. WP Fastest Cache

Security and Backup Plugins

You should always prepare for the worst when it comes to the security of any website. Regular backup of every website is a must. For WordPress sites, it is easy to backup and restore the data when you use Backup Plugins. But, to prevent the loss of data using security plugins is very essential as such plugins will prevent your site from unusual and intentional attacks.

WordPress Security Plugins

  1. Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
  2. All In One WP Security & Firewall
  3. iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

WordPress Backup Plugins

  1. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
  2. BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin
  3. WordPress Backup and Migrate Plugin – Backup Guard

HTTPS – WordPress SSL Plugin

More than 60% of internet users are using Google Chrome as their internet browser. And the latest updates that Google has made on Chrome make sure, that any website that has no security layer (TLS Certificate) will be marked as insecure. The data is transferred safely when there is a security layer used known as TSL certificate (Transport Layer Security). TLS creates a secure encrypted connection between server and browser, therefore keeps your data safe. Any data passed without HTTPS is insecure and the future of the web is a secure one. You need to have TLS Certificate installed on your website. Having TLS directly improves your website SEO and conversion.

Once you install SSL certificate on your website, you need to make your WordPress site HTTPS friendly and this can be done using WordPress SSL plugin.

  1. Really Simple SSL
  2. SSL Insecure Content Fixer
  3. WordPress HTTPS (SSL)

WordPress Optimization Plugins and Tools

There are certain things we should always consider while running a website using WordPress. Database optimization, 404 Error page monitoring, and Redirection are few of them. All these requirements come when your website starts to get traffic or increase usage. There are a few essential plugins, mostly ignored by webmasters or WordPress users.

WordPress Optimization Plugins

  1. WP-Optimize
  2. Autoptimize

WordPress 404 Error Page Monitoring and Redirection

  1. Redirection
  2. 404 to 301

Honorable mention

There are few plugins, I personally never miss to install on my WordPress blogs and Content sites.

  1. Revision Control – This plugin lets me control the Revision functionality of WordPress. When you use WordPress backend to start new article/post, by default WordPress saves many revision of your post depending upon how long you take to write one article, I do limit this to max 3 revisions on my blogs as I have a habit of saving draft when I make a major change in the posts.
  2. Jetpack by WordPress.com – Jetpack plugin features many things needed for the WordPress sites, but for me, it’s “Free CDN”.