Upon setting up your WordPress site, your mind is racing with the gamut of things you want to do with your site. What products will you be selling? What kind of design you want your site to have? What blog post topics do you want to publish on your blog? Who will write for your blog?
While all these things are equally important, questions that get lost in the shuffle are the following:
- How can I protect my site from malware and hackers?
- What’s the best way to get rid of comment spam?
- How should people reach out to me if they have problems with the site?
- What should I do for Google to index my site?
- How can I make my site load faster for the sake of my visitors?
From the untrained eye, you’d think these questions have nothing to do with making money on your blog. However, at closer inspection, all these questions affect the bottom line of your website. Without an efficient website, for instance, almost a quarter of your visitors will leave your site (especially if it loads longer than four seconds). Also, you won’t have visitors at all if people can’t find you on search engines.
Now, the easiest solution to all these problems is to hire an SEO company to make all your problems go away. However, some of you don’t have the luxury to pay for their services.
Nonetheless, it’s possible to boost the SEO of the WordPress site or blog you built by download the most important WordPress plugins below first before anything else.
The most important WordPress plugins you need to download and use
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After building your WordPress site, the next thing you need to do is secure its protection. Keeping your website data safe is your priority. You don’t want a hacker to destroy years’ worth of work on your website just because you weren’t able to download a security plugin for your site.
There are lots of free security plugins for WordPress, but WordFence is one of the better ones available. Upon installing and activating the plugin, you can immediately set up the firewall to identify malicious traffic and stop hackers from their tracks. It also blocks brute force attacks from people trying to log in to your site using random passwords. Finally, you can block networks manually to protect yourself from further threats.
The paid version lets you set up a real-time threat defense field, block IPs from certain countries, check if site IP is generating spam and more.
Once your website gains steam and generates traffic, people will want to engage with you and your content. One way of doing this is by commenting on your posts. Some will leave insightful ideas about your post that helps move the discussion forward. Others, on the other hand, will simply leave gibberish as their comments. If you have a popular website, these gibberish comments will flock to your site, making your comment section difficult to manage.
By setting up Akismet, you can keep your site spam-free. The plugin will filter out spammy comments from genuine ones so you can easily manage the comment section of each post.
3. Contact Form 7
As a budding business, you want to reach out to as many people in your audience as possible. That reason is why you set up a website in the first place.
The next step is finding the best way for them to reach out to you. They can call you on the phone but some are probably too far away and are hesitant to pay for the fees or shy to talk to you. As another option, you can set up a contact page on your site with a form they can fill out with their questions and concerns.
One of the best contact form plugins on WordPress is Contact Form 7. You can create a form that you can embed on any page of your site using its shortcode. You can also customize a form by adding a series of questions and adding different elements to the form. Aside from the text bar, you can use checkboxes, drop-down menus, radio buttons, and others on your form.
4. Yoast SEO
One of the best ways to generate traffic to your site is through SEO. By optimizing your site pages for their target keywords, you increase their chances of ranking on the first page of organic search. However, with so many ranking factors to track and monitor for each page, you can easily get lost in the shuffle.
Yoast SEO makes sure that you stay on top of your SEO regardless of your knowledge about it. This tool is one of the most downloaded and most important WordPress plugins available for free. It gives your site a fighting chance against more established websites in your space by following the best SEO practices as indicated in the tool.
Yoast SEO helps you create a sitemap to make your site easier to index for search spiders. You can also create breadcrumbs to help visitors keep track of your site’s structure, You can also set canonical URLs to prevent duplicate content and identify the version of the page you want to rank on Google.
One of the best features of the plugin is the Content & SEO Analysis. By indicating your keyword, Yoast SEO computes for your page’s on-site SEO score using different factors. It also helps you write easier-to-read content for the sake of your readers.
5. WP Total Cache
An issue that Google and visitors have with websites is the site speed. The slower the site, the more people will walk away from it even before it loads completely. Knowing this, Google will also keep your page from ranking high on search results due to its slow loading time.
WP Total Cache solves the problems by creating a cached version of your website on your user’s browsers. Whenever they visit your site again, the browser loads the local files from its last visit to your site so it doesn’t have to download the data from your servers. The result is a faster-loading and a user-friendlier site.
Are you already using the most important WordPress plugins on your site?
You can’t go wrong with any of the WordPress plugins above. They help set up your website’s foundation so you can focus on creating awesome content and engage with your audience. You no longer have to look behind your back for online threats, spam, and missed opportunities because the plugins listed above cover all of them!
Aside from these plugins, can you recommend what you consider the most important WordPress plugins for websites? Share your thoughts by commenting below!