There are tons of articles out there about what the best WordPress plugins are and which ones you should be using. But when you’re starting out, seeing a list of ten or more “must have” plugins can make the thought of adding plugins seem pretty overwhelming. When it comes to plugins, less is more. You can create some pretty big impact without cluttering up your WordPress install with a ton of plugins. So, if you’re ready to start adding plugins to your WordPress site then here is a list of what we think are the three best WordPress plugins. They are simple, powerful, and perhaps most importantly they are FREE!
WordPress SEO by Yoast
If you only ever install one plugin on your site, it should be WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin adds perhaps THE most important tool you will ever use on WordPress. This plugin adds a small dialogue box at the end of every page and post that prompts you to fill in a few fields. These fields are: Focus Keyword, SEO Title, & Meta Description. If you also add a target keyword in your “Focus Keyword” box, it will score you based on how well you’ve written your content in regards to that keyword. The SEO Title and Meta Description fields allow you to quickly summarize what your page is about in a way that entices users to click on your page from google. This helps increase your chance of landing that organic referral traffic you’ve been after. There are a ton of other features packed into this plugin that are simply wonderful, but as a beginner this is perhaps the easiest and best WordPress plugin to help you improve your website.
This plugin probably came pre-installed in your WordPress site but if it didn’t, make sure you get it. Akismet is a must have for those making use of the comments feature in WordPress. This plugin has really only one function and that’s to block spam. Nobody has time to sit and sift through spam. Do yourself a favor and get this plugin. The basic version is free and if you do decide to upgrade the paid versions are very affordable. Believe me this one is WORTH IT definitely one of the best WordPress plugins for beginners. Just be sure that when you activate this plugin you also verify your account with Akismet. It won’t start blocking spam until you do.
Remember the old adage “Hope for the best but plan for the worst?” Of course you do; it’s good advice. Every website should have a good backup plugin just incase disaster strikes and you need to restore your website. BackWPUp is my favorite backup plugin for WordPress. BackWPUp allows you to fully back up your WordPress site and then store the backup files to a number of locations like: Email, FTP, Rackspace, Dropbox, Azure, SugarSync, and more. It also allows you to setup a recurring backup schedule. You can choose what type of backup you want to do (full or partial), which is another great feature. I hope you never have to restore your site from a backup but if you do, BackWPUp makes the process about as painless as restoring from a backup is going to get.
There you have it! The three best WordPress plugins for a beginning WordPress user. There are a ton of other wonderful WordPress plugins out there to choose from. If you have any questions on the WordPress plugins above or are looking for other recommendations, just drop us a line. We’d be happy to help you find just the best WordPress plugins for your website.