Top WordPress Plugins for 2019 (That You Can’t Live Without)
January 17, 2019
January 17, 2019
Can you imagine using your cell phone without apps? That’s what it’s like to use WordPress without plugins. Plugins offer the ability to extend the functionality of your site. This will optimize your website and enhance user experience. However, all plugins are not the same. There are some that are almost industry standard such as Yoast, and others that aren’t worth the code they are written with. So, we have done some of the homework for you. Below is a list of the top WordPress plugins we recommend to optimize and extend your website in 2019 and beyond.
Let’s start with SEO. You know you must maximize SEO in order to get more visitors from search engines, increase engagement, and attract more readers from social media. Yoast will do just that for your site, and then some. There are both free and premium versions, a great website with valuable information and support, and easy-to-use instructions for how to install and get the most of this plugin from Yoast itself. The company even offers online courses to boost your knowledge of SEO teaching you vital skills.
WP-Rocket is another must-have plugin. In addition to being SEO friendly, you want your site to load fast. Your users do too or they may click away. There are many plugins you can use for this and one of the most common is a cache plugin like WP-Rocket. Cache plugins create static files of your blog posts and pages. When users log in, the post is delivered directly from the cache folder. This means speed. What would happen otherwise? Resources would be used (slowing things down) running PHP queries and accessing your database.
Having a cache plugin is key and picking the right one is important. WP-Rocket is an inexpensive choice at $39, it cleans up your database, and your site will load faster than with free cache plugins on the market. Give it a try.
Did you know photographs and other images can be a resource drain? WordPress plugins allow you to optimize images so they can be used to enhance your site’s appearance, to show off your products, and more. Yet, when you have images on your site, the user’s browser has to work hard to load them all.
Image file sizes can be large, and that data adds up. This causes your site to slow which will impact the user experience. So, you want a plugin that does image optimization. Image optimization means making file sizes smaller and less cumbersome. Additionally, this is done without impacting image quality. You simply need the right WordPress plugin.
Imagify is an excellent plugin for image optimization. There are both free and premium versions offering the same feature set. With the free version, you can optimize a whopping 25MB worth of data per month (about 250 images).
Key features of Imagify include:
- Optimization of regular images, thumbnails, and retina images from WP Retina 2x
- Compression of all your existing image files in bulk
- Three levels of compression
- Storage of your original full-sized images in a secure backup.
Imagify is a must-have to maximize user-experience and optimize your website’s images.
One thing we all know is we must backup our websites. Have you ever had to restore from a backup? If so, you know that not all backup plugins are the same. Other plugins allow free backup but when it comes to restoring your files, you pay. Of course, from a business standpoint, we understand this model, however, this is why we recommend the free version of UpdraftPlus.
UpdraftPlus also has a premium version if you are interested in additional features such as:
- Incremental backups
- Website migration
- Multi-network compatibility
- Non-WordPress file and database remote destination backup
- More storage destinations (e.g., OneDrive, BackBlaze)
- Database encryption
- WP-CLI support
- Advanced reporting
- Dedicated tech support.
Gravity Forms allows you to create virtually any kind of form on WordPress. It is an advanced plugin that’s easy to use. Simply put, anyone (even compared to basic free form plugins) can build file upload forms, questionnaires, polls, surveys, online orders, quizzes, and support requests. A one-site license is $59 and allows you to create an unlimited number of forms per year.
Some of Gravity Forms key features include:
- A drag-and-drop form builder interface
- Thirty-three form fields
- Mobile device optimization of forms
- The ability to create multi-page forms with save-progress buttons
- The ability to control form availability by date or entry number
- The ability to route forms to different email addresses based on contents
- Support for creating multiple form entry notifications
- The use of conditional logic to control which form fields are shown and where form entries are sent
- The ability to accept WordPress post submissions through front-end WYSIWYG-enabled forms
- The ability to create WordPress website user account registration forms
- An invisible anti-spam honeypot to reduce form spam
- A selection of official and third-party free and commercial add-ons.
That’s one powerful form plugin.
Every day, millions of websites are hacked. The goal: to steal data, take over your server or email, spread malware to your users, and other deleterious activities. If you’re looking for increased security for your website, Sucuri can help.
Sucuri is a global authority in all things website security, with a specialization in WordPress Security. The Sucuri Security WordPress plugin is free (there is also a premium version) and offers security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, and security notifications. The premium version has a website firewall.
This powerful plugin creates multiple layers to protect your site against security threats. With a cloud proxy firewall that bypasses traffic before sending it to the host server, Sucuri blocks any malware or hacker’s attempt to jeopardize your website. You only get real visitors. Sucuri also makes your website faster in both speed and performance. With Sucuri you can rest assured that your website blog is protected and optimized.
If you’re not emailing your website contacts with tailored campaigns, you’re missing a great marketing opportunity. With a plugin like SendGrid, you can be sure you have an industry leader on your team. SendGrid is the world’s largest cloud-based email delivery platform. It’s free with 40,000 emails for the first 30 days, then 100 per day, forever. If you need to send more email, simply upgrade to one of SendGrid’s affordable premium options. You will get amazing features like A/B testing and real-time tracking as well as analytics of marketing campaigns. Want to impress your customers with great emails and newsletters? Try the SendGrid WordPress plugin to customize your website’s email marketing and wow your visitors with custom campaigns.
While there are thousands of plugins to choose from, we believe these seven are crucial to the optimization, security, maintenance, customization, and marketability of your website. If you do nothing else, be sure to install them this year and make your blog the best it can be in 2019.
Have questions on how to optimize your website blog? We are here to help. Feel free to contact us at Proactive Maintenance.