The Best WordPress Essential Plugins
Are you in search of the top WordPress plugins to elevate your business in 2023? With an extensive library of over 60,000 plugins, it can be daunting for newcomers to navigate and find the perfect plugin for their website.
At our renowned WordPress resource site, we understand the dilemma and frequently receive inquiries about the best plugins for SEO, social media integration, backups, site speed, and more.
As industry experts, we devote ourselves to thoroughly testing both free and premium WordPress plugins, rigorously evaluating their functionality and performance. Our mission is to simplify the process for you, ensuring that you discover the most effective solutions.
Equipping your website with the right set of WordPress plugins and tools is pivotal in fostering the growth of your online business. In this comprehensive article, we unveil our expert selection of indispensable WordPress plugins for business websites in 2023.
Duplicator reigns as the leading WordPress backup plugin in the market, boasting unrivaled popularity. With its remarkable features, you can effortlessly configure automated backups and securely store them on various remote locations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, One Drive, and more.
Restoring your website from a backup becomes a breeze with Duplicator. This comprehensive plugin offers a multitude of functionalities, including multisite support, archive encryption, recovery points, and a seamless migration wizard, among others.
Duplicator also offers a free version, allowing you to experience its capabilities without any cost.
Considered an essential tool for every WordPress blog and website, Duplicator provides a robust backend solution for backup purposes. However, if you’re seeking alternatives, exceptional options like UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) offer comparable excellence in safeguarding your valuable data.
By default, WordPress relies on the PHP mail function to handle email notifications. However, many WordPress hosting companies either fail to configure this function correctly or block it altogether to prevent misuse and abuse.
Consequently, important email notifications from your WordPress site may not reach you or your users as intended.
To address this issue, WP Mail SMTP steps in as the ultimate solution by ensuring that WordPress emails are sent using a proper SMTP mail server. If you’re experiencing difficulties with WordPress not sending emails, check out our informative article on how to fix this problem.
With over 3 million websites utilizing WP Mail SMTP, it has become an indispensable tool in the WordPress community. In fact, we at WPBeginner also rely on this plugin.
Pro tip: For advanced features and exceptional support, consider the paid version, WP Mail SMTP Pro. It offers white glove setup, detailed email logs, and seamless integration with your chosen SMTP service provider. However, if you prefer to use the free version, rest assured that it is compatible with popular SMTP services like Sendlayer, SMTP.com, Mailgun, Gmail, and more.
Ranked as the most advanced search plugin in the market, SearchWP revolutionizes the way visitors navigate your website by enhancing its search functionality.
Unlike the default WordPress search feature, SearchWP goes above and beyond, indexing not only the post content but also every element on your site, including custom fields, ACF fields, text files, PDF document content, custom tables, custom taxonomies, custom post types, WooCommerce product attributes, and more.
Moreover, SearchWP empowers you with the freedom to create your own relevance scale and fine-tune the search algorithm without any coding knowledge.
The search metrics feature is another valuable tool offered by SearchWP. It allows you to gain insights into what your visitors are searching for, what they are finding, and what they may be missing. Armed with this information, you can optimize your content discoverability and enhance user experience.
Additionally, SearchWP offers powerful features like live AJAX search in WordPress, ensuring a seamless and dynamic search experience for your users. It seamlessly integrates with all major WordPress plugins, including but not limited to WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), Meta Box, Toolset, BigCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, bbPress, and more.
Simplifying the process of adding code snippets to your WordPress site, WPCode (formerly known as Insert Headers and Footers) offers a user-friendly solution without the need to edit your theme’s function.php file.
The built-in code snippet library within WPCode provides easy access to commonly used WordPress code snippets, allowing you to insert them with just a click.
Furthermore, WPCode enables you to manage all your code snippets from a centralized screen, making it convenient to organize and categorize them using tags.
For advanced functionality, the WPCode Pro version offers powerful features such as code version control (Code Revisions), device-based targeting for code, the ability to add specific snippets to individual posts and pages, conversion pixels, deeper integration with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and other popular WordPress plugins.
Powering over 5 million websites, WooCommerce stands as the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, delivering a comprehensive set of features to build an online store.
Developed by the team behind Automattic, the company responsible for WordPress.com, Jetpack, and other renowned services, WooCommerce has established itself as the dominant choice in the eCommerce realm. Its success has fostered a thriving ecosystem of dedicated WooCommerce hosting, themes, and plugins.
Pro Tip: If you’re venturing into eCommerce with WooCommerce, we recommend SiteGround as a reliable hosting provider. Alternatively, Bluehost’s eCommerce plan offers over $1000 worth of premium WooCommerce extensions, including subscriptions and bookings.
To enhance and grow your WordPress eCommerce site, we suggest considering the following plugins:
- TrustPulse: Instantly gain customer trust through social proof and FOMO (fear of missing out).
- FunnelKit (formerly WooFunnels): Build effective sales funnels and integrate eCommerce automation into your WordPress site.
- Advanced Coupons: Enhance your WooCommerce store with features like loyalty programs, gift cards, and advanced coupon functionalities.
- Stripe for WooCommerce: This free plugin enables you to accept credit card payments and integrate Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other payment options into your WooCommerce store.
For more plugin recommendations, refer to our comprehensive list of the best WooCommerce plugins.
Alternative: Easy Digital Downloads is the optimal choice for selling digital downloads through WordPress.
If you prefer a streamlined payment solution without the need for a shopping cart, WP Simple Pay is an excellent alternative to WooCommerce.
6. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most powerful SEO plugins for WordPress.
Yoast is a versatile tool that empowers you to optimize essential elements of your webpages for SEO success. With Yoast, you can effortlessly set the title tag, URL slug, and meta description, which play crucial roles in establishing a strong SEO strategy. These optimizations help enhance the visibility and search engine ranking of your webpages.
In addition, Yoast offers valuable assistance in managing various technical aspects of your website. It enables you to easily configure canonical URLs for your pages, set up meta robots tags (e.g., noarchive, nosnippet, noimageindex), provide titles for page breadcrumbs, prevent search engines from indexing specific pages, and control search engine crawling by preventing them from following links on your pages. With Yoast, you can efficiently handle these technical tasks to optimize your website’s performance and improve its visibility in search engine results.
When it comes to optimizing your content, Yoast plays a crucial role by identifying SEO-related issues within your content and highlighting areas for improvement. It provides valuable insights and suggestions to help you enhance the overall quality and relevance of your content for better search engine visibility. With Yoast, you can ensure that your content meets the best SEO practices and maximizes its potential to attract organic traffic.
Yoast offers a range of standout features that contribute to its popularity among WordPress users:
- Structured Data Capabilities: With Yoast SEO, adding structured data to your website becomes effortless. This feature increases the likelihood of your pages displaying rich snippets in search results, enhancing their visibility and click-through rates.
- Redirect Management: Managing redirects is made simple with Yoast SEO. You can easily set up 301 redirects for deleted pages, ensuring a smooth user experience and preventing 404 errors.
- Internal Linking Suggestions: Yoast scans your pages and provides recommendations for internal linking opportunities. By suggesting relevant words and phrases, it helps you improve the navigational structure and user experience of your website.
- Semrush Integration: Yoast users can seamlessly integrate their Semrush account with the plugin. This integration allows you to access valuable keyword suggestions directly within the WordPress dashboard, streamlining your keyword research and content optimization process.
ShortPixel is an image optimization plugin that compresses the images on your WordPress site.
In addition, each row in the interface includes an “Optimize Now” button, allowing you to optimize images individually with ease.
– Various Compression Options: OptiMole offers different compression options, including lossy, glossy, and lossless. This enables you to choose the level of compression that best suits your needs, striking a balance between file size reduction and image quality.
– No File Size Limit: OptiMole can compress images of any size, ensuring that even large files are optimized effectively.
– Optimization Report: The plugin provides an optimization report that offers detailed information and statistics about your images. This allows you to track the progress and impact of the optimization process.
– Support for All Image Formats: OptiMole works seamlessly with all popular image formats, including JPG, PNG, and WebP. This broad compatibility ensures that you can optimize images regardless of their format.
Redirection is a simple plugin for implementing redirects on your WordPress website.
Redirects are necessary when:
- Changing the URL structure. If you change the URL structure of your website, you’ll need to implement redirects so visitors who try to access the old URLs are automatically redirected to new URLs
- Consolidating multiple pages. If you have multiple pages on your website with similar content, you may want to consolidate them into a single page with redirects
- Deleting pages. If you’re removing content from your website, redirect the URL to a relevant, similar page where possible
The Redirection plugin is easy to use. Enter the source URL and target URL. Then click “Add Redirect.”
In addition, for more advanced users, the plugin offers the option to use regular expression (regex) matching for redirects. This powerful feature is particularly beneficial when you need to redirect a large number of URLs in bulk.
- User-Friendly Interface: The plugin provides a user-friendly interface that simplifies the management of redirects. This intuitive interface makes it easy to set up and manage your redirects without any technical expertise.
- Scalable for Any Website Size: Whether you have a small website or a large-scale online presence, the plugin is designed to handle redirects efficiently. It can effectively manage redirects for websites of any size.
- 404 Error Monitoring: The plugin monitors your website for 404 errors, which are pages that cannot be found. This feature allows you to identify and fix these errors promptly, improving the overall user experience.
- CSV Import: With the ability to import and implement redirects from a CSV file, the plugin streamlines the process of adding multiple redirects at once. This saves you time and effort, especially when dealing with a large number of redirects.
9. Really Simple SSL
Really Simple SSL is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to switch your website from HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (HTTP Secure).
Utilizing HTTPS for your website is essential for encryption and ensuring a safer browsing experience for your visitors. Moreover, it is a confirmed ranking factor by Google.
To enable HTTPS, you will need to install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, and your hosting provider (such as GoDaddy or HostGator) should assist you with the installation process.
The Really Simple SSL plugin comes into play by checking if your website has an SSL certificate. If you don’t have one, the plugin can facilitate the installation using Let’s Encrypt.
Once installed, the plugin offers the convenience of redirecting traffic from HTTP to HTTPS. This ensures that your content always loads over a secure connection, eliminating any potential security risks. Enabling this feature is as simple as ticking a box in the plugin’s settings.
Some of the key features of Really Simple SSL include:
- Automatic HTTPS Redirection: The plugin automatically redirects all HTTP traffic to HTTPS, ensuring a secure connection for your website visitors.
- Mixed Content Fixer: Really Simple SSL checks for mixed content issues, ensuring that both secure (HTTPS) and non-secure (HTTP) elements are loaded correctly, preventing any security warnings or errors.
- Extra Security Measures: The plugin includes additional hardening features to enhance the security of your website, protecting it from potential hacking attempts and vulnerabilities.
- Easy Setup and Configuration: Really Simple SSL is designed to be user-friendly, with a simple setup process and intuitive configuration options, making it easy for anyone to enable SSL on their website.
- Compatibility with Popular Plugins: The plugin is compatible with a wide range of popular WordPress plugins, ensuring seamless integration and functionality.
By leveraging these features, Really Simple SSL helps you ensure a secure and encrypted browsing experience for your website visitors, improving trust and enhancing your website’s overall security posture.