Basic Plugins you should Install and Activate on your WordPress Blog or Website

Most people still think creating a website from scratch is difficult or requires a lot of coding and design skills – but that’s no longer true. In 2018, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have made creating a website accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a coding expert or a design whiz to create an awesome WordPress blog or website.

But to really make your WordPress website stand out you’ll need to use WordPress plugins.

Before you start thinking of installing and activating any plugin on your blog or website.

What are WordPress plugins? Why do you need them?

Thanks to the help of plugins, you can make your website, secure, and lightning fast in a fraction of time.

The cool part? Most of the best plugins are free.

But you need to know which plugins to choose, and which to avoid. Otherwise, you’ll do your website more harm than good.

Here’s the problem…

With over 40,000 plugins to choose from, you may have a bit of analysis paralysis.

Some plugins are harmful to your site, and an overall abundance of plugins may slow your site down.

How? Well, plugins require your site to make additional HTTP requests and/or additional database queries. Both of these things slow your site down.

So, you need to choose your plugins carefully, and also keep your plugins up to date.

How do you do that?

Well you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I lay out the best free plugins for your WordPress blog. So, get ready to bookmark this post and come back to it whenever you’re in need of a new plugin!

But before we get started, here a few plugin tips for 1) getting the most out of many plugins

2) making sure they don’t bog down your site

  1. Delete any plugins you no longer use or need.These may be unnecessarily slowing down your load speed.
  2. Find high quality plugins. It’s usually not too many plugins that cause problems on your site, but poorly coded ones. So, look for plugins with great reviews and lots of installations, as well as the plugins we’re going to list here.
  3. Update your plugins regularly. Don’t allow your plugins to get out of date. Older versions of plugins can also slow your site down.
  4. Do your research. Don’t always rely on good ratings and installations. Check support forums and reviews to see how the plugin is working for other people.

Okay, now let’s dive into some of the best free plugin

The plugins I’m listing below are all installed and activated on this blog Engineering Basic

 

[1] Caldera Forms

I basically used Caldera forms for my contact us page.

Caldera Form is a free and powerful WordPress plugin that creates responsive forms with a simple drag and drop editor. Caldera Forms has many free user-friendly add-ons for both beginners and web developers. Learn more about Caldera Forms at CalderaForms.com.

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Caldera Forms’ visual editor simplifies form building for WordPress. Set up your form with multiple columns, add additional pages, and funnel user responses with conditional logic to get more robust data and relevant information from your customers and site visitors. Anti-spam, AJAX, notification emails, and database entry tracking are enabled by default.

Caldera Forms is a free WordPress plugin by Caldera Labs.

 

[2] DW Question Answer

I basically used DW Question Answer for my Forum page.

DW Question and Answer is a WordPress plugin which builds a complete Question & Answer system for your WordPress site, like Quora or Stackoverflow. The plugin supports multi-languages, shortcodes, reCAPTCHA, email notification system and so on.

 

[3] Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights allow you to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics, so you can see how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back. Simply put, we show you the stats that matter.

With almost 15 million downloads, MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

At MonsterInsights, user experience is our #1 priority. That’s why we make it extremely easy for you to connect and view your Google Analytics reports from inside your WordPress dashboard. Our tracking settings and workflows make MonsterInsights the most beginner friendly google analytics plugin in the market.

 

[4] Insert Headers and Footers

For you to confirm your Google AdSense, Google Webmaster and Google Analytical Account, you will be require to put some code in the header of your website. I recommend this plugin it’s perfect, that’s what I actually used for this Blog

The simple interface of the Insert Headers and Footers plugin gives you one place where you can insert scripts, rather than dealing with dozens of different plugins.

 

[5] iThemes Security

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.

Most WordPress admins don’t know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. With advanced features for experienced users, our WordPress security plugin can help harden WordPress.

 

[6] Jetpack by WordPress.com

Hassle-free design, marketing, and security — all in one place.

DESIGN SERVICES

Create and customize your WordPress site from start to finish. Jetpack helps you with:

  • Hundreds of professional themes for any kind of site
  • Intuitive and powerful customization tools
  • Unlimited and high-speed image and video content delivery network
  • Lazy image loading for a faster mobile experience
  • Integration with the official WordPress mobile apps
MARKETING SERVICES

Measure, promote, and earn moment from your site. Jetpack helps you with:

  • Site stats and analytics
  • Automated social media posting and scheduling in advance
  • Elasticsearch-powered related content and site search
  • SEO tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com
  • Advertising program that includes the best of AdSense, Facebook Ads, AOL, Amazon, Google AdX, and Yahoo
  • Simple PayPal payment buttons
SECURITY SERVICES

Stop worrying about data loss, downtime, and hacking. Jetpack helps you with:

  • Brute force attack protection, spam filtering, and downtime monitoring
  • Daily or real-time backups of your entire site
  • Secure logins with optional two-factor authentication
  • Malware scanning, code scanning, and automated threat resolution
  • Fast, priority support from WordPress experts

 

[7] Page Builder by SiteOrigin

SiteOrigin Page Builder is the most popular page creation plugin for WordPress. It makes it easy to create responsive column based content, using the widgets you know and love. Your content will accurately adapt to all mobile devices, ensuring your site is mobile-ready. Read more on SiteOrigin.

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Page Builder works with standard WordPress widgets, so you’ll always find the widget you need.

 

[8] Quick Adsense

Quick Adsense is an Ads management WordPress plugin. It offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post. Besides, it can randomly place the Ads anywhere within a post. It comes with a simple setting page, and it does not overwhelm you with complicated customizable options.

In general, placing Adsense randomly within a post is a good way to experiment a variety of ads formats & placements besides optimizing your Adsense. If you have many regular visitors who frequently revisit your blog, the randomization will likely catch their attention.

 

[9] Real-Time Find and Replace

I actually use this plugins to replace the WordPress “powered by” from my Blog in which I was able to customized my powered by Footer with this plugin.

This plugin allows you to dynamically (i.e. at the time when a page is generated) replace code and text from themes and other plugins with code and text of your choosing before a page is delivered to a user’s browser.

Because the find and replace happens in real-time no changes are needed to plugins or themes which means upgrades remain easy!

 

[10] SiteOrigin CSS

SiteOrigin CSS is the simple, yet powerful CSS editor for WordPress. It gives you visual controls that let you edit the look and feel of your site in real-time.

We’ve created a site editing experience that will suit both beginners and advanced users alike. Beginners will love the simple visual controls and real-time preview. Advanced users will love the code auto completion that makes writing CSS faster than ever.

 

[11] Social Warfare

Get more social media shares which can lead to more website traffic with the best sharing plugin for WordPress! Built by a group of social media marketing experts and world class developers who are obsessed with performance. Learn more at Warfare Plugins.

WORDPRESS SHARING PLUGIN

Most social sharing plugins for WordPress slow down your site, are not attractive, and don’t work the way you would hope. Social Warfare is both lightning fast and beautiful.

Not only will it never slow down your website like other sharing plugins, we give you the most attractive buttons available that look great no matter what screen size or resolution.

 

[12] TablePress

TablePress allows you to easily create and manage beautiful tables. You can embed the tables into posts, pages, or text widgets with a simple Shortcode. Table data can be edited in a speadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary. Tables can contain any type of data, even formulas that will be evaluated. An additional JavaScript library adds features like sorting, pagination, filtering, and more for site visitors. Tables can be imported and exported from/to Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files.

 

[13] Unique Headers

The Unique Headers Plugin adds a custom header image box to the post/page edit screen. You can use this to upload a unique header image for that post, or use another image from your WordPress media library. When you view that page on the front-end of your site, the default header image for your site will be replaced by the unique header you selected.

This functionality also works with categories and tags.

REQUIREMENTS

You must use a theme which utilizes the built-in custom header functionality of WordPress. If your theme implement it’s own header functionality, then this plugin will not work with it.

 

[14] UpdraftPlus – Backup / Restore

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the world’s highest ranking and most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over a million currently-active installs. Backup your files and database backups into the cloud and restore with a single click!

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Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 (or compatible), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.

 

[15] W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

The only web host agnostic WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework recommended by countless web developers and web hosts.

 

[16] WP Advanced PDF

WP Advanced PDF is a pdf generator for posts to pages. This plugin enables your blog readers to create pdf of posts of your blog. WP Advanced PDF relies on the TCPDF class to render PDF.
This makes WP Advanced PDF a completely self contained PDF generating plugin.
This plugin has possibility to limit access to pdfs to registered users or present links to all visitors.

 

[17] WP Hide PostPost

This plugin excels in giving you full control over the visibility of your a post. By default, any post you add to your WordPress blog will become the topmost post, and will show up immediately on the front page in the first position, and similarly in category/tag/archive pages. Sometimes, you want to create a “low-profile” addition to your blog that doesn’t belong on the front page, or maybe you don’t want it to show up anywhere else in your blog except when you explicitly link to it. This plugin allows you to create such “hidden gems”.

In particular, this plugin allows you to control the visibility of a post in various different views.

 

[18] YellowPencil

The plugin allows you customize any page and theme without coding. Click an element and start visual customization. Adjust colors, fonts, sizes, positions and a lot more. Take control of your website with more than 50 styles properties.

YellowPencil editor provides everything that you need for customizing your site design. The plugin comes with advanced features like visual resizingdrag & dropmeasuring toolbackground patternsgoogle fonts and a lot more.

 

[19] Yoast SEO

Need some help with your search engine optimization? Need an SEO plugin that helps you reach for the stars? Yoast SEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin since 2008. It is the favorite tool of millions of users, ranging from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet. With Yoast SEO, you get a solid toolset that helps you aim for that number one spot in the search results. Yoast: SEO for everyone.

Yoast SEO does everything in its power to please both visitors and search engine spiders. How? Below you’ll find a small sampling of the powers of Yoast SEO.

 

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