When creating a fast WordPress website that has all the functionality you need, you will likely need the help of plugins. However, it’s best to avoid the temptation of installing a plugin for every little feature you might want.
Contrary to popular belief, you only need about five plugins to get your website working how you want it to. With that in mind, we’ll look at what those plugins are and give you a brief description of their purpose.
But first, what is a plugin, and why do you need them for WordPress sites?
What is a WordPress Plugin?
In short, a WordPress plugin is a piece of software that “plugs in” to the WordPress core code and extends its functionality. While the WordPress platform is an excellent base for your website, it does have certain limitations that can be circumvented easily using plugins.
For instance, if you want to add a contact form to your site, you can do so by installing a plugin that will create the form and manage submissions for you. There are plugins for almost everything, from eCommerce functionality to social media integrations and beyond.
Why You Only Need 5 Plugins for Your WordPress Site
The problem with plugins is that they provide a solution for everything. Every little piece of functionality you might want to add to your site can be achieved with the help of one plugin or another.But adding dozens of plugins to the backend of your WordPress site is a recipe for disaster.
Firstly, they will slow down your website significantly. Secondly, installing loads of plugins increases the chances that one of those plugins will have a security flaw that hackers could exploit. Lastly, if these plugins are set to “auto-update” they could break features of your site and leave you with error messages that you need to diagnose and fix before getting your site back up and running.
Ideally, you should only install the plugins you absolutely need to get your site exactly how you’d like it. So, what are the five essential plugins you need for a WordPress website?
The 5 Plugins You Need for Your WordPress Site
So, without further ado, let’s tell you a little more about the only five plugins you need for your WordPress site.
The Elementor plugin is a must for anyone who wants to create beautiful WordPress sites without having to learn code. Elementor is a visual drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy to customise the look and feel of your site without having to touch a single line of code.
Whether you want to create custom landing pages, redesign your blog, or merely tweak specific elements on your site, Elementor is the plugin for you. Best of all, it’s completely free!
#2: Elementor PRO
Elementor PRO builds on the free version by offering webmasters even more features and customisation options. PRO users get access to a broader range of widgets, templates, and integrations, and crucially allows you to create your pages from scratch without the limitations of a specific theme.
If you’re serious about creating a top-notch WordPress site, Elementor PRO is definitely worth the investment.
#3: Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a must for any WordPress site that wants to rank high in search engine results. Yoast SEO is an all-in-one SEO solution that helps you optimise your site for better search engine visibility.
The plugin analyses your site’s content and provides recommendations on how to improve it from an SEO perspective. Yoast SEO also allows you to control which pages are indexed by search engines and makes technical aspects (such as creating XML sitemaps) much easier for the non-tech savvy among you.
#4: Litespeed Cache
When it comes to creating excellent websites these days, speed is everything. Litespeed cache is a plugin that helps in this regard by caching your pages and posts as HTML files. These static files are then served to your visitors, which eliminates the need for WordPress to process PHP requests for each page load.
The result is a significant decrease in loading times, which is good news for both your visitors and your search engine rankings. Litespeed Cache also integrates with content delivery networks such as Cloudflare so that you can take advantage of their CDN services for even faster loading times.
#5: WP Mail SMTP
We have already alluded to the importance of implementing contact forms that work. One of the most significant issues with the default settings of WordPress is that the platform uses the PHP mail function to send emails generated from items such as your contact form.
The problem with PHP is that it’s not very reliable, and a lot of emails end up in the site owner’s spam folders or don’t get delivered at all. This is where WP Mail SMTP comes in. This plugin reconfigures the wp_mail() function to use SMTP instead of PHP mail, which is a lot more reliable.
Speak to McGinn and Dolphin Today Regarding Your WordPress Website
Whether you require a new WordPress site for your business or you’ve realised that you are operating 20+ plugins and don’t know how to slim down to a few that can do the majority of the work for you, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We have been building and maintaining WordPress sites for over a decade and can help you optimise your site for better performance and security. Our team can also advise you on the best plugins for your specific needs.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your online presence, please book a discovery call today so we can learn more about your business and your online objectives.