5 essential WordPress plugins in 2019

WordPress is the most popular CMS out there, with over 26 million active websites. Being open-source, WordPress benefits from community support with a large number of developers contributing to its plugin directory.

With so many plugins available to WordPress users it can be overwhelming when deciding which are right for your website. Having previously discussed the 5 top tips to speed up your WordPress Site, in this post we will cover the the 5 essential WordPress plugins.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO tab on articles

Many website owners find it hard to rank on Google and hiring an SEO expert can be expensive. With features like SEO score, readability score and a keyword tool, Yoast SEO can help you write content that will rank better on search engines. The plugin is free to download and use but can also be upgraded to a premium version with more features. With that said, the free version has plenty of features that will be sufficient for most users. Here are some features below:

  • Webmaster tools verification for Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu.
  • Sitemap generator.
  • Search appearance features including meta title and meta description.
  • Social profiles integration – this will add your social accouts to meta information of your website so that search engines can find them.

2. AddToAny Share Buttons

AddToAny Share Buttons

Social media plays a big part for a any website and allowing your visitors to share your content is essential. AddToAny Share Buttons is great for adding social sharing icons to your articles and pages without having to do any development.  The plugin is very lightweight compared to others out there, the only downside is you don’t get much customization in terms of design. However, you can add your custom CSS if you’re familiar with that.

3. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache WordPress
W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress

W3 Total Cache is essential for improving website performance and getting better load times. When configured, this plugin will cache your website resources such as CSS and JavaScript files on the browser or server. So when users visit your website the cached files will be served, potentially shaving seconds from you page load times. The plugin can also minify and combine JS/CSS to reduce their file size.

TinyPNG Test
2.7 MB image reduced to 370 KB, saving 86% using TinyPNG

TinyPNG is an image compressing plugin which can reduce the file size of your images by up to 90% without having any noticeable compromise on quality. The Plugin works by automatically compressing images as you upload them but can also do a bulk compression of all of your assets in the media tab.

5. Contact form 7

Contact Form 7 allows you to easily create forms and embed them in pages, articles and widgets. The plugin generates a one line shortcode which you can paste in your desired location.

The benefit of Contact Form 7 is it has spam filtering and Google CAPTCHA built in, so it will automatically filter out robot or spam submissions.

Do you have any essential plugins to recommend to readers? let us know in the comments below!