The best WordPress plugins: must-haves for every website

The best WordPress plugins: must-haves for every website

Written by Editorial

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July 11, 2024

In today's digital world, the right selection and optimization of WordPress plugins is crucial to the success of any website. Plugins such as Yoast SEO, Akismet Anti-Spam, WooCommerce, Jetpack and Elementor offer extensive features that can significantly improve the usability, security and appearance of a website. However, the variety of options available can often be overwhelming. This is where we can help, Bajorat Media We are happy to help you - as an experienced partner, we are at your side to select the best plugins and Optimize the design of your website. With our expertise in WordPress and a deep understanding of online marketing strategies, we help you realize the full potential of your online presence.

Effective plugins for WordPress

Definition of

A plugin is a type of software that is added to an existing program to extend its functionality. In the context of WordPress, this means that a plugin adds additional functions or features to your WordPress website without you having to change the original code.

How do plugins work?

Plugins are small programs that are integrated into the WordPress installation. They are often developed by third-party providers and can be installed directly via the WordPress dashboard. Once installed and activated, these plugins can add new functions or improve existing functions.

Why are plugins important?

Plugins are essential because they significantly increase the flexibility and functionality of your WordPress website. They allow you to create a professional and functional website without in-depth programming knowledge. In addition, plugins allow you to customize your website exactly to your needs.

Extension of the functions

Plugins offer an easy way to extend the functions of your website without having to dig deep into the code. This means that you can implement everything from simple customizations such as adding a contact form to more complex functions such as integrating an online store or booking system.

Time and cost savings

Using plugins can save you a lot of time and money. Instead of hiring a developer to create special functions for your website, you can simply install a plugin that already offers these functions. Many plugins are available for free or at low cost.

Improving the user experience

By integrating plugins, you can significantly improve the user experience on your website. For example, plugins can help to shorten the loading times of your website, improve navigation or add interactive elements such as sliders, galleries and videos.

SEO and marketing

Special SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO help you optimize your website for search engines, which can lead to better visibility and higher rankings in search results. Marketing plugins help you integrate email marketing, social media and other marketing strategies to attract more visitors to your website and convert them into customers

Security

There are many plugins specifically designed to protect the security of your website from hacker attacks, malware and spam. Some popular security plugins are Wordfence and Sucuri.

 Customizability and scalability

With plugins, you can easily customize and scale your website to meet the growing needs of your business. Whether you want to add new features, change the design or improve performance, plugins offer the flexibility you need.

Effective plugins for WordPress

Installation and management

Installing and managing plugins in WordPress is a simple process that is easy even for beginners.

 Search for and install plugins

  • Accessing the dashboard: Log in to your WordPress website and navigate to the dashboard.
  • Open the plugins menu: Click on "Plugins" in the left-hand menu and select "Install".
  • Search for a plugin: Use the search bar to search for the desired plugin. You can search for specific functions, names or developers.
  • Install plugin: Once you have found the plugin you want, click on "Install now". WordPress downloads the plugin and installs it automatically.

 

Activate plugin

  •  Activation: After installation, the "Activate" button appears. Click on it to activate the plugin and integrate it into your website.
  • Configure settings: After activation, you may be able to adjust the plugin settings. You will often find a new menu item in the dashboard that you can use to make the configuration.

 

Manage plugins

  •  Plugin overview: Go to the "Plugins" menu in the dashboard to see a list of all installed plugins. Here you can activate, deactivate, update or delete plugins.
  • Updates: It is important to update plugins regularly to ensure security and compatibility. When an update is available, a notification is displayed in the plugin list. Click on "Update" to install the latest version.
  • Deactivate and delete: If you no longer need a plugin, you can deactivate it and then delete it. First deactivate the plugin by clicking on "Deactivate". You can then click on "Delete" to remove it completely from your website.

 

 

Security and compatibility

  • Periodic Review: Regularly check whether your plugins are up-to-date and secure. Pay attention to security warnings and compatibility issues after WordPress updates.
  • Create a backup: Before you update plugins or install new ones, create a backup of your website. This way, you can quickly revert to the previous version in the event of problems.
  • Trusted sources: Only install plugins from trustworthy sources, such as the official WordPress plugin directory or reputable developers. Read reviews and check the number of installations and the latest updates.

 

Effective plugins for WordPress

How to recognize reputable plugin providers

To ensure that you are using plugins from trustworthy sources, you should pay attention to various factors that characterize reputable providers. Here are some essential criteria:

Official directories and marketplaces

Plugins that are listed in official directories such as the WordPress Plugin Directory or well-known marketplaces such as Envato Market usually undergo strict checks and quality controls. These platforms offer a certain degree of security as they are regularly monitored.

Ratings and reviews

Check the ratings and reviews from other users. Plugins with many positive ratings and a high number of downloads are often an indicator of trustworthiness and quality. Also read the comments to find out more about the experiences of other users.

Regular updates

A reputable provider will regularly update its plugin to close security gaps and ensure compatibility with new versions of the platform. Pay attention to when the plugin was last updated. A plugin that has not been updated for a long time could pose a risk.

Transparent information

Trustworthy providers provide detailed information about their plugin, including a detailed description of the functions, instructions for installation and use as well as clear licensing. The provision of contact information and support options also speaks for the seriousness of a provider.

Reputation of the developer

Check the background of the developer or company behind the plugin. Providers with a well-known brand or a long history of developing plugins and software often have a reputation to lose and are therefore more likely to be reliable.

Safety certificates and test seals

Some plugins carry security certificates or have been tested and certified by third parties. Such seals are an additional sign that the provider complies with high security standards.

Popular plugins

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most widely used SEO plugins for WordPress. It helps you optimize your content for search engines and offers a variety of features such as keyword optimization, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps and readability analysis. Yoast SEO is suitable for both beginners and advanced users and helps you to increase the visibility of your website in search engines.

  • Start of development: Yoast SEO was first released in 2010. Since then, it has undergone regular updates and improvements to keep up with the ever-changing algorithms of search engines.
  • Cost: Yoast SEO offers a free basic version that already includes many useful functions for optimizing a website. For advanced functions, a premium version is available, which offers additional features such as optimization for multiple keywords, suggestions for internal links and a redirect manager. The costs for the premium version start at around €89 per year for one website.
  • Keyword Optimization: Users can set a focus keyword for each page or post that they want to optimize for. Yoast SEO analyzes the content and provides feedback on the frequency and placement of the keywords.
  • Readability analysis: The plugin checks the readability of the text and gives recommendations on how to make it more fluid and easier to understand.
  • SEO analysis: Automatic generation of meta descriptions, titles and the setting of SEO-friendly URLs.
  • Breadcrumbs: Support with the implementation of breadcrumbs, which are not only useful for users, but also clarify the website structure for search engines.
  • Target group: Yoast SEO is suitable for beginners as well as experienced web developers and content creators. Its ease of use makes it attractive for beginners, while the more in-depth functions also appeal to professionals.

 Advantages

  • Usability: One of the great strengths of Yoast SEO is its simple and intuitive operation.
  • Regular updates: The plugin is updated regularly to reflect the latest SEO standards and algorithm changes.
  • Comprehensive documentation and support:  There is a wide range of teaching materials and an active support forum.

 Disadvantages

  • Costs for the Premium version: While the free version offers many functions, some users require the extended functions of the paid premium version.
  • Over-optimization: There is a risk that users will rely too much on the optimization suggestions and thus produce content that appears unnatural or is over-optimized.

Effective plugins for WordPress


Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet is an indispensable plugin for combating spam comments. It automatically checks all comments and filters out those that are recognized as spam. The plugin is easy to install and helps keep your website clean and professional by reducing spam content.

  • Start of development: Akismet was developed in 2005 by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. Since then, it has become one of the standard tools against spam.
  • Cost: Akismet offers a free version for personal blogs, while commercial websites have to pay a subscription fee. Prices vary depending on the amount of usage, but start at around 5 US dollars per month for a commercial website.
  • Spam filtering: Akismet checks incoming comments and form entries against its global database of spam features to identify and block known spam.
  • Learning algorithms: The plugin is constantly learning by recognizing new spam techniques and patterns reported by the community.
  • Simple integration: Akismet can be easily integrated into existing WordPress comment systems and contact forms, providing a seamless experience for the user.
  • Target group: Akismet is suitable for all types of websites on WordPress, from personal blogs to large commercial sites. It is particularly useful for sites that have a high level of interactivity through comments or form submissions.

 Advantages

  •  Efficient spam reduction: Users report a significant reduction in the amount of spam after activating Akismet.
  • Automated processes: The plugin works in the background without the website operator having to intervene manually.
  • Usability: Akismet is easy to set up and configure, which makes it particularly user-friendly.

 Disadvantages

  • Costs for commercial use: While the basic version is free, the costs for commercial users can be relatively high, especially for websites with high traffic.
  • False alarms: As with many automated spam filters, it is possible for legitimate comments to be falsely marked as spam (so-called "false positives").

 

WooCommerce

For all those who would like to run an online store WooCommerce the ideal plugin. It transforms your WordPress website into a fully functional e-commerce store. WooCommerce offers numerous customization options and extensions that allow you to sell products, accept payments, configure shipping options and much more.

  •  Start of development: WooCommerce was originally developed by WooThemes in 2011 and later acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, in 2015.
  • Cost: The basic WooCommerce plugin is available for free, making it an attractive option for many online retailers. However, there are numerous paid extensions that offer additional features, from improved payment gateways to advanced inventory management systems. The cost of these extensions varies.
  • Product management: WooCommerce allows users to add, classify and sell an unlimited number of products and product variants.
  • Payment options: The plugin supports a variety of payment methods by default, including PayPal, bank transfers and payment on delivery. Further methods can be added through extensions.
  • Shipping options: WooCommerce offers various shipping methods and settings that can be adapted to the needs of specific business models.
  • Control configurations: Automatic tax calculations make it easier to comply with local tax regulations.
  • Reports and analyses: Detailed insights into sales trends, customer statistics and more help to optimize business operations.
  • Target group: WooCommerce is ideal for entrepreneurs, small business owners and large enterprises looking for a cost-effective, scalable and fully customizable e-commerce solution.

 Advantages

  • Flexibility and adaptability: Thanks to the large number of available extensions and themes, almost every aspect of the store can be customized.
  • Integration with WordPress: As a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce integrates seamlessly into existing WordPress websites, making it easy for users already familiar with WordPress.
  • Strong community and support: An active developer community and extensive documentation support implementation and troubleshooting.

 Disadvantages

  • Costs for extensions: Although the basic plugin is free, the cost of additional extensions can quickly increase, especially if specific functionalities are required.
  • Technical complexity: Setting up and managing a WooCommerce store can require technical knowledge, especially if in-depth customizations or special integrations are required.

 

Effective plugins for WordPress

Jetpack

Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin that offers a variety of features to improve the security, performance and management of your website. Key features include security services such as malware scanning and brute force protection, performance optimization such as image caching and content delivery network (CDN), and website statistics and analytics tools.

  •  Start of development: Jetpack was first released in 2011. Since then, it has been continuously developed to add new functions and improve existing ones.
  • Cost: Jetpack offers both free and paid subscription plans. The free features include basic security measures, website statistics and some performance tools. The premium plans offer advanced security features, real-time backups, video hosting and SEO tools, with prices varying depending on the plan chosen.
  • Safety: Jetpack offers a variety of security features, including protection against brute force attacks, secure logins and malware scanning (in premium versions).
  • Performance improvement: The plugin supports the loading of images via Automattic's Content Delivery Network (CDN) to shorten loading times and reduce server load.
  • Backup and restore: With the premium plans, users can back up their website in real time and easily restore it if necessary.
  • Analytics and SEO: Jetpack provides detailed statistics about visitors and their behavior on the website. SEO tools are also available to improve visibility in search engines.
  • Target group: Jetpack is aimed at WordPress users looking for a comprehensive solution to improve the security, performance and management of their website, from bloggers to larger companies.

 Advantages

  •  All-in-one solution: Jetpack combines many useful functions in a single plugin, which makes website management much easier.
  • Developed by WordPress experts: As an Automattic product, Jetpack enjoys a high level of trust and integration into the WordPress ecosystem.
  • Simple user interface: Jetpack's functions are managed via a user-friendly interface that is also accessible to less tech-savvy users.

 Disadvantages

  •  Costs for advanced functions: Many of the advanced features are only available in the paid plans.
  • Resource-intensive: Some users report that Jetpack can slow down their websites, especially on less powerful hosting platforms.
  • Complexity: Due to the large number of functions, Jetpack can initially seem overwhelming for new users.

 

Elementor

Elementor is a powerful page builder that allows you to create stunning and customized layouts for your pages without the need for coding skills. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Elementor offers a wide range of widgets and design options to customize your website to your liking. It is particularly useful for users who want a high degree of flexibility and control over the design of their website.

  •  Start of development: Elementor was launched in 2016 and has quickly become one of the most popular WordPress page builders.
  • Cost: Elementor offers a free version that includes many basic functions for web design. For advanced features, the Pro version is required, with prices varying depending on the number of websites to be licensed. The Pro version offers additional widgets, templates and features such as form builder, popup builder and theme design.
  • Visual editor: Elementor uses a visual drag-and-drop editor that allows users to design and customize pages in real time.
  • Templates and blocks: Elementor offers a variety of ready-made templates and blocks that make it easy for users to quickly create professional-looking pages.
  • Responsive Design: Pages created with Elementor are fully responsive, which means they look good on all devices.
  • Widgets: Elementor Pro expands the possibilities with additional widgets for social media, post widgets, menus and more.
  • Target group: Elementor is ideal for web designers, marketers and website owners who want to create a professional website without in-depth technical knowledge.

 Advantages

  • Usability: Elementor enables even beginners to create and manage complex layouts.
  • Flexibility: Users can design almost every aspect of their website, from simple text blocks to advanced slideshows and tables.
  • Large community and resources: A large user community and a wealth of learning resources make it easy to get started and use Elementor.

 Disadvantages

  • Performance: Websites created with Elementor may load more slowly due to the additional code generated by the page builder.
  • Dependence: Pages created with Elementor are often heavily dependent on this plugin; removing Elementor can result in pages no longer being displayed correctly.
  • Cost of the Pro version: While the free version offers many useful functions, many professional designers and companies require the advanced functions of the Pro version, which incurs additional costs.

Effective plugins for WordPress


Conclusion

Choosing the right WordPress plugin can make the difference between an average and an outstanding website. Whether it's improving SEO performance, protecting against spam, expanding e-commerce capabilities, boosting website performance or designing a visually appealing user interface, each plugin offers specific benefits. With Bajorat Media we understand that every website is unique and therefore offer Customized solutions tailored to your specific needs and goals. By helping you select and optimize the perfect plugins for your website, we ensure that you not only reach your target audience more effectively, but also build a robust, powerful and user-friendly online presence.

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