I have been using WordPress for over 10 years, it is simple to install, it works on any PHP host and it helps you if you want to start a project quickly.
We need modules, if we use WordPress, that’s the reality! Some are essential to the operation of a site.
From my experience, it is advisable to have a few modules installed as possible on a WordPress site. A minimum number of modules will keep your site clean, safe and guarantee a good browsing speed.
Over time I have used and tested dozens of modules, and in this article, I will present the best WordPress modules that I use.
What Is a WordPress Plugin?
One of the main reasons why WordPress has become so popular is the huge selection of plugins available. Almost any functionality you need, which is not found in the WordPress core, you will find plugins that do that.
A WordPress plugin is essentially a bit of code that adds new functionality to your WordPress website or extends existing functionality on your site.
The code of a plugin can be tested by thousands or millions of users who use that module, you have a rating for a module, which will help you make the best choice when choosing a module.
Why We need a WordPress Plugin?
We need plugins, if we use WordPress, that’s the reality! Some are essential to the operation of a site.
In my experience, it is advisable to have a few modules installed as possible on a WordPress site. A minimum number of modules will keep your site clean, safe and guarantee a high browsing speed. Over time I have used and tested dozens of modules, and in this article, I will present to you the plugins that I use and why I chose them.
Are WordPress Plugins Free?
Plugins are of the following types, free, paid, or have certain free features and if you want extra options you have to pay.
The costs of a plugin are decent, in general, you can use them for an unlimited time or on several sites. I generally choose paid plugins, so I will know that plugin will be maintained and updated in the future.
How to install a WordPress Plugin?
It is not at all complicated to install a plugin, the steps are as follows:
- Find the plugin that you’re interested in the WordPress plugin directory
- Install that plugin on your WordPress site
- Configure the plugin inside your WordPress -> Settings
WordPress plugins that I use in my sites
WordPress Security Plugins
BBQ Firewall is a super fast firewall that automatically protects WordPress against a wide range of threats. It is a 100% plug-&-play, zero configuration, focused on security and performance.
BBQ protects your site against many threats, like:
- SQL injection attacks
- Executable file uploads
- Unsafe character requests
- Excessively long requests
- PHP remote/file execution
- XSS, XXE, and related attacks
Another plugin that I don’t keep active, but use to scan the site for periods is, Wordfence security
Is a very popular plugin that includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress.
It is very useful if your site has been hacked, it scans all your files and shows you the modified files.
WordPress Seo Plugins
Organic traffic is very important for a site and WordPress ranks well if set and customized properly.
There is a lot to discuss here, both have pros and cons, there are hundreds of opinions about them on the internet. Basically, both are good, personally, Yoast SEO seemed more complicated to set up at first and I chose to use AIO Seo.
AIO Seo it’s not complicated to set up, you have many options, including custom settings or setting up your XML sitemap. The good part is that I no longer need a separate plugin for the sitemap, you can use it very well AIO Seo.
In the “Search Appearance” section will find the necessary settings for Content Types, Taxonomies, Media, Archives, Pagination, Autogenerate Description, etc. Also You can add canonical or noindex to certain sections or urls.
The AIO Seo Search Appearance section looks like below:
Another useful section that you will find in Tools is the Robots.txt Editor
The robots.txt editor in AIOSEO allows you to set up a robots.txt file for your site that will override the default robots.txt file that WordPress creates. In this way, you have greater control over the instructions you give web crawlers about your site.
The good part is that you don’t need another separate plugin to generate robots.txt for Your website.
Google Analytics and Search Console verification tools
If You use Google Analytics for tracking, Google Search Console, Bing, Yandex, etc you have the option to verify them all directly from the module. You do not need to install the tracking codes separately on the site. This option is also very useful.
Here are some reasons why I find this module very useful! There is also the PRO version, with many other features, which is not free, a bit expensive I can say. The PRO version is very useful if You want to improve your Website Search Rankings. Also if you want to find out more useful information about SEO and how to improve your website ranking, read here tips to rank your website.
Another plugin that I find very useful on the SEO side is, Blackhole for Bad Bots By Jeff Starr.
Blackhole for Bad Bots
The Blackhole plugin helps to stop bad bots and save precious resources for legit visitors. Especially if you are on a shared host with limited resources it is recommended to use such a plugin.
I like this plugin because it is easy to set up, lightweight, fast and flexible. It is focused on flexibility, performance, and security.
Works silently behind the scenes to protect your site. In the settings are predefined a list of user agents that never should be blocked.
No Category Base (WPML)
Also related to SEO, as the name suggests No Category Base plugin will completely remove the “Category Base” from your category permalinks ( e.g. ‘mysite.com/category/my-category/’ to ‘mysite.com/my-category/’ ).
This plugin requires no setup or modifying core WordPress files and will not break any links.
Easy Table of Contents
And finally, especially to make navigation easy in articles, very useful is the Easy Table of Contents plugin by Steven A. Zahm.
Automatically generate a table of contents for your posts, pages, and custom post types by parsing its contents for headers. It works with all editors: the Classic Editor, Gutenberg, Divi, Elementor, WPBakery Page Builder, or Visual Composer page editors.
Simple 301 Redirects
From time to time I reorganize my articles, I try to complete them and I need a plugin to redirect old articles to new articles. By setting up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages, any incoming links will be seamlessly passed along, and their PageRank will be passed along with them.
Simple 301 Redirects is very simple to set up, intuitive and does the job very well.
WordPress Search Plugins
From my point of view, the search part on a site is among the most important, especially if you have hundreds of articles. I recommend that you enable search tracking in Google analytics, to see what your visitors are looking for on the site and why they are interested.
To improve Your wordpress search You can use the relevanssi plugin.
Relevanssi substitutes the standard WordPress search with an advanced search engine, with many features and configurable options.
You will have superior results and also an improved presentation of the results.
WordPress Cache Plugins
The cache is required if you want to have a good browsing performance of a site and save the server resources. Including from the SEO point of view, a good speed will increase your score, site speed being a ranking factor in Google.
Both are very good, you will find hundreds of opinions about them on the internet, I personally chose to go with WP Fastest Cache, one of the top plugins in caching. Regarding the Litespeed cache, I saw that it writes some .htaccess files on the server.
WP Fastest Cache
It is very simple and intuitive to set up and use. It has many useful options and I like that it integrates very well with Cloudflare (which was one of the reasons that made me choose this plugin). Fastest Cache has SSL support, CDN support, and Cloudflare support.
With the free Fastest Cache version You can:
- Minify CSS, decrease the size of CSS files
- Combine CSS, Reduce HTTP requests through combined CSS files
- Minify Js, decrease the size of js files
- Combine Js, reduce HTTP requests through combined js files
- Gzip, reduce the size of files sent from your server
- Disable Emojis, remove the emoji inline css and wp-emoji-release.min.js
Admin can delete all cached files from the options page but also all cache files are deleted when a post or page is published.
The premium version has a few very useful extra options, such as:
- Load Google Fonts asynchronously
- Lazy Load, Load images and iframes when they enter the browsers viewport
I hope this list of modules will be useful to you and will help you keep your blog up to date. If you have other plugins that you use and find useful to complete this list please post them in the comment.
What plugins do you use?
What are your favorite plugins and why?