SEO AND CACHE PLUGINS
- Yoast SEO
There are many SEO plugins for WordPress out there, and some of them are pretty popular, too, but Yoast SEO, made by Team Yoast, is the most popular of them all, being the only one hitting 5+ million active installations. SEO means “search engine optimization”, and, as you can guess, one of these plugins is a must-have for any website in the modern world, because if Google doesn’t index it properly, it doesn’t really matter if your site is cute and contains a lot of helpful information: few will be able to find it among millions of others on the web anyway. As is the case for the majority of WordPress plugins, Yoast SEO provides most of its capabilities for free, while some useful, but non-vital options are only available in the paid version. Here are just some of the basic functions of the Yoast SEO:
- automated SEO improvements, including meta tags and canonical URLs;
- the creation of advanced XML sitemaps, helping Google to scan the structure of your site;
- shortening of website loading times;
- SEO and readability analysis;
- Google preview and much more.
- W3 Total Cache
As the previous plugin, W3 Total Cache, developed by BoldGrid and having more than a million active installs, is also aimed at SEO but uses a completely different approach to the task. It tries to reduce load times and promises to increase the overall performance of your website at least 10 times if properly configured, and a better position in Google ranks is just a side effect of this improved efficiency. W3 Total Cache uses wide range if instruments to fulfil its mission:
- smart browser caching and preloading of pages on the user side;
- fast progressive render of pages;
- minifies HTML, CSS and JS files to save up to 80% of bandwidth;
- supports Accelerated Mobile Pages;
- supports SSL/TLS and more.
- WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the only WordPress plugin in our list, which is absent in the official repository and has paid versions only. Its pricing policy is transparent and the prices are quite reasonable, $49 a year for 1 site, $99 a year for 3 sites, and $249 a year for unlimited number of sites for 1 user, but if there are free alternatives, then why pay more? And still, WP Rocket, made by WP Media, has over 1.5 million installations, about the same number as free W3 Total Cache, which has similar functionality. Obviously, there are reasons for that:
- WP Rocket is able to apply 80% of its speed improvements automatically, without long and tiresome configuration;
- online support is always available if something goes wrong;
- supports Lazy-Load technology;
- fully compatible with most popular themes and plugins;
- provides Google SEO and more.
QUALITY OF LIFE PLUGINS
SeedProd, made by the company with the same name, is a small and lightweight, but very useful plugin, loved by more than a million users. Started as tiny WordPress addon, allowing to add “Coming Soon” Page and switch site into Maintenance Mode, it is now also one of the most popular page and theme builders for the platform, because many people adored SeedProd’s mechanism of pages creation. Among the many others, SeedProd includes the following features:
- visual no-code drag & drop page and theme builder, which supports posts, pages, headers, footers, sidebars, and any other elements of WordPress themes;
- more than 200 professional WordPress themes and templates for download;
- more than 80 advanced page blocks;
- allows access to 2+ million stock images;
- provides live preview function;
- supports revision history, undo & redo, plus draft mode.
- Contact Form 7
This small, but extremely popular plugin, programmed by Takayuki Miyoshi, has more than 5 million active installations. And it does exactly what its name says: creates all kinds of contact forms, so that users of your site could get in touch with the owner, web designer, support, etc. Contact Form 7 allows advanced customization of forms and is fully compatible with 3rd party antispam plugins, including reCAPTCHA and the above-mentioned Akismet. Simple and lightweight must-have plugin for virtually any website. There is nothing more to say about it, really.
TablePress is another popular plugin, made by one person, Tobias Bäthge, with more than 800 thousand current installations. And, again, it adds just one feature to a standard WordPress installation – allows you to insert various kinds of tables into your web pages using block in the block editor, no coding needed. Maybe not a feature for everyone, but sometimes most of us need to use tables in our lives, even in personal blogs. For sure, it will be a valuable option for many eCommerce websites. TablePress enables the import and export of tables from/to Excel, HTML, JSON, and CSV files. It is also completely free for all users and all purposes.
- Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker is a tiny plugin, a bit less than 1 Mb archived, which allows you to automatically detect and fix broken and dead internal and external links on your site. It is created by WPMU DEV and is installed on more than 700 thousand websites. This not only helps users not to experience links that lead nowhere, but also improves the SEO of your site. Missing images are also detected. The plugin can send notifications via email or in the dashboard of the site. Optionally, it allows highlighting broken links in pages with a different color. In our opinion, it is a no-brainer for installation on any website.
WooCommerce is the third plugin by Automattic in our list, and arguably the most popular. It again has 5+ million installations. WooCommerce is so huge that it almost may be considered a separate CMS. There are hundreds of WordPress plugins specially designed to work along with WooCommerce. It helps to create online stores and has all kinds of built-in and external instruments for this task. WooCommerce main features are:
- tools for making custom storefronts;
- convenient product page editor;
- shopping cart support;
- compatibility with all leading SEO plugins;
- support of various payment systems, shipping options and taxation systems in different countries, and more.
The only viable alternative for WooCommerce today is Shopify, which is the separate, second most popular CMS in the world, which covers a bit less than 10% of WordPress market share though.
Of course, we have only considered a few plugins out of WordPress more than 59 thousand units library. This topic is almost endless and may be continued in the future, but if you don’t have any of the considered plugins on your WordPress website, you should definitely consider their installation.