Do you know WordPress is so great and popular CMS that 1/4th of the internet’s top websites are based on it? Yes in the recent published report by Matt, founder of WordPress, it was revealed that 22 of every 100 active domains created in the U.S. are running WordPress.
If your website is powered by WordPress you may be thinking which plugin to install and which to leave. I have five year experience in WordPress development and has helped hundred of client launch WordPress based website, it is my daily job to help them decide which plugins to use and which to avoid. Also I always discourage installing so many plugins on a single website.
Why do I advise that to keep plugins count to minimum (SEVEN or TEN in maximum)? Because when you add a plugin to your website, it introduces a third party code which can affect your website’s speed (page loading time) SEO and website security so it is always recommended to keep them to minimum to avoid such risks.
Every website to succeed online in today’s competitive world , have to have great content, secure website, with fast loading pages, and properly optimized pages for SEO. Yes WordPress cannot write content for you, but it can help you with other important aspects to make your website speedy, secure and have SEO optimized pages.
I recommend following four types of plugins to cover four important factors of websites’ online success namely Speed, SEO, Security and ZERO Spam content or comments:
1- Anti-Spam plugin: You can use any good anti-spam plugin however I recommend WordPress’s official plugin for this purpose called Akismet it is already installed in every WordPress website, you just need to activate it using the API key ( you can get API key free of cost by signing up for it with them, please check help link inside the plugin for more details.)
2- Security plugin: there are many security plugins but my two favorite are WordPress Firewall 2 and WordPress File Monitor. WordPress firewall stops all hacking attacks like SQL injections and much more. WordPress File monitor plugin keeps you informed if some hacker or virus changes any of your WordPress files so you can look into that and see if your site is attacked or hacked.
3- Cache plugin: It is must to have fast loading pages and avoid high server load at your hosting. To serve successfully all your visitors without overloading your server, which can take your site down or make it very slow, you need to have cache system in place.
Cache plugin can help you in this regard to keep your sites fast and speedy. Two popular cache plugin are W3Total Cache (W3TC) & WP Super Cache , I have used both at different site both are awesome and have own working style and cache approaches. I recommend to test drive both on some test blog and see which one you like and use that on your websites onward to make them speedy with caching capabilities.
4- SEO Plugin: WordPress is already very much optimized for SEO. However a good SEO plugin can guide you through the process to keep your content properly optimized.
Three popular SEO plugins are AIOS (All-in-one SEO) plugin, Platinum SEO, and WordPress SEO. I have used all three in the past and my (currently) favorite is ‘WordPress SEO’ by Yoast.
Yoast is top SEO guy who knows his stuff and keeps his SEO plugin up to date and simple to follow even for beginners.
That’s it for this tutorial. Again I warn to resist the temptation of installing too many cool plugins. Always be very concerned about your WordPress website’s SPEED, SEO and Security. And use only the absolutely necessary plugin which do not make your site slower or weaken its security.
After having above four types of WordPress plugin in your site, your site is way ahead of 90% sites out there which are slow to load, unsecured(easy to hack) and filled with hundred of spam comments. In conclusion having these four plugins in place you make sure your site is secure, speedy and take care of all spammed comments which are some of fundamental factors of a website to succeed online.