Include these WordPress Plugins in your website strategy.
When it comes to WordPress Plugins there are thousands. Wading through the sea of plugins to find the best solutions for your site is a daunting task. There are literally dozens of options for each type of action you want for your site. Just this week, I was searching for a Table of Contents plugin (included below) and I spent hours testing out the various options until I found just the right fit.
Since there are so many different options for WordPress plugins, I thought I would compile a list of the ones we use right here on MacSources. Some of these I’ve used since we started posting reviews nearly 10 years ago and some have just recently been installed. Here I have eight awesome plugins I think have been awesome to use and are complimentary of WordPress installations.
RANK MATH SEO
If you are looking to increase your SEO traffic, Rank Math SEO is the plugin to choose. The developers created Rank Math SEO to help every owner get access to the SEO tools they need. This WordPress Plugin makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content with built-in suggestions that are based on widely-accepted best practices.
You can easily customize SEO settings, control which pages are indexable, and how you want your website to appear in search with Structured Data. The plugin features more than 15 different modules that help you to configure your site’s SEO requirements so you get the best possible results. There are several plans to select including free, Pro, Business, or Agency. You can read the comparison of the plans here.
Rank Math SEO
Plans start at $0 per user per month
Rank Math SEO provides powerful tools to optimize your website for search engines.
Jetpack is a comprehensive security monitoring option for your website. It assists you with backups, site speed, and growth as well. The plugin helps to guard your site while you run the business. Jetpack Security includes auto real-time backups and easy restores, malware scans, and spam protection.
In addition to the security features Jetpack helps you get blazing fast speed and it has a free CDN built-in. Finally, Jetpack has powerful tools to help your site grow. This WordPress Plugin can help you optimize your site for visitors and revenue. There are several plan options for Jetpack and they offer bundles if you choose several of their feature sets.
Plans start at $9.95 per month (billed yearly)
Jetpack provides security, performance, and marketing tools for WordPress installations.
WP Rocket is all about speeding up your site. This WordPress Plugin is designed to create a high-performance environment in your installation. WP Rocket improves Core Web Vitals scores and provides a quick and easy way to configure your site so that you get the fastest speeds possible. WP Rocket automatically applies 80% of web performance best practices so you don’t have to be a programmer to get the job done.
They also provide first-class support so if you ever have questions, you can get answers – quickly! Some of the features included in WP Rocket are page caching, cache preloading, browser caching, GZIP compression, eCommerce optimization, and compatibility with other WordPress plugins. There are several license options that start at $49 per year for a single website.
Plans start at $49 per year (single website)
WP Rocket provides better web performance for your site.
Wordfence is another plugin that focuses on the security of your website. Its main features include login security, centralized management, 24/7 incident response team, two-factor authentication, malware scans, and the Wordfence Firewall. This WordPress Plugin – combined with Jetpack – provides your site with iron-clad protection against brute force attacks that can lead to site slowdown. In fact, if you don’t have the right security options in place, your site can actually get blacklisted by search engines. Even though there is a little bit of cross-over between the two plugins, we recommend both for full protection. There are several plan options including a free option.
Plans start at $0 per year
Wordfence is a security plugin that protects your WordPress site from outside malicious attacks.
RESMUSH.IT IMAGE OPTIMIZER
reSmush.it is a free API that provides image optimization. It is the ONLY free image optimizer available for WordPress. The API accepts JPG, PNG, and GIF files up to 5MB in size. This WordPress Plugin does bulk optimization and even provides an option to exclude some pictures if you wish. reSmush.it allows for reductions up to 80% of the original file size using different algorithms including PNGQuant, JPEGOptim, and OptiPNG. The plugin also removes all EXIF data.
reSmush.it is a powerful, free plugin that optimizes images so they aren’t a heavy burden on your site.
RESIZE IMAGE AFTER UPLOAD
Resize Image After Upload is a plugin that does exactly what it suggests – resizes images after you upload them. This plugin automatically resizes uploaded images to fit a specified size. This helps to reduce overall server space usage. The plugin can also force the re-compression of uploaded JPEG images and convert GIF and PNG images into JPEG format. Resize Image After Upload uses standard PHP image resizing functions. The plugin is free to use, but the developer accepts donations. This plugin actually changes the dimensions of the images and not just the data size.
Resize Image After Upload
Resize Image After Upload is a great option for changing the sizes of uploaded images.
LUCKYWP TABLE OF CONTENTS
LuckyWP Table of Contents creates a table of contents for your posts, pages, or custom post types. This WordPress plugin automatically or manually with the use of shortcode with a Gutenberg block. LuckyWP Table of Contents is customizable and is highly compatible with WordPress themes. The table of contents also has a toggle show/hide feature and smooth scroll.
LuckyWP Table of Contents
LuckyWP Table of Contents gives you an easy way to create a dynamic table of contents for your site.
Edit Flow is great for organizations that use their WordPress website for collaboration with multiple users and writers. The WordPress plugin gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments, and more. Edit Flow is designed to help users collaborate with each other while they are inside WordPress.
Edit Flow is a powerful editorial workflow tool.
When you are selecting plugins to elevate your WordPress site, you want to make sure they aren’t going to be detrimental to your website. Even though I curated some great plugins for specific purposes, I also wanted to include a few tips to look for when you are searching through WordPress plugins.
- Last Updated: This is one of the first pieces of information I look for. Since plugins can be an easy ‘back door’ for hacking exploits, you want to make sure the plugin developer is keeping their technology up-to-date. If the plugin hasn’t gotten much attention in a while, you might want to skip over it and look elsewhere.
- Active Installations: While this isn’t necessarily indicative of how well the plugin works, it will tell you that there is probably a wealth of information available about it if there are thousands of active installations. For example, Rank Math shows an estimated 1+ million active installations.
- WordPress Version and Tested up to: Both of these indicate if the current version of the plugin is up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress (or the version you are currently using). If you search for plugins directly from your WordPress dashboard, you will actually get a dialogue box that will show if the plugin has been tested or not with your version of WordPress.
These are just a few quick tips to help differentiate WordPress plugins from one another. What do you find to work the best for your WordPress install? We want to know let us know in the comments below.