5 Essential Plugins Your WordPress Website Needs

5 Plugins your wordpress website needs

As a WordPress designer and developer, one of the questions I get asked a lot is “What plugins do I need?”. There are so many great plugins available that it can definitely be overwhelming for a newbie or DIYer!

Unfortunately, when I help clients with websites they built themselves, I often notice that they’ve missed the most important plugins every website should have.

So today I just wanted to share with you the top 5 WordPress plugin types your website needs.

They are:

  1. A caching plugin
  2. An SEO plugin
  3. A security plugin.
  4. A backup plugin
  5. A contact form plugin.

Let me go into each of them in a little more detail, so you can see why each of them are important.

Caching Plugin

Essentially, a caching plugin makes your website load faster by serving a saved copy of your images and files. And as we all know, speed matters! If your website is taking more than 5 seconds to load on a mobile phone, most people are going to hit the back button and probably not come back.

Some good options for caching are WPRocket (paid) and W3 Total Cache (free).

SEO Plugin

An SEO plugin is a must for determining how your website shows up on google and in social media links. It also creates a sitemap for search engines and walks you through the basics that you need to know to get that all important traffic coming through.

At Firefly Web Design we exclusively use Yoast SEO, however a quality alternative is SEO Framework.

Security Plugin

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, which is great, but also makes it a strong target for hackers. A good security plugin will regularly scan your website for malicious malware as well as protect your website from “brute force attacks”. This is a must to keep your website safe and secure.

The best WordPress security plugins include Scurri and WordFence. Both of these services have free and paid options available.

Backup Plugin

Regular, secure backups are your number one defence from losing your website to hackers (or just breaking your site by accident!). A good backup plugin will allow you to automate your backups and send them to a secure location (like your dropbox or google drive account). So if anything does happen, you’ll be able to quickly and easily get your website back up and running.

Some good backup plugins include UpDraft plus (free) and backup buddy (paid).

Contact Form Plugin

This is an obvious one, but WordPress doesn’t actually come with contact form functionality out of the box. This is why some people chose to list their contact details and forgo the contact form, but this is a mistake! Many visitors won’t want to call you and won’t bother opening up their email service to write to you. An easy to fill in contact form is a must.

For simple free forms, Contact Form 7 or Ninja Forms will do the trick. For advanced forms with functionality like conditional questions and taking payments, you can’t go past Gravity Forms.

So there you have it, 5 of the must have plugin types for your WordPress website. I hope this information will help you make the most of your website!

Jess Budd
Jess Budd is the founder of Firefly Web Design, a small agency specialising in WordPress websites. As a designer and developer, she works closely with creative entrepreneurs and small business owners to bring their unique vision to life. She is a co-organiser of a local tech meetup and loves to attend community events.