At one point in time as we develop websites with WordPress, we often soon realize that we need our websites to do more than just the basic kinds of stuff; It no news that the WordPress community has found a way to properly affect this from the first day it was created, and this process is achieved by the use of plugins.
I could remember when I was developing a simple website in WordPress, and I wanted it to have functionalities of an online forum, all I did was to research plugins that could handle that for me without having to write a single line of code and fortunately, I found it.
What Is A WordPress plugin ?.
A WordPress plugin is a third-party script that allows the basic WordPress website to carry out more functionality.
For example, A basic WordPress website is designed to handle just a few basic things such as; Posts, page, and users; but more can be achieved and utilized when plugins are downloaded and installed on the website.
Let’s say we want our website to be able to do more such as collect extra data via the aid of forms or implement a social login like Facebook or Google, then this is achieved by the use of their respective plugins.
Benefits Of Using WordPress Plugins.
A lot can be achieved when plugins are used on a website; Plugins also goes a long way to help you add complex functionalities to your website without writing a single line of code.
WordPress plugins are part of the WordPress ecosystem, so you don’t have to go too far to be able to make use of one when you initially set up your website, you get access to either free or paid third-party plugins for use on your website.
1. Plugins Helps You Add Complex Functionalities.
Most people are usually scared when it comes to creating multi-functional websites, but with WordPress, it becomes very easy.
All you need do to add an extra function to your website is just a search and a single click, then you have everything setup.
2. Plugins Bring Your Website To Life.
Imagine a website without any added functionality apart from just linking to pages and displaying some dummy data, how boring would that be? The whole interesting thing about owning a website can be brought to life by the use of appropriate plugins.
3. Plugins allows you to create Membership on your website.
When you think of huge forums like Reddit and Facebook, what comes to your mind first is how their infrastructure is designed to scale.
Just in case you decide to build something of that kind, you can do that with just the installation of a WordPress Plugin.
4. WordPress Plugins Helps You To Create An Online Store To Your Website.
Do you intend to sell kinds of stuff on your website, it can easily be achieved with just an installation of A single WordPress Plugin.
In this article when I start listing these plugins, we are going to see their implementation and uses.
5. WordPress Plugins Helps You Add SEO To Your Website.
Search engine optimization is one aspect of web design that requires a lot effort to get into place, but just with one-click installation of a WordPress plugin, everything related to search engine optimization is put in place.
How To Choose A WordPress Plugin.
Plugins are usually third-party software, which means that they were created by somebody in a different part of the world, and made them open-sourced on the official WordPress listing directory.
As liberal as is seems to start adding WordPress plugins, you should also take note of so many other faults that come with it.
So many websites have gone down as a result of bad WordPress plugin installation, most times it’s not your fault and anybody can make mistake, I also made such mistake when I initially started blogging too.
using the wrong WordPress plugin can cause a lot of bad things to your website, and you don’t want that to happen.
In this section, I am going to be giving you some effective guidelines to help you get started with Choosing the best WordPress plugin for your business.
1. Compatibility Issues.
When you initially decide to download a plugin, make sure that the developer of that plugin is alive and what I mean is that, so any changes are being made in the WordPress ecosystem and most of which affects how third-party plugins work, if these plugins are not being constantly updated, then you might just be in time for trouble.
2. Number Of active Installation.
The next yardstick to measure the effectiveness of any WordPress plugin is the number of active installation at that period in time.
When you see an active installation count of over 1,000, then that WordPress plugin must be great, and it means that some people are actually being accounted for.
Be rest assured that this plugin has a huge active installation and you joining this list makes you safe.
3. Brand Behind This Plugin.
The next and very important aspect to also watch out for is the brand behind this plugin, a reputable WordPress plugin development should own a website, blog and an active social media page.
If the theme developer lacks any of this, then you have a lot to question about that theme.
Make sure you are not installing a theme from a random Indian that you will not see again after some time
4. Recommendation and Reviews.
Another yardstick to leverage in is the power of recommendation; most legit plugin developers, usually ask for recommendation and reviews from top blogging expert to validate their presence and to build trust.
Make sure to watch out for this and it can be found on their official website of the plugin developer and on the WordPress forum.
How To Start A Blog.
Just before starting to consume this content on what plugin to use and what not to use, It is better to have your website hosted and active, by this I mean that your website has to be running
Before getting deep into understanding what plugins are and how to start integrating them into your website, I wrote an article to help you get started with scaling your Blog or website whichever it may be, click the link to get started now.
Are you just about to buy a Domain and a Webhost, make sure to click this link to get a list of the best Webhost providers that you should sign up for.
Best WordPress Plugins
There are over 1 Million plus WordPress plugins presently hosted on WordPress and more still being developed every day, the upside of the whole process lies in the fact that they are split across various categories making it very easy to do a quick search on what problem you would like to solve.
In this section, I am going to be making a full list of very important WordPress plugins that you might need as a blogger and a WordPress developer.
1. SEO Plugins For WordPress.
SEO plugins simply stand for plugins that are designed for search engine optimization purposes.
Do you want to have search engine optimization in control? Then you should install one of these plugins.
SmartCrawl is an SEO plugin that allows you to quickly set your website for search engine optimization.
It contains amazing features like; Sitemap Creation, one-click setup, SEO Checkup & Reports, Smart Page Analyzer, SEO Crawl 301 Redirect and Quick Setup Import/Export
2. Rank Math.
Rank Math is another great WordPress plugin that was created to serve SEO purposes on WordPress websites.
Rank Math comes with a lot of awesome features which includes; Easy setup wizard, Google Schema Markup, Optimize Unlimited Keywords, Google Search Console Integration, Google Keyword Ranking, Smart Redirection Manager, 404 Monitor, Internal Linking Suggestions, Module Based System and the last but not the least is a fast and seamless speed, which makes it load in real-time.
3. Yoast SEO.
Yoast is one of the foremost WordPress plugins for SEO. It has been trendy since the days of easily WordPress which has made so many bloggers make mention or even recommend it.
Yoast SEO WordPress plugin comes with a lot of amazing features such as; Cornerstone content checks, Internal linking, XML support, content keyword optimization and many other amazing features.
Yoast SEO comes with a free and paid version for everyone to make use of.
2. Payment Gateway Plugins For WordPress.
Payment gateway plugins simply allow you to be able to integrate various forms of payment into your website.
Let’s say you want to integrate payment into your eCommerce website, Subscription-based website or even collect donations on your website, then you have to seek out these plugins.
Paystack is a payment gateway company based in Lagos, Nigeria, it allows merchants in all various part of Africa to accept payment digitally.
Paystack was recently acquired by Stripe to become the second-highest startup tp be purchased in Africa.
Paystack comes with a lot of awesome features such as; Woocommerce integration, Refunds, Seamless integration, accepts payment via Master Card, Visa cards and verve Cards.
Rave is another Nigerian based fintech startup that simply much does the same thing with Paystack.
Do you intend to accept Payments in Africa and Beyond via your WordPress website? Then you can make use of Rave.
Rave is available in various hit nations in Africa such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Sierra Leone.
Rave comes with a lot of awesome features such as; seamless support for Woocommerce and the ability to accept payment via Master, Visa, verve cards, Mpesa, TIGO, Mobile and Barter cards.
VoguePay also allows merchants in Africa to be able to accept payments via their WordPress websites.
It comes with a lot of amazing features such as; Woocommerce support, Redirects or Inline payment methods, Sending customer billing information during payment and support for various languages.
Stripe is a global payment processing platform that allows merchants all over the world to accepts and process payments.
Stripe is available in every part of the world yet, and I mean places like Africa and in some South American and Asia.
You can check out the official website of Stripe and see if their services are currently supported in your country.
Stripes come with awesome features such as; WooCommerce support and support for other payment integrations such as master card, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, SEPA, Sofort, iDeal, Giropay, Alipay and more.
Paypal is a great way to accept payment via your WordPress website, It comes with a lot of cool features that make one of the most prefered payment solutions online.
Paypal comes with a lot of cool features with includes; Out of the box support for Woocommerce, Paypal easy, that allows customers to check out with their Paypal account and support for Master, Visa and American Express.
3. eCommerce Plugins For WordPress.
eCommerce plugins allow you to be able to sell kinds of stuff on your WordPress website, it can be digital or physical Merchandise.
The first and leading plugin for eCommerce on WordPress is WooCommerce, it has been around for a very long time, and it has allowed so many people set up their stores very quick and fast.
WooCommerce is free, flexible and amplified by a global community which makes it an open-source project giving people all over the world the freedom to be able to contribute whatsoever they like.
WooCommerce comes with a lot of amazing feature such as; nice and amazing themes to support the development of your online store, search engine optimization, support for thousands of payment gateway, configure your shipping options and the ability to expand your audience across various social channels such as Google Ads, HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Facebook integrations.
2. Big Commerce.
Big Commerce is a newcomer when it comes to eCommerce in WordPress, it is one of the newest WordPress Plugins designed to support eCommerce activities.
One thing about BigCommerce is that it does not sit on your web host, making your website more efficient and faster than any other.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, provides you with a custom backend that helps you in handling in all your eCommerce stuffs such as inventory management, Extensive payment gateways, highly scalable product catalogue, multi-channel selling and management, use with your favourite theme, AMP support,
I wrote a guide on how to get started with BigCommerce, I am going to be dropping a link below, make sure to click.
For most people that have an existing store on Shopify, and would like to migrate to WordPress, this can be done with the Shopify for WordPress plugin.
This plugin comes with a lot of awesome features such as; Automatic Syncing, Shortcodes, amazing Cart Experience, Link to Shopify, Product Detail Pages, Fixed Cart Tab, Filter Products, Image Crop and Sizing and lot of more exciting features.
4. Membership and community Plugins For WordPress.
This kind of plugins allows you to be able to extend your website to accommodate extra functionalities such as Forums, User feeds and User profile manager.
Do you intend to build a social media like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit, then you should take note of this plugins seriously.
BBpress remains the foremost WordPress plugin that allows you to integrate social media features in your WordPress website.
BBpress comes with a lot of awesome feature such as; Inbuilt theme support, Forum support, subscription support, User login and Logout, password reset and user profile creation and update.
BuddyPress is another great WordPress plugin that allows you to integrated community features into your WordPress website.
With BuddyPress you get access to amazing features like; User profile, make social connections, Registration, Login, Logout, groups and forums. BuddyPress is free to use and can support any WordPress Theme.
3. Ultra Community.
Another plugin that is created to serve the purpose of the creation of an online community is called Ultra community.
Ultra community allows you to create a community site without having any knowledge of programming.
With Ultra Community all you need is just one click install of the official plugin on your website and that settles it.
Ultra Community comes with a lot of awesome features such as; user profiles, login and registration forms, notifications, and many more.
Peepso comes fourth on the list but does not make it less important or less functional than the first three listed plugins.
Peepso allows you to be able to launch your own social media community in just one click.
Peepso comes with a lot of awesome features such as; Frontend user profiles with avatars and cover images, user registration, user login, user listing with search and filtering, User profiles, User Hover cards, Hashtags, User can create own posts, Unique Views counter on user posts, Custom Reactions on user posts, Scheduled Posts that are published at specified time and date, Customizable Profile Fields, Blog Posts integration with comments and reactions, Activity Stream of the entire community, Users can share their status updates with different privacy settings, Real-time onsite user notifications, User email notifications, Digest notification system, Notification previews, Dedicated user roles, External links redirect warning, Markdown support in Posts, Comments and user Profile Fields, Built-in security including brute force protection and Nested Comments under user posts within yours.
5. Ultimate Member.
Ultimate Member is an amazing plugin when it comes to the creation of hosted online community, with just one click installation from the WordPress plugin page you get a lot of exciting features such as; Front-end user profiles, Front-end user registration, Front-end user login, Custom form fields, Conditional logic for form fields, Drag and drop form builder, User account page, Custom user roles, User emails, Content restriction, Show author posts & comments on user profiles, Developer friendly with dozens of actions and filters.
5. Security Plugins For WordPress.
Security plugins allow you to add security functions to your website, as a website administrator, you need to be able to defend your website from external attacks and malicious attempts by hackers.
1. Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan.
Wordfence Security is the first on the list of best WordPress security plugins, this plugin does a lot in securing your website, and part of what it does includes; Web Application Firewall, Protects your site at the endpoint, Protection from brute force attacks, and Checks your site for known security vulnerabilities and alerts you of any issues
2. Limit Login Attempts Reloaded.
Limit Login attempts allow protects your website from brute force attacks by limiting the number of login attempts.
Limit Login Attempts Reloaded blocks an Internet address from making more attempts after an itemised limit on retries has been given, making a brute-force attack tough or difficult.
It comes with a lot of other security-based features which includes; Limit the number of retry attempts when logging in, Informs the user about the remaining retries or lockout time on the login page, Optional logging and optional email notification, and It is possible to whitelist/blacklist IPs and Usernames.
3. All In One WP Security & Firewall.
This plugin stands as one of the very finest security plugins in WordPress, it comes with a lot of awesome features like; User account security, user log in and registration security, database security, Brute force login and attempts, comment spam security and a security scanner for your website.
4. Defender Security – Malware Scanner, Login Security & Firewall.
Defender security is one of the grated WordPress security plugins of all time, it was created by WMPU dev, one of the major titans in WordPress plugin development, they have their plugins listed in packs most of which involves search engine optimization, Image compression and cache plugins and many more.
Defence security comes with a lot of awesome features such as; brute force attacks, SQL injections, cross-site scripting XSS, and other WordPress.
6. Email Marketing Plugins For WordPress.
Email marketing plugins allow you to be able to integrate email marketing kinds of stuff in your WordPress plugins such as pop forms and even linking an existing or a new list to your WordPress website.
Just before going deep down in this article, I wrote a guide on this website to help you get started with email marketing, click the link to get started.
Mailchimp is an exclusive email marketing software that allows online marketers to build a list and send out emails.
It is free for lists up to 2000 subscribers, which is why it is the newsletter-service of choice for thousands of businesses.
Mailchimp has an official WordPress plugin called MC4WP, that allows you to integrate your existing Mailchimp email list with your WordPress website.
It comes with a lot of amazing features such as; Connect with your Mailchimp account, Sign-up forms, Seamless integration dozens of other WordPress plugins.
Mailster is another great email marketing plugin for WordPress users, It also makes it very easy to create, send and manage your email newsletter campaigns within WordPress.
Unlike MailChimp, Mailster is designed specifically for WordPress only.
Mailster comes with a lot of awesome feature such as; Track Opens, Clicks, Unsubscriptions and Bounces, Track Countries and Cities, Six types of autoresponders, Send your latest post to your subscribers, WYSIWYG Editor with code view and Import and Export for Subscribers.
Optin Monster is an email marketing standalone plugin for WordPress, it allows you to create beautiful popup forms, email subscription forms.
The main brain behind Optin monster lies in the fact it allows you to be able to create amazing pop-up forms which make it different from other WordPress email marketing software on WordPress.
Optin Monster comes with a lot of amazing features such as; drag and Drop pop-up maker, Popup Triggers and Behavior Detection, email marketing and CRM integration which allows you to integrate your existing email marketing list for free.
Another great email marketing WordPress plugin that stands at number four on this list is the Newsletter plugin.
The Newsletter plugin allows WordPress users to be able to do list building, send and track e-mails.
It comes with a lot of awesome features such as; Easy-to-use Drag and drop composer, Unlimited subscribers, Unlimited newsletters, Delivery speed, WordPress Users registration seamless integration, Subscribers import from file, Customizable Themes and Subscribers lists to target your campaigns.
7. Social Media Plugins For WordPress.
We all love to bring in our social media experience to our blog, so many people have huge followership on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and most times are scared to leave all these things behind, the good news is that you don’t have to be scared anymore because you can now successfully unite your Website and your social media community with the use of social media plugins for WordPress that I am about to show to you in the next section of this article.
1. Sassy Social Share.
Sassy social share is a social media sharing plugin developed for WordPress.
It enables your website users to share the content over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit and over 100 more social networks.
Sassy social share comes with a lot of amazing features such as; GDPR Compliance, Works with over 100 Social Sharing/Bookmarking services, free Icon Customization options, Url Shortening Service integration, Mobile Responsiveness, Enable Social Sharing at WooCommerce products, Compatible with BuddyPress, BBPress, WooCommerce and many more.
2. WordPress to Buffer.
We all know that Buffer is a social media management software that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Most times, having to switch from your blog to buffer can be tiresome, but with this plugin, you can connect your Buffer account with your WordPress Blog and share all you can in just a single click.
WordPress to Buffer comes with a lot of awesome feature such as; smart social media automation, simple social media scheduling, WordPress to Twitter Auto Post, WordPress to LinkedIn Page Auto Pos and Automatically share Posts, Pages and Custom Post Types to social media when scheduling, publishing or updating your WordPress content.
3. Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed.
And for the Instagram lovers, I have a lot of exciting news for you, because, with the Instagram Feed plugin for WordPress, you can have your Instagram Feed in one place.
This plugin was formerly called Instagram feed, but it has been renamed to Smash Ballon social photo Feed.
Smash Ballon social photo Feed allows you to be able to; Display photos from multiple Instagram accounts in the same feed or in separate feeds, Includes a Follow on Instagram button at the bottom of your feed and Display a beautiful header at the top of your feed.
4. Social Media Share Buttons and Social Sharing Icons.
This plugin allows you to be able to do add more than one social media sharing icons for your favourite social media platform.
It has a free and a premium which offers more features than the other.
Social Media Share Buttons and Social Sharing Icons, comes with a lot of awesome features such as; Pick from 16 different designs for your social media share icons, Allow visitors to subscribe to your blog by Email, Decide to display sharing-buttons and social media icons at the end of every post and Add counts to your social media buttons.
There is even more to this plugin than it meets the eye, download this plugin now to get started.
There are millions of plugins that are hosted on the official WordPress website, also make sure that you choose a plugin that will not end up breaking your website.
Once upon a time, I had this affiliate plugin from Bluehost and little did I know that It was affecting my webserver and causing me to lose traffic.
Make sure to seek out the compatibility and update regularities of each and every WordPress plugin that you are about to install before actually installing that Plugin on your website.