Many plugins are being developed and uploaded on WordPress every day, some are free, and some are premium. Each plugin has a different function. There are those that should be installed to secure your site from spam registrations and spam comments, there are those that should be installed to increase your traffic, and there are those that should be installed to improve the appearance of your site. When I was still a newbie in WordPress, I got fascinated by the vast number of plugins that I could install on my website. What I didn’t know was, that I should have been more selective with the plugins that I installed and not have just installed everything that I saw. Downloading many plugins, especially the ones you don’t really need, slows the performance of your website.
For the current theme that I am using, which is the Genesis Framework, here are my top five plugins. These are the plugins that are currently installed on my websites:
1. Yoast SEO by Team Yoast – This plugin helps you bring more traffic to your site by optimizing your content. Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It has a real-time page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, image titles, meta descriptions, and more. There are XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options. I’m currently using the free version of this plugin which can be downloaded here. If you want to avail the premium plugin and get the most out of Yoast SEO, the plugin can be bought for $69 which allows it to be used by a single website.
2. Font by Pawel Misiurski – Fonts are important for the appearance of your website and to build your brand. I love how this plugin works because you don’t need to be skilled in coding to change a single font style or a font size on your site. You simply have to login to your site and visit it, then click the font settings link on the uppermost portion of your site. Clicking it will enable you to drag anything in your website and change its font style, color and size using the selections which are readily available in the plugin. If you are not still satisfied with the font styles provided, you can download fonts from an outside source and upload them using the plugin. This plugin is free, but just like Yoast SEO, it has a pro version which can be purchased by subscription for $0.99/month or $9.99/year. You can use this for on an unlimited number of sites.
3. Spam Protection by CleanTalk – After I published my first articles on WordPress and set up a registration form, I really got annoyed with the number of spam comments and fake registrations that were constantly appearing out of nowhere in my posts and pages. I would get 300 plus new registrations and comments in a day, which were mostly suspicious because, in the case of the comments, they did not even contain a single reference to my post. So I decided to look for a plugin that had spam protection. That was when I found the Spam Protection by CleanTalk. I use the pro version of this plugin as it allows me to use it across all of my websites, so it is very cost-efficient.
4. Pretty Link Pro by caseproof – Pretty Link Pro is a Plugin that enables you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, share and test all of your links on your own domain and server. Pretty Link Pro is more than a mere Affiliate Link Cloaker or URL shortener — it will revolutionize how you approach your business by allowing you to automate repetitive tasks, optimize your site with testing, see the results of your campaigns immediately and virally spread your links—including all your Affiliate Links within minutes. I am currently using the developer version which cost me $97. The difference between the developer and the blogger edition which can be bought for $47 is that the developer version lets you use this plugin on as many sites as you have.
5. Backup Buddy – This plugin is essential for you to save copies of your site. For example, I always make a quick backup before making any major changes to my site or installing new plugins. This is important as it will help your site to be restored in case of problems. There are dozens of options to be set, which can be daunting at first; but once set up correctly, operation is automatic.