Here, the truth about WordPress plugins, most of the WordPress plugins are useless. Yes, you heard it right!!! There are thousands of WordPress plugins you can found on the WordPress repository. You may find plugins for every feature and functionalities need for your WordPress site. You may look for a better feature or functionalities for your site but installing a plugin may cost you with many vulnerabilities. I have seen that many small niche business sites would load many unnecessary plugins. In this post, I would mention some of the plugins. I have categorized this post in 3 different segments:
- Plugins that you should use for your WP site.
- Plugins that you can use sometimes for your WP site.
- Plugins that you really don’t need for your WP site.
At the end of the post, you can comment if you agree with the above list or not or suggest which plugin should not or should be used for WP site.
WordPress Plugins that you should use for your website
You might be thinking that there are so many WordPress plugins. But the thing is not all plugins are useful. Some of the WordPress plugins would be a boon for your website. So, without wasting your time let’s check out which are the must use WordPress plugins.
The first plugin that we have on our list for plugins is – Shortpixel. It is a freemium WordPress plugin that can use to optimize the images. This plugin will compress all the images without losing the original quality of the images. Furthermore, website speed will load faster than usual and give a better chance to view the images. Shortpixel WordPress plugin is easy to use and lightweight. Once you install the plugin you can compress all the images as well as PDf documents in minutes. Apart from optimizing images, the plugin is compatible with many slider plugins and eCommerce sites.
You can find this plugin on WordPress.org website and download it for free. Using the free version you can compress 100 images per month for your WordPress site. If your site has tons of images then you can choose the pro version where you can optimize 55,000 images with the XXL plan. Once you install the plugin you need to add the API key for validation. You can add the API key in the Settings >> Shortpixel section. After validating the API key you can find settings that you need to optimize the image. You can navigate to Media Library where you can optimize the image one by one or you can do a bulk smush of the images.
Really Simple SSL Plugins
If your website based on WordPress platform so you never miss this basic WordPress plugin i.e. Really Simple SSL Plugins. Many types of SSL plugins available for the WordPress platform.
But, if you have a wildcard SSL certificate for your website so this is the best plugins for you. Using this plugin SSL certificate can establish a secure connection between the website and the client browser. You just need to install this plugin then it automatically detects all your settings and configures your website to run over HTTPS.
The second most important plugin that we have on our list is – ManageWP. You can use this plugin to keep the full backup of your WordPress site. There are a lot of backup plugins, but most of the plugins won’t back up all the things. Using ManageWP you can backup your images, comments, post, and everything. Usually, your host would do a regular backup, but using a third-party plugin or service would really help you to migrate the website in minutes. In case, your host goes down then using ManageWP you can instantly create a new website by signing up another hosting.
Using ManageWP, you can clone your website, monitor uptime, see the performance, check on the google analytics and many more. You can use ManageWP for free and in case you need to extend the feature of the plugin you can use the premium service of ManageWP.
The third and final plugin that we have on the best WordPress plugin is – Affiliate Plugin. If you are looking to monetize your blog or website by promoting a third-party product you need an affiliate link plugin. Using an affiliate link plugin you can monetize the website by promoting third party products. If you are recommending a product then you would love to get paid and get whatever the percentage of commission that the product provides. There are many affiliate plugins you can find on the WordPress repository. But you should be using some of the best Affiliate plugins for your website like – AffiliateWP. Some of the other and popular Affiliate plugins are – Thirsty Affiliate, Pretty Links and RafflePress.
WordPress Plugins that you can use sometimes for your site
We have run down some of the best WordPress plugins that you really need. Now we can run down some of the plugins you can use and sometimes you need it. These are the plugins you can use occasionally. The reason that I have listed these plugin in sometimes use is most of the WordPress themes provide this inbuilt feature. So, let’s check out which WordPress plugins you might need sometimes for your WordPress site.
SEO WP Plugins
The first one that we have on our list is SEO plugins. There are many SEO plugins you can find for WordPress and currently, you are using such plugins like Yoast SEO, All in one SEO and a lot more. The thing is that most of the small niche sites do not need or require this plugin. You might be feeling that these plugins will boost the ranking on your site but they are not. You would be looking to add a perfect meta description for your post and writing a perfect with strong keywords post which will help you to boost on google.
There are many WordPress themes where you can find an inbuilt feature to add the meta description for your post. As a small niche site, you don’t need to add any SEO plugins but if you feel the plugin is really necessary then you can use it to improve your post content. If you are running a bigger website (e-commerce) you might require an SEO consultant to review the technical aspects. Therefore, it’s wise to consider a professional SEO agency to do an SEO audit. This service is normally free unless you want them to fix any errors discovered in your website code.
Contact Form Plugins
Another major plugin you might not really need for our website is Contact form plugins. Getting leads, inquires and any queries through the contact form but adding a third part plugin could create a serious issue. Using a third-party plugin, you can introduce major vulnerabilities to your site. This happens when you get real spam inquiries and all the queries that come to your inbox. Many of the WordPress themes have their own contact form which guarantees you don’t need to download any third-party plugin. If you really need to have a contact form then you can use Google Forms or JotForms where the forms are managed by third party services.
Page Builder Plugins
The third plugin that you used sometimes for your WordPress site is – Page Builder Plugins. You might be looking to customize your own page templates using the Elementor or Divi page builder plugin. But for a small niche business site, you can use the WordPress default Gutenberg builder. Using Gutenberg you can create a table of contents, add or customize your content with different font color and size and many more. Installing a page builder will give your site an extra load and low performance if it is hosted on shared hosting. WordPress provides its own editor where you can create beautiful posts and contents with default Gutenberg editor.
You have heard that if you need to improve the speed and performance then you need to have caching plugin. But in this case, there are certain hosting providers like Bluehost who would manage caching from their end. You might also use Auto-optimize plugin just to get better performance for your site. So just installing caching and optimization plugin would also lead to vulnerabilities. There are WordPress themes that you can use where you can easily manage caching from your admin panel. Instead of downloading plugin you can easily cache or optimize your site through the admin dashboard.
WordPress Plugins that you really don’t need for your website
I know this sounds something like stupid and the below list would make you sick and you will ask me these are the plugins that are absolutely necessary. To be honest, I could agree with you but if you just read out the post then you might think of a different opinion. You might also agree to the point that this is the plugins that are absolutely not necessary for your WordPress site. So, let’s see which are the WordPress plugins which you really don’t for your WordPress site.
Security WordPress Plugins
The first one on the list is – Security Plugins. What? Are you kidding me? I guess not. To be honest, WordPress is one of the most secure CMS platforms. If the platform was not secured then there would be hundreds of thousands of websites hacked every day. You can notice that every couple of months WordPress brings in some new update or bring a beta version of WordPress.
Since WordPress has launched Guetenber in its version 5 series, they have doubled the security. But you might be a little confused then why your WordPress site is getting hacked? The reason is simple you are adding an untrusted or pirated version of themes or plugins. You are not updating the themes and plugins on a regular basis. Furthermore, you are constantly changing your code by hiring a third party developer and provide login details of your WordPress site. The could be plenty of reasons as to why your site is getting hacked.
You see that WordPress.com is hosted on its own platform and you cannot add any custom themes or plugins on WordPress.com hosted site. So, adding any security plugin like Wordfence and Sucuri is useless unless you are digging your own grave.
Read also: Stand up to Cyber Attacks with Cloud Backups
Formatting and Design WordPress Plugins
Admit it, you would be installing many WordPress plugin just to make them outstanding from other WordPress niche sites. You would be adding plugins for awesome fonts, icons, tables plugins and all types of formatting plugins that you find on WordPress. Installing these plugins not only load your site but also cause serious vulnerabilities. You would be adding plugins from an untrusted source and those plugins would not be updated with proper security patches.
What you should be using is WordPress Gutenberg editor. Using Gutenberg editor as I have mentioned earlier you can format your post and pages easily. There are different formatting blocks and widgets which you can use with Gutenberg. Since WordPress keeps updating its software you can rely on Gutenberg editor to customize and format any post and pages.
The final plugin that we have on the list for plugins that you don’t need is Google Analytics. You are installing a plugin to track traffic. Using a plugin would add another load on your website. What you should be doing is to add the piece of code to your into header.php. This will track all of your posts and pages and show a detailed report on Google Analytics Dashboard. You can avoid adding a third party plugin to the website.
Finally, I have laid out some of the WordPress plugins which you can use for your site, sometimes you can use and plugin you should avoid on your WordPress site. I know some of you might disagree with the plugins that I have listed here but that’s the ugly truth. You should choose the right plugins which could support and secure your website. I hope you liked this article, please let me know your thoughts and suggestions in below comment box.