While WordPress works great out the box if you want just a basic blog, you'll find its features limiting if you're planning to do more than just blog about your daily life.
Thankfully, you don't have to limit yourself to WordPress's basic features. You can make your WordPress website do more by installing plugins that expand your WordPress site.
In this article, I'll show you 9 types of WordPress plugins (free and paid) that most WordPress websites users will greatly benefit from installing.
If you are interested to learn about some of the best plugins to add to your site, I hope you'll find this list useful.
Let's get into it!
Contact Form Plugins
One of the most important plugins you'll likely need are contact form plugins. This is especially true if you are looking forward to your readers sending you a message, or if you are trying to collect leads for your business.
Here are two contact form plugins I recommend:
Contact Form 7 (Free)
With over 5million active installations, Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular and powerful free contact form plugins. It's an easy to use plugin you can configure for any purpose.
Best for creating basic forms.
Gravity Form (Paid)
If your needs go beyond the basic that Contact Form 7 can provide, you will need Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms comes with integrations with popular mailing list software like MailChimp, Getresponse and Aweber.
SMTP plugins help you manage emails sent from your WordPress site. These are particularly useful if you want to use a more powerful SMTP than the default WordPress version.
This is my favourite one:
WP Mail SMTP (Free)
WP Mail SMTP is one of the most popular SMTP WordPress plugins around. With this plugin, you'll be able to configure your SMTP with popular email softwares such as SendGrid.
Some people may not realise this, but your WordPress website can become vulnerable to attacks from hackers in the same way your computers may become vulnerable to attacks. This is why you'll need a security plugin installed on your site. Here are some I personally use and recommend:
Shield Security (Free & Paid)
Shield Security is an advanced free security plugin. It includes essential security features like brute force login shield, login cool down period and 2-factor login authentication. If you want more advanced features, consider getting Shield Security Pro at just $1/month!
Astra Security (Paid)
Astra Security is an advanced paid security plugin that mainly protects your site from malware. If your site always gets hacked or infected with malware, Astra can help you to do monitor your site at a low monthly fee.
Nowadays, site loading speed has become very important. One of the ways to make your site load faster is to load a cached version of your website to your visitors. So instead of having to reload your entire site every time (slow), your visitors will get served with a cached version instead.
Make sure to install a caching plugin to your site to make it load faster:
W3 Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a powerful free cache plugins. It's simple to configure and if you're using a CDN, you can also configure that inside the plugin as well. (Note: for SiteGround hosting users, you don't need this. Use Supercacher in SiteGround instead).
Page Builder Plugin
While WordPress's editor is becoming more sophisticated with the release of Gutenberg, there's still much to be desired if you are thinking of adding more advanced features to your page. Here are some of my favourite page builder plugins I think you'll find useful:
Ultimate Gutenberg Add-ons (Free)
If you love using Gutenberg and want to go further with it, you'll love Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg. This plugin adds more than 20 extra advanced editor modules to Gutenberg.
For a free plugin, this is definitely impressive!
Thrive Architect (Paid)
Thrive Architect is one of the best page builders for people who are running an affiliate marketing website or any website where you'll want to add in marketing elements like comparison tables, CTA buttons, lead collection pages and more.
Thrive Architect is the plugin I'm currently using to edit over 90% of my posts on Entrepreneur Campfire.
Elementor (Free & Paid)
Elementor is a good page builder plugin if you're trying to build a full-fledged website. The design modules makes it easy to custom-design every single page, regardless of the theme you are using.
Lead Collection Plugin
Thrive Leads is one of the most affordable lead collection plugins. At just US$67 (one-time) for one site, you get over 10 types of forms. It integrates with all popular mailing list softwares such as GetResponse, MailChimp, Aweber and more.
If you're looking to grow traffic to your site using organic search traffic, you'll need an SEO plugin. These are two that I recommend:
Yoast SEO (Free & Paid)
Yoast is one of the best free SEO plugins in the market right now. By configuring your site, posts and pages using Yoast, you'll be able to get your site indexed and ranked on Google and other major search engines in no time!
RankMath is a new free SEO plugin that has additional features to what Yoast has to offer. On top of the features that Yoast is best known for, RankMath has a cool quick indexing feature too. For a free plugin, RankMath definitely blows out all its competition.
The only drawback is that this plugin is still pretty new, so you'll need to use it at your own risk.
Schema are markups that tell Google more about your page. These can include blog posts, reviews, product pages and local businesses. This can have a positive effect on your overall SEO.
While there are many plugins in the market, I personally only use one:
Schema Pro (Paid)
Schema Pro is the most comprehensive schema plugin in the market. Unlike other schema plugins that can only do schema markup for particular types of pages, Schema Pro covers all types of schema markups.
This is the schema plugin I'm using on Entrepreneur Campfire and all my sites.
Plugins are a quick and easy way to expand your WordPress site features beyond its basic functions. These are nine of the most useful plugins for new website owners. With these plugins, you'll be able to achieve your lead collection or traffic goals over time.
Let me know: which one of these plugins have you used and found useful? Do you have any other plugins to recommend?