5 essential plugins to optimize your website
Last modified: 2018/07/18 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Taking care of a website and making sure you’re getting as much visibility as possible is a complicated process. There are many different facets that go into maintaining a good position on Google and other search engines, as well as reaching the type of audience you’re hoping to target.
Luckily, we’re talking about technology and thus, there are plenty of tools online that offers ways to improve SEO without having to reach too far or do too much. So, what are some of the best plugins to help you optimize your website?
Well, we’re here to look them over so if you’re interested in this information, read on!
What are plugins exactly?
Plugins are created for a variety of reasons, in addition to serving many different functions. The majority of plugins are compatible with the WordPress content management system (CMS) and they work to expand the functionality as well as the design features of a website, whether that means affecting the way the interface looks or how user-friendly it is. There are even plugins for administrative tasks, including security measures, backing up files and additional tasks that help with optimization.
Although you might feel the need to add every single plugin available, that would not be advised. In most cases, if you’re looking to manage more than one task, it’s always recommended that you work with a plugin that can handle two features at the same time. It can be tempting but in fact, overwhelming the backend of your website with every single plugin on the market can actually slow down your speed as well as your performance.
It’s been said that new visitors will only wait 2 seconds for your site to load. Unfortunately, the more plugins you install, the slower your load time will be. Dragging down page speed and losing the chance at converting customers is not worth those extra few plugins, so be strategic with your selection.
Another note regarding plugins is to look for those which are credible, reliable and secure. Almost anyone can create a WordPress plugin, and working with one which has been poorly coded can compromise your site’s security.
Knowing which plug-in is right for you will come down to how your website is performing and ways that it can be improved. We’d recommend checking out tools like Google Analytics or reading our other article SEO in 2018: where to start for your website? This way, you can be certain about the strategies you need to put in place.
5 essential plugins for your website!
Each of the below plugins serves a different function, so make sure to know which is the right one for your website!
1- Yoast SEO
As we mentioned, having a proper SEO strategy is the main way to have your website recognized by search engines. Yoast can help you do just that, working to help your ranking in Google as well as bringing traffic towards your site. This plugin is also free, so it’s worth giving it a try to see if it works for your needs.
Notable features of the Yoast plugin are as follow:
- On-page content analysis, which includes ways to improve your SEO and specifically tailored suggestions to do so;
- The plugin will create titles and meta-descriptions for you;
- Allow site navigation improvements using breadcrumbs;
- The creation of attractive permalinks.
2- W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a great plugin if you’re looking to improve the speed of your site as well as the load time. One of the best on the market, this works great for caching the content of your website as well as quickly delivering results to those who visit. This is another free plugin, so there isn’t much to lose when it comes to trying it out!
Notable features for W3 Total Cache are as follows:
- This plugin is compatible with all hosting environments;
- Browser caching;
- SSL support;
- Caching statistics.
3- Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder is the perfect tool if you’re starting from the ground up, as it makes creating a website easy. This plugin is especially intuitive for those who haven’t built a website before. This plugin offers a way to create a fully-functional and customized website, so if you’re looking for that sort of thing, then look no further.
Notable features for this plugin are as follows:
- Drag and drop web page building capabilities;
- Compatible with WordPress widgets and shortcuts;
- Create customized pages, posts and post types.
Updraft is for those who might be concerned about a host’s server crashing suddenly, as well as the potential for their website to be hacked. Updraft offers you a good backup plan in case that should happen, as this plugin offers you a way to access the stored information and avoid losing all of your hard work. Another free plugin for all of your backup needs!
Notable features of this plugin include:
- Backup and restore options that are one click away;
- External cloud storage for all of your site data;
- A way to reduce the strain on your server and increase the speed of your website;
- Backup files as well as the database overall.
5- WP Smush
This plugin works to compress the images on your website. In most cases, your website's images are actually slowing download speed and taking up a huge portion of its resources. If you’ve got a website that is home to a lot of images, this plugin might be necessary for you so that users don’t find themselves frustrated, waiting around for things to load.
Notable features of this plugin include:
- Image compression while the quality remains;
- Compatible with other popular media library plugins without slowing down your website;
- Optimization of images;
- Autoscan enabled to compress every image.
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