There are many options when choosing a platform to build your website. WordPress, by far, is the most popular. Its versatility and ease of use has separated it from other more traditional platforms and coding methods. Along with opening up opportunities for everyday business owners and individuals to build their website, WordPress has many third-party developers creating plugins which, as an easy way to describe it, are apps that work inside of WordPress just as apps work inside your phone or computer. Plugins, just like apps, are there to enhance the overall experience and help in creating and bringing your vision to life. Some may be more trivial than others, but some are essential and should not be overlooked. There are 3 plugins that I always install when creating a WordPress site, Jetpack, Updraft Plus, and Yoast SEO.
Jetpack has been around for quite some time and has grown in both its options and its dedication to bringing its customers the best products and services. You can install for free and continue using the free options which is what I do for the most part. There are payment options for certain services and can be utilized when the need arises.
Jetpack offers security options, site performance, and growing your audience options. There are more but that is the nuts and bolts of the plugin. You can see that in the graphic below.
2. Updraft Plus
UpdraftPlus is a complete backup system for your WordPress site. There are free and paid options. The free option is fine but you will have to back up the site manually which only entails hitting a backup button. You then would need to download the backups to your computer.
Optionally, you can have the backups sent to your website hosting server if you know your FTP username and password. This is the preferred way as you can have it updated daily, weekly or monthly and not worry about it. It is easy to use, trusted by more users than any other backup software, and is extremely comprehensive. It backs up EVERYTHING. There is so much more this plugin can do when you get to the premium benefits. Cloning and migration, Incremental backups, fast support, multi-site, backup time and scheduling, database options, reporting, importer, lock setting, and more! The only limitation is how much you're willing to spend.
3. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is probably the most helpful plugin that you can get for WordPress. If you need help in understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) then Yoast is probably the most comprehensive and yet easy to get a grasp on SEO plugin software available. With over 5 million active installations you won’t be the only one relying on its helpful intuitive SEO suggestions. To rank highly in search engines, you need to beat the competition. You need a better, faster, stronger website than the people who sell or do the same kinds of things as you. Among the FREE offerings from Yoast are:
- Automated technical SEO improvements, like canonical URLs and meta tags.
- Advanced XML sitemaps; making it easy for Google to understand your site structure.
- Title and meta description templating, for better branding and consistent snippets in the search results.
- An in-depth Schema.org integration that will increase your chance of getting rich results, by helping search engines to understand your content.
- Full control over site breadcrumbs, so that users and search engines always know where they are.
- Faster loading times for your whole website, due to an innovative way of managing data in WordPress.
There are so many plugins available for WordPress that whatever you would want to do there is a plugin for it. However, these three plugins, at least in my opinion, are the go-to plugins when starting a WordPress site.
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