Unlock your website’s potential with WordPress plugins!
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder and content management system. It powers an impressive 43% of the world’s websites, according to W3Techs.
The platform’s popularity stems from its open-source nature, user-friendly interface, flexibility, and built-in features.
While WordPress excels at delivering a robust framework, users wanting to add specific functionalities or advanced features may need to look beyond the platform’s out-of-box offerings. That’s where WordPress plugins come in!
There are over 60,000 plugins in the WordPress library, so knowing where to start is difficult, especially if you’re new to the platform. Luckily, our team at Create8 have plenty of experience working with WordPress, and we’ve tested plenty of plugins so that you don’t have to! Read on to find out our thoughts about the best WordPress plugins available in 2023.
What are WordPress plugins?
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that can be seamlessly integrated with a WordPress website to add new functionality or features. It might help to think of plugins like apps for your website.
You can search for WordPress plugins on the WordPress Plugin Directory. The variety of plugins available is staggering, and the opportunities are endless. Plugins can turn your website into an eCommerce store, add a live chat feature, customise the checkout process, send users push notifications, improve SEO, and much more.
It’s important to note that some WordPress plugins are free to install, whilst others must be paid for.
Why use WordPress plugins?
You can build a WordPress website that functions perfectly without touching a plugin. However, as your website grows and evolves, you may want to add additional features or functionalities to it. WordPress plugins provide a simple and effective solution to this problem.
Plugins can help enhance user experience, improve website performance, and streamline your operations – keeping your website competitive, now and in the future.
What are the top 5 WordPress plugins for 2023?
Choosing just 5 WordPress plugins has been challenging – there are so many different options available!
To help us with the task we’ve considered which plugins we use most frequently and which achieve the best results. We’ve also chosen plugins that will be useful to a broad range of websites and businesses.
Here are our top 5 WordPress plugins for 2023!
Optimising your website for search engines like Google is crucial for improving your online visibility and boosting your website traffic. And Yoast can help you do just that!
With over 5 million live installations, Yoast is the world’s favourite WordPress SEO plugin. It contains everything you need to save time managing your website’s SEO and achieve better ranking results.
Yoast’s top 5 features include:
- Automated technical SEO – Yoast automates some of the most time-consuming SEO tasks, including adding structured data, canonical URLs, and meta tags to your website.
- Auto-generated XML sitemaps – Yoast auto-generates an XML sitemap for your website and then updates it as you create new content.
- Custom meta titles and descriptions – Yoast allows you to create custom meta titles and meta descriptions for your web pages.
- Readability analysis – Website content that is easy to read keeps users engaged and on-site for longer. The Yoast plugin analyses your sentence structure and gives it a score according to the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, highlighting any sections that could be improved.
- Keyword density checker – If your keyword density is too high or low, it can negatively impact your website’s ranking. Yoast analyses how often your keywords appear and highlights where improvements can be made.
Yoast’s free WordPress plugin offers all of the essential features to manage your website’s SEO. Yoast also offers a premium plugin with additional features, which costs £99/year.
If you want to turn your WordPress website into an eCommerce store, you’ll need to use a plugin.
WooCommerce blows the other WordPress eCommerce plugins out of the water! In fact, more than 30% of the world’s eCommerce stores are built using WooCommerce, according to AppMySite!
WooCommerce’s top 5 features include:
- Over 800 extensions – WooCommerce offers a huge range of extensions which provide opportunities to improve your website’s functionality as your store grows and evolves.
- Built-in payment options – Providing a wide range of payment options can help boost conversion rates. WooCommerce supports all of the most popular options, including WorldPay, Stripe, Alipay, and PayPal.
- User-friendly interface – WooCommerce’s user-friendly interface makes managing your inventory and orders super simple.
- Customisable themes – WooCommerce offers 70 customisable themes. It’s easy to create an attractive online store with your business’s branding.
- Flexible – WooCommerce is a highly flexible and scalable open-source platform that can be integrated with almost any other service.
While WooCommerce is free to use, you’ll need to pay separately for a domain, hosting, and security to get your WooCommerce store up and running.
Ensuring that your website is secure is crucial to its success. Sucuri Security offers a range of features to help you tighten the security on your website and continually monitor for suspicious activity to help prevent security breaches.
Sucuri Security’s top 5 features include:
- Security activity auditing – Sucuri records events that have the potential to be malicious in its Audit Log.
- File integrity monitoring – Sucuri monitors your website’s files for any changes that could indicate a hack or compromise.
- Security notifications – You will receive notifications when the plugin detects security issues with your website.
- Malware scanning – Sucuri consistently scans your website for signs of malware or other malicious code.
- Post-hack security actions – If your website does fall victim to hacking, Sucuri offers post-hack security actions to help you to recover.
And best of all? Sucuri Security is free to use!
WP Rocket is a premium WordPress plugin that’s not available in the WordPress Plugin Directory. It’s a caching plugin that can help to improve your website’s speed and performance, which will, in turn, boost SEO ranking and user experience.
WP Rocket’s top 5 features include:
- Page caching – WP Rocket caches all of your website pages, including those for mobile visitors and logged-in users, to ensure load time is supercharged.
- Cache preloading – WP Rocket preloads the cache every time you change your website, allowing visitors to benefit from the faster-cached content immediately.
- Browser caching – It also stores your website’s frequently accessed images, JS, and CSS in the device’s local memory for faster load speeds.
- GZIP compression – WP Rocket decreases bandwidth usage by compressing web pages on the server and decompressing them in the browser.
- Excellent compatibility – It’s compatible with various third-party plugins and themes for seamless integration.
WP Rocket is a premium plugin with three levels of service. The subscription options available are Single £59/year for one website, Plus £119/year for three websites, and Infinite £299/year for unlimited websites.
From hackers to human error and viruses to server crashes, a lot can go wrong with your website. Backing up your files provides security and peace of mind.
With over 3 million live installations, UpdraftPlus is the world’s most popular scheduled backup WordPress plugin. It makes it simple to schedule backups of your website files and database and store them remotely online.
UpdraftPlus’s top 5 features include:
- Automatic backup scheduling – You can schedule UpdraftPlus to perform automatic backups regularly.
- Remote cloud storage – UpdraftPlus securely stores your files and databases using remote services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
- Simple backup restoration – UpDraftPlus makes it simple to restore backups directly from the WordPress control panel.
- Cloning and migration – The UpdraftPlus Migrator, available with the premium version of Updraft, can be used to clone or migrate a WordPress website in a matter of minutes.
- Customer support – You’ll get expert help and support from UpdraftPlus’s backup plugin developers.
UpdraftPlus’s free WordPress plugin offers all the essential features to back up your website files and database. UpdraftPlus also offers a premium plugin with additional features; prices start at £54/year.
How to install and configure WordPress plugins
Installing a WordPress plugin is a simple process, once you know how.
Installing a free WordPress plugin
First, visit your WordPress admin area. From here, click Plugins > Add New. You can then search the directory for the plugin you wish to install. Once you have found it, click the ‘Install Now’ button.
WordPress will now download and install the plugin for you. Once successful, the button will change from ‘Install Now’ to ‘Activate’.
Once you’ve clicked the activate button, the plugin is installed and ready to be configured.
Installing a premium paid WordPress plugin
Premium WordPress plugins are not listed in the WordPress Plugin Directory, so the installation process is slightly different.
First, you need to download the plugin from the source.
Now, navigate to your WordPress admin area and click Plugins > Add New. Instead of searching for your plugin, click the ‘Upload Plugin’ button at the top of the page.
You will now be asked to select the plugin file from your computer. Select the correct file and click ‘Install Now’.
Once WordPress has installed the plugin, an ‘Activate Plugin’ button will appear. Click the button, and you’re all set.
Configuring a WordPress plugin
Very simple plugins may begin working immediately after you activate them. However, most plugins will require some configuration to get them working as you want.
To configure a plugin, go to your WordPress admin area and click Plugins > Installed Plugins. Now find the plugin you want to configure and click ‘Settings’.
Every WordPress plugin is different and requires a different level of configuration.
Need help with WordPress plugins?
With so many WordPress plugins to choose from, it’s hard to determine which one meets your requirements and will truly enhance your website’s performance. This is where Create8 can help!
Our expert team has the knowledge and experience to help you identify the best plugins for your specific needs. We can also install and configure your plugin, ensuring it seamlessly integrates with your WordPress website for optimal performance.
Contact us today – let’s make your website the best it can be!