There are thousands of extensions, or plugins, for adding functionality to a WordPress site. Personalization, optimization, site security, SEO, contact forms, marketing. Here are the 20 WordPress plugins you need to know.
Or go directly to the plugins category that interests you:
- Website customization
- Contact form and marketing
- Image manager
- Multilingual site
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20 WordPress plugins you should know
- Elementor Page Builder
- Max Mega Menu
- AddToAny Share Buttons
- Yoast SEO
- W3 Total Cache
- HubSpot All-In-one Marketing
- Contact Form 7
- Ninja Forms
- WP Shopify
- iThemes Security
- Really Simple SSL
- ManageWP Worker
- NextGEN Gallery
WordPress plugins to customize the look of a site
Elementor Page Builder
Elementor Page Builder plugin is one of the most popular for page building in WordPress. It allows to customize the design of a site in depth, without any knowledge of programming language is necessary. You just have to drag and drop the modules to see the result immediately appear thanks to the intuitive WYSIWYG interface (” What you see is what you get What you see is what you get).
Max Mega Menu
Max Mega Menu allows you to customize your menu to make it a mega menu, with ease. The mega menu gives access to multiple headings and sub-headings and may include images and videos. It is particularly suitable for e-commerce sites.
AddToAny Share Buttons
Linking a WordPress site to social networks is essential to capture traffic. AddtoAny Share Buttons allows you to add share buttons to any post, image or page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many other social networks. The plugin also manages the count of shares. It is then possible to use the official icons or personalized icons.
WordPress plugins for SEO
Work on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) account to improve the SEO of a site and thus attract new visitors. Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded plugins thanks to the many SEO tools it offers. It allows in particular to define the title and meta-description tags, to create a sitemap XML or to analyze the readability of a text.
This extension manages 301 redirects. Thus, when a page of a site is modified or deleted, a redirection to a new page can be created. It then keeps the position of the old page in the search engines. Redirection also displays 404 errors present on the site in order to remedy them.
W3 Total Cache
The loading speed of a site is a concern for any administrator. Indeed, search engines penalize sites that are too slow. W3 Total Cache is an extension that improves the performance of a WordPress site thanks to the principles of CDN (VSontent Delivery Network), instant page caching and code size reduction (minification).
WordPress Forms and Marketing Plugins
HubSpot plugin for WordPress
This free plugin is aimed at commercial sites. In addition to a complete CRM, it offers a wide range of marketing tools to feed contact lists and organize campaigns: creation of emails, forms and pop-ups, integration of a chatbot, workflows. HubSpot Plug-in for WordPress is compatible with many other plugins like Contact Form 7.
Contact Form 7
With over 5 million active installs, Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular contact form extensions. It ensures that forms are created simply and quickly.
Note: its compatibility with Akismet (pre-installed spam protection extension) and reCAPTCHA (Google spam protection service).
Ninja Forms has the advantage of a drag and drop interface and thus does not require any web development knowledge. Over a million people have already downloaded the plugin, the pricing of which works on an annual subscription basis and starts at $ 99.
WordPress e-commerce plugins
Launched in 2011, WooCommerce has become the benchmark among open source e-commerce plugins. It offers all the functionalities necessary for the operation of an online business: product sheets, shopping cart, order validation, secure online payment, delivery options … WooCommerce can be personalized with extensions such as HubSpot, WooCommerce Colors or WooCommerce Products Slider.
A benchmark in e-commerce, Shopify has also launched its WP Shopify plugin which allows the addition of a buy button and the creation of a cart to get you started in online sales.
BigCommerce for WordPress offers advanced e-commerce functionality with an emphasis on personalization. It also allows you to manage multiple WordPress e-commerce sites in the same place.
To ensure the security of a WordPress site against hacking, one option is to use iTheme Security. This plugin offers, for example, two-factor identification, malware scanning, the creation of strong passwords, Google reCAPTCHA or even the update of security keys.
Really Simple SSL
Since July 2018, HTTP sites have been sanctioned by Google Chrome. It is therefore essential to convert a WordPress site to HTTPS so that the exchanges between the site and the user are encrypted. After obtaining an SSL certificate, Really Simple SSL offers to easily configure the site so that everything works in HTTPS.
This plugin is very useful to easily make a copy of a WordPress site and migrate it to a new location. With Duplicator, you can for example recover an online site to work on it locally, create clones of the site to distribute it or simply secure it.
Some administrators manage dozens of WordPress sites. ManageWP Worker automates certain actions to save time. Connect to all sites at the same time, apply updates, clean up spam. One click is enough to apply changes to all sites. Of course, it is also possible to connect to only certain sites simultaneously.
WordPress plugins to manage images
Any WordPress site that integrates a lot of photos will need an effective plugin like NextGEN Gallery. This allows you to manage photo galleries, download visuals in batches, import metadata or even create albums and slideshows.
Images are the longest item to load on a site. If they are too heavy, the site will have a hard time loading, which is penalized by search engines and visitors. Imagify therefore proposes to compress the images added to the media library, without any apparent loss of quality.
WordPress plugins for multilingual sites
WPML is a multilingual site management plugin, compatible with many other plugins including WooCommerce for e-commerce sites. Over 40 languages are available, and language variants can also be added.
More than 600,000 people use Polylang, available in 4 versions and compatible with many SEO plugins:
- Polylang (free)
- Polylang pro
- Polylang for WooCommerce
- Polylang Business Pack
Weglot offers website translation into over 100 languages within a single interface, and partners with professional translators. The plugin particularly supports automatic redirection to a language according to the user’s browser settings.
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