WordPress 4.7 came out late last year, and now we are currently in version 4.7.4. Updates roll out fast and steady on the platform, but what makes it great is the sheer amount of plugins there are to improve your website experience.
Plugins are basically small software pieces that add or enhance features of other programs. In the case of WordPress, these additional components cover everything from SEO and security to extra functionalities.
While WordPress offers a broad range of default features and options for webmasters that is constantly in revision and expansion, some plugins are the best tools to get certain jobs done. Below we list some of the essential ones to download and install for your website management.
Aksimet is a popular plugin developed by the WordPress team itself, and it handles the tiresome task of sorting out comments. This simple yet powerful tool detects and plucks out the spam from your comment section.
It acts as a filter for suspicious or potentially harmful content on your site and records a history for each deleted comment. Askimet is free for personal use, but commercial sites have to pay for the premium version.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a suite of tools to help creators optimize their content for search engines. It guides you through a couple of steps you can take to make your posts more visible online and rank higher in search engine results.
This plugin includes everything from readability scores to keyword placement guides to make sure you are using them thoroughly and correctly in all the pertinent parts of your post. Like Askimet, there are both free and paid versions.
3. WP Rocket
Caching is important if you want to make your site load fast, and a fast-loading site is key if you want to keep users surfing the content on it. WP Rocket is one of the many plugins available out there, with the difference that this one is practically ready to go.
Other competing tools take long to configure before they start optimizing your site’s performance, but WP Rocket only needs installation and enabling to start working.
Another plugin by the WordPress team, Jetpack takes a universal approach to enhancing your site and content. It covers more ground than most, tweaking your comments, posts, themes, and security to be at the top of their game.
Jetpack is completely free, and it even deals with user engagement, so people stay longer on your website or visit it more often. There are social sharing features and search engine indexing tools that help your content have a stronger presence online.
Webmasters and developers have long pointed out that the native search feature in WordPress is not the greatest one, but luckily there is SearchWP.
This plugin dramatically enhances the reach of the default search option on your site, with support for titles, keywords, documents, and even customized engines embedded in the general one. The only downside is the price, though, given that it requires a $49 yearly license.
6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
There are multiple Google Analytics plugins available out there, but if you want a quick rundown of your site’s performance right in your dashboard, Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is just that.
It keeps a record of all the important scores of site visitors, ads, and content views using the Google Analytics tools of your preference. It also tracks AdSense and AdWords performance, allowing you to generate reports whenever you want for free.