So you’re setting up your WordPress website, thinking all about the designs and functionality you want it to have. Which is normal, because that’s the fun stuff! But, you should also be thinking about your site’s security, insights, performance, and back-ups. To most people, this is the not-so-fun stuff, but no worries! I’m here to help. In my opinion, these are the best WordPress plugins out there. (And the ones I always use!)
Elementor Pro is a drag and drop page builder that makes building your website so. much. easier! The free version is awesome and is a great option if you’re DIYing your website on a budget, or just getting started with web design. Elementor Pro is their paid version which allows you to customize every single element of your theme. I love using the theme builder to create blog posts templates that allow me to format only one time, and then all my future blog posts are preformatted just the way I like!
Want to display your Instagram feed on your website? You need Flo Social! This plugin is so simple, you’ll have your feed up in minutes! You can customize the design to look how you want – choose how much spacing you want between photos, how many photos you want to display, how many photos you want per row, etc. Then, it generates a shortcode for you which you copy/paste into the shortcode widget inside elementor! Easy Peasy!
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
If you’re going to set up a website, you also need to set up analytics. You want to be able to see how much traffic your getting and where it’s coming from, right?! This is the best google analytics plugin for WordPress. It’s very easy to read (even if you’re like me and totally not a numbers person) and gives you so much information.
Smush is a plugin that automatically reduces your image size to improve your website’s overall speed and performance. I typically reduce my images on my computer first, and if they’re still too big, smush will handle the rest for me! Or, if I were to forget to reduce the size of an image, Smush would have my back!
The Updraft Plus plugin is amazing, and something you must download, like, yesterday. It’s used for website backups and restorations. What I love most about this is that it takes a weight off of my shoulders – I don’t have to feel anxious about something messing up my site and having to redo the whole thing. I’d simply just have to restore it from the most recent backup! I also am obsessed with google drive, so I love that it sends my backups straight to my website folder in google drive. While I’m (re)designing, I set my backups to once a day, and then weekly or monthly after the design is complete.
Wordfence is my go-to plugin for security. It’s an anti-virus, firewall, and malware scan plugin. It tells you the number of attacks blocked, shows you live traffic, lets you change your login security settings, allows you to select which security events you want to emailed about, and much more.
Yoast SEO is probably the most popular SEO (search engine optimization) plugin for WordPress. I love using its functionality for writing blog posts. It scores my content on Readability and SEO, and if it’s a red frowny face (as opposed to a green smiley face) it tells me what exactly I need to fix. You can even click on the view icon to see where exactly in the text you need to make changes! And like all the other plugins listed, Yoast SEO is super easy to use.
Astra Starter Sites
Okay, if you’re just starting out building your website, this one is for you! Astra Starter Sites features tons of done-for-you templates! Entire websites, pages, and/or blocks. Personally, I love browsing the templates for ideas, and then using a block template to get me started (or just for one specific feature) and then making it my own! These templates work with Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg.
There ya have it, the best WordPress plugins (in my humble opinion). Do you use any of the plugins? Which one is your favorite? Or, tell me about your faves that aren’t listed here! And if you need help with any of the plugins, please reach out!