Your WordPress site already comes with some plugins. Some you need, some you can delete, depending on what you want.
For just about every blog or website, there are some essential plugins. Others may be required for your particular need.
Don’t have more than you need. Too many can slow things down.
Be aware that some can interfere with others, so only add one at a time, if you are unsure. Then test that the site is still working, before adding another.
It’s also a good idea to manually update the plugins rather than have it done automatically. As soon as you login, you will see the updates required at the top. The updates may not be compatible with your other plugins. By doing it manually and then checking the site, you know if things stopped working.
Before adding any new plugin at the Add New, check the More Details first. The things you are looking for are:
- read about the plugin, what it does, etc
- when was it last updated – an essential part for compatibility with your latest theme
- what WordPress version is it compatible with – look for the latest
- how many active installations are there – the more it has, the more likely it is to be reliable
- what’s the rating – not every satisfied customer posts a rating, but many do
Once you are satisfied with this, you can click on Install Now, then Activate at Installed Plugins.
For some, you will need to go into the settings and change those that you need.
Here is a list of the Essential Plugins:
- antispam -akismet already installed with WordPress, but there are others
- SEO by Yoast – for the best search engine optimization
- a mobile friendly plugin – which changes the way your blog looks so it is more easily read on the small smart phone screens
- an opt-in form or use AWeber’s
- some form of security plugin
- a cache plugin to speed up your blog
- social media shares – you want to encourage engagement
- google analytics – maybe by Yoast
- a contact form if you don’t want to publish your details
- a backup plugin
I haven’t mentioned many of the essential plugins by name, as they can change over time.
I also like to have a link checker plugin as it will alert you to any broken links.
Wassup analytics is also already installed and I like it for the stats and visitors counts – not essential but a useful marketing tool.
You should be logging in often to add posts or alter the way it looks, but do so at least once a week, just to keep up with the settings and comments. That will greatly affect your rankings.