10 must-have plugins for your WordPress website in 2019

Did you know that there are 54,453 plugins on WordPress.org and 28,015 on CodeCanyon? There are 286 plugins on WooCommerce.com and thousands of WordPress plugins are being sold on many product makers’ websites.

Many options are available in the market for everything you need to build an online business. Comparing and finding the best WordPress plugins for your website takes a considerable amount of research and time.

Finding the right products for your website depends on your industry and niche. But, there are products that every WordPress website needs. Design, site speed, SEO, backup, contact form, site maintenance, marketing, analytics, etc. are a universal concern.

Equipping your WordPress website with the right plugins will help it perform better and improve your user experience. In this post, I am going to discuss the best WordPress plugins of 2019 that you should have on your WordPress website.

1. Elementor

Launched in May 2016 Elementor is a visual page builder that took the page builder category by storm. In such a short span of time it crossed 1000000 installs and became the leading page builder plugin in the WordPress market.

You do not need to be a designer or a developer to be able to use Elementor. It is completely drag and drop which makes it easy for everyone to use it. Moreover, it is compatible with latest WordPress update, SEO-optimized, flexible, fast, and the competition cannot match it’s speed.

Gone are the days when everyone coded in the back-end and switched tabs to view what the design looked like. Elementor lets you edit a page on the front-end and simultaneously preview what it looks like. It lets you create truly mobile responsive websites in a visual way.

The free version of Elementor consists of 29 free widgets (and counting) whereas the pro version has some added features. At only $49/year for 1 site, Elementor Pro offers:

  • A Visual and intuitive form builder
  • Marketing automation and CRM integrations
  • Custom fonts
  • Role manager
  • Blog post layout widget
  • Image & video sliders
  • Global widgets
  • Custom CSS
  • Animated headlines, and much more.

Elementor is the ultimate page builder plugin to design your WordPress website with and I would strongly recommend you to try it out.

2. Yoast SEO

Google now processes 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. That’s crazy, right?

No doubt that search engines are a major source of traffic for all websites. There are a myriad of people out there looking for your product or the valuable information you hold. Hence, to tap into this audience you will have to follow the best SEO practices on your website.

Ranking on the first page of google search results would mean more organic traffic. More organic traffic = more visitors to your website = more exposure for your business. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you do that by optimizing your website for search engines.

The plugin features include:

  • built-in content analysis
  • meta keywords and description management
  • managing duplicate content
  • XML sitemaps
  • social features
  • rich snippets, and much more.

A team of SEO experts has developed this WordPress plugin. Some of whom contribute to the WordPress core too.

Priced at $99/year for 1 site, Yoast SEO is one of the most important tools you need for your WordPress business.

3. WeForms

When running an online business or a blog it is important to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Displaying your email address on the website might seem like a good idea. It could possibly lead to tons of spam on your business email.

How, you ask? Spammers or lead generation companies use crawling tools to find email addresses and then sell data.

Contact forms help you capture leads and increase the conversions on your website. You can prevent incoming spam emails by adding a reCaptcha. The website visitors may also contact you about feedback, which in my opinion is very important for the growth of any online business.

WeForms is one contact form plugin which has been around for a while. There are no major differences between WeForms and other popular WordPress plugins for contact form plugins(like WPForms, Ninja forms, etc.). But the comparison table below shows quite a few features which are not present in other plugins by default.

WordPress Form Builder Plugin comparison table

I have used this one of the top WordPress plugins and it does make creating contact forms so much easier. Therefore, I feel it is definitely a must-have for all.

4. Broken link checker

I’m sure you have put in long hours of work into making your website a valuable resource for your visitors. But all the work would go in vain if you have broken links on your website.

There are various reasons for broken links, like:

  • The website may not be available
  • A web page has been removed without a redirect link
  • The URL structure of a website might have changed
  • A resource that you linked to disappeared
Here are some of the reasons why broken links can be harmful for your website:
  • Leads to a Bad User Experience:It is annoying to land on a page with a 404 error while browsing the web.
  • Hurts SEO: Many broken links on a website raise the red flags for the search engines. They would rank your website lower on the SERPs.
  • Increases Bounce Rate: A major chunk of visitors landing on a page with a 404 error code are going to bounce off. A high bounce rate signals the search engines that you are not providing the users with what they are looking for. It causes your website’s value to decrease in the search engines’ perspective.
  • Decreases Credibility of a website: Broken links give an impression that you don’t do regular housekeeping and harms your credibility as an authority even more.
  • May affect revenue: Broken pages and links are roadblocks in the conversion process. If your website visitors do not reach the checkout page in a few clicks without interference, as a result it will affect the conversions. Furthermore, it makes your customers unhappy. Your goal is to build a loyal customer base, not an unhappy one.

What’s the solution?

There are many online tools to help you find broken links. I have used Broken Link Check to find broken links before and it works pretty well. But, in WordPress we have the power of plugins. Plugins that can find broken links and help you redirect in an efficient way.

One such plugin is the Broken link checker . The Broken link checker plugin is the most popular one in the category with 600,000+ active installs on WordPress websites. It monitors your website, detects broken links. Moreover, it notifies in the dashboard and prevents Google from following those links.

5. WordFence Security

According to data from web technology survey firm W3Techs WordPress now powers 33% of all the websites. Needless to say hackers are now more interested in hacking WordPress based websites.

Though WordPress releases updates and patches to fix vulnerabilities, you use third party themes and WordPress plugins on your website. These vulnerabilities can be exploited to compromise the security of your website.

An example of a vulnerability leading to mass hacking would be the Slider Revolution plugin. There is a report about this published in 2014 by the team at Sucuri.

The WordFence security plugin would help protect your WordPress website with Firewall and Malware scan. WordFence arms your website with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe. 

6. BackupBuddy

Imagine working long hours building a great website only to see it vanish in an instant. Sounds like a nightmare, isn’t it?

No matter how secure your website is or how experienced you are, it is vulnerable to hacking attempts, data theft and data loss. To secure your website from something like this it is imperative that you have a Backup and Restore plugin installed on your website.

BackupBuddy plugin for WordPress will help you backup your entire website with just a few clicks from your WordPress dashboard. Additionally, you can also set up backup schedules to run automatically, store WordPress backups off-site, and restore your WordPress website easily from the backup.

7. WPRocket

Did you know that a humans’ attention span is now less than that of an average Goldfish?

It is a side effect of an increasingly digital lifestyle and evolving mobile internet on the brain. There is a rule called ‘15 second rule’ which says that if you do not generate interest in the first 15 seconds on your web page then you have lost the visitor.

Now, you might be able to generate the interest with great content and user experience. But, if your website takes 10 seconds to load then you got only 5 seconds to make that impact. How long would you wait for a website to load before moving on to the next one?

The answer is, a faster website. In other words, you need speed optimization. WPRocket is a popular plugin that helps your website achieve a fast load time. It takes care of plugin caching, cache preloading, and static file compression by minifying the HTML, Java and CSS of your website. It loads images only as your visitor scrolls down the page, improving the load time of the page.

WPRocket is a popular and a powerful caching WordPress plugin you must have on your website.

8. MailChimp for WordPress

Building an online business takes time. In addition, you need a solid Digital Marketing Strategy to nurture your audience and most importantly turn them into loyal customers. The process isn’t easy though because to make a customer a loyal customer they have to go through these steps:

customer lifecycle stages

If you reach the loyalist stage, you have nurtured your audience very well. It means you focused on your audience, engaged with them and gave them what they wanted.

How do you do it?

You have several ways to create customer loyalty. The most important one is to create a ‘customer experience’. To do that you must engage with your audience through social media, email newsletters, browser notifications, etc.

With email marketing being the top priority, because it works best. The best part about running email newsletter campaigns is that for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $44 in ROI.

MailChimp for WordPress plugin helps you engage with your audience through email newsletters. It is an email service that allows you to send beautiful newsletter emails to your subscribers. You must send updates, industry news, offers, and product promotions to your audience to get the most out of your online business on WordPress.

9. WP Mail SMTP

By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails. The issue is that most WordPress hosting companies don’t have their servers properly configured for sending PHP emails.

Basically, it means that you and your users may not receive important email notifications from your WordPress site. Or your emails will end up in spam.

This is where WP Mail SMTP comes into the picture. WP Mail SMTP is a WordPress plugin that fixes the email deliverability issues by using an SMTP mail server.

10. MonsterInsights

You take the efforts to market your website well, but to grow your website beyond its current point you should know what to do next. If you cannot answer the following questions, your business won’t grow.

Acquisition –> How do you acquire users? How many? From where?

Behavior –> How do users behave on your site?

Conversion –> Do users take a desired action on the site?

While you can use Google analytics like 13.2 million websites that do, it takes time to set it up. If you aren’t a technical person it certainly might take longer. After integrating analytics there’s more to do. You would have to setup event tracking, configure eCommerce tracking, funnels, and so on.

The better way is to add MonsterInsights. It is one of the top WordPress plugins that lets you can enable most analytics features with one-click and you won’t have to go through the general process. Moreover, it saves the time you would need to learn analytics because of it’s easy-to-understand interface.

You won’t have to compare and find the best plugins for your WordPress website because I did the research for you. The above list of ultimate plugins should make your website more than ready to outperform the competition, provided you do things right.

In conclusion, I would strongly suggest you focus on every listed product, understand it better and make optimal use of it. If you have suggestions or know of any ‘must-have WordPress plugins’ which you feel deserve to be on the list, please feel free to comment below. I will make sure I review them.

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