One of the wonders of WordPress is how easily configurable it is. There are thousands of plugins out there that let you easily enhance your website without learning any bit of code. WordPress plugins play a critical role in enhancing the visibility and overall functionality of your site. You need a mix of plugins to ensure the visibility, security and overall performance of your site. Unfortunately with so many different plugins out there – it’s easy to get lost when browsing through the WordPress plugin directory. As such I wanted to put together a small list of 5 must-have WordPress plugins for 2017!
Any website these days should start off with a proper Google Analytics configuration – and MonsterInsights for WordPress is a perfect plugin for that. The plugin will allow the user to connect his website to Google Analytics, and lets you gather useful information about people who visit your website. Furthermore all the data gets displayed right within the WordPress dashboard – so you don’t need to head over to Google Analytics to find out which one of your blog posts is the most popular. The free version of MonsterInsights will suffice for most webmasters, however there are additional options available in their Pro & Premium plans for people who require eCommerce tracking or Google AMP tracking.
Security is paramount these days. Hackers are working around the clock to violate the safety of online sites – and WordPress-powered websites are a popular target. Sucuri Security offers a great free platform to secure your website. The plugin will monitor and protect your website from brute force attacks, XSS attacks, Malware threats and DDOS attacks. Sucuri also will alert you of any physical file changes which may occur from any of the above-mentioned attacks. Sucuri Security also offers several security hardening features – giving you overall better security for your WordPress website.
The internet is all about communication – and generally you want your website visitors to be able to contact you. WPForms is a contact form WordPress plugin that literally anyone can use. It offers a drag and drop form builder that will allow you to create email subscription forms, contact forms, payment forms and order forms among other online forms with a lot of ease. All the generated forms are fully mobile-friendly and 100% responsive. Plus you get access to a lot of different pre-made templates you can use to generate forms instantly.
This plugin is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there to increase your email subscriber base. OptinMonster gives you a simple, drag & drop form builder which lets you create various type of optin forms from within the WordPress dashboard. These include popup forms, floating header and footer bars, slide-ins also known as scroll triggered boxes, sidebar forms, after post forms, in-line forms, mobile-specific forms, welcome gates and more.
Unfortunately OptinMonster isn’t free – and starts off at $9/mo. However this is THE go-to plugin for anyone looking to get more email signups and is well worth the monthly investment.
You cannot talk about security without putting in place a reliable backup system. I always preach the importance of backups – so you had to know I would include a backup related plugin in this list. BackWPup is a perfect plugin to use – offering instant backups of your entire WordPress installation – including /wp-content/. You can then push these backups to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and others.