There are over 50,000 Plugins in the WordPress repository. And that doesn’t count the tens of thousands of premium (proprietary) Plugins being sold by third-parties outside of WordPress.
In his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, Malcolm Gladwell presented a study where consumers purchased more jam when given 6 choices vs. 24 choices. Stick to these 5 WordPress Plugins and you won’t have to sample the other 49,995+ choices.
- Search Engine Optimization
I prefer Yoast SEO. Despite getting fatter with features over the years, Yoast delivers the SEO benefits that most sites need, with ample opportunity to upgrade.
A caching Plugin is a must for any WordPress site. For SiteGround-hosted clients, I use SG Optimizer. A2 Hosting also provides its own performance Plugin. WP Super Cache or WP Rocket are great alternatives for sites hosted with other providers.
I prefer Sucuri Security, with its optional (paid) firewall. iThemes Security Pro is another reputable option, although it takes longer to set up.
For form-building, I trust Gravity Forms due to its rich features and extensive library of modular third-party add-ons. Ninja Forms would be my second choice. Many other form plugins include bloated code that does not meet ADA accessibility guidelines for visitors using assistive technology devices.
- One Plugin to Rule Them All
JetPack. Yes, JetPack. This is the mother of all Plugins. A swiss army knife of security. A kitchen sink of Widgets. The cats meow. Sharks with laser beams… Ok, not really. JetPack gets a bad rap for performance. However, if your site is already optimized – close to 500 Kb and < 60 server requests, then JetPack is an awesome tool. I use it for brute force protection, image galleries, lazy loading images, conditional sidebars and footers, social media integration, and more. Plus, because it’s an Automattic Plugin – I fully trust it.