WordPress 5.0

5 Must-Use Plugins for WordPress

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Performance
    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.
  3. Security
    I prefer Sucuri Security, with its optional (paid) firewall. iThemes Security Pro is another reputable option, although it takes longer to set up.
  4. Forms
    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.
  5. 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.