I like to keep things simple. You donʼt want to weigh down your website with 50 activated plugins…
However, there are some essential plugins that I use for all of my niche sites.
When you create a niche site, you should be using all of these because they’re very effective at what they do.
Most of these plugins are free, but there are some paid ones as well.
I’ll go through them one by one in this lesson.
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.
As a site administrator, you can install/uninstall plugins from the admin area. You can also download and manually install them using an FTP client, or upload them directly to the plugins section of the WordPress dashboard.
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard
- Click on the “Plugins” option on the left panel
- Now you will have the opportunity to search for free available pluginsor upload plugins you already own
- Once you find the plugin or upload one, you will have install buttonavailable, press “Install Now” button
- In the last step, click on the “Activate” button.
Youʼre done. Now you can go inside your new plugin and edit Settings as needed.
This is an anti-spam plugin that checks your comments and contact form submissions against a global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.
Contact Form 7
This plugin can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. You can add it via shortcode.
This is a caching plugin that generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. This plugin will increase your site speed a TON.
Good alternatives are the W3 Total Cache and WP Faster Cache.
Good for cleaning your WordPress database so that it runs at maximum efficiency.
This plugin resizes, optimizes, and compresses all your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher.
A good alternative is Kraken.io Image Optimizer.
Yoast SEO is one of many SEO plugins out there for WordPress. In my opinion, it’s the best one
For one, it does everything I need it to do and I never have any bugs with it. Secondly, it’s constantly updated and free of bugs and vulnerabilities. Third, it’s one of the most widely used and documented plugins out there.
It simplifies adding title tags and meta descriptions, generates a sitemap and other great things.
Alternatives: Rank Math or All in One SEO Pack.
Really Simple SSL
This plugin automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https (you have to install an SSL certificate first).
SumoMe is a free plugin that, once installed, gives you a bunch of free tools to grow your site’s traffic and email list. Search for “Sumo” to find this plugin.
For every one of my sites, I use the “Share” feature of SumoMe. This gives your site nice share buttons.
There are a lot of share button plugins, but this one is the easiest to set up, and it gives you nice data about what’s getting the most shares on your site.
This isn’t a plugin I use, but it’s one I recommend to students who aren’t very familiar with how to edit PHP files that WordPress uses. I hard code my Adsense codes into my theme’s PHP files, so that I can control where
the ad is, and for which pages it shows on. But if you want an easy way to achieve the same thing, you can use the Ad Inserter plugin.
These are some of the options you’ll have:
Display Before Content (before post or page text)
Display Before Selected Paragraph
Display After Selected Paragraph
Display After Content (after post or page text)
Display Before Title (does not work with all themes)
Display Before Excerpt (on blog pages)
Display After Excerpt (on blog pages)
We’ll get to Adsense optimization later in the course, but just wanted to mention this as a plugin you might want to consider using.
This plugin is what I use for redirections. It might not be that important when you just start your site, but later on, it becomes necessary. The biggest use is for when you delete old pages. Oftentimes, theyʼll have links pointing to it, and you donʼt want the links being broken and leading to a 404 page. Therefore, itʼs important to set up proper redirects to another page, or your homepage. WP Last Modified Info
This plugin gives you more control over the date shown for your posts. Most themes will show only the date the post was published, so if you update it, your visitors won’t know it was updated. Some themes don’t even show a date at all… This plugin automatically inserts last modified or updated info on your WordPress posts (including custom post types) and pages.
This is a very advanced frontend drag & drop page builder that lets you create a perfectly responsive website in a whole new and visual way.
It’s a live page builder, meaning you edit the page and simultaneously see exactly how it looks like.
They also have a very active and friendly Facebook Group where you’ll be sure to find answers to any questions or issues you may have.
kk Star Ratings
This is a plugin that allows blog visitors to interact more effectively with your website by rating posts.
You have lots of settings available to control how it works on your website, including where the ratings show (homepage, archives, posts, pages or manually), filters and cool effects and animations.
Most importantly, it supports Google Rich Snippets so the ratings will be indexed in Google search.
Better Search Replace
This plugin allows you to run a search/replace on the database for everything to work correctly. Itʼs very handy to update URLs or other text and it includes several key features.