Best WordPress Plugins 2018

With an abundance of WordPress plugins to choose from, finding a specific one that ticks all the boxes may take a little hunting around.

Here at Yellow Moose we have chosen our top five plugins that we can’t live without. We’ve intentionally ranked our top five based not on which are the flashest, coolest, most customisable plugins, but rather the plugins that assist with the basic site build, optimisation, and security of WordPress websites. So if you’re in need of some top plugins for any website, big or small, these are the five we would recommend.

The plugins listed here are all free, with optional paid extras or pro-subscriptions. 

Our favourite WordPress plugin for onsite SEO optimisation has to be Yoast SEO.

Simply enter the focus keyword you would like to target the page for and Yoast will check your site is optimised for indexing. As you update the content of your site, Yoast will update automatically and give specific action points to further optimise your site.

The checks it carries out includes:

♦ Recommended minimum word count

♦ Keyword density

♦ H1 and H2 title tags

♦ Page titling assistance

♦ URL checking

♦ Internal and external links

♦ Meta descriptions

♦ Image alt tag

There is also a cool little snippet section that allows you to write and customise how each page of your site will potentially look when it comes up as a result in Google.

Another feature we really like is the ability to link a Google Search Console and create an XML Sitemap. This is enhanced further by the ability to edit .htaccess and robots.txt from within the plugin.

Overall Yoast is a solid plugin that will help you give users a push in the right direction to getting their website optimised.

Wordfence is a fantastic security plugin that provides overall onsite protection. It combines several great features to keep your site secure include preventing brute force attempts, IP blacklisting, firewall and country blocking.

The plugin is powerful and learns how best to protect your site from the latest threats.

The key features that we love about Wordfence include:

♦ Customisable firewall

♦ IP spam detection

♦ Force secure passwords for users

♦ Admin login activity

♦ Black list IP addresses

♦ Scans site for malware

♦ Country block

♦ Brute force prevention

At Yellow Moose, with each and every site that we build, security is paramount, and we use only the best security software to prevent our clients’ data from being breached. To achieve this, Wordfence is our WordPress plugin of choice.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize is a fast and easy to use optimisation plugin for WordPress. The main feature of Autoptimize is the optimisation of HTML, CSS and Javascript code which allows the site to load faster.

It has an excellent caching system, which helps increase the site speed.

Here is an example of the page load details from tools.pingdom.com:

As you can see from the results, the performance grade of the website has increased from 73, up to 88. The page is also loading more than half a second faster. The number of requests made to the page is down by almost 30% as well.

The results speak for themselves, and these results will have a big impact on a website’s overall performance, which in turn play a part in improving the site’s Google ranking.

Where would we be without this? The first plugin that we usually install on any new build website is Duplicate Post. The simplicity to duplicate pages, and save a new copy of the page as a draft makes creating engaging visual content for pages easy.

There are no fancy options, but you can customise what content is copied across, and add a prefix or suffix to the page title. There is also an option to exclude certain taxonomies when copying.

It does exactly what the title may suggest – duplicates pages, posts, templates and even other plugin generated content, such as pop-up forms, team pages and more. These can all be controlled through the settings panel.

At Yellow Moose, we love plugins that just do what they state they can. No hassle, single-click page and post duplication is essential for our projects. Duplicate Post gives us all that we need.

Something so simple - yet so effective!

According to WordPress.org over 900,000 users (as of August 2018) have installed WP Mail SMTP to help them deliver emails.

With WordPress using PHP to deliver mail, often the mail can end up in the recipient’s junk or spam folder instead of their inbox. This means that your communications are not going to be picked up and the website visitor could be missing crucial information.

WP Mail SMTP takes the stress out of this by using authentication to validate a real email address and dramatically improve successful delivery.

It’s easy to set-up, and very simply – it just works.

Summary

With an overwhelming amount of plugins available, finding the right one to do the job you need it to do can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Let us know what plugins make your list in 2018 by leaving a comment below.