Top WordPress Plugins for 2019
WordPress plugins are now an essential part of most personal and business websites. WordPress plugins help to extend the technical and visual abilities of your website and website platform.
Currently, there are 1000’s of different WordPress plugins to choose from within many different categories, it can be a daunting prospect to know which plugin is going to help.
I’m going to tell you which plugins I currently use with WordPress for Web Design. My list is personal and not definitive of course. As always if you’re based in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset please get in touch for help.
Here are my 5 Top WordPress Plugins for 2019
1. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
It’s essential to have an SEO plugin for your WordPress website and Yoast has been one of the best for a long time. SEO plugins help to improve your search position and rankings within Google and other search engines. See my other post Local SEO Checklist & Get Better Rankings for more about SEO.
Yoast SEO provides lots of useful features like being able to format your page titles, add page descriptions, add breadcrumbs, edit sitemaps and WordPress admin files along with social media options. There’s tons of other features and too many to list in a short review.
I’ve tried most SEO plugins and have always found that Yoast SEO just works every time, without a fuss. There are free and premium versions available (I use the free version).
Yoast SEO also has lots of tutorial videos on how best to configure the plugin. It’s fairly straightforward to understand once you invest some time to learn the basics.
As mentioned there are some other notable SEO plugins like All In One SEO Pack and SEO Framework, however, I think Yoast SEO does a great job. I currently use Yoast SEO for all of my WordPress websites.
The benefits from this minification are great as the process reduces the size of the code on each page, which means your page will load faster which improves your customer experience along with keeping search engines happy with better-optimised code and website pages.
Autoptimize also has a couple of other useful features such as being able to disable the built-in WordPress emojis and removing any unwanted line breaks in code. Once installed and set up you can test results and improvements via websites like Pingdom or GTmetrix to see performance results.
This is usually the 1st plugin I install when setting up a new website. I don’t think you need to look any further for a minification plugin and best of all it’s free.
Image optimisation is a key part of your website. Having optimised images helps speed up your website and improves load time for visitors and keep Google happy.
ShortPixel does a great job of optimising image and removing any unwanted data from the files. It’s a cloud-based service, so basically you upload your images to WordPress, ShortPixel optimise the images based on your chosen settings and then delivers the image back to your WordPress media library – simple.
There are a host of settings you can opt for and all formats are covered, including PDF’s which is useful. Having a play around with the different conversion settings is best practice, especially if your website is photography based as you’ll want to inspect for any loss of quality. In general, the conversions are great.
ShortPixel is free for 100 images per month, however, they offer a range of packages to suit all. In reality, you’re probably going to need one of the packages as 100 images per month is not much when you consider thumbnails and image size variations. You can opt for a one-off package or monthly package. Great value in my opinion.
Having been a Photographer for many years and having a great understanding of images, I can highly recommend this plugin as it’s easy to use and does a great job.
4. WP Super Cache
Ok, so I don’t use this plugin anymore as my hosting company, implement caching at server level, however, WP Super Cache is one of the best caching plugins available for WordPress.
Caching plugins create a static HTML file of your web page and allow WordPress to serve a page from this cache. This reduces the server load drastically & allows your pages to be served within a few seconds. Again this improves customer experience and keeps search engines happy.
There are many caching plugins available and WP Super Cache is one of the best.
Elementor is more of a web design tool but comes as a plugin for WordPress. I have been using Elementor for my web design for around a year now.
It’s a drag and drop page building tool which gives you much more freedom with design and layouts compared to standard purchased themes. Check out Elementor’s Hello theme for a complete package.
There are loads of templates, blocks and modules you can use on your design/website, or you can create your own. The standard version is free, however, the Pro version is around $50 for a year. The Pro version offers additional modules and features and is well worth the price.