In 2020, a mind-boggling 1.74 billion websites are live on the internet.
Even though only a tiny fraction of them will be in your niche, there are still enough of them for your site to easily get drowned in the crowd. To stand out, you have to stay on top of your website game.
At the very least, you’ll need to present your visitor with a sleek, engaging business website.
If your website runs on WordPress, as 35% of the entire internet does, plugins are an invaluable asset. They can streamline processes, provide additional services, and take your website to a professional level.
Here are the five most useful plugins that should be an integral part of any website.
1 - MonsterInsights
This Google Analytics plugin for WordPress beats its competitors hands-down. With over 2 million installations, it’s among the most popular analytics plugins out there.
Using MonsterInsights, you can hook up your website to Google Analytics and get in-depth, actionable insights on how many people find your site, and how they engage with it.
In turn, this will allow you to optimize and streamline your site, which will increase traffic, conversions, and visibility.
While there is a free version of the plugin, it lacks the advanced features which are its most significant advantage. MonsterInsight’s full functionality only becomes available by upgrading to premium.
2 - Yoast SEO
If you’ve done any research at all before launching your WordPress site, you’ll be aware of the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There is no simpler or more effective way than using Yoast SEO to get started on this crucial aspect of running a website.
One of the most popular WP plugins ever, Yoast is a comprehensive solution for boosting your on-page SEO.
You can add meta tags, optimize for social media, adjust keyphrases and keywords, gain insights into readability, generate sitemaps, create redirects to avoid broken links, and connect your site to Google Search Console.
As with other plugins on this list, there is a free version with limited functionality.
3 - WPForms
Whether your website visitors want to contact you, order one of your products, or join the ever-growing audience of your newsletter, you’ll need a form for them to use.
WPForms is the most widely used, easy-to-handle, and efficient plugin to create forms for WordPress sites, with over 3 million installations and a 4.9/5 star rating. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop builder to create forms in minutes.
For those looking for simple solutions, a free version - WPForms Lite - is available.
4 - CSS Hero
The visual appearance of your website is crucial. No matter how amazing your copy is, visitors won’t be impressed if the site’s design is unappealing, or the color scheme makes the text hard to read.
Themes and templates can provide stunning designs - and with CSS Hero you can customize these designs to suit your own needs in a matter of minutes.
Generally, WordPress themes rely on CSS, a design and styling language. CSS Hero lets you customize any available WP theme without writing a single line of code (phew!).
Not only can you adjust fonts, colors, and spacing, CSS Hero also offers an integration with Unsplash, a site that sources royalty-free images.
Unlike other plugins on this list, CSS Hero doesn’t offer a free version. Their starter plan comes at a one-time fee of 29$. If you want updates, you will have to renew the license after one year.
5 - WP Rocket
Finally, WP Rocket is a straightforward and beginner-friendly caching plugin to boost your website’s speed and performance.
Most of the plugin is automated. That means that no technical skills are required to get the basics right. For instance, it will enable WordPress-recommended cache settings such as cache pre-loading and gzip compression.
Optional features include CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, lazy loading images, and minification.
WP Rocket also integrates Imagify, a free optimization tool for images.
In addition, WP Rocket automatically crawls, building your website cache, without waiting for someone to request it first.
Altogether, this will instantly improve your website’s loading speed and overall performance - also with a view to technical SEO.
The only downside? Like CSS Hero, WP Rocket only offers paid versions. Annual plans start at $49.
The world of website design is fast-paced and ever-evolving. Cutting-edge designs and settings can quickly appear antiquated in the light of emerging new themes that are taking over, or recently-launched, innovative plugins.
The plugins listed above can be invaluable assets and a solid basis on which to build a high-performing website, and stand out from the crowd.