In this list I show you the best WordPress plugins according to my criteria as a web development professional after having used them in a multitude of real projects and I also leave the download link so that you can use them in your own project, This is about free plugins. In addition, I offer you specific notions about its features, advantages, usage instructions and approximate setup time.
Many of these plugins are part of the CM WordPress Course where we teach you how to create and design a WordPress website and install and configure plugins, themes, online store, forms, widgets, sliders, blog, buy and configure Your hosting and domain, install WordPress from scratch, specialized SEO positioning techniques for WordPress.
There are countless compilations of WordPress plugins in the network, but many of them do not respond to the personal experience of those who recommend them, but repeat what has already been said in other collections without bringing the actual experience of having implemented them in real projects. So, I’m going to try to make sure that this guide really helps you improve your website:
1. Yoast SEO Amazing plugin for WordPress
Without a doubt, the best plugin I’ve ever tried to manage and optimize SEO positioning. Deep and very complete, it covers almost any issue related to SEO positioning for WordPress, and allows you to integrate in a single application a whole series of functionalities that otherwise you would have to implement installing several plugins separately, which unnecessarily increases the time of Load your site. Yoast is the jewel in the crown of Dutch developer Joost De Valk, and allows, among other things, automatically generate Sitemap files in XML and robots.txt, which will improve our SEO, edit the titles and descriptions of all your pages and entries , Clean duplicate content, deindex pages, set permalinks or permanent links, bread crumb menus, RSS feed, clean the contents of your Head tag to speed up site load, etc.
Apart from this, certainly the best is its system of optimization of entries and pages. By means of a red, amber or green sign, the program gives you suggestions to optimize and polish the published content bit by bit to fit the standard of the best SEO. Choice of keywords for entries, descriptions, preview of the Snippet that will be in Google when a user finds your page, recommendations on slug, keyword density, external links, alt attributes of images, metarobots, and even the possibility of editing The Open Graph attributes (description and default image) for your shared content on Facebook and Google +. As I said, a gem.
2. Google Analytics for WordPress
The best way, or at least the simplest, to have integrated Google’s excellent analytics tool on your website, without having to touch code. You install the plugin, you enter your Analytics ID in the required field and you already have it working. Simpler, impossible. If you are the one who is not afraid to touch the code editor, probably this plugin only comes to unnecessarily load the weight of your site, but beware, we must keep in mind that not everyone has knowledge of code or security for Edit it
3. Jetpack in WordPress has many major functions
I had not used it until recently, but I have to say that the result surprised me pleasantly. Its functionalities are very extensive, so to speak it is a plugin with many plugins inside, it does everything and almost everything does it well. I use it essentially to improve the social options of sharing. It allows to include buttons for a good number of Social Networks, print the page, send the post by email to another user, etc.
Apart from all of the above, it offers us the possibility of receiving notifications of activity in the entries and comments, subscriptions, like buttons, spellchecker, statistics query, a very useful search engine called Omnisearch that tracks the content of our pages and files installed , Forms, custom CSS, conversion to mobile devices, image galleries, shortcodes, authentication of your site with WordPress.com, publishing from email, etc. In short, another must-have.
4. W3 Total Cache most popular WordPress plugin
5. Smush.it reduce the weight of images
Smush it is a very useful application to reduce the weight of all the images of our web page. It is very simple to use, and that is one of its great advantages. Once installed and activated, it automatically processes all images and leaves them optimized for use on your site. In some cases, it achieves a reduction of weight of up to 50%, especially in large images.
We all know that upload speed is a key element that Google takes to score your site for SEO, but in practice the truth is that we do not usually perform the optimized process as we should, that is, editing the images in Photoshop or Any other program and taking away the weight and resolution that we have left over to publish on the web, whether in the rush or not knowing how to use any editing software correctly. With this plugin you can do it automatically and do not worry about this aspect. The result is very good, it does not affect the dimensions of the image or its quality. Another essential.
6. SEO Friendly Images for your wordpress
Like Smush.it, SEO Friendly Images focuses on optimizing the images of our site. If the former was responsible for reducing unnecessary weight, this will serve us something that we often ignore and is key to the SEO: the alt attribute or alternative text of the images in the HTML tag. Through this attribute, we will exponentially increase the possibility of capturing traffic to our site through Google’s image search. Usually, in order to improve our SEO, we focus almost exclusively on the purification and optimization of the texts of our site, obviating that the images are also semantic elements that we must take care of so that our strategy of positioning is effective.
This plugin will automatically complete all the alt and title fields of the site images by taking the post title texts. Although it is advisable to take time to edit them one by one to develop our SEO strategy in a smart way, this plugin is very handy in the case of sites with a huge amount of images.
7. Visual Composer jewel of the crown of Codecanyon
Visual Composer is undoubtedly one of my favorite plugins. The jewel of the crown of Codecanyon, it is one of those plugins that really mark decisively the way of working the user and manage to revolutionize key aspects of using the WordPress tool. Visual Composer is a visual layout plugin for WordPress with which you can layout and design your content quickly and very attractive, without needing to know code and with a really surprising ease and speed, mainly due to the quality of the plugin and the fact Of having behind a whole team of developers that optimize and continuously improve their performance. In fact, one of the criteria I follow when it comes to choosing premium themes for designing my websites is to include Visual Composer inside the template file package.
There are other alternatives to Visual Composer as Page Builder, but I clearly choose Visual Composer because it is really designed to facilitate the user experience, which is what makes the difference in what is referred to as plugins. With Visual Composer you can add all kinds of elements with an intuitive visual editor that allows you to insert text boxes, images, sliders, social buttons, icons, headers, dropdowns, navigation tags, image carousel, portfolios, testimonials , Advanced buttons, graphics, forms, skill bars, calls to action, price charts, parallax images, separators, counters, blanks, etc.
Another of its advantages is in addition the great amount of extensions that has available in the web of Codecanyon and the fact that they really are very affordable. With these extensions you can add all kinds of new elements to do really incredible things with your pages, copy and paste contents, undo, etc.
8. Rotating Tweets dynamically display your latest tweets
With this plugin you can link your Twitter account with your WordPress site to dynamically display your latest tweets, in a very visual and attractive way, so that you will give your website a more social dimension and a look of being very up to date and alive, As well as serving as a channel to generate user traffic to your Twitter account. To configure this tool, it is necessary to go to our Twitter account and create an application within the configuration panel, and then write down the IDs, called Consumer Key and Access Token, which we must enter in the corresponding fields of the plugin. You can also edit the rotation speed and the number of tweets you want to show. Actually the result is very good if we want our page.
9. P3 Performance Profiler useful tool for the Community Manager
Rescued from the previous article where we highlighted it as a useful tool for the Community Manager, this application checks all the installed plugins in your WordPress site and gives you data about its performance, that is, it tells you which are the ones that are slowing down in excess The burden of your web and that, consequently, it would be convenient to uninstall, which is vital for optimization facing the user experience and SEO.
Often and in posts like this we launch to relate the undoubted benefits that we offer many of the plugins available for WordPress, but we do not alert something essential: if we spend overloading the server we can get the opposite effect and be penalized by Google , In addition to making our site a less fluid place for the visitor. So a key recommendation: whenever you can and can do it, it is best to directly include in code what a plugin could do. And, if there is no remedy, try to use plugins that integrate as many functionalities as possible so that with one we do many of the things we would do separately.
10. WPML allows translating pages, menus, templates
The best plugin I have ever tried to translate WordPress web pages to almost any language and also with infinite configuration options that make it a very powerful tool, because it also allows translating pages, menus, templates, etc. It has a very intuitive operation. Once you install it, you will see that in all your content there is an option to add a version of that content in the language you have configured, and also allows you to duplicate the content and later translate it on the replicated structure of the same. In addition, it allows you to configure it to display the page automatically in the browser language.
If this is not enough, the WPML plugin includes an extension called String Translation that is very useful for translating concrete words from a template, that is, all those terms that in WordPress themes come in English, such as “Comments”, “Posted “,” By “, and so on. To do this, simply look for these words through a powerful search engine and then write how each of these words should be translated. A marvel. The only drawback, its high cost, although in my opinion it is worth paying for its ease of use, power and excellent online technical support to solve doubts and incidents.
11. LayerSlider create and design sliders with WordPress
LayerSlider is a payment plugin but it is definitely worth paying if you want to design sliders with WordPress and do it in an advanced way and without limitations as far as creativity. It offers the possibility to make responsive sliders that adapt to all the devices, as well as to include all kinds of contents like images, texts, audios, videos, even posts of your blog.
12. Contact Form 7 for creation and design of contact forms in WordPress
The plugin par excellence for the creation and design of contact forms in WordPress, besides free. The Contact Form 7 plugin, developed by the Japanese engineer Takayuki Miyoshi, is one of the most celebrated and widespread among the community of WordPress users due to its ease of use and at the same time its almost infinite possibilities, especially for all those who Know HTML and CSS, as it offers a very simple interface in which you can include almost any type of form field and also add CSS classes and identifiers to customize them according to the needs of your web project. In addition, it gives you the option of completely designing and personalizing the email message you receive when a user submits the form from the website, making those messages much friendlier, closer and more user-friendly.
Captcha fields, upload attachments (with possibility to restrict weight and types of file formats), date, boxes, drop-downs, etc. can be highlighted. With Contact Form 7 you can also create many different forms and place them anywhere on your WordPress website using a shortcode or through tools such as Visual Composer. A plugin almost essential.
13. Thank Me Later creates fully personalized thank-you messages
This free plugin serves to create predefined and fully personalized thank-you messages that are sent automatically when a user writes a comment on any of your blog entries. Its configuration is very simple, you can leave the message that comes by default or customize it by means of a very simple editor in which you can include images, headers and even HTML code. In addition, you can define a specific thank-you message for each of the entries in your blog separately, making it an excellent option to retain users and invite them to read other content on your site or suggest products, services, etc.
14. Sumo Me strategies of managing of subscribers
Sumo Me is a plugin similar to Mailchimp, focused on the creation, management and development of strategies of managing of subscribers, Email Marketing, etc. With this plugin you will be able to design pop-up subscription forms that will appear on your website after a time that you can define with the tool, as well as the times that pop-up, design, text, etc. will be displayed.
15. Mailchimp for WordPress develop all kinds of Email Marketing strategies
With Mailchimp for WordPress you can develop all kinds of Email Marketing strategies, from designing forms to managing subscriber lists, which you can link with your Mailchimp account to loyalty to your community of followers, through the possibility of designing newsletters and Automate your shipment. An essential plugin for your site