Essential Must Have WordPress Plugins of 2016 for Beginners
Are you looking for most important WordPress plugins of 2016? Do you want to see essential WordPress plugins of 2016? If so, then you are at the right place.
Recently, I was checking installed plugins list on my blog. And I was found some usefulness plugins that were not necessary at all and decreased my blog speed.
So I thought I have to share must have wordpress plugins for bloggers, e-commerce website owners, and with my loyal blog readers.
In this article, You are going to see highly recommended WordPress plugins that are useful & important for your blog.
With some plugins, you will get useful guides as text or video that will help you.
Let’s see the list.
#1: Google XML Sitemaps
With one million installation and 4.9 stars out of 5, Google XML sitemap plugin is from one of the most popular WordPress plugins list.
A sitemap is a necessary thing to do while you want to optimize your website for search engine.
This lite weight plugin allows you to make a sitemap for your site that acceptable by major search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Sitemap helps to determine site structure for crawlers So site indexing becomes easier for the search engine.
Some stunning features of plugin:
How frequently your post will be indexed is set by post priority, and you can set it with the range of zero to one. Plus, you can also use some comment to give appropriate priorities to pages.
If you don’t want to include categories, archive, tags and author pages in the sitemap, then this features help you. You only have to select appropriate tick mark for right option.
Note: Don’t forget to tickmark “Last modified date” because it will notify google, bing and yahoo search engines about updated content.
Google crawlers check your home pages, categories, post pages, static pages to know its updates, if you want to change the frequency of post pages to hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly then this feature helps you.
Want to know the best feature?
Whenever you publish any new content on your website this sitemap automatically notifies search engines about new content. So don’t have to worry about manual indexing of page/post.
#2: Limit Login Attempts
One common way hackers and haters are trying to enter into our WordPress dashboard is admin login page. Normally, we have admin login page URL is www.domainname.com/wp-admin and hackers know that URL, and it could hack your website using brute force attack.
What is brute force attack?
According to Wikipedia
Brute force attacks work by calculating every possible combination that could make up a password and test it to see if it is the correct password. As the password’s length increases, the amount of time, on average, to find the correct password increases exponentially. This means short passwords can usually be discovered quite quickly, but longer passwords may take decades.
You might be wondering what is the best way to prevent this attack?
Let me introduce Limit login attempts plugin.
Limit login attempts plugin's limit rate feature will block an IP address temporarily when hackers try to gain access to the website. It is catching dirty bots by captcha verification.
Hence, when anyone tries to login in your wp dashboard it has few login attempts and if it will fail login at that attempts it will be blocked temporarily for that IP address.
Here’s the video that might help you to know more about plugin
#3: Pretty link lite: A best affiliate clocker plugin
Affiliate marketing is one of the best income sources for many people. When you sign up any affiliate program, you will have unique affiliate URL, and if anyone buys a product from that URL, you will get a handsome commission.
But if you see URL it looks like ugly and very long to remember. Also, search engines don’t like this ugly URLs so you should make short URL with branded slug which is easily recognized.
Pretty link lite plugin done your task, and it will make clean and simple URL redirect to any other URL (301 and 307 redirection).
- Track the number of hits
- Track number of unique hits per link
- View clicks details like IP address, browser, operating system
- Organize links into groups
- Download Hits details in CSV format
#4: SEO Friendly Images
If you know about on page optimization, then image optimization is must. SEO friendly images plugin allows you facility to add ALT and Title tags as per options you set.
Google does not know about images, but it will check alt tag to take appropriate action. So if your images do not have ALT and Title tags, then SEO friendly images plugin will add automatically to them.
Seo friendly images plugin is one of the essential plugin from important wordpress plugins list that you can't forget to install on your blog.
#5: Shortcode Ultimate: Supercharge your wordpress theme
Shortcode ultimate plugin is the collection of the mega pack of shortcodes which allows you to make your wordpress website more attractive and nice looking. It looks like the premium plugin, but you will get absolutely free.
With this plugin, you can easily add different headings, Divider, Pull quote, List, List expand, Tabs, Buttons, Drop cabs, Google map, Youtube videos, Labels, Animations, QR codes, and Highlight notes shortcodes whenever you want at one click.
Want to know the best part?
It is light weight plugin which would not impact on your page load speed. Even you can order extra shortcodes and skins in few bucks.
- 50+ shortcodes
- Modern design
- Fully responsive with all devices
- CSS3- powered
- Works with any theme
#6: W3 cache plugin: Best WordPress Cache plugin of 2016
Do you know Google consider page speed as a ranking factor? That means if your website takes more time to open any page then your site will ultimately go down in google’s eye.
So you should focus on improving website loading speed. Let me share best wordpress cache plugins with you.
With 1 million installations, W3 total cache plugin is the perfect solution for your website. It improves your page speed score So your page will load fast, and the visitor gets better user experience.
This plugin is recommended by top companies like Synthesis, media temple, Dream host, Godaddy, Hostgator and much more. It improves user experience by reducing download times, increasing server performance and providing content delivery network (CDN) integration.
What are the benefits you will get with W3 total cache plugin?
You will get at least 10x improvement in site performance, reduced page load time so a visitor will spend more time on site and site’s rank will be improved.
- Compatible with VPS Servers, Shared Hosting, and Dedicated Servers
- Transparent and amazing content delivery network (CDN) management with media libraries, theme files and WordPress itself.
- Mobile responsive caching of pages.
#7: Wp super cache
Wp super cache works similar to W3 total cache, but It’s popular for its simplicity. Thus if you don’t want to get your hand in configuration part, then this plugin works for you very well.
It creates static HTML files, and when any visitor is requested from your blog, static page will be served instead of calling of all Php scripts. Thus it will reduce server response time and improve the user experience.
I would say if you are using shared hosting then this plugin must have to optimize your website.
#8: Wordfence security
As you know, every website needs a safety from unwanted attacks. And you should install at least one security plugin on your site.
With 1+ million installations, Wordfence security became most advanced & best WordPress security plugin of 2016. It’s open source and 100% free, with the free version you will get its web application firewall that stops your website from getting hacked.
It shows you real-time traffic visibility and login attempts on your site. Threat defense does automatically update firewall rules that protect from latest threat attacks.
It will block common fake Google bots, malicious attacks from hackers and botnets. One feature I like a most is two-step login verification via password and cell phone. That means you will have to enter your username, password then one-time password generated by wordfence security.
- Real-time blocking of IPs
- Two-factor authentication
- Scans core files of wordpress like themes, plugins to ensure from malicious codes
- Real-time monitoring of traffic, logins, etc.
- Ip v6 compatible
#9: Wp smush
“Image is worth more than thousand words.”
When you write any content on your website, it doesn’t look attractive and fabulous without using images. However, images are increasing load time and at the end, you will have low page speed score.
To give the perfect solution for using images, let me introduce you one of the top image optimization plugin WP Smush.it
When you want to use bulk images into your post, then it’s a good idea to use optimized images. Here, I’m talking about image optimization as reducing its size & without compromising its quality.
One online tool gives you a facility to optimize images of less than five MB, but it’s time-consuming process.
Wp smush plugin will resize and optimize your images while you are uploading images to the media library of wordpress. It also cuts down unnecessary data and scales it as given width and height before adding it to the media library.
- Optimize & Reduce image size using advanced compression techniques
- Scale images as per settled width and height
- Automatically image optimization
- Process JPEG, PNG and GIF image files
Hence, if you are looking for best image optimizer plugin then WP Smush.it must have for you.
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#10: Table Press
People are more likely to buy a product after comparing with its similar types of goods. We use tables to create comparison chart between different products.
Table press plugin is the ultimate solution for creating simple & nice looking tables for your website. Especially, if you don’t want to write codes for inserting tables then this plugin best for you.
You can embed any table at any post and pages with use of the unique short code. It’s lightweight plugin, and you can import and export from/to CSV, XLS, and XLSX files.
#11: Optinmonster- Best wordpress mailing list plugin of 2016
Optin Monster is just another email capturing plugin in the market which is made by the founder of wpbegineer.com syed balkhi and his team.
It comes with form builder by using it you would create nice looking opt-in forms that are proven to convert.
You only need to make powerful opt-in-form for capturing emails.
Some nice features:
- Eight different types of opt-in forms
- High responsive and converting template library
- Powerfull page level targeting for growing email list
- Google Analytics integration
- Powerful A/B testing and Mobile friendly
#12: Sumo Me
Do you want to grow your email list fast? Are you looking for the free plugin that grows your email list quickly?
If so, Sumo Me is the best list builder plugin which is used by most of the affiliate marketers for their list building purposes.
It’s available in free as well as premium version with advanced features. But its free version also helps you to capture emails from various types of opt-in forms.
- Free and easy integration with any theme
- Simple email integration with Mail chimp, Aweber, Infusion soft, Hub spot, Get response, etc.
- 100% mobile optimized
- Easy share buttons
- View email subscription stats
- List Builder, Welcome mat, and Heat maps
- Scroll box, smart bar, and highlighter
#13: Contact form 7: Best Forms Plugin for WordPress
One of the most popular wordpress plugins contact form 7 is simple but flexible plugin allows you to manage your contact form and mail contents. It supports large varieties of documents and easy to operate and built contact form.
It’s also available in premium version so you won’t get advanced features with the free version.
Are you get bored by getting 404 errors? Do you want to do 301 redirect?
Then Redirection plugin is a must for your website.
Redirection plugin manages 301 redirections and solves issues of 404 errors. So if you want to redirect any old website pages to a new website, then this plugin helps you a lot.
It’s is a lightweight plugin and comes with 301, 302 and 307 redirections for wordpress posts. It automatically does 301 redirections when any post’s URL changes.
#15: Wp optimize
Do you optimize your wordpress database regularly? If answer is no, then you should do that.
Wp optimize plugin is database cleanup and optimization tool, and It doesn’t require Phpmyadmin to clean up unnecessary database tables.
Some wordpress features like Post revisions, and auto drafts must be cleaned once in a while for keeping database size small.
You can enable/disable comments and trackbacks for all published posts, remove post revisions and spam comments, remove pingbacks and Akismet post metadata, eliminate transient options, clean up auto draft post and post trash, and optimize database tables.
So if you want to remove unnecessary fluffs from your blog database, then you can go with the wp-optimize plugin.
#16: Add to any share buttons
Social media is the most powerful weapon to drive lots of traffic to your blog. And you could get more sales if you use that traffic correctly. You might not have default social media sharing buttons in your themes.
So if you are looking for best social sharing wordpress plugin, then your searching ends here.
Add to any share buttons plugin is most popular sharing plugin out there. It’s supported facebook, twitter, google plus, Reddit, Pinterest and more than 100 social media platforms.
You will get floating, counter, vectors and universal styles with this plugin. Plus, you will get the custom placement of buttons option which is going to be beneficial for A/B testing.
You can integrate Google Analytics with a plugin to keep an eye on clicks so you can identify best social media platform for more targets.
#17: Ultimate Deux- Best social share plugin for wordpress
If you want more options to place social share buttons then Ultimate Deux best for you.
It is a premium plugin which has light weight and looks sexy and beautiful for modern websites. One thing like about this plugin is that it were very cheap and sold at code canyon market place.
It’s responsive buttons which are mobile friendly and let you show blog’s social media profiles.
It also has different five placement options where you can use social media buttons quickly.
I would say if you are serious about social media traffic then Ultimate Deux must have for your blog.
#18: Google analytics by Monster Insights
Google Analytics is superb service provided by Google free of cost to track your website traffic. But if you want to use, you will require adding a unique tracking code on your site.
Google analytics by Monster Insights allows you to track your blog easily.
A simple installation needs to be done with google analytics API of the blog which you want to track.
Here I’m sharing with you a useful resource that will help you to integrate Google analytics and webmaster tool on wordpress.
#19: Yoast SEO: Best SEO WordPress Plugin for Beginners
You might have heard a word SEO. Search engine optimization is required task for any blogs while on page SEO, and Off page SEO are the parts of search engine optimization.
Yoast SEO is best SEO plugin for wordpress users that allows you to do better on page SEO for your blog. It shows you snippets preview by that you can see what your page will look like in SERPs.
It also checks whether your page meta description, title, and permalink are focused on keyword or not and gives you improvements tips so you can write Google-friendly content on the blog.
For on-page SEO tasks, you should go with yoast. It has following features
- Write better content with keeping an eye on focus keyword
- By Page analysis, it will be the best possible output of the content that search engine love!
- By using file editor, you can configure robot.txt and .htaacess files
- XML sitemap feature gives sitemap that necessary for SEO
- Social integration
- Import and export facilities and much more
It provides filtering service for comments and contact forms. Comment moderation is not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time, but Akismet plugin gives you a facility to prevent spam comments on the behalf you.
When you see your spam comment section, you will notice that how spammers do comments using bots. And Akismet catches that spam comments and pingback to their algorithms by default throw into spam section.
Akismet comes with wordpress script while you only need to go installed plugin section and active it. Here, I’m sharing with your detailed resource of activation of Akismet API key.
Jetpack is developed by Automattic, which is one of top free wordpress plugins list and used by most of bloggers and website developers. It comes with 27 different modules which could fill all your requirements but from that, most useful modules are listed below.
- Site stats: This is the first requirement for anyone, and this feature shows you how much traffic you are getting. More about it shows you how much traffic are coming from search engine and social media.
- Sharing: A module which can help you to get traffic from social media is sharing. It gives facility to promote content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. Even if you want to create your own social share button, then this feature can be done the task.
- Related Posts: When bounce rate of the website increases, it affects directly on search engine ranking which we don't want. At that time this module works like a charm which shows some number of posts related to category or labels at the end of the post.
- Mobile theme: Yes! This plugin gives facility to an active mobile theme for the website.
- Spelling and grammar: While you are writing the post at that moment you should take care of grammatical mistakes. However, this feature keeps away that errors.
Note: Jetpack gives us most of the facilities but among them, we have required only a few. I have realized that more activated modules of jetpack speed down the website. So you should only use necessary modules of jetpack.
#22: All in one schema.org rich snippets
Schema ratings are going to be the most popular strategy to gain more organic traffic from SRRPs. It shows star ratings in search results, and that improves CTR and ranking of your website.
All in one schema.org rich snippets is an ultimate plugin which lets you put schema rating for blog posts, reviews, events, software, recipes and products.
So whenever you want to use its star ratings you just need to select a proper option and give required information to the plugin. As simple as that.
If you are not getting good organic traffic, then you should try all in one schema.org plugin once.
#23: Author h Review
Author h review is working similar to all in one schema.org plugin, but it works good for products reviewing sites. It shows the visitor to Blue review box at right/left side of the top page and summary box after single post ends.
You can include affiliate link along with star rating in review box that will increase your products sells.
I would recommend you to use author h review plugin for products review based websites.
#24: Wp touch mobile plugin
Nowadays, Google considers mobile friendliness as one of the ranking factors. And if your site is not mobile friendly then you could loose rankings indirectly.
Wp touch is one of the best wordpress mobile plugins that lets you make a mobile friendly website that passes Google mobile-friendly test.
With the free version, you will get only one mobile theme, but if you would love to buy its premium version, then you will get some extra beautiful themes.
#25: All-In-One Wp Migration
All in one wp migration plugin allows you export, import and backup your word press database files, themes files and media files.
This plugin works with any hosting providers like Bluehost, InMotion, Site ground, Wpengine, Godaddy, Dream host and much more that you can check out here.
After exporting your database, media and theme files you can download on your Pc/Laptop in the free version. But, If you want to save in drive, drop box, Amazon S3, Box and One drive then you need to buy its extensions.
It supports import facility, In free version, you can import file up to 512Mb size, but if you have more than 512Mb size, then this guide help you to increase size.
#26: UpDraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
Regular backup of the website must have task that you should do weekly or monthly. There are lots of free backup plugins available in the market but Updraftplus plugin I found best for you.
Updraftplus takes backup into the could Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox. Rack space, Dream objects, FTP, and Email. Moreover, You can restore a backup in a single click.
It also takes backup as per settled schedules. Site Migrator feature helps you to copy files from one place and locate another place.
#27: NextGen Gallery
If you are looking for best wordpress gallery plugin then Nextgen Gallery wordpress plugin is right for you.
More than 1+ millions downloads every year, NextGen becomes advanced wordpress plugin.
This plugin is fully responsive and allows you to make and manage images galleries.
- Image backup, recovery and storage
- Multiple Gallery type
- Thumbnail Gallery
- Slideshow Gallery
- Compact album and List album
Over to you:
Now, you have a complete list of highly recommended & important wordpress plugins which are most popular & essential for any blog.
You only need to make must have wordpress plugins list according to your requirements of the blog from above list.
Which plugins you are using for your blog? And How our essential wordpress plugins list help you?
Let me know via comments and if you feel this article help others then don't forget to share on social media and with friends.