We all know that WordPress is a great platform for most websites. It provides the ability to build out a completely custom site without any knowledge of coding. Plus, there are thousands of plugins out there to help you make the most out of your online experience. But how do you know which ones to choose and which ones to skip?
Thankfully, we’ve put together this great list of plugins to help improve your search engine ranking and protect your website from hackers. Take a look to see which ones can help improve your website today.
W3 Total Cache
The first must-have WordPress plugin on our list is W3 Total Cache. Having a site that loads quickly — especially on mobile devices — is crucial to a positive search engine ranking and a better overall visitor experience. It works so well that it is trusted by big brands like AT&T, Mashable, and thousands of other companies.
How does it work? Every time a visitor comes to your website, their browser automatically downloads the images and text for faster loading as they flip through various pages. The catch is that the data is often only stored for a limited time in the browser. W3 Total Cache extends this timeframe, making the site load faster the next few times they stop by the website. It does take a bit of finesse to install, but here is a great tutorial to get you started.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
If you post photos to your website via a blog section or a project album, you want to install Smush Image Compression. This handy WordPress plugin takes the photos you upload and minimizes them from 10 to 20 percent to help your site load faster. The best part about this is that you won’t lose image quality and the plugin does it automatically. This means you don’t have to dive into Photoshop to slightly minimize large JPEG or PNG files.
Are you looking for a way to dramatically improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results? Yoast SEO is the gold standard plugin to have installed in WordPress. Both the free and premium options give you hints and tips on what to add to your pages and posts to help maximize your search engine ranking. Not only is it incredibly easy to use, it automatically tells you if you’ve missed a title tag or target keyword. Find out more about Yoast SEO via their official website here.
Sucuri WordPress Plugin
In today’s world, website owners have to be consistently ready for malware attacks and possible hacking incidents. Sucuri WordPress Plugin helps by scanning the backend of your website for malware, security flaws, and other areas of concern. While it can’t outright stop these issues from happening, it can help minimize the possibility by bringing potential weak points to your attention. Learn more at the Sucuri website.
AMP for WordPress
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for WordPress is all about making your website load faster on mobile devices. Not only does it play well with the other plugins mentioned here, but it is also designed specifically to meet Google recommendations from the Google AMP Project. This particular search engine giant rewards sites who follow these guidelines with a higher-ranking position.
All-in-One Schema Rich Snippets
If you’ve ever wondered how people apply rich snippets such as prices and ratings to their search engine listings, the answer is that they likely use a special plugin. All-in-One Schema Rich Snippets provides the option to tell Google, Bing, and other search engines various schema data elements. These vary from those related to reviews, events, products, recipes, articles, and more. Plus, it is completely free. What’s not to love about that?
Really Simple SSL
Site security is very important. If you don’t already have an SSL for your website, you’re likely to be downgraded by Google. But if you have one and have not configured certain characteristics in the backend of your WordPress dashboard, then it is almost like not having an SSL at all. Really Simple SSL takes the guesswork out of the process by auto-configuring these options on your behalf. Find out more about what it does here.
While WordPress on its own is awesome, it gets that much better with these handy plugins. Of course, you don’t have to tackle the process of setting up your website alone. Our Zero Gravity Marketing team is here to help with all of your Search Engine Optimization needs — including choosing the right plugins. Please contact us today to learn more!