If you have a WordPress site, you know that was developed with a central theme, but the reality is that we add the essential functionalities from the plugins that we installed on our website. Plugins are crucial to any site as you need to be smart when you’re picking the perfect one to add to your company’s website. This is why at Lifedge we decided to give you our secret recommendation of plugins to install that should be on every WordPress website.
At Lifedge, we strive for our websites to be different than the competition, and we know that after installing these plugins your website will be faster, more secure and will increase visibility what makes a win-win situation for your site.
We also recommend to our clients to enroll in our monthly Maintenance Plan, so we can keep the plugins updated!
These are the five best plugins we recommend
1- Image Compression Plugin
Our Recommendation: Imagify
2- Anti-spam/Security Plugin
Our Recommendation: Akismet
3- Caching Plugin
Our Recommendation: WP-Rocket
4- Search Engine Optimization Plugin
Our Recommendation: Yoast SEO
5- Form Plugin
Our Recommendation: Gravity Forms
Our Recommendation: Duplicate-Post
Image Compression Plugin: Imagify
In the new digital era were images can account for up to 50% of your loading time, you need to get ahead of your competition by compressing the images and quickly gain precious seconds. We have to be honest, there are many image optimization plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer or WP-Smush that compressed images, but the reality is that after using them all, we like better Imagify.
Imagify best feature is the reality that there is no need to sacrifice quality to get a lighter size to gain in speed, user experience, and even SEO. We experienced this on our site, our main image on the homepage it is compressed with this plugin from 323kb to 185kb, more than 40% saving!
Here are the details of the image we are talking about:
Other features of this plugin:
Optimize your JPGs, PNGs & GIFs
We compress the most common image formats. For free accounts the max upload size of any one image is 2MB. There is no max upload size limit for paid accounts.
Resize your images on the fly
Resize your images in our online app or from your CMS to integrate them at their ideal size. You can specify a height, a width to respect, or a percentage.
Don’t get lost in dozens of settings
Ease of use is essential to us: our services are simple, and Imagify is no exception. Do not waste your time resizing and optimizing your images in Photoshop. We have three options for compression Normal, Aggressive & Ultra.
Anti-spam/Security Plugin: Akismet Anti-Spam
Spam is real. Spam attacks us every day if you have a WordPress site. It doesn’t matter if it is from comments or form entries, spam is everywhere. Well, you can get rid of this problem installing the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin.
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
Significant features in Akismet include:
- Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
- Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
- Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
- A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
The only “disadvantage” that we can call on this plugin is that you need an Akismet API key to use it. The reality of this is not complicated to get, but it just makes the process goes a little bit slower. Hey, but whatever it takes so we can have a secure and less spam website!
Caching Plugin: WP-Rocket
Caching plugins have been a boom in the last years because they speed up your website, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a faster site. When it comes to page speed and loading times, an improvement of just a single second can have enormous implications for your bottom line. For example, back in 2012, Amazon estimated that if their website loaded just one second slower, it would cost them $1.6 billion in sales; and this number has undoubtedly only increased since then.
WP Rocket is a caching and performance optimization plugin to improve the loading speed of WordPress websites. You can install and configure WP Rocket in less than 3 minutes.
What makes WP-Rocket better than other caching plugins?
We also have our self-hosted crawler bot that will visit your site and generate cached the files so that when human visitors come to your site, they immediately get the fast, cached version of the page. We also have a sitemap preload feature.
Search Engine Optimization Plugin: Yoast SEO
Is there even a question that you need to optimize your site for Search Engine Optimization and there is no better plugin to do that than Yoast SEO.
Yoast SEO started as a plugin but quickly now became a university to learn more and more about SEO. The number of excellent courses, recommendations, and documentation makes this plugin a must own.
Taking care of your WordPress SEO
- The most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
- Full control over site breadcrumbs: add a piece of code, and you’re good to go.
- Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. Never have to worry about Google penalties again.
- Title and meta description are templating for better branding and consistent snippets in the search results.
- Content & SEO analysis: Invaluable tools to write SEO-friendly texts.
- The snippet preview shows you how your post or page will look in the search results – even on mobile.
- Yoast SEO tunes the engine of your site so you can work on creating great content.
- Our cornerstone content and internal linking features help you optimize your site structure in a breeze.
- Integrates with Google Search Console: See how your site performs in the search engines and fix crawl errors.
- Manage SEO roles: Give your colleagues access to specific sections of the Yoast SEO plugin.
- Bulk editor: Make large-scale edits to your site.
Form Plugin: Gravity Forms
So many times our theme comes with a form already embedded, but we have to say, as far as right now, we haven’t found a better form plugin than Gravity Forms. They still need to work on graphic design and how the plugin looks, but concerning functionality, there is nothing better.
For us what makes the difference is the feature: Conditional Logic
Conditional Logic allows you to configure your form to show or hide fields, sections, pages or even the submit button based on user selections. This allows you to easily control what information your user is asked to provide on your WordPress powered site and tailor the form specifically to their needs.
Packed with tons of time-saving features Gravity Forms is the only WordPress form tool you will ever need.
Quickly build and design your WordPress forms using the intuitive visual form editor. Select your fields, configure your options, and easily embed forms on your WordPress powered site using the built-in tools.
Gravity Forms allows you to quickly and easily integrate with a variety of third-party services such as PayPal and provides for even deeper integration with WordPress through our collection of optional Add-Ons. Hot stuff!
Bonus: Duplicate Post
This is a bonus, just because it has been installed on all of our sites, and usually doesn’t get a lot of attraction, but this is a powerful tool that makes a straightforward thing: allows users to clone posts of any type, or copy them to new drafts for further editing.
How it works:
- In ‘Edit Posts’/’Edit Pages,’ you can click on ‘Clone’ link below the post/page title: this will immediately create a copy and return to the list.
- In ‘Edit Posts’/’Edit Pages,’ you can select one or more items, then choose ‘Clone’ in the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop-down to copy them all at once.
- In ‘Edit Posts’/’Edit Pages,’ you can click on ‘New Draft’ link below the post/page title.
- On the post edit screen, you can click on ‘Copy to a new draft’ above “Cancel”/”Move to trash” or in the admin bar.
- While viewing a post as a logged in user, you can click on ‘Copy to a new draft’ in the admin bar.
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