Recommended plugins for every site
There are a few plugins, or rather types of plugins, that all WordPress sites should be using. Below we'll talk about what each of them are, why you need them, and the specific plugins we recommend!
Important note: Only one plugin should be installed per "category." I.e. do not install two security plugins or two SEO plugins. Two plugins trying to perform similar functions can cause plugin conflicts on your site.
It is essential to regularly backup your website. If anything goes wrong on your site, having a backup will make a world of difference. For example, if a faulty plugin breaks your site or your site gets hacked – you can restore it in minutes with a backup.
Some hosts (like our favorite host, SiteGround!) offer free backups, so check with your host first to see if that's something included with your hosting plan.
If not, there are lots of great free backup plugins available that work well. We've had great experiences with Updraft Plus and BackWPUp. There are also paid options available, like VaultPress.
Unfortunately, WordPress hacking is extremely common. There are many methods you can use protect your site, but one of the easiest and foolproof ways is to install a security plugin.
We recommend All in One WP Security and WordFence.
If you are hosted with SiteGround, we recommend SiteGround Security.
Tip: never underestimate the power of a strong password when it comes to site security. Strong strong strong is key! We like LastPass for generating strong passwords. Select 18 or more characters.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization (i.e. how well your site ranks in Google search). SEO has many different components, ranging from keywords to meta descriptions. Good SEO = more traffic to your website.
Yoast SEO is hands-down the best SEO plugin available. It has comprehensive features while still being simple to set up and manage.
The purpose of a caching plugin is to speed up your website by caching or "saving" parts of your website. This allows pages to load more quickly.
There are lots of caching plugins available and we've used many. Our consistent favorites are WP Fastest Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Rocket (premium).
If you are hosted with SiteGround, you do not need to install a caching plugin. SiteGround has a fantastic plugin called SG Optimizer that is installed on all sites hosted with SiteGround!