WordPress is an extremely versatile platform and, thanks to the plugins, can offer complex structures and functions ready to build your own website.
List of the best WordPress plugins
One of the things people love most about WordPress is the huge variety of plugins: just think that on the official website www.wordpress.org there are more than 56,000 plugins (all free) and others are collected elsewhere. Just because there are so many, it can be difficult to find the most suitable one. It can be a similar feat to finding a needle in a haystack!
An important clarification: wordpress plugins are the fastest solution to achieve something, but they are not always the best or most functional solution. It’s important to always try to ask yourself if you can do without a particular plugin, if you can avoid using it by inserting two lines of code in the Child Theme, or at least understand what you’re doing by uploading solutions from the WordPress repository or, even worse, from third-party portals.
Moreover, the choice of the best WordPress plugins to indicate in this list is strictly personal and reflects the tastes and needs of the author. These selections are actually widely customizable and vary according to the needs of the projects and features that you want to implement.
THE BEST PLUGINS FOR WORDPRESS SECURITY
If you have chosen a secure WordPress hosting, this should already deal with many important aspects about the security of WordPress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reinforce things even more with some effective security plugins! Sucuri Security is a plugin that provides a comprehensive approach to Worpress security.
In the free version it offers: file integrity monitoring to keep track of any changes; remote malware scanning; constant monitoring of the “black list”; control of security activities; security notifications. With a paid plan you can also add a firewall for your website.
Another effective tool to ensure the security of WordPress is the WP Security Control Register, which helps you to keep track of every single change made to the site by you or other users. By monitoring the various user accounts you can detect any suspicious behavior, intervening before unpleasant consequences occur.
For example, if someone modifies a previously published post, you can see it in the registry, along with other actions taken. With paid add-ons you can even get automatic reports for certain actions, and see what other users are doing in real time.
Google Authenticator is a security plugin that helps you block the login page using two-factor authentication. Do you ever understand that you have to enter a code that was sent to you in a text message to access your bank? It’s a bit like that, but for WordPress! Only, instead of receiving a code by text, you will use the free Google Authenticator app.
If you’re worried that some people might get their hands on the credentials of your personal account or that of your users, using this plugin is a great way to prevent this from happening.
WPS Hide Login also helps you to further strengthen your access security by moving your site’s login page to a different URL (which you can choose yourself). For example, you could go to sitoweb.it/page-di-login.
This plugin is very easy to set up, and also has the (secondary) advantage of eliminating a lot of bot traffic that is stressing the server and could affect your login page.
The best plugins for WordPress performance
Like security, performance also plays a very important role in WordPress. To further improve the performance of your WordPress site, you can use the right mix of performance plugins.
WP Rocket is a performance plugin that provides a wide variety of changes to speed up your WordPress site. In addition to caching pages, WP Rocket optimizes the database, adds slower loading for videos and images, and makes many minor adjustments (such as disabling emoji or removing query strings).
With Perfamatters you can make small improvements to your site’s performance, further reducing HTTP requests and page size. Using this plugin you can easily disable dashicons, emoji, etc. and publish revisions.
The plugin also allows you to enable/disable scripts on a per-page/post basis. While the Contact Form 7 plugin is suitable for uploading to every single page of the site, with Perfmatters the uploading is done only on your contact page.
Query Monitor is designed for developers, so beginners may have difficulty using this plugin to monitor queries within the site.
However, if you have some technical knowledge to make the best use of it, Query Monitor allows you to see: all database queries made on the current request, duplicate queries, slow questions and those with errors. You can also filter queries by type, component and call function.
THE BEST WORDPRESS SOCIAL MEDIA PLUGINS
You can use social media in two ways: by increasing the visibility of your site on social media through more shares/like, or by displaying social content on your site. Social media plugins allow you to do both. Social Warfare allows you to add sharing buttons to your WordPress site.
Your visitors can click the button to quickly share your content on social media.
You can also show share counts on your site to add “social evidence”. The free version is good for basic sharing buttons, but the Pro version adds other useful features, such as: Pinterest specific sharing images, customization options, click-to-tweet.
If you have moved your site to HTTPS or changed domain names this plugin can also help you recover lost share counts.
The simple social share buttons (Easy Social Share Buttons) is a social media plugin with a very long list of features.
In addition to adding elegant sharing buttons and sharing counts in a variety of styles, these buttons can also help you: to customize the content that is shared, to display a message after a user has shared your content, to show the follower count, and even add an inbox and use live chat via Facebook Messenger or Skype.
Instagram Feed helps you to view Instagram photos from any non-private Instagram account on your site. You can use it to view your Instagram feed or you can edit a feed from other people’s content.
You can even do both because this plugin allows you to view multiple different feeds. If you want Instagram content to be part of your site, this is a great plugin to use: the over 1750 reviews with five-star rating are a good proof!
The best plugins for WordPress contact forms
Regardless of the type of site you are building, you will probably need at least one basic contact model. Module plugins are more useful than simple contact forms, as they also help you register users, accept payments and perform other important tasks.
In addition to the much-lauded Contact Form 7 we can cite:
Gravity Forms is one of the most popular module plugins, especially among developers.
It offers deep functionality and customization, here are some of the functions it can perform: conditional logic multi-page modules; surveys; file uploads; payments; user registration. This is a plugin available only for a fee.
Ninja Forms is a free core plugin that can be integrated with other paid elements. If you just need to create basic modules the free version is very powerful and easy to use.
With add-ons (fee-based) you can add features such as: conditional logic and multi-page modules; front-end publishing; email marketing integrations; payments; and more.