5 Free WordPress Plugins You Should Be Using
One of the great things about WordPress is the fact that it has a lot of wonderful plugins available for free. These are plugins you should put onto your site right at the outset, because put simply, they give you some major benefits. I wanted to take a moment to go over some of these plugins with you and why each one of them is so good.
Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin
First, you’re going to want to install Google Analytics Dashboard plugin. For those of you who don’t know, Google Analytics is THE #1 plugin for analyzing your traffic and giving you a whole bunch of very important data. This plugin will tell you several of important things, such as how many page views your site’s getting, how many unique visitors you’re getting, how long people are remaining on your site, what your bounce rate is (the number of people who quickly leave your site before it gets a chance to load), and what countries your visitors are coming from. These are all very important stats for marketing. You can check these stats either in your WP admin panel or in your Google Analytics account as well.
Another fantastic plugin is WordPress SEO by Yoast. While it doesn’t help with off-page optimization, it makes on-page optimization an absolute breeze. Anytime you create a new post or page, you’ll see it right at the bottom, where you can quickly type in all the most important elements for on-page SEO. For example, you can type in the title for your post, the description, and the keywords. This, all in all, will make it FAR easier for Google to be able to properly display your sites in the right places in the search engines, meaning their algorithm will be far more likely to give you preferential treatment, which means better rankings and more free traffic for you.
WordPress Zero Spam
WordPress Zero Spam is a plugin which you can install on your blog to get fewer spammy comments instantly. It’s awesome because it requires literally NO configuration whatsoever… you just install it, and you’re good to go. It doesn’t require your users to fill out any annoying extra fields, such as CAPTCHA’s, while still reducing your overall number of spammy comments by a large amount. It also blocks spammy-looking IP addresses automatically, so you don’t even have to worry about these bots getting to your site. It works a lot like Askimet, but it has the benefit of being free.
UPDATE: This plugin has been removed from the WordPress repository. As an alternative I recommend the plugin Akismet.
WP Performance Score Booster
UPDATE: I no longer use this plugin, because I have had some problems with it. However, I have been able to achieve great page speed results by using SiteGround hosting.
UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
This plugin does exactly what it sounds like… it’s backup and restoration made easy. The big advantage here is that most similar plugins are Premium and cost a lot of money, but this one’s a freebie. It allows you to do complete backups, either manually or on a schedule (it’s totally up to you). You can backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, an FTP, e-mail and more. If you’re looking for a great free plugin to keep your site backed up, this is it… I highly recommend it.
I hope you will find at least one useful plugin for you from these ones mentioned in my list that will make your work with WordPress easier and more effective.