A plugin is a program that does not act autonomously but supports other programs with the aim of improving and expanding their functions. They are pieces of code or programs that interact with other programs. For example, the most used and known plugin is the one, usually inserted at the end of web pages, which allows users to leave comments, but many others can be listed and for any type of category. Furthermore, they can be both free and paid.
Depending on the programs and software platforms, plugins are called with different synonyms:
- extensions (e.g. the extension architecture for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers).
The ability of software to support plugins is generally a great feature because it makes it possible for third parties to extend and customize its functions relatively quickly and easily. This favors, on the one hand, the lesser obsolescence of the software and on the other the greater diffusion, the more numerous and functional are the plugins written for a specific program or according to a specific standard: an example is the commercial success of the audio production software of Steinberg, linked to the widespread use of VST standard music plugins. To facilitate the task for third-party developers who intend to create plugins, the software company or creator of the standard distributes – often free of charge – systems called Software Development Kits (SDKs), which contain features, examples, and developer documentation.
We can find plugins for the management of photo galleries, for the creation and operation of contact forms, for SEO optimization, for the creation of sliders or galleries, and for another infinity of functions.
Plugins save developers tons of time by giving them the ability to use code already written and tested by other developers.
Even plugins can have their disadvantages:
- they must be kept constantly updated (or you can risk malfunctions or, worse still, breaches in the security of the site) are
- not always free and in some cases, there is such a wide choice that it can be difficult an evaluation
- in some cases, you can create conflicts between plugins
Disadvantages, however, manageable with a little forethought and marginal compared to the benefits that can be obtained.
Internet Explorer 5 in 1999 offered its users the possibility to install additional toolbars and other small utilities, Firefox was the first browser to exploit the potential of extensions.
The ability to customize the browser through extensions, offered to Firefox users since 2004, was one of the factors that led Firefox to become one of the most popular browsers in the world.
To date, Firefox offers almost 3 thousand extensions including AdBlock Plus (to block video ads on web pages), Video DownloadHelper (to download videos to your computer from websites), Firebug (useful for those who develop and want to check the code in pages), each used by millions of people.
Chrome also has a considerable park of extensions, numerically equal (if not superior) to that of Firefox.
Here are the 10 WordPress plugins that make life easier, improve the time it becomes more productive. They carry out their work in a silent and automated way.
There are so many WordPress extensions that many features are developed by multiple plugins at the same time, but they are not duplicates, only extensions that can improve some aspects rather than others.
You can find free or paid plugins, but there are also those defined as freemium and that is free ones with additional advanced features and available only for a fee.
Best WordPress Plugins
The best WP plugins you need to have cover different topics as mentioned above. In particular, these categories are SEO, security, site speed, and marketing. Installing the WordPress plugins referring to these categories ensures you a safe, fast, SEO friendly site and basically suitable for any need.
1 – JETPACK
The name suggests the potential of this extension. Jetpack automates many functions such as security, site performance, facilitates traffic growth, optimizes images, an aspect that is becoming increasingly important, and more.
With Jetpack you are immediately in contact with the main search engines in order to maximize indexing and ranking in the rankings. Automatically generate a sitemap.
The security it offers against brute force attacks is also important. Always pay attention to this specific point, since especially at the beginning you tend not to take it into consideration. Over time your site will become more visible, not only to good intentions, we understand each other!
2 – AKISMET
This extension comes with all WordPress packages, even the basic ones. It is an anti-spam, it checks all comments and filters them automatically.
If you have entered the comments function of your blog, then Akismet will help you to learn more about those who leave, or rather, would like to leave a post. The moderator of the site has the possibility to have an overview about who comments and what they write, and then approve it or not. Not infrequently comments are used to insert a URL for advertising purposes, Akismet identifies and blocks them. This plugin is free, but for commercial sites, a subscription is required, as it activates advanced security features.
3 – YOAST SEO
One of the absolutely necessary WordPress plugins if you want your posts to have the winning features to climb the rankings. SEO has become increasingly important and knowing how to optimize a post is the key to reaching the top. It is one of the reasons why WordPress has taken up so much space.
It is a companion that helps you write in an SEO friendly way, suggests where you need to improve and how users will read your post.
With Yoast, you choose a keyword to focus the post on. On it is based the understanding by search engines about the topic you are dealing with. It allows you to enter a summary which will then be displayed in the preview. It gives you a score for readability. Warn about alt tags to be given to the images you insert. Finally, it allows you to give an orderly structure to the post by choosing the appropriate titles and subtitles.
4 – USER REGISTRATION
User Profile, Membership and More by WPEverest
The title is a bit long, I preferred to insert it all since there are several with similar names.
On WordPress, you can activate the user registration function. What does it mean? each user can join your site simply through a registration form that you make available. This feature can be activated from the WordPress control panel. Click on Settings, in the drop-down menu that follows, press General. Now you can put the checkmark on: “Anyone can join”.
This method of joining via email and username is not exactly the best in management. And here comes the suggested plugin. It makes this feature user friendly and simple for users who want to sign up.
5 – GOOGLE XML SITEMAPS
This too we can define a WordPress plugin specific for SEO. With this extension, you are sure that the main search engines are able to index your site.
After downloading and activating it, an automatic XML sitemap is generated. The entire structure of the site will therefore be easily retrievable by the various search engines. It is interesting the automatic notification function that acts every time you publish something, without the need to do it personally.
Unfortunately, if you already have Yoast there may be some conflict.