When a website is built in WordPress there are some plugins that make life easier. WordPress has the advantage of providing a plugin for almost everything, and there is no need any knowledge of coding to install some essential features in your website.
Here I explain 5 essential plugins for WordPress websites, and their use.
1. GA Google Analytics
This plugin installs Google Analytics in your website without touching the header.php file. Once GA is installed it’s only necessary to copy the GA Tracking ID and paste in the plugin settings options.
This article explains a step by step installation of the GA plugin.
2. Cookie Notice
I usually use this plugin but there are many similar ones to manage cookies for GDPR. Any website that is using GA analytics or other audience tracking system must have a cookie pop up in order to became GDPR complaint. These plugins have a pop up by default, which usually is not very aesthetic, but you have some options to give them a bit of style.
3. Really SSL Simple
Websites need SSL certificates. SSL (secure socket layer) is what ensures that all the information between the web server and the browser is encrypted and remains private.
Websites with SSL certificate have “https”, and it is the “S” at the end what differentiates them from those without. Also, websites without it have written “Not secure” in the left side of the domain on the browser.
The SSL certificate can be bought with hosting companies or get a Free SSL one here
Once the SSL has been installed it’s necessary to activate it in your WordPress, and this is the function of plugin. It must simply be downloaded and activated, and all done. If after activating the plugin some images are not showing, it may be because they are hosted in another website without SSL. Ideally all the images used in the website should be hosted there.
4. Ninja Forms
Ninja form is a plugin to build forms easily. While having a form is not something completely essential in a website, it will make it much easier for users to get in touch with you.
This plugin has a nice and easy to use layout to build the forms, and it is free. However, if it is required to add a field to upload files (images or documents), there is a paid add-on for that. Alternatively, it is possible to use Contact Form 7 which does not have as friendly a layout as Ninja, but allows to add a field to upload files for free.
5. Yoast SEO
This plugin is to improve SEO (search engine optimisation) in websites. At the bottom of a page or post this plugin adds a section to complete the SEO meta description and title. It also gives some clues how to optimise the article for search engine.