Nearly one-fourth of web pages run on some sort of WordPress website. WordPress is a real gem, as the open source code allows for easy updates, quick fixes to bugs and a ton of customized add-ons and plugins that optimize your website. As the internet evolves, so does WordPress and all of the plugins that come with it. Take a look at some of the most popular plugins and plugin updates released in 2017 and see if some of them might help you run your website more efficiently.
You absolutely need social media on your website, most especially the ultra-popular Facebook. The plugin Import Facebook Events lets you import Facebook posts into your website's dashboard. The plugin syncs with your Facebook page, and you set the parameters and date range for the posts that appear on your website. This plugin automates your social media.
Stop Spammers performs more than 20 different checks for spam and other malicious events on your website. This plugin is particularly helpful in preventing spam in your comments section and logins, so you can spend less time moderating your comments and more time on running your business.
3. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO continues to be one of the most popular WordPress plugins. There is a free and premium version, and both can help you optimize keywords, meta descriptions, images and titles. The website gives you a red, yellow or green light for a readability score based on several factors, such as passive voice, long sentences, lack of subheadings, paragraph length and use of transition words. Once you get used to Yoast SEO's plugin, you learn to fine-tune your copy without giving it a second thought.
Google Analytics Dashboard lets you take a closer look at who views your website and which advertisements generate the most revenue. Create customized reports that show your site's overall performance as well as individual pages and posts. If you run more than one website, the plugin works for multisite set-ups that link to your Google Analytics account.
Wordfence Security is the most popular open-source security suite for WordPress sites, and it's completely free to install and download. A firewall blocks brute-force attacks that try to disable your website, while login security features prevent intrusions through a login prompt. Set up security alerts that let you know when something happens.
Wordfence Security also monitors and scans your website for vulnerabilities that may make it open to attacks, such as competing code from plugins or slow responsiveness. If you suffer from a security incident, this plugin recovers your website for you.
TypeKit Fonts lets you import hundreds of fonts to your WordPress site. The idea here is to move beyond standard font types to diversify the appearance of your site. The plugin works with Adobe, so you know you're getting high-quality fonts.
Even better, TypeKit Fonts use the font-face standard, which means the typefaces comply with web standards. Complying with standards makes your site more searchable and user-friendly.
You should always have a backup plan, even though you don't want to think about theworst-case scenario if someone hacks into your website and brings it to a screeching halt.BackUpWordPress schedules regular backups, whether you want daily, weekly or bi-weekly backups. Then the plugin sends your backed-up your files to your choice of a wide range of cloud-based systems, such remote FTP servers, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, DropBox or Amazon S3. The annual subscription fee is well worth it for peace of mind in case something goes horribly wrong with your website.
These WordPress plugins are valuable resources not just because of their widespread use or functionality, but also because the owners regularly update them. Before you download a plugin, check how often it is updated and read individual reviews on it from WordPress experts. The WordPress site itself is a great resource to find reviews from plugin users and from the coders who help improve WordPress itself. The main reason you should pick your plugins carefully is that too many of them can slow down your site. Sure, it takes a little time and effort to find the best plugins, but once you do they should improve the look and functionality of your site.