Anyone who knows us knows how much we love WordPress. It’s probably the best content management system (CMS) available, it’s very widely used, and even better, it’s free.

One of the many things that make WordPress so outstanding is the enormous range of plugins available (over 43,000!) to extend the platform’s functionality. Think of a plugin as being like an app that lets you build all kinds of functions into your site and support the growth of your business. Many of these plugins are free as well, making them total no-brainers.

Here are some of the best we’ve found. Experts will be familiar with them, but for beginners there’s no better place to start.

Yoast SEO

In the world of WordPress plugins, Yoast is the king of content optimisation and analytics. With his free SEO plugin, it’s much easier to target keywords, see performance, get suggested improvements and optimise your WordPress site to rank higher for your chosen topics. Check out the full range of Yoast plugins – they are a godsend to those wanting to get ahead of the competition in search.

Read more about Yoast SEO

WooCommerce

Many people still think of WordPress as simply blogging software, so it’s surprising to know that it’s not just possible but easy to set up an online marketplace through the platform. WooCommerce is your first step in getting started as an online seller. You can install all kinds of great themes to get it looking unique, and updating your inventory is a snap.

Read more about WooCommerce

Google XML Sitemaps

Google and other search engines love sitemaps, because they lay out the entire structure of the site for easy indexing. Human users find them useful too when they need to find a particular resource. You could create your own manually but it’d be a lot of effort for a large site, and you’d have to keep it updated to continue to receive the SEO benefit. Fortunately a free sitemap plugin will take care of this feature for you. The official WordPress plugins directory lists this as the best plugin of all time!

Read more about Google XML Sitemaps

Wordfence Security

Site security is paramount to ensure you and your users are safe from online threats. Wordfence protects your site from malware and spam of all kinds, and has a very active support community. It’s a must-have for any site that deals with multiple users, purchases or personal information.

Read more about Wordfence Security

Akismet

It’s great to get interesting and thoughtful comments on your blog posts. It’s less exciting to log into your comments section and see hundreds of spam comments. Akismet is essential for almost any blog admin as it keeps advertising and malicious comments at bay, helping you spend more time fostering constructive discussion.

Read more about Akismet

Which plugins did you find vital when getting started on WordPress?

AUTHOR

Charles Sellers

With a background in development and marketing, Charles has grown the business over the past four years to a small but agile team.