Powerful WordPress Plugins You’ll Regret Not Installing

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Things were very different when I started using WordPress in 2007. In the decade I’ve been using this software, I’ve come to discover a lot of what it has to offer “out of box”, and what useful plugins I wish I’d known about or had access to from the beginning – some of which I regret not installing sooner.

Did you know that every time you upload an image, WordPress creates several copies of it in various sizes and stores them in your database? This means that for every 1 image you upload, WordPress is actually storing up to 5 different copies of it – most of which, you’ll never use!

Fact is, most people are working with limited space, and all of those added images really eat up valuable assets. Preventing WordPress from creating additional sizes of your images that you don’t need will drastically cut back on how much space you’re using.

Useful Plugins:

 

Your theme may be generating even more sizes that you may not be using! Consult your theme developer for more information.

Image Optimization

While you should always pay close attention to the sizes of the files you upload to your website, fact is we can all benefit from a little help in image optimization. This type of plugin will compress the file size of your image – some even let you choose just how significant the compression results will be.

Example: You can go as far as to tell some plugins to compress a high quality PNG to a lossless JPG – a type of JPG file with very little traces of pixelation or significant loss in visible quality.

The general idea is that by compressing our images, we reduce the size of the files a viewer has to load per page, thus speeding up overall page load time (sometimes drastically).

Useful Plugins:

Post & Page Revision Control

Have you ever started and stopped a blog post or edited a page several times? Of course you have – we all do it. Did you know that every time you do that, WordPress stores a revision of that post or page on your server? Yikes. No one needs 10+ copies of the same page with minor changes.

WordPress saves these revisions with the idea in mind that you may want to compare them and choose between different drafts. It’s a great and valuable feature, but most people never need the dozens of copies they might end up with. That’s why I use a plugin that limits the number of revisions WordPress keeps to 3 per post/page. It discards older revisions and helps save space in my database.

Useful Plugins:

Search Engine Optimization

If you know basically nothing about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you still should be using a plugin to help you get the most out of your website. These plugins were designed to give you a richer experience and to help get your website on the right track with search engines (I’m looking at you, Google!).

Even better, these plugins can actually guide you to better writing practices and allow you to showcase your links on social media in a visually appealing way.

Useful Plugins:

Not showing up in searches?

Learn How to Navigate SEO

If you struggle with Search Engine Optimization and you just don’t understand any of it, you’ll love this course. SEO is so much more than filling out some details in a free plugin, and you’ll want a comprehensive course that teaches you how to dive deep and put these plugins to work.

Login & Website Security

You may think that there’s no reason for someone to try to hack into your website, but it happens every day and it’s a real problem. I personally trust Lyrical Host to watch my website and report any suspicious activity to me, but I also like the added peace of mind that I’ve really done my part to keep things secure.

Install plugins that detect hacking and prevent repeat login attempts like WordFence – which is the most popular plugin for WordPress security. It has a built in firewall, malware scanner, login security, and more.

Useful Plugins:

What Plugins do you wish you’d known about?

There are so many amazing and useful plugins out there (seriously… thousands!). What plugins do you wish you’d known about from the very beginning? Comment below to share your favorites.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Liz Da Ponte

    On the Security side of things, I wish I knew about “Force email login.” Gives a bit of an extra security boost since you can’t login with a username. Great list!

    1. Kimi Kinsey

      That’s a wonderful security trick! Thanks for the tip, Liz!

  2. Marsha Ingrao

    This is a great post. Maria from Networking Bloggers shared it with our group. Have you used WPSmush or Ewww Image Optimizer? My blog needs that kind of plug in.

    1. Kimi Kinsey

      I’ve used WPSmush (still do) including a trial of their Pro version (It was nice, but far more expensive than it’s worth).

      The BEST thing you can do for your website is learn to be mindful of the sizes and formats you upload in. I should really practice what I preach, because I’m as bad about it as anyone. lol

  3. Lindsay Satmary

    These are great! I really like Hitsteps (formerly Hitsniffer but much improved) for analytics; Social Warfare for social sharing, and Visual Composer (even though I don’t always use it)- it lets you customize your post and add columns, rows, etc.

  4. Rebecca

    What’s the plugin called that you’ve used below showing the 4 other blog posts? I’m new to WordPress and feel like I’ve got so much to learn!

    1. Kimi Kinsey

      This is actually part of Disqus, the commenting system I’m using.

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