What Plugins Do I Need On My Site?

If you own and run a WordPress site one question you may find yourself asking is what plugins do I need on my site? Currently there are over 55,000 plugins on the WordPress repository. Aside from plugins you can find on the repo, there are more that you can purchase from other sites or find on GitHub. If you’re not immersed into WordPress on a daily basis it can be easy to get lost and quick. Along with choosing what plugins to use there are a couple other questions to consider. How do I identify a good plugin? How many plugins can I have on my site? Let’s look at each of these.

What Plugins Do I Need?

This question will vary from site to site. There are a handful of plugins I would suggest using on every site. I won’t get into the nitty gritty for each of these plugins on this post but if you have questions on them you can contact me.

Yoast SEO

As far as SEO plugins go, Yoast is my top pick. There are others but none are quite to the level of Yoast. Yoast has a premium version of it’s plugin, but the free version is more than enough on most sites.

Gravity Forms

Gravity forms is a premium plugin, but one that is worth the cost if you have forms on your site.

There is a free form plugin that is really good called WP Forms. If you don’t want to put money into a form plugin it’s a good option however the features missing usually makes me want to get the premium version. Head to head I would pick the premium version of Gravity Forms over WP Forms.

Monster Insights

Monster Insights gives you an easy way to add your google analytics code into your WordPress site. This plugin also allows you to view a portion of your google analytics, straight from your dashboard.

Sucuri

Sucuri because every site needs to be protected.

Others

There are many many other good plugins out there like WP Rocket, WooCommerce, All Import Pro, Beaver Builder, Elementor, etc. Your need of those plugins though will be determined by your site.

How do I identify a good plugin?

One thing you should never do is search for a plugin and install the first one you see. You should take in a few factors. These are strong guidelines but may not be applicable to every plugin. When you are looking at plugins on the WordPress repo you will notice a list of several items, here is what you should be looking for.

Last Updated

You want to make sure the plugin you’re looking at is actively maintained. Anything that hasn’t been updated in a long period of time will have a warning next to it, and you should usually avoid these.

Active Installs

A plugin that is used by more people, probably has a solid reputation. Be cautious when installing low installation plugins.

WordPress Version

You want to make sure that you’re installation of WordPress is compatible with the plugin. If your version of WordPress is not compatible the plugin could produce unexpected results or break your site.

PHP Version

Currently WordPress is undergoing a shift to make sure sites are on updated versions of php. You may have to reach out to your host support to check this.

Ratings and Support

In general like anything you get online, check the ratings and make sure they are taking care of support tickets. You don’t want to get a plugin people hate, and you don’t want a plugin where the developer doesn’t answer your questions.

Yoast plugin install
Plugin Overview

How many plugins can I have on my site?

You will see on some sites that the more plugins you install on your site the slower your site will be. With that in mind you may ask how many plugins can I install before it starts to slow down my site? Well really that’s not the right question. You could have a single plugin bring your site to a crawl. A single plugin like WP Rocket can massively improve speed. You could have three plugins and a slow site or 50 and a fast site, it all depends on what the plugins do. If you have several plugins that add stylesheets, and javascript files, and images to the front of your site its going to slow things down. Plugins that do heavy database queries improperly are going to slow your site down. Plugins can sometimes conflict with each other which can potentially slow down your site.

Instead of asking how many plugins can I have on my site, you might should ask which plugins will be right for my site?


If you need help determining what plugins you should have, or if you need a custom plugin developed for your site, give me a shout!

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