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WordPress is one of the most popular website-building platforms, and for a good reason. This powerful CMS is chock full of tools to help you create and monitor a professional-looking site. Primary among these tools are plugins. Plugins add functionality to a WordPress site, and there are thousands to choose from. Some are free, while others have a price tag. 

With the abundance of plugins available for your WordPress site, how do you know which to pick? 

In this article, we’re going to provide you with a list of the eight most essential and best plugins for your 2021 WordPress site.

WP-Rocket

WP Rocket is one the most popular WordPress plugin

WP-Rocket is a caching plugin. This means that it improves the loading speed of your site by reducing the weight of your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files and only loading images as your visitor scrolls down the page. Additionally, the plugin’s crawler mimics a visit to the site to preload the cache, so the indexing of your site by search engines is improved. 

Although many WordPress hosting plans come with caching technology, adding a caching plugin is still beneficial. 

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Site Kit WordPress Plugin

The Google Analytics plugin helps you monitor how many people are visiting your site, where they’re coming from, and how much time they’re spending on each page. Moreover, the Google Analytics tracking code allows you to track your site’s visitors and view critical statistics within WordPress. You can use this plugin to generate performance reports about the site as a whole or individual posts and pages. Furthermore, this plugin is compatible with multisite network installs, and it integrates with Google AdWords.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is the most popular WordPress plugin for SEO

The Yoast SEO plugin provides real-time page analysis to help you optimize the content, images, titles, keywords, and meta descriptions for better search engine ranking. The plugin also lets you tell Google what page or pages not to index. It also analyses the readability of your copy by checking sentence and paragraph length and whether you’ve used transition words and subheadings. Finally, it also indicates whether you’re overusing the passive voice.

The Yoast SEO plugin also automatically creates URLs, readable XML sitemaps and provides better control over breadcrumbs. 

SearchWP

SearchWP WordPress Plugin

WordPress doesn’t offer great search functionality, but the SearchWP plugin was built to correct this. The SearchWP plugin provides a number of advanced search features, such as using keyword stems instead of exact term matches. So, for example, the term “write” would return related words such as “writing” and “wrote.” It’s even possible to customize the way results are ranked with the plugin’s weighting system. Furthermore, it indexes post titles, descriptions, keywords, PDFs, and text documents. You can also create different search engines, meaning you can have a search box specifically for product searches.

BackUpWordPress

BackUpWordPress Plugin

It’s important to be prepared for the worst, which, when it comes to your website, means having a backup of your site’s files. BackUpWordPress allows you to back up the entirety of your WordPress site, including your files and database. You can even schedule when you want these backups to occur.

BackUpWordPress lets you send your backups to a number of different destinations such as FTP servers, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Microsoft Azure, DropBox, and Dreamhost DreamObjects.

Akismet

Akismet Anti-Spam is a popular plugin for wordpress website

Spam is an unfortunate reality of the internet and is likely to appear in the comment section of your website. To keep this garbage at bay, you can use Akismet. Akismet automatically checks all your comments and filters out the ones that look like spam. It works in the background, and you don’t have to configure any settings.

Adobe Fonts

Adobe Fonts WordPress Plugin

To make your site unique and aesthetically pleasing, you should move beyond standard fonts and instead look into adopting a wider range of typography. This is where the Adobe Fonts plugin comes in handy.

This plugin applies fonts to your website using the font-face standard so you know they’re web standards compliant, fully licensed, and accessible.

WooCommerce

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If you want to sell anything on your WordPress site, you’ll need an eCommerce plugin. The one most recommended and supported by WordPress is WooCommerce.

First launched in 2011, WooCommerce powers over 30% of online stores. This should reassure you that it’s reliable.

The free version of WooCommerce will calculate shipping costs and taxes and lets you accept major credit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, and cash on delivery. It also has stock management tools for easy inventory tracking.

The premium version of WooCommerce has advanced tools like one-page checkout and automatic abandoned cart emails.

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