WordPress theme design, just like art, is a highly subjective thing. A visual element you absolutely love about a theme someone else will find annoying and obsolete. However, when it comes to the actual functionality of the theme, if you pay close attention to some of the most popular WordPress themes, you’ll realize they all have in common a list of features and plugins. If you’re a serious developer, you can’t afford not to use most, if not all, of these essential WordPress plugins.
What Are WordPress Plugins?
A WordPress plugin is basically a piece of software that acts like an add-on feature to your theme enabling you to add additional functionality in a matter of seconds. WordPress has their own collection of essential WordPress plugins, but you shouldn’t ignore third-party plugins, which are often just as good, if not even better than the native WordPress plugins.
Essential WordPress Plugins
Depending on the type of the theme you’re designing, some of the following plugins will save you incredible amount of time and resources. Why bother spending hours on coding your own plugin when there are tested and proven plugins available for download. Check out our list of essential WordPress plugins, and keep in mind a couple of things: Will your buyers need that particular plugin? How is it going to interact with other plugins?
WordPress SEO by Yoast: There’s no use of a beautiful website if no one ever sees it, and WordPress SEO by Yoast is your safest bet in optimizing your content in a matter of seconds. Besides the usual SEO tools, such as focus keyword, SEO title and description, it includes a powerful page analysis tool, as well as settings for sharing on social networks. Search engines and your buyers will love it, which makes it one of the most essential WordPress Plugins.
OptinMonster: The goal of every website is to make its visitors do something, be it convert into paying customers, or subscribe to a newsletter, and OptinMonster will boost conversions in no time by enabling you to build an email list using your website. You can create highly effective email opt-in forms such as sidebar opt-ins, lightbox popups, floating bars, and slide-ins.
W3 Total Cache: Another crucial thing when it comes to both search engines and your buyers is the loading time of your theme. If your website takes too long to load, the visitors will probably abandon it completely, and your buyers won’t be too happy about it. This is where W3 Total Cache comes in. It’s one of the essential WordPress plugins for performance optimization. It will significantly improve your theme’s loading time, and all you have to do to set it up is install it and enable page cache.
Akismet: If you enable comments, Akismet will definitely become your website’s best friend. It compares all the comments against its own database in order to determine if they’re spam or genuine comments. It can save you space and boost the loading time, not too mention time.