These are 4 basic WordPress plugins that you must install on any WordPress site. They cover SEO, Security, Speed, and Backups.
I’m not saying these are the best, but these are the ones I use on my sites, and they are free.
Yoast SEO is the most used SEO plugin for WordPress. The free version is more than what most users will need.
The great thing about Yoast SEO is the simplicity of it all. Yoast SEO will configure several crucial settings required by Google and Bing to crawl and index your website.
Yoast SEO will also help you write better posts. It analyzes and helps you avoid common mistakes when writing, such as using passive voice. It also checks for keyword placement and frequency.
Yoast updates the plugin every two weeks for Google’s latest ranking algorithms.
These updates ensure that you are always up to date with your SEO ranking.
Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
Security is a big deal for WordPress, outdated WordPress plugins and unapplied updates are a sure way to get hacked.
Hackers have bots searching 24/7 for websites with security flaws in order to exploit them and take over your website.
The free version of Wordfence is very complete and will work for most persons. It monitors your WordPress installation for outdated software, hacked files, and attempted logins.
Wordfence even emails you whenever it sees any suspicious activity.
LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress helps your webpage to load faster for people browsing your site.
Google and Bing place a lot of weight on how fast your page is. Slow web pages make for bad user experiences.
This slower speed will result in not just a bad customer experience but in lower rankings (your website will show up last on search results!).
LiteSpeed Cache is a simple solution to your websites loading speed.
While this plugin is no substitute for a faster web hosting service or a CDN (Content Delivery Network), it will make your current site faster.
Pro Tip: When installing or configuring new features to your WordPress site flush your cache to make sure that all the changes take effect.
BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin
BackWPup is a great WordPress plugin that will let you sleep at night knowing that your website is backed up.
Backups protect your site from hackers and unintended mistakes when adding or modifying your website.
BackWPup can store your backups to popular online cloud backup services like Dropbox, keeping a copy of your site in offsite and safe.
Pro Tip: Your data is only as good as your last backup. Backup often and backup off site, never store your backups on the same server that hosts your WordPress installation. Use services like Dropbox to store your backups to an off-site location.
These four WordPress plugins are great, they add SEO, Security, Speed, and Backups to your site.
Check out the competition, there are more plugins out there that are great, there might be a better one out there.
Just be careful when choosing a new plugin for your site though. Make sure that the plugin has been recently updated and has a reputable developer behind it. WordPress is constantly evolving and your plugins need to evolve to.