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WordPress is in my opinion the best option for creating your website, especially if you plan to grow.  With a vast, and ever-growing collection of plugins created to work with and implement pretty much any function, it gives the ability to scale down the line. But it can be tricky knowing what to include.  There are a few plugins that I include on every site I create, that keep things running smoothly. This post takes you through 5 essential WordPress plugins you need should install for a healthy website.

As I mentioned there are a huge amount of plugins, so there are usually a few different options for a specific need.  The following are just my choices, that I have found work well and are easy to use.

Squirrly SEO

This is not the most well known SEO (search engine optimisation) tool, but I feel that it has the best options for users if you’re not feeling super confident with SEO, (I don’t know about you, but I do have a hard time keeping track of everything I need to do).  It helps point you in the right direction, and gives you a guide as you’re creating your content.

It also helps to set up your site properly, promoting you to connect certain things, and giving you easy to access areas to paste you codes like your Facebook Pixel or Pinterest tag.

It made the list for top SEO plugins on Quicksprout too, read the entry here.

Updraft

This is your backup tool.  With Updraft you can set it up so your site is automatically backed up as often as you feel is needed, without you having to go in and do it.  Backing up your site regularly is an important task to remember, so if you can automate it, mega bonus! Depending on how frequently you update your site with new content, will dictate how often you set your back ups to run.  But even if you don’t blog regularly, I would still set your back ups to run every 2-4 weeks. You can also manually back up, this is good practise to do before you update any of your plugins.

Wordfence

A security plugin is really important to include on your site too!  It gives an extra layer of protection from any unwanted threats, and notifies you when there are any issues with your site, whether that is a plugin needs updated or more serious threat, this plugin keeps on top of it. Elegant Themes created a good review and run through for setting it up, which you can check out here.

Anti Spam Bee

Spam comments on blog posts are super annoying, and can sometimes come in large droves.  This plugin deals with them effectively, with the option to delete them as they come in, so you don’t have to deal with them at all! 

Smush

Is your site running slow?  It could be due to the size of your images.  If you’ve not resized your images, they could be taking up alot of space and making it hard for your site to load quickly.  Resizing your images can help, and this plugin, squishes them down into smaller, web friendly sizes, in bulk at the click of a button.  

So there you have a handful of essential plugins for your WordPress website.  You don’t have to use these ones, as there are  quite a few alternatives, but make sure you have one for each category – SEO, backups, security, spam and image compression.  

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