There are myriad of plugins. Every one of them served one or more specific needs. Among them, there are the most valuable ones, which you need to know. Those plugins were essential for most WordPress sites. Please note that the list of plugins category below is not representing any hierarchy or any importance.
I am not going to mention any specific plugin name here. But, most WordPress sites will need this kind of plugin to cache the site.
Most of the cache plugins will generate static sites version of our WP site, then served it to visitors.
That way, the WP site will be able to serve the visitors faster, save up resources to do computation on the server, save up memory and CPU usage to do database queries, and other server’s side processing.
You need to do your homework to find out which cache plugins that work best for your WP site.
There are many security plugins for WordPress, but the most important one for most WP sites is the one that prevents brute-force login attempts.
But installing security plugins on your WP site is not enough. You need to stick to general security best practices like using a password manager to manage all of your online passwords. This way, you can minimize and prevent any duplicated password for any online account you have, including your WordPress admin account.
Most of WP sites also need a back-up plugin. The plugin should be able to back up the whole WordPress site automatically.
Such plugin usually saves the back-up on the other online storage like Dropbox or Google Doc.
However, you should make sure that you downloaded the whole backup to your local storage.
You’ll never know when shit hit the fans, so always be prepared by having the latest whole back-up of your site on your local storage.
I bet most WP site’s owner will try to grab the first rank or at least the position on the first page of Google SERP.
The SEO plugin will help them to make sure their site is helping search engines to crawl and rank, instead of hindering it.
Such SEO plugin includes the plugins that
detect and track 404 errors on the site.
ensure all external links had “no follow” attributes.
appends some related contents if necessary.
enable the site owner to patch broken links tracked as 404 (not found)
I know these four functionalities usually served by the different plugin.
I believe all of the WordPress sites will need to have a contact page where the owners put the contact form. You can find many WP plugins for this function too.
Just make sure the plugin can forward the request submitted through the contact form to your designated e-mail. With this, you can answer any inquiries from visitors faster and easier.
E-mail subscription and social media
They said the money is on the list. There is a truth behind that proverb. I saw some of the client’s sites I have been working on are generating leads and sales from the e-mail list it has.
There are not many decent plugins for this e-mail subscription on WordPress. However, you can sign up for third-party providers like MailChimp, AWeber, or ConvertKit to start collecting your visitor’s e-mail.
Besides e-mail subscriptions, for most of the niche, it won’t hurt to give visitors an easy way to share the content on their favorite social media. I admit this blog still lacks this plugin.
GDPR consent banner
By collecting e-mail from your visitors, a WordPress site will need a plugin to provide the GDPR consent banner.
This even becomes mandatory if most of your visitors are from the EU. Make sure your site gives them a consent, that by giving their e-mail, they’ll allow you to send them updates in the future.
There are still more valuable plugins for WordPress. However, I only listed the plugins category which is suitable for general sites.