Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Starting a New Website
Regardless of the type of the product or service you want to provide and the content you want to share with the world, WordPress is a great place to start.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins and themes that will make your blog, news or commercial website stand out, improve your traffic and your conversions.
Choose your ideal theme and customize it to your needs and offer your clients the best possible experience.
You don’t need to know a thing about coding to set up a great page or site – the plugins will do all the work for you.
Here are some of our suggestions for the most useful plugins to use on your brand new website. Their purpose is to help you in this initial phase, to optimize the way your site works and to make sure you set solid grounds for the success of your WordPress site.
WordPress Maintenance Mode / Coming Soon Plugins
WordPress maintenance mode and coming soon plugins can be useful in managing a new site in the construction phase of the site for a number of reasons.
The best practice is to put the website into maintenance mode while you’re making changes to it. That way, the visitors that come to the site during that time won’t have to see a broken website.
Under Construction, as the name suggests, is a plugin that puts your site into maintenance mode quickly and efficiently. The plugin is very easy to use. Any WordPress admin can use it to make sure that their visitors don’t see a broken website while updating the design.
This plugin allows you to set the maintenance mode switch off date and time. Thanks to this feature, the site will automatically go offline at the scheduled time, as it goes under construction. The same goes for going back online after the maintenance and/or construction is finished.
As for the maintenance mode page, the plugin offers some great-looking themes that you can further customize using CSS, if you wish to.
Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd is one of the best WordPress “maintenance mode” and “coming soon” page plugins that helps you get traffic an leads and grow your followers even while your website is not yet available.
If your site is under construction, you can use the plugin to create beautiful “coming soon” landing pages. Features include integration with your email marketing services, countdown timer, social media integration, and plenty of beautifully designed templates to choose from.
Social icons and links are available for a number of social platforms. All the most popular ones are there, plus some of the less used social media websites.
This plugin has been made using the best WordPress practices. It fits well with any theme and is 100% responsive. It is translation-ready, and comes with multi-site support.
You have the option to put the title and description for the SEO purposes, which is important. In addition, you can get the Google Analytics Tracking ID even before your website is completely good to go.
Not just that – you also get the opt-in box and popup so you can start collecting leads from the first moment your site goes live, even in the “under construction” mode.
Another great option is the Whitelisted User Roles and Users, which allows you to name certain users that can see your actual site, as it is during construction, instead of the maintenance page.
The Under Construction plugin is one of the most widely used and supported “under construction” plugins for WordPress. If you’re looking for a plugin of this sort, we definitely recommend you give it a shot.
WordPress Plugins for Security – Sucuri Security and Wordfence
Did you know that twenty-six percent of all websites globally use WordPress? It is, hands down, the most popular blogging and website platform in the world. With such popularity, it’s no wonder hackers are working day and night to break the security of WordPress sites.
Ideally, a good WordPress security plugin should offer spam protection, protection against content theft, against malware, etc. Also, it should cover access control, login security, backup tools, file integrity monitoring, firewalls and so on.
In this article, we’re going to focus on two of the best solutions for WordPress site security – Sucuri and Wordfence. There are other excellent security plugins available, so you should be able to easily pick one for your site.
Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan, with 2+ million active installations and the average rating of 4.8, is one of the best and the most popular security plugins for WordPress. It covers login security, security scanning, IP blocking, firewalls and monitoring of security events.
The firewall part of the plugin identifies and blocks all malicious traffic to your site at the endpoint. It does not break the encryption, cannot leak data or be bypassed. Plus, it protects the site from brute force attacks as it limits failed login attempts, requires the use of strong passwords and implements other security measures.
The malware scanner performs a security scan upon installation, looks for bad URLs, malware, backdoors, spam, code injections, malicious redirects and such. In addition, it looks at your core files, plugins and themes and compares them against the WordPress repository. In case it finds any changes or integrity issues, the plugin reports you on that and suggests actions.
Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening is a WordPress plugin and web application firewall that ticks most of the boxes when it comes to the features that a solution of this kind should have.
The plugin is completely free and developed by a team of experts specializing in WordPress security. Some of the features Sucuri offers include auditing of security activity and monitoring of file integrity and blacklists. In addition, it does remote malware scanning, security hardening, notifications. Lastly, it performs security actions after hacking.
The premium version of the plugin also comes with a powerful website firewall.
With Sucuri, your site will be protected against DDoS and malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks and other sorts of malicious events.
WordPress Plugins for Performance – WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache
Improving the speed and the load times of your website is one of the most important things you can do. It’s good for traffic and it’s even good for search engine ranking. Speed is one of the factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking websites. Plus, fast sites are good for revenue. People are likely to spend more on websites that provide good performance and great speeds.
Obviously, the speed of your website can have a tremendous positive or negative effect, depending on whether you play your cards right or not.
Although it primarily depends on servers, speed can be improved to a certain extent using specialized plugins. Performance and speed rely a great deal on your website cache, so we recommend you get yourself one of the excellent caching plugins. We’re going to check out WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache, but if you want more options for WordPress caching plugins, you’ll be glad to hear there are more of these on the market.
W3 Total Cache is a plugin that improves the overall user experience, as well as SEO, by increasing the site performance. This refers particularly to the load times. Faster page loading is achieved through CDN integration and some of the latest best practices in the field.
W3 Total Cache is the only web host agnostic WPO (Web Performance Optimization) framework for WordPress. It has over a million active installations and the number just keeps growing.
The list of features of this terrific plugin is too long to report here, so we’ll just say it has absolutely everything you could possibly need for website optimization and speed improvement. And that it’s a free plugin.
WP Rocket is among the best WordPress caching plugins right now. You can use it to quickly improve your WordPress site speed and performance. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to have any technical knowledge whatsoever.
This plugin works by automatically turning on certain caching settings that are recommended for caching and speed issues. This includes gzip compression, page cache and cache pre-loading. In addition, it offers to turn on some of the optional features. Lazy loading images and CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification and others are just some of them. All these combined are bound to make your images load faster.
This is truly a powerful caching and performance plugin. It only has one downside – it doesn’t have a free version.
How to Create a Duplicate Menu in WordPress
Adding navigation menus in WordPress is rather easy thanks to this built-in functionality. However, what’s not built in is the ability to duplicate menus, which is something that often comes handy. For instance, you need a similar menu quickly. Or you want to make a change to a menu without the risk of not being able to revert back. Without a plugin, you will have to manually replicate it, which is rather time-consuming. However, if you have a plugin, you can duplicate a menu in a manner of seconds.
Duplicate Menu is the most widely used plugin for duplicating WordPress menus. Its popularity is mainly due to its ease of use and the way it creates a second, or a third or whichever menu you want or need.
This plugin basically creates a clone, on the programmatic level, that you can modify without affecting the original menu. The cloned menu keeps all the structure and navigation relationships as the original, so it can maintain all the functions.
Another great plugin of this kind is the WP Clone Menu, which, as its name suggests, allows you to clone or duplicate the menus you want to work on. The way it works is extremely simple. You just need to pick the menu you want to clone, enter a menu name and click on Make Clone.
How to Duplicate a WordPress Post or Page
Creating a duplicate page or post in WordPress can be a very useful thing to do, especially in the early stages of setting up your website. Duplicate pages and posts allow you to work on your content without modifying the original version. That way, if you’re not happy with your current version, you still have the original.
Another thing that makes duplicate pages a useful thing to have on hand is when you’re working on your content and you want to show it to your client for feedback before the page or post goes live.
There are other situations when creating duplicate pages and posts turns out to be a life-saver. Let’s take a look at some of the best plugins that can help you with that.
Duplicate Page is a popular WordPress plugin that, in addition to duplicating pages, also duplicates your posts. The way it works is very simple. After you install it, below each of your pages and posts there will be a new option saying “Duplicate This.” Simply click on it and create the duplicate.
Premium version of this plugin is also available, with options such as specifying user roles, post types, clone link location, redirection, post prefix and suffix, and so on.
Duplicate Post, similarly to the Duplicate Page plugin, works by duplicating both your pages and your posts. The steps for creating duplicate pages or posts with this plugin are extremely simple, and similar to the plugin mentioned above.
Duplicate post also allows you to use a template tag. You can put in your template and clone all your posts or pages from the front end. When you click on the link it will lead you to the edit page for the new draft, similarly to an admin bar link.
These are just some of the plugins we feel might be of great assistance in the early stages of your website. There are other plugins you can use, of course, according to your needs. Installing and activating the plugins is a simple, straightforward process, and the plugin marketplace is extremely abundant.
Bear in mind, though, that you don’t want to have too many plugins activated at the same time. It can put an unnecessary strain on your WordPress site and damage its performance. Just like clutter creates an unnecessary mess in your home.
Still, the fact remains that anyone starting a WordPress website should definitely consider using a maintenance mode/coming soon plugin. Plugins that optimize your site speed and improve security are also a must. Solutions for duplicating menus, pages and posts are an excellent idea, as well.
Now, go and build a stunning website with excellent traffic and great conversion rates, and best of luck!