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The best WordPress plugins you can use to optimize your website

There are a variety of plugins, both free and paid, which you can use to optimize your website for a better user experience. You need to be careful though, as not all plugins are safe, and some may contain malicious scripts which can harm your website. Always opt for plugins that are highly rated and have a trusted reputation in the WordPress community.

You can always check out forums and community hubs for the latest information on plugin compatibility etc. This article digests some of the best plugins you can use, with a clear brief about how each plugin works with your site.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is used by millions in the SEO and WordPress communities. Its features allow you to optimize meta tags and meta descriptions, and it also offers other key information such as recommended page word count and suitable keyword density to use. Yoast Premium is £89 per year and offers additional features such as suggestions about internal linking and also redirect support.

Your best bet is to try the free version if you are a small business and want some SEO tips. Most of the web design London companies use Yoast premium in order to support the delivery of websites for clients.

Elementor

Elementor is a great plugin for the ‘do it yourself web design community, and is a plugin that is growing its functionality every single day. It allows you to create beautiful websites using a drag and drop feature – you can end up creating beautiful websites and landing pages with Elementor Pro. Some other alternatives include Beaver Builder, although the features are not quite as advanced and the user interface can be a little tricky!

Elementor is definitely a plugin for individuals with a creative flair who would like to create a website for themselves. Their support is also fantastic – often they will assign a representative within 1-2 days whenever you encounter an issue. Some of the more expensive packages will allow you to access premium support which is faster and more reliable. In the future, it is likely that the popularity of page builders will grow with an increasing demand for digital services and products.

Smush image optimizer

This is a great plugin for optimizing your speed on your WordPress website. Did you know that 37% of visitors bounce when your site takes five seconds to load? You need to make sure that your website doesn’t just look nice, but it must also perform well as speed and user experience is now a significant ranking factor.

For example, Lindab guttering uses Smush to optimize the thousands of products they have in WooCommerce. Not sure how fast Google thinks your website is? You can always use free tools like Google Page Speed Insights which will give you a desktop and mobile score for your site out of 100. You can also use another tool called GT Metrix which gives a more in-depth scoring of your website’s speed.

Generally, you want your website to be in the 90-100 bracket (green), rather than the ‘red zone.’ Page Speed Insights will also give you a clear indication of the scripts and issues on your site which are causing speed issues, such as unnecessary CSS or JavaScript. If image size is the problem, Smush will compress your images to make them more ‘spider friendly.’ Ultimately, slow page speed is often caused by oversized images which haven’t been compressed, so make sure you use plugins to get the size down!

Asset Clean up Page Speed Booster

This is another neat plugin that allows you to minify excess CSS and JS on your site’s pages – essentially it ‘trims the fat’ and tidies up your web pages. If you are using a plugin like WooCommerce, but only need it on certain pages, Asset Clean Up allows you to remove scripts from specific pages to speed up your website. It also has a ‘lazy load’ image features, which causes images to be loaded slightly later to save the number of server requests. It’s a great way to speed up your website!

For best results, it is advised to use a caching plugin alongside Asset Clean Up as this will increase your website speed even more. Also, before making any changes to your site using Asset Clean Up, it is strongly advised that you take a backup using a plugin like WP Migrator. This means that if the CSS minification messes up your website design, you can revert to the original version held on the backup file.

WP Forms

Let’s face it – every website needs some kind of contact form for customers to get in touch with you, otherwise, it would be extremely difficult to increase your conversions. That’s why WP Forms is a great plugin to help you create awesome-looking forms! The drag & drop online form builder is extremely intuitive and easy to use – with the pro version you can even enable file upload which is great for those in industries like architecture & design where you may need to upload drawings or plans.

The forms use the WordPress mailing server and get delivered straight to your inbox, often within hours depending on your hosting package. You can also use Google Captcha to prevent an abundance of spam inquiries from flooding your inbox – there’s nothing worse than spam form submissions to trick you into thinking you have a genuine website lead!

Bonus Plugin: WP Call Button

WP Call Button is a completely free WordPress plugin which adds a customizable call button that is sticky at the bottom of the page. It can be minimized into a small box or it can be a wide green button with a phone icon. This is a great plugin because it helps to increase the conversions on your site. If visitors see a visible green button saying ‘call now,’ it encourages them to get in touch and get ringing! The best part is that it’s totally free!

And that’s it – the top 5 WordPress plugins you can use for your website. Remember, be careful which plugins you install because some can be malicious and infect your site. That’s the last thing you want. No, really, it’s not fun. Get in touch with EJM Web Design if you need any more information or assistance!