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7 necessary wordpress plugins for small business websites

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7 Plugins All WordPress Websites Need

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Building your own WordPress website and feeling overwhelmed by which plugins to use?

It’s hard to understand why…I mean, there’s only 60,000 to choose from?!?!

As a WordPress website developer, I’ve tested hundreds of different plugins – and yes, I’ve crashed a few websites…

I’ve used my bad (and good) experiences with different plugins to develop a fundamental plugin set, which I now use across ALL the WordPress sites (small business websites, blogs, e-commerce websites) I manage, in addition to other plugins dependent on website needs.

What are they?

1. Elementor

elementor wordpress plugin

Elementor is a user-friendly page builder plugin that allows you to customise your website without needing to understand or know lines of code

This makes it a great plugin for people who want complete control over their website design and want to add fresh content regularly. Elementor also allows you to modify the appearance of your website on different devices, ensuring a responsive design for a good user experience.

Elementor is available for free or as a paid version. I personally use Elementor Pro for extra functionality.

2. Wordfence

wordfence wordpress plugin

Your website is your virtual home, and like your physical home, you want to ensure its safety and security.

Wordfence is the leading security plugin for WordPress websites, offering a comprehensive suite of security features, including a firewall, malware scanner, and login security.

I use the free version for most websites unless it’s an e-commerce site.

3. All-In-One-Seo (AIOSEO)


You likely know how important SEO is for your website. Still, it’s surprising how many DIY WordPress websites don’t incorporate an SEO plugin.

AIOSEO assists content optimisation by guiding you through various on-page SEO features, such as title length, keyphrases, meta descriptions, image use, and more, to improve your website’s performance.

The free version of this plugin is all you should need to fix low-hanging fruit opportunities.

4. Updraftplus - backup/restore

updraftplus wordpress plugin

What would you do if one day you went to log in to your website to find it was gone? I’m talking about all files and data wiped. Could you restore it

If your website host takes website backups, you should be able to restore your website and get it back up and running.

But what if your web host also failed you? Or worse, what if the reason your website was down or server malware also affected your website backups stored on your server?

Backup plugins like UpdraftPlus allow you to keep off-server (e.g., Google Drive) backups of your entire website, ready to be restored in emergencies.

UpdraftPlus allows free automatic backups at a frequency of your choosing, with additional functionality in their paid version (I use the free version).

5. WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP is a lifesaver for WordPress website owners who face the continual frustration of their websites failing to send and receive emails.

This issue can be particularly maddening because it affects crucial site functionalities such as contact forms, user registration confirmations, and order notifications. When emails don’t reach their intended recipients, it can mean missed opportunities, unhappy customers, and a lack of trust in your website’s reliability.

Thankfully, WP Mail SMTP helps to ensure that all your emails reach their intended recipients, as well as helping to stop emails from ending up in spam.

If you’re a Gmail or Google Workspace user like me, WP Mail SMTP is free and comes with step-by-step instructions for configuring it for your website. Note that you need to know your website’s DNS settings and how to configure them.

6. WP Rocket

As a website owner, you likely understand the importance of a fast-loading website. Not only does a fast website enhance user experience, but it also plays a crucial role in search engine rankings and conversion rates.

WP Rocket is a powerful caching and performance optimisation plugin. I love to use the minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript file functions, which reduce file sizes and speed up load times.

Note: WP Rocket isn’t available as a free plugin.

7. Site Kit by Google

site kit by google wordpress plugin

If you’re looking for an easy way to integrate the essential Google services that help you monitor your website traffic, Site Kit by Google is the plugin for you

Access critical insights and performance metrics from Google Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights, and Tag Manager all in one place – that’s right, no logging into multiple platforms outside your WordPress dashboard.

Like most of Google’s services, Site Kit is a freely available plugin with easy instructions to get you connected.

Get Started

Building and managing a WordPress website can feel overwhelming, especially when faced with the daunting task of selecting from over 60,000 plugins. However, the right plugins can transform your site, enhancing functionality, security, and user experience – oh, and help you avoid dreaded plugin conflicts!

My curated list offers a solid foundation to build and maintain a successful website. Happy building!





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