5 Essential WordPress Plugins – is that too hard to narrow down?

After installing WordPress for a new client, I find myself adding the same set of plugins, every time. That got me thinking.

What do other people consider to be the 5 essential WordPress plugins that should be installed first?

So yesterday I decided to posted a quick survey in a Facebook group asking ..

What are the 5 Essential WordPress plugins you install on your website? The ones you pretty much add to every site you create?

So that covers bods like me who create websites for a living, and one-off sites you manage to whip up yourself. I thought that it would make for an interesting post.

The results are in!

And, not surprisingly – the ones that got the most votes are the WordPress plugins that protect your site, and help with SEO. That’s not to say the others aren’t important: but these bad boys got the most votes.

5 Essential WordPress Plugins: Survey Results

Here are the results from my survey … “What are the 5 Essential WordPress plugins you install on your website?”

WordPress Plugins – SEO

And the winner here is … drum roll … Yoast SEO (59 votes)

Description: Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using Yoast SEO plugin.

Runner Up: All in One SEO Pack (8 votes)
Description: All in One SEO Pack Optimizes your WordPress blog for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

5 essential wordpress plugins Yoast SEO
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WordPress Plugins – Security

The most votes were for WordFence (43 votes)

Description: The Wordfence WordPress security plugin provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware.

Runner Up: iThemes Security (10 votes)
Description: iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site.

5 essential wordpress plugins Wordfence
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WordPress Plugins – Backup

The most votes were for BackupBuddy (17 votes)

Description: Easily backup WordPress + restore or move your WordPress site to another domain or host with BackupBuddy, the best WordPress backup plugin.

Runner Up: UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration (10 votes)
Description: Backup and restoration made easy. Complete backups; manual or scheduled (backup to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others).

5 essential wordpress plugins BackupBuddy
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WordPress Plugins – Analytics

The most votes were for Google Analytics by Yoast (26 votes)

Description: The Google Analytics by Yoast plugin for WordPress allows you to track your blog easily and always stays up to date with the newest features in Google Analytics

Runner Up: Clicky (got a couple of typed mentions)
Description: Integrates the Clicky web analytics service into your blog and adds features for comment tracking & more.

5 essential wordpress plugins Google Analytics
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WordPress Plugins – Contact Forms

The most votes were for Contact Form 7 (24 votes)
Description: Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.

Runner Up: Gravity Forms (15 votes)
Description: Gravity Forms for WordPress is a full featured contact form plugin that features a drag and drop interface, advanced notification routing, lead capture, conditional logic fields, multi-page forms, pricing calculations and the ability to create posts from external forms.

5 essential wordpress plugins Contact Form 7
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5 Essential WordPress Plugins: Wrap-Up

These survey results are based on a sample of people from a Facebook WordPress group comprising just over 8,200 members at the time of writing. The group is skewed more towards the beginner as opposed to the advanced WordPress user.

The WordPress site caching plugin W3 Total Cache came in a close 6th. It’s designed to improve user experience and page speed.

This page shows the most popular WordPress plugins in the WordPress repository (rated by number of installs).
https://wordpress.org/plugins/browse/popular/

And here are the most popular CodeCanyon WordPress plugins.
https://codecanyon.net/popular_item/by_category?category=wordpress

5 Essential WordPress Plugins: What are Yours?

What are YOUR 5 essential WordPress plugins? I know it may be a hassle trying to narrow it down to 5 only … a bit like asking “What are your top 5 all-time favourite songs” ! I know – that’s hard to do! But give it a try, and let me know in the comments.

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