It’s safe to say that 2016 was a great year for us, especially for websites. Not only did we strategize, design and launch custom-built websites, but we also had an impressive year all-around (including eating over 700 pieces of bacon). Of course, we built these new websites on WordPress (heck, we’ve been using it for over 10 years) and have come to build a strong list of our favorite plugins to help us create a stunning final product. While some of these plugins may have been ones we’ve been using for many years, they were our most popular plugins added onto these new websites from 2016.
Check out our list of favorite WordPress plugins from 2016 and learn more about their advantages!
Best SEO Plugin – Yoast SEO
With over one million active installs, Yoast SEO is on your side to improve your WordPress SEO and write better content for your website. This plugin truly does go above and beyond to look after all technical optimization, and it even takes it one step further for your content. Yoast SEO allows your pages and posts to have a focus keyword and makes sure this keyword or phrase is used in all the correct places. It even gives recommendations on how to make sure your posts are optimized properly!
Best Security Plugin – Sucuri
Security is a top priority for us, and with a little help from Sucuri we’re able to keep our website and clients’ websites hacker-free. Their list of security features is quite impressive, offering security activity audit logging, blacklist monitoring, security notifications, remote malware scanning and more to over 300,000 WordPress websites.
Best Caching Plugin – WP Rocket
As the only paid plugin on this list, we’d strongly argue that WP Rocket is worth the investment. Their tagline is “Your Website at Lightspeed,” and it certainly shows the moment you add this plugin to your website. Page caching is immediately active once this plugin has been turned on, and WP Rocket goes above and beyond to make sure your website’s load time is at its best. Its features include images on request, static files compression and more!
Best Form Plugin – Ninja Forms
Ahhhh, nothing beats a simple, drag-and-drop creator for your digital marketing pieces. Ninja Forms allows even the least tech-savvy people build custom forms with its intuitive, user-friendly interface. Import/export your submissions, get email notifications for a new submission, and even customize confirmation emails with photos and videos. You will never go back to another form builder after you experience the power and capabilities of Ninja Forms.
Best Spam Blocking Plugin – Aksimet
Spam comments on our blog posts make us want to rip our hair out. For the sake of going bald, we use Akismet (pronounced a-kiz-met) to check each of our blog comments to ensure they’re not spam. This plugin automatically filters all spammy comments and tracks which comments were flagged. It even has a discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, which will save you space and ultimately speed up your website. This is a must-have plugin for any WordPress website!
Favorite Plugin- Simple Social Icons
Cohesion is a major building block of branding; it’s important to take this into consideration when building out your website. Even your social icons should match your branding, and thankfully Simple Social Icons from StuidoPress allows you to do this. Why do we love this so much? This plugin easily lets you link your social media accounts with these simple,tastefully-designed icons that are created with your choice of color and size. You also have full control over how they’re aligned on a page from the widget form with no settings page necessary! As designers, it’s a breath of fresh air to know that a brand’s social media icon doesn’t need to be a tacky blue or obscure shape. It can look and feel as sophisticated (or fun) as you’d like!
We can’t wait to see what new plugins will be unveiled in 2017, but hopefully these will continue to power our website and our clients’ websites for years to come. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about WordPress plugins.
We want to hear from you! Did we forget one of your favorite WordPress plugins? Let us know!