Do you have a WordPress website and are looking for ways to optimise it? Our expert staff have put together a list of 10 of their favourite WordPress plugins for SEO.
If you are even the slightest bit serious about SEO, you should download this plugin right now. Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) has over 1,000,000 active installs, over 8,000 positive reviews and is updated on a very regular basis.
One of its best and simplest features is that it lets you manually edit the meta title and description for each individual page and post (rather than WordPress simply pulling in the post title). This means you can highly optimise your page for your chosen keyword. Yoast will also analyse each page/post, searching for your chosen “focus keyword” and checking that it appears in the page title, h1 header, content, meta title and meta description. Just these two features alone make it worth your while, but it has plenty more, including help with your sitemaps, breadcrumbs, categories, internal linking structure and RSS enhancements – and that’s just in the free version!
Limit Login Attempts
As much as we all love WordPress, one of its major flaws is that it doesn’t try to restrict the number of login attempts by default. This means that hackers can use bots to simply enter millions of passwords to brute-force their way into your site. Limit Login Attempts does what it says on the tin – it puts a limit on the number of consecutive failed logins and will lock users out of the site for a pre-determined amount of time.
Real Favicon Generator
The days are gone when your site just needed one 16 x 16px Favicon. Real Favicon Generator takes one image and creates multiple icons for desktop browsers, iOS, Android, Windows devices and more. The icons are created and automatically saved in the appropriate locations, saving you a lot of effort and frustration.
Sometimes you only want a widget to appear on a certain page, or only be shown to a particular logged-in user. Display Widgets lets you control where widgets appear without having to mess around with creating new page templates and altering any PHP.
Global Content Blocks
This is a big time-saver for larger sites. Let’s say the company you work for changes their phone number, and that phone number appears on 1,000 different pages of the company website – you would either have to update each page manually, or run a search-and-replace in your database – either way would be a big headache.
Global Content Blocks lets you create re-usable chunks of code, which you can insert into multiple pages with a simple snippet – for example [phoneNumber]. Now, whenever you update the content block it will automatically update every instance where it is used throughout the site. Content blocks can contain anything from text and images all the way up to large forms and complex PHP code.
If you do a lot of A/B testing then Duplicate Post is a must. The plugin can clone a page or post with just one click, keeping all the settings, meta information, templates etc. intact.
Advanced Custom Fields & Advanced Custom Fields: Code Area
404 to 301
This is useful if you’ve just had a big site refresh, or if you have recently bought an expired domain that came with a lot of backlinks. Simply activate the plugin, and all pages that no longer exist will be redirected to your homepage. No need to edit your .htaccess file and no more errors in Google Webmaster Tools!
One of the few paid plugins on this list, BackupBuddy allows you to set up a regular backup schedule of your site, storing everything securely in the cloud. We’ve all had that sickening feeling when something goes horribly wrong and you don’t have a recent backup of your site to fall back on. This plugin removes the need to download all your files via FTP (which can get very time-consuming for big sites and slow connections) and do a separate backup of your MySQL database.
Disable Visual Editor WYSIWYG
Have you ever switched between the text & visual tabs when editing a page, only to find that your lovely HTML code has been all mangled? This is a simple plugin that prevents that from happening by disabling the visual editor. You can allow the visual editor for certain pages/posts/custom post types, which is useful if you share the site with other users who may not be HTML proficient.