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Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Site Optimization & Security

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small business owner using wordpress pulgins

Site Optimization and Security WordPress Plugins

Site optimization plugins are designed to improve site speed, performance, SEO position and analytics insights, while security plugins are essential for identifying and mitigating common malicious requests on your site. Together, these plugins can aid in driving legitimate traffic, increasing conversions and growing revenue, making them great marketing tools for your small business. Let’s take a look at some of the best plugins small business owners can implement:

For Image Optimization and Compression

Optimizing the images on your website ensures a better user experience with quicker load times. It can also help by boosting the rank of your images in image searches on Google.  

  • Smush works to compress images without a visible drop in quality. Smush can detect incorrect image sizes and offer smart tips for scaling your image to increase your Google PageSpeed score. It also has a Lazy Load built-in that will speed up your page, first loading images in the first viewport and then loading images below the fold.
  • WP-Optimize has the ability to cache your pages for faster download times. It clears out all your unnecessary data and also serves as another helpful plugin for keeping high-quality images while increasing your page speed.
  • Optimole uses a cloud-based system to speed up your website, without sacrificing the quality of your images. This plugin works to ensure that your content does not shift with smart cropping features and will also add watermarks to your images if needed. 

For Caching, Speed and Performance

Caching plugins improve the efficiency of data retrieval and can increase the load speed of your site exponentially. 

  • WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins on the market – and also the most beginner-friendly, with no technical skills required to use it. This plugin automatically crawls and builds your website cache, which in turn creates an instant performance boost. 
  • W3 Total Cache has been around for more than a decade and is trusted by millions of WordPress users to improve SEO ranking by increasing site speed. Although a bit more technically intensive, W3TC works wonders to improve website performance, thereby boosting the user experience.
  • Autoptimize is known for its ability to “minify,” meaning it removes unnecessary characters within your site's code and combines multiple separate files into one, helping to speed up your site. 

For SEO

Optimizing your website for search engines can increase your rank in search results, which increases the chance of someone discovering your small business online.

  • All in One SEO works to improve your SEO ranking and uncover new growth opportunities in less than 10 minutes, without having to hire an SEO expert or developer. It helps you properly add meta descriptions, keywords and connect your site to Google Search Console
  • Yoast SEO helps you optimize your site’s content and keywords in order to improve your website ranking in search engines. 

For Security

Cyberattacks are all too common these days and hackers are constantly changing their tactics, making it difficult to keep your website secure. While you might think attackers only target large businesses, small businesses are often easier targets because they lack the proper security tools. These plugins can help defend your site. 

  • Sucuri is globally recognized for website security. With a WordPress security plugin as well as a web application firewall, Sucuri monitors your site for potential attacks. 
  • Wordfence has a firewall web application that identifies and blocks malicious traffic.  This plug-in also alerts you when your site is running vulnerable or outdated plugins, themes, or core files.
  • UpdraftPlus is the world’s most popular scheduled backup plugin. It backs up your files into the cloud, making it easy to restore them with a single click. Creating regular backups for your WordPress site is critical in the event your site is hacked or taken down. 

For Analytics Insights

Understanding how your visitors find your site and their activity patterns once they arrive is helpful for optimizing your site content and structure. These plugins provide you with access to invaluable data in an organized, easy to understand format. 

  • Site Kit by Google allows you to connect to multiple Google services, like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. The Google Analytics service enables you to track your website and view important visitor data with in-depth reports to help guide future decisions.  
  • MonsterInsights is an easy way to connect your WordPress site to your Google Analytics account. This plugin gives you a greater insight into how visitors find your site and what they do when they are on your site. It even shows you important stats right on your WordPress dashboard. 

While this is not an exhaustive list, these plugins offer a great starting point for increasing optimization and security efforts on your small business WordPress site. For more information about specific plugin features and pricing, follow the links throughout this post.

* Free standard installation applies to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Limited-time offer.