Lately, I've been finding myself creating new wordpress websites - three in the past month, to be exact. As a result, I've gotten an idea of what plugins are necessary in order for it to survive and thrive.
First, what are plugins? Basically, plugins are to your site what apps are to your phone. Plugins are pieces of software that you can add on top of wordpress so that your site can do more of what you want it to do.
The following are all the plugins I would install immediately after setting up the site.
First I will list all of the "essential" plugins, then the ones that are very useful but depending on what you are trying to do with your site.
WordFence - this is a very important plugin, as it has to do with security. It constantly checks your website for malware and hacking attempts.
UpdraftPlus - At any moment, something could go wrong with your site - you could get hacked, your server crashes, you accidentally delete important code etc. When that happens having a recent backup of your website is extremely important, and that's what UpdraftPlus does. It backs up your website periodically.
Yoast SEO - this plugin is very important because it helps you determine how your site looks on google. It also allows you to determine what picture and text you want to show when you link a certain page on social media.
Google Analytics - this plugin helps you see how visitors find and use your website. For example, it shows you what people googled to find your website.
WP Super Cache - I honestly don't know how this plugin works but it somehow makes your site load faster.
Really Simple SSL - if you look up on your browser, next to this url you should see a green lock and the word "secure." This is an SSL certificate and it helps users determine whether they should feel safe entering their information on a form. Even though your site may have the certificate, sometimes it may say it's "not secure" and scare away users. This plugin is a way to make sure that doesn't happen.
Tidio Live Chat - live chat is a great way to engage customers. This one not only does that but it also keeps track of who visits your website and allows you to contact them as they are visiting. That's a pretty cool feature if you ask me.
Facebook Live Chat - don't let the name fool you; this plugin is a lot more than a live chat. It has things like floating share buttons and a scroll to the top button (you can see them on this site currently). This is a great plugin for a local store because it has a floating "store location" button that, when you click it, a map pops up. It also has floating testimonials, among many other things.
Any page builder - page builders are amazing tools; they let you quickly and effortlessly build highly customized pages. I like to use Thrive Architect which is not free, but there are others that have good, free versions such as Elementor and Brizy.