Optimization made easy: must-have WordPress plugins

Optimization made easy: must-have WordPress plugins

Which plugins make your WordPress website truly attractive, fast and user-friendly? In this article, we introduce key plugins that every website operator should know.

Rita Ludwig-Helmchen Rita Ludwig-Helmchen · Technical Consultant

Since its introduction in 2003, WordPress has become one of the leading content management systems. Originally designed as a simple tool for bloggers, it is now used for all kinds of websites – from small online stores to large corporate sites.

One of the key aspects that makes WordPress so powerful and user-friendly is its extensibility, thanks to more than 55,000 plugins in the WordPress directory. However, not all plugins are of the same quality.

Which criteria should you consider when choosing a plugin?

To avoid typical beginner mistakes, like hastily installing too many plugins, or unsafe ones, the following main criteria should be taken into account when selecting plugins:

Deciding between free and paid plugins, among other selection criteria, is an important aspect that can have a significant impact on the functionality and future security of your website.

A free plugin isn’t necessarily a sign of low quality. Free versions are suitable for simple, budget-oriented projects, but can be limited in terms of updates and support. Paid plugins are often characterized by advanced features, regular updates and professional support that can help with questions or errors when required.

Since updates are carried out at irregular intervals, you should log into the backend of your WordPress installation at least once a week, where you can check for and install any pending updates to keep your website secure.

If you have WordPress version 5.5 or later, you can update themes, plugins and WordPress automatically, which helps to improve security and minimize the risk of vulnerabilities.

Which plugins should I know about?

Which plugin should you choose when there are several that appear to have similar functions? To give you some guidance, we will introduce some essential plugins and their categories, and explain how they can be important for your website.

Plugins for extra security
First of all, the plugins that provide protection against threats should be installed. Experience shows that automated bots can often locate a newly created website and explore potential weaknesses within a very short time.

Reliable security plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall and NinjaFirewall are essential for protecting websites against various online threats. They offer comprehensive protection through features such as regular security scans and firewalls, as well as defense mechanisms against brute force attacks. These plugins are crucial not only for website security, but also for visitor trust and the protection of sensitive data.

Backups made easy
The importance of backup plugins like UpdraftPlus and BackWPup cannot be overstated. They allow you to easily create backups, ensuring the security and integrity of website data. These tools are particularly helpful for reacting quickly and restoring data in the event of technical problems or attacks.

The regularly created backups should always be stored outside the server as well. A backup soon becomes worthless if it is already infected with malware or the backup location crashes with the website.

Performance optimization
One of the important ranking factors for Google is website loading time, as it is closely related to user-friendliness. Performance optimization plugins help improve loading times by using various techniques such as caching, image optimization, and minification of CSS and JavaScript files.

For e-commerce sites, such as online clothes stores that frequently update their collections, plugins like W3 Total Cache can make an important contribution to loading speed. They help to effectively reduce loading times, especially during peak times, such as when launching a new fashion collection. This improves the customer experience and minimizes the risk of cart abandonment due to slow web pages.

For good performance, keep the number of installed plugins as low as possible. Unneeded or inactive plugins should be removed to avoid security risks and loss of performance.

SEO plugins
Plugins like Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO are essential for search engine optimization. They offer extensive features to improve SEO, such as analyzing and optimizing keywords, designing effective meta tags, and creating sitemaps. These plugins play a big part in improving the visibility and ranking of a website in search engines.

In our articles on search engine optimization and the most important Core Web Vitals, we explain exactly which factors are important for search engines like Google when trying to achieve the highest possible ranking in search results.

Social media plugins
In today’s connected world, social media integration is a must for every website. Plugins like Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons make it easier to find and post on a company’s social media pages (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and share content published on them, such as blog articles.

E-commerce plugins
WooCommerce is a comprehensive e-commerce solution that offers flexible and scalable options for online stores. With its numerous payment gateway extensions, product management, and reporting features, WooCommerce can be customized to suit a variety of business needs.

Let’s say you run a medium-sized company that specializes in selling sports clothing and equipment. With a wide range of products, from running shoes to yoga mats, you need a robust e-commerce solution that can handle both the diversity of your range and high volumes of traffic.

Website builder plugins
Website builder plugins are one of the most powerful tools in the WordPress world for designing the visual appearance of a website intuitively and without any programming knowledge. These types of plugins offer a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to create, customize and optimize page layouts.

With plugins like Beaver Builder and Elementor, you can design your website to be visually appealing without requiring in-depth programming knowledge. Text boxes, images and other elements such as contact forms can be added easily as block elements via drag and drop. Since the release of version 5.0, WordPress has also had its own web page builder that offers useful features and can even be enhanced.

The plugins listed in this article are products from external providers. Hostpoint assumes no responsibility for their use and does not provide any assurances regarding their functionality.


There’s a plugin to help you with almost any project. This makes the careful selection and purposeful use of WordPress plugins all the more important, as they play a central role in the security, performance and user-friendliness of your website. Pay particular attention to compatibility, regular updates and user feedback before installing a plugin and never forget to create backups!

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