7 Essential WordPress Plugins for Every Website: Boost Speed, Security, and SEO

TLDR; – This blog post discusses the 10 essential WordPress plugins for every website, aiming to improve speed, security, and SEO. These must-use plugins include WP Rocket, Ghost Kit, Wordfence Security, Updraft Plus, Main WP, SEO Framework, and Smush. They provide a solid foundation for a smooth, secure, and efficient WordPress site, making them crucial for both beginners and experienced users.

If you’re a WordPress user, you’re likely familiar with the wide variety of plugins available for the platform. Plugins can add functionality to your site, help you optimize your content for search engines, and streamline your workflow. However, not all plugins are created equal, and some are more essential than others. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing Must Use WordPress plugins – the ones that are crucial for any WordPress site and should be installed on every installation. From security to optimization, these plugins will help ensure your site runs smoothly and securely. So, whether you’re a seasoned WordPress user or just getting started, read on to learn about the Must Use plugins you should have on your site.


The first plugin is WP ROCKET. WP Rocket is a caching plugin that will make your site load faster. Caching is the process of temporarily storing frequently used data to improve performance and efficiency by reducing the need to retrieve data from the original source. I’ve tried a few different plugins and for a long time I actually didn’t recommend WP Rocket because there were better FREE plugins, but they stepped up their game and with all my testing it seems to be the best and most consistent option. Their pricing isn’t horrible, especially if you are building lots of sites. 


GHOST KIT is a fantastic plugin if you’re using gutenberg. I plan to do a more in depth video on Ghost Kit, but essentially it gives you a ton of different block options for Gutenberg. They are well made blocks so there isn’t a ton of extra code or bloat. For me, they are essential on every site because they add functionality and the one plugin handles most things I would need to add to a site. Best part, it’s free and I have yet to need the premium version. . 


Security is essential for your wordpress site. WORDFENCE is my preferred security plugin, but you could use Sucuri which I have heard great things about. Wordfence is super simple to set up, and I have yet to have any issues with it *KNOCK ON WOOD* so I continue to use it. Either way, you have to use a security plugin, wordpress sites are some of the most targeted sites. Because so much of the web uses wordpress if you find one vulnerability you can exploit thousands of sites. 


UPDRAFT PLUS is my go to backup plugin. I am extremely strict about backups, I not only backup all my sites on the server, but I also use Updraft to back them up on Google Drive. Again, it’s extremely simple to set up and it just works. I don’t like messing with plugins after setting them up and with how many sites I launch each year, we try to stick to plugins with 100’s of thousands if not millions of installs. And the best part is, it integrates quite easily with our next plugin, MAIN WP. 


MAIN WP is a management plugin. At VIE Media we have dozens of sites that need plugin updates, backups, etc. So we use a management plugin to make it easier. There are tons of options for this including plugins from GoDaddy, Updraft, and more. However, we like Main WP because you can buy a lifetime license, it’s private and it’s self-hosted. We don’t have to use a third party website, we just installed it on our own wordpress site. 


SEO FRAMEWORK is my chosen SEO plugin, because it automates the majority of your work. It also has no ads, no branding, and no tracking. The guys behind SEO framework care about SEO, and ethics so it seems like an easy decision vs a plugin like Yoast. At VIE Media we also use the SEO Press Pro Plugin.  


SMUSH is the last plugin on our list. When we talk about speed, SEO, and optimization, the biggest focus needs to be on your images. Images are by far the largest part of your site, and if you aren’t optimizing them then you are just killing your site speed. Smush will automatically optimize your images usually saving you about 50% in image size. You should optimize your images before you upload to your site, but SMUSH will push them that little bit further.

In conclusion, these Must Use WordPress plugins are vital for any WordPress site, whether you’re just starting out or already an experienced user. With a focus on speed, security, SEO, and overall functionality, these plugins will make your site run smoothly, securely, and efficiently. By installing WP Rocket, Ghost Kit, Wordfence Security, Updraft Plus, Main WP, SEO Framework, and Smush, you’ll be ensuring that your WordPress site is equipped with the best tools to thrive in the digital world. Don’t leave your site’s performance to chance – give it the support it deserves with these essential plugins.