15 Main Types of Website Plugins for Your Blog and Popular Examples


13 types of website plugins for your blog

Website Plugins: Best Practices, Advantages and Disadvantages

Being able to create a website is a somehow complex process, especially if one is not an expert in web development and related fields. In times past, you would have to learn how to code and get acquainted with computer languages like HTML before you could be able to create a functional web page.

The situation has changed following the emergence of content management systems (CMS) and blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress, Wix, builders like Elementor, and several other CMSs out there. These platforms allow anyone with just a little knowledge of how to use them to create a website or blog and manage such effectively.

WordPress is one of the most flexible platforms for creating a website without having to learn how to code. Although Google Blogger offers ready-made themes, it's not user-friendly and lacks the tools for one to get the desired user interface (UI) as WordPress.

One of the ready-made features that make content management platforms like WordPress easy to use is plugins.

What are Website Plugins?

Website plugins are mini software programs that integrate with your existing website platform to add specific features and functionalities to your website or blog, enhancing its capabilities, user experience, and core functionality. These plugins act like apps or extensions to your website; just like an app adds more functions on your computer, while add-ons help your browser do more.

You can create a functional website without plugins but such a website or blog just can't be standard unless you can write codes for the extra functionalities. Yes, plugins are necessary where you cannot code for some features that you need on your blog. For instance, instead of writing a contact form code to receive a message on your blog, which would require both front-end and back-end coding, you can simply use ready-made contact form plugins.

Advantages of Using Plugins on Your Website

  • Plugins add more functionalities to your blog.
  • Using plugins reduces the stress of having to write complex code.
  • Adding a plugin to your site saves time.
  • Plugin help beautify your website, improving the user interface and enhancing user experience.
  • Plugins helps in boosting your blog performance and speed.
  • Plugins are parts of the necessities for your blog security.

There are many other advantages of plugins but the ultimate benefit is that plugins enable you to add any feature to your website or blogs without complex coding process.

Disadvantages of Using Plugin on Your Website or Blog

  • Too many plugins on a blog slow down its speed.
  • Some plugins are outrageously expensive thereby increasing the cost of owning a website.
  • Most plugins need to be updated periodically which offers additional work for the site maintenance team.
  • Using the wrong plugin can add malware to your blog.
  • Installing a plugin on your site can be problematic or complex if you don't know how to do it.

Although plugins have some disadvantages being that most of them are third party softwares, their benefits outweigh the disadvantages. That gives a greenlight to the use of plugins for building your site.

The Following Website Plugins are Necessary for Your website:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plugins

Best plugins for your website performance

SEO plugins help optimize your website for search engines, improve your site's visibility, and boost organic traffic. Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack are popular options.

Rank math is also another top plugin, especially for WordPress users. Rank math plugins even have additional advantages which include local SEO and keyword rank tracking functionalities. However, the most popular WordPress SEO plugin is All in One SEO popularly known as AIOSEO. This SEO plugin has up 3 million users.

2. Performance optimization plugins:

These plugins improve the performance of your website by boosting its speed, thereby enhancing its user experience and responsiveness.

Performance optimization offers this function by either creating a static HTML page for the initial load-time or caching the page via the user's browser or device. Examples of performance optimization plugins are WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

3. Security Plugins:

These are plugins that protect your website from malicious attacks such as malware and unauthorized access such as hacking and brute force attacks.

Examples of security plugins are Wordfence, iTheme Security and JetPack. iThemes Security provides website hardening, login security, and file monitoring to prevent vulnerabilities.

4. Image optimization plugins:

Large files reduce the speed of a website. Images are the major contributors to the low loading speed of most websites followed by large code files like JavaScript. Unfortunately, you can not do away with all images on your blog as they are vital for adding information, aesthetics and other functionalities to the blog. 

The best way to counter challenges associated with large images is to reduce image size and use the right image formats. However, doing so can reduce the quality of the images. That's why image plugins are vital. 

Plugins like Smush optimizes image file size without compromising quality, thereby improving website loading speed. EWWW Image Optimizer, another popular image plugin,  compresses and converts website images to web-friendly formats.

5. Social Media Plugins:

Most popular website plugins for your blog

Social Media Plugins enable you to integrate social media sharing buttons, display social media feeds, and encourage social engagement. These help to boost your audience engagement and probably bring more traffic to your website, as well as boost your brand awareness. Social Warfare and Easy Social Share Buttons are commonly used plugins.

6. Contact form plugins:

Contact form plugins enable you to build customizable contact forms for collecting users' information. These forms are mostly used on websites for receiving messages from the audience. 

Most contact form builders offer simple drag-and-drop features that enable such functions on your blog. Examples of contact form builders which plugins you might need are Gravity Forms, WPForms, Contact Forms 7 and Constant Contact.

7. Analytics plugins:

Analytical plugins are necessary to help you measure the performance of your website. They are necessary for your SEO and marketing campaigns.

Without analytical data, it is hard to know much information about your blog performance, content distribution, audience demographic and users' behaviors.

Google analytics is the most popular analytics plugin and it's available for integration to almost every website platform. For blogger users, Google analytics is available by default. For WordPress users, use a plugin known as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP - MonsterInsights. This integrates Google Analytics with your WordPress dashboard for easy website traffic analysis.

Note that every content management system has its own analytics plugin while some are by default.

8. Backup and restoration plugins:

These plugins perform two main functions including backing up and restoring your website files. They are necessary to prevent your website from being deleted by mistake. 

Backup and restoration plugins also help in restoring a backup file after code errors. It is necessary to back up your site periodically in order not to lose its content to malware, attack or human errors. Some of the popular backup and restoration plugins are pdraftPlus and VaultPress. They are all integrable on WordPress.

9. Spam prevention plugins

Websites or blogs with high spam score (SS) can get blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Spam score can result from spammy back links, spammy comments or reckless sharing of links on wrong platforms.

In order to prevent high spam score on your site, monitoring it is necessary. Although there are many tools to monitor this, adding a plugin on your site for this purpose is the quickest way. These Plugins detect spams and anything that can harm your site, and block them. Use Akismet Filters to block spammy comments or Cleantalk. AntiSpamBee and AntiSpam are also available plugins for this function.

10. Email marketing plugins

Email marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing strategy. It helps you have control over your audience, keeping your website engaged and passing information to your customers.

Most email marketing platforms function independently and simply be integrated to a website or blogs via a copy and paste code. However, if you need plugins for this purpose, especially for WordPress users, us MailChimp for WordPress, SendinBlue or OptinMonster.

While MailChimp helps you to build email form, OptinMonster ensures that you have more subscribers and generate more leads. 

If your website platform doesn't offer such plugin, simple go to MailChimp, SendPulse, or any email marketing service provider online to create your campaigns. You can use these tools to create popups, opt-in forms, and other lead generation tools to grow your email list.

11. E-commerce Plugins

Major types of website plugins for your blog

If you want to set-up an online store or turn your website to an automated market place, you need e-commerce Plugins. These softwares enable your site visitors to see your products, add them to carts, make payments and get the items delivered. The whole process is automated.

If setting up an online store is what you opt for, plugins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads can help you manage products, payments, and inventory. You can also use WP Easy Cart plugin.

12. Writing and Edition plugins

These are plugins that enable a website user to write and edit text and images on a website. They mitigate coding stress thereby allowing bloggers to type the content in text. Without such tools, one would have to code for everything.

Most editors come by default, but at times some default editors may not have needed features for editing the text properly. That's why such plugins are necessary. The most popular WordPress plugins for typing a blog post is WordPress Classic Editor. For Blogger and WIX users, you may not need this.

13. Page Building and Design Plugins

Page builders are plugins that offer website builders simple drag and drop features for designing their websites. They allow you to easily customize your website and offer your page the layout design that you want. 

For WordPress, the most popular of these layout design plugins are Seedprob Divi, Elementor and Blog Designer. For those using blogger, the basic layout builders are already embedded on your blogger dashboard under layouts.

14. Membership plugins

Membership or community plugins enable you as a website owner or blogger to create a community or social media page on your blog where users can register and interact with another another. Having permanent members on your blog helps it to be active and also make it easy for you to promote your products and services. Examples of membership plugins are MemberPress and BuddyPress for WordPress users.

15. App Building Plugins

App builders are plugins that enable you to automatically convert your website into an app. Most of these app builders exist independently from content management systems or website platforms, while some exist as plugins. Most independent app builders need just your RSS or XML feeds to function. WordPress Mobile App Plugins are the most popular app Building plugins. Example are WappPress, APPExperts and AppMySite.

You see? Website Plugins are very helpful when it comes to adding additional functionalities and features to your website or blogs. They help reduce the stress of coding every single thing and enable you to design your website to your taste. Meanwhile, when using plugins, understand the dos and donts or obtain a service from an experienced web developer to avoid issues on your website.

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