8 WordPress Plugins Inbound Marketers Can’t Live Without

I love WordPress. I’ve been using it for about 7 years on over a dozen personal sites. Not to mention the countless number of client sites we’ve built on WordPress over the years here at LyntonWeb.

It’s a great (and free!) CMS for beginners all the way up to advanced developers. However, out of the box it’s missing some basic features, which is where plugins come in. Here are some of our favorites that we include on almost every WordPress site we build:

1. Wordfence

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
Cost: Free, paid premium features available

Security is important to me, especially after my server was hacked due to a WordPress vulnerability. Wordfence is an amazing plugin that does so much, even at the free tier.

Right on their homepage you can see Wordfence in action, blocking malicious traffic. It’s pretty impressive.

Wordfence monitors your site in real time and will email you with any issues it finds. Including any files that are changed/updated and plugins/templates that need updates (which is how the majority of WordPress hackers gain access to sites). Wordfence can also do things like require users to use secure passwords, block fake Googlebots, block IPs, scan for DNS changes and so much more.

How useful is Wordfence?

So far in July I have seen 34 malicious login attempts on seven of my personal sites, all of which Wordfence has blocked. When there are heavy attack days I’ve seen as many as 348 attempts on one of my sites over the course of two days.

Security is no joke, and Wordfence takes it seriously.

2. BackWPup

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/backwpup/
Cost: Free, paid premium features available

BackWPup was another incredibly useful plugin when I was hacked. This plugin allows you to create a backup of your WordPress site, files, as well as your SQL database. When I was hacked I was able to roll the site back to a date prior to the hacking and get a clean export of my pages and posts.

You can use BackWPup to create backup files that sync to your Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, Azure, or at the very least your local server (don’t do that, though) on any schedule that you want.

3. WordPress SEO by Yoast

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
Cost: Free, paid premium features available

WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great plugin that will help you optimize your pages and blog posts for search engines with a few easy to use fields on each new item you post.

The plugin will direct you to enter in a focus keyword, and check to make sure you included that keyword in your title, URL and in the content. If you pass all of their tests, your post will show a green circle near the publish button and on your pages and posts lists. If you miss a few steps you’ll get a yellow, orange, or red circle, directing you to try again.

4. W3 Total Cache

Cost: Free

Is your website slow to load? Our uber-developer Brad laid out why your WordPress site is probably slow in this blog post, and you should listen to him. If a page takes too long to load your potential customers are hitting the back button and going back to Google, then over to your competitor’s site. You don’t want that.

5. Jetpack

Plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
Cost: Free

Jetpack is a suite of plugins from WordPress with tons of features, like site stats, simple email subscriptions, social networking comment systems. Need more? How about auto-publishing new posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and more? Jetpack will also allow you to display social sharing buttons of your choice on your blog posts. These few features only scratch the surface of this plugin.

6. Simple 301 Redirects

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-301-redirects/
Cost: Free

Do you monitor your crawl errors in Google Webmaster Tools? If you do, you probably have seen a list of links that Google has marked as 404s, meaning they, and your customers, can’t access that page. In order to not lose any search engine rankings for those URLs you need to create a 301 redirect to point that bad URL to a good URL. This plugin is exactly what’s on the box, a simple way to install and manage 301 redirects.

7. Akismet

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/
Cost: Free for personal sites, $5/month for a single site license

One of the worst parts about having a blog (on any platform) is the spam comments. Akismet takes care of all of those spam comments for you so you can concentrate on improving your site, not battling spam bots.

8. Disqus

Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/disqus-comment-system/
Price: Free

We don’t always install Disqus on WordPress sites, but it is a great plugin for commenting. Disqus gives your readers the ability to connect and comment with their existing social media accounts. And it gives you powerful comment moderation tools, as well as spam filtering.

These WordPress plugins will give you better security and protection from hackers, as well as streamline your inbound marketing. Can’t beat that, right?

This article originally appeared on LyntonWeb.