Imagine you have the car of your dreams. Passerbys marvel. It looks stunning, the paint sparkling in the sunlight.

Then you go to start it and…nothing happens. Why? Your new dream car doesn’t have a solid engine!

Well, the same goes for your new, beautiful WordPress site. Sure, there are plenty of WordPress themes to make your site dazzle like a fresh coat of pearly white paint.

But you’ll also need a strong, fast engine to get your site running smoothly. Because, like your dream car, if you don’t give your site what it needs, it won’t perform.

That’s where plugins come in!

So today we’re doing a quick WordPress tutorial on 5 must-have free plugins to get your site the performance it deserves.

1. Yoast SEO – The Plugin to Help Grow Your Site

Most blogs and websites rarely, if ever, get visitors. This severely restricts their ability to grow. Sadly, it’s because most bloggers know nothing about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Thankfully, the Yoast SEO plugin is available to help you grow your site. Yoast, like most of the plugins mentioned, has a free and premium version (i.e., freemium).

Yoast uses a red, yellow, and green light system that tells you the level of keyword-optimization of your post. Not perfect? Yoast tells you what you need to get to green.

It also gives you XML sitemaps to make your site easier to find by Google and makes meta information editing easy.

New to SEO? Quickly learn 4 mistakes to avoid in this post so you can get the most out of Yoast.

Honorable Mention: All-in-One SEO Pack

2. Capture Your Visitor’s Email with Sumo

Smart marketers know one of the keys to growing a business is building an email list.

Sumo’s WordPress plugin simplifies that process for busy and beginner business owners.

The folks at Sumo take care of your website’s opt-in pop-ups. What’s more, they give you unlimited subscribers while delivering up to 10,000 emails a month for free!

Then they enable you to customize your visitor targeting. For example, Sumo will send them a shopping cart abandonment email, increasing your chances of conversion.

Honorable Mention: OptinMonster

3. Know Your Audience with Google Analytics Plug-Ins

Want to know all your site’s analytics without bothering with code?

MonsterInsights easily installs on your site and shows you basic visitor stats. It also alerts you when visitors click an affiliate link or download your free guide/lead magnet. Cheers to that!

Honorable Mention: Analytify

4. A Plugin for All-Around Peace-of-Mind

You and your users want to stay safe from hackers and spammers. And that’s easy with WordPress plugins like Akismet.

Built by WordPress’ developers, Akismet quickly:

  • Filters and helps you remove comment spam
  • Spotlights hidden spammer links
  • Trashes the worst and most obvious spam

If you’re selling directly on your website, go for the premium upgrade.

Honorable Mentions: Sucuri, WordFence Security

5. Solve the HTML Dilemma with WordPress Page Builders

Elementor Page Builder Plugin

Ever use a website builder like Wix? They make it super easy to build your website without HTML knowledge.

But the fact is, WordPress offers too many benefits (much cheaper, more design freedom, etc.) to ignore.

Plus, WordPress powers many of the world’s most popular websites. Is that an accident? Probably not…

And now WordPress plugins like Beaver Builder work just like Wix. Except Beaver Builder enables you to get a quick, highly-customizable, mobile-friendly website up for free!

Honorable Mention: Elementor – for the serious, committed website builder in you.

6. GDPR Cookie Consent

This WordPress Cookie Consent plugin is one of the best solutions to add to your WordPress website to get assistance for complying with the GDPR cookie law and other major privacy/cookie laws such as CCPA, DSGVO, RGPD, etc.

It allows you to display a cookie banner on your website that informs your visitors regarding cookie usage and asks explicit consent on whether or not to render cookies. You can easily create a cookie/privacy policy from scratch with the built-in templates available with the plugin.

Third-party cookies are also easily handled by the plugin with its automatic script blocking feature.

Ready, Set, Go!

Now your WordPress site is properly souped-up and ready for profitability!

I hope this little WordPress tutorial on plugins was helpful!

Now take what you learned and go use it!