What are must-have plugins for WordPress aside from Yoast?

And is there such a thing as an all in one SEO Plugin?

From the previous article, you read about the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. You saw the features that Yoast offers from SEO analysis to Content analysis. But, Yoast doesn’t have everything. It’s not an all in one plugin. That’s why in the second part of the best SEO plugins for WordPress, we’ll talk about complementary plugins that can work together with Yoast.

  • Smush
  • WP Fastest Cache
  • Redirection

Now, we’ll go through each one just like we did with Yoast. We’ll go through the features of each plugin, where to download and how to install them. Because let’s face it the best SEO analyst knows his/her tools well. After all, the tool that can give the SEO edge can cause you to fail if you don’t know how to use it. Now, onto the other plugins.

Ask anything related to SEO through White Hat SEO Network by Chase Reiner!

Smush

The Smush main page

What is Smush? Is this your first time hearing about this plugin in? Well if you’re an avid photographer or just like posting pictures on your website (Who doesn’t?), then you’re going to love Smush. Why? Because this little plugin will help save you space for your photos on your website big time.

Who doesn’t like images? Images make a boring old blog look interesting. It makes readers like you want to read more, and they enhance the whole reading experience. Especially, if you’re doing a tutorial blog, it helps when you can visualize everything.

But, the problem with images is that too many and it slows down your website. And a slow loading time can mean less brownie points from search engines like Google. Smush helps you fix that by compressing your images while still retaining the quality. Most applications out there reduce your image size at the expense of the quality, but with Smush that won’t be a problem any more.

Here are some of Smush’s features:

  • It optimizes your images using compression techniques that retain the image quality
  • Allows you to preset the maximum width and height and any large images will automatically scale accordingly.
  • Can process JPEG, PNG and GIF images.
  • Allows you to optimize any images in your directory
  • Can automatically compress your images upon upload
  • Manual compression is also available

And here’s the full list of Smush features from their site.

How do you install Smush?

Dashboard Plug ins

You can install it like most plugins. First, you open your dashboard in WordPress.

Dashboard plugins with the add new boxed

Then go through the menu and look for Plugins. Once you find it click Add New.

You’ll be given a wide array of plugins to choose from. Type Smush it in the plugins search bar, and you’ll find it. Click Install and wait for it to finish. Once you’re done with the installation go and click ActivateIt will run your set up, and you’ll see setting choices that you can configure the plugin to do.

After you pick your setting choices, Smush will bring you its dashboard, and you’ll see the images of your website being compressed. Once the compression is finished, then you’re done with the installation. Just like Yoast Smush also offers a premium SEO pack, if you have the budget to buy one. The free one works fine. You do get added features for the premium, like compressing full images and such.

 

WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache homepage

This is the most used caching plugin for WordPress. What it does is create static HTML files to make your WordPress blog more dynamic. You see when visitors come to your website, and the system ends up using lots of RAM and CPU. The outcome of this is your pages render slow. Having a cache system plugin helps remove the need to render pages over and over again so your website loads faster.

WP-Fastest cache helps you do just that. Take a look at the features that come with the plugin.

The fastest Mod_Rewrite method is used

  • Deletes all cache files when a post is published
  • As an admin, you can delete any cached file from the options page
  • You can delete minified CSS and JS files as well
  • Block certain cache for a chose page
  • Schedule when to delete cache for the whole site
  • Schedule cache delete for a specific page
  • Disable and Enable the cache for mobile devices
  • Disable and Enable the cache for users who are logged in
  • Offers SSL support
  • Offers CDN support
  • has Cloudflare Support
  • Automatically creates a cache for the whole site
  • Exclude certain pages and user-agents

How it optimizes your website’s performance

  • It generates static HTML files to make your blog more dynamic
  • Decreases the size of your page by minifying the HTML
  • Decreases the size of your CSS files through minifying the CSS
  • Reduces the size of files sent from your server to help increase the transfer speed to your browser. It does this through Gzip compression.
  • Reduce your page loading time for any repeat visitors through leverage browser caching
  • Reduces the number of HTTP round trips through combining multiple CSS resources you have into one.
  • Removes the emoji inline and wp-emoji-release.min.js

How to Install WP-Fastest Cache Plugin

Just like for Smush you install the plugin through the plugins menu of the WordPress dashboard. First, you go to your WordPress dashboard and look for the Plugins menu.

After you find the plugins menu, click the Add New button. You’ll see tons of plugins to choose from. Since you don’t want to spend a whole day scrolling through all the plugins what you do is type ‘WP Fastest Cache’ in the search bar. Once you find it, click Install and wait for it to finish the installation process.

Click Activate and wait for the configuration wizard to load. Once it finishes loading choose the settings, you want. If you’re using the free version, then the features to choose from are limited. But if you get the premium version, you can unlock all the features it has. Click Submit, wait for the website to load again and you’re good to go!

 

Redirection

Redirection is a redirect manager for WordPress and its the most popular. You can use it manage your redirections and keep track of all your 404 errors without the need for Apache or Nginx knowledge. Your redirects also called 301 redirections, and your 404 errors need  tidying up fixing loose ends. When you use a redirect manager, you help reduce site errors and improve your site ranking. 

The plugin has been used for over 1o years, and the best part is. It’s free.

 

Plugin Features

Redirect Manager

  • Allows you to create and manage redirects easily without you needing knowledge on Apache or Nginx.
  • Allows you to create redirect patterns to match your URLs no matter how many.
  • You can also configure it to monitor a post or page permalinks.

 

Conditional Redirects

  • Aside from straight-up matching URL, you can also create redirects based on the following:
  • Login/Logged out Status – Redirects based on whether the user has logged in or logged out.
  • Choice of Browser – redirects based on the browser that the user is using
  • Referrals – redirects based on the link from a page that the user has visited.
  • Cookies – redirects based on a cookie set
  • HTTP headers – redirects based on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Headers
  • Custom filter – redirects based on the WordPress filter you use.

 

Logging

This allows you to view all the redirects that happen in your site. This includes the visitor information, what browser did they use, and what link (if they used links) led them to your site. There is a counter that is mainted to take note of each redirect. It’s a way for you to see the URL that your site visitor used. 

Aside from showing the URL being used you can also check the geographic information and find out where the user is. As well as the IP address, full user agent information which will all help you understand who your site visitor is.

And the best part about this feature is you can export the logs for external viewing.

Support for Apache and Nginx

Redirect are by default managed by Redirection but you can configure it to be managed by Apache or Ngnix instead. You can do this because Redirections automatically saved your file to an .htaccess file or a rewrite rules file if you configure it as so.

Import and Export

The plugin comes with a full-featured export and import system which allows you to

  • export and import .htaccess files that you can upload to Apache
  • Export to Nginx with a Nginx rewrite rules
  • With JSON you can copy redirects between sites
  • Export and import to CSV so you can view it in a spreadsheet
  • Automate your import and export using WP CLI

How to Install Redirect

  • First, go to the website.
  • Download the Redirection.zip
  • Unzip the file
  • Upload the file to the redirect directory in your /wp-content/plugins
  • Now, go to your plugin management page and enable it.
  • Lastly, configure it according to what you want through the Manage/Redirection page.

And you’re good to go.

 

Final Thoughts

Plugins help make your WordPress experience better, by making your website load faster, ensuring that it’s optimized for Search Engines. Without plugins to simplify and process things more quickly, you would have to do it all by yourself manual style. But, knowing which plugins to use, and which to pick out of the hundreds in the market is crucial to getting the best result for your website and your business.