Plugins are a great way to extend the functionality of your WordPress website. Some plugins help with security, some with analytics, & some make it easier to add in your Instagram feed! Different plugins have different functionalities. However, just like with themes, you need to make sure to look into the developer before adding a plugin to your website. Hasn’t been updated in two years? Haha, NAH THANK YA. Not compatible with your current WordPress version? May want to wait to see if it will be.

When I make a new WordPress website there are five plugins that I add automatically to the Dashboard. Doesn’t matter if product or service website, I just know that these plugins will cover the initial functionality that the client will need. Some of these plugins do have added premium features, but I start with the free version & let the client decide if they want to upgrade.



For website security, free/paid versions

Wordfence is a great option for WordPress security. I am able to get notifications of when someone logs into the website, if there are attempted logins, & if a plugin needs to be updated. To have these updates sent immediately even on the free version it is GREAT for peace of mind with your website!

  • Make sure to follow the prompts when setting up (it can seem overwhelming, so take it as slow as you need).
  • If you are not the website owner, then I’d enter the website owner’s email in for notifications. Then, tell them to set up an email forward to you when they get a notification from Wordfence.



For SEO set up, free/paid versions

Can we all agree that SEO might be the bane of our online existence? Meta tags, robots, and whatever else “crawls” the internet to search for the most relevant option…blerg. Personally, not my cup of tea. That’s why Yoast is so great! I’m able to get my blog posts & pages set up for the greatest success online with JUST the free version of this plugin! (Can’t imagine what it would do with the premium! #BlastOff)

  • Definitely keep up with Yoast’s blog. If you have no idea what you are doing with SEO, then check out their SEO basics posts. These are incredible in the information they give so that you are better prepared to start building your SEO correctly. (Specifically, research your keywords.)

Google Analytics


Tracking website visitors, free/paid options

This is a two-fer that depends on the client.

  1. If a client wants tracking for their website with MINIMAL interaction of the Google Analytics dashboard, then I recommend adding MonsterInsights.
  2. If a client wants tracking for their website but will use the Google Analytics dashboard to look at their stats, then I go with Insert Headers and Footers.

Both of these plugins will give the client what they want (tracking their website visitors), but can require more or less interaction with the GA dashboard. (Just a heads up, if you are using Google Analytics on your website then you have to include a Privacy Policy.)

  • Google Analytics is free. You should set yourself up on that or whatever else there is to track your website visitors. (…But really, is there anything else?) Use Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from & build your marketing plan accordingly.
  • When you or your webmaster set up your GA account, make sure they set up a filter to not count your IP Address! It’s really embarrassing to think you had 200 site visitors…but 50% is you.
  • MonsterInsights has free & paid options. Again, totally up to the client what they want to upgrade to.
  • Insert Headers and Footers will reside in your “Settings” tab in the Dashboard. You just enter the code to track your Google Analytics & make sure to analyze your results in the GA dashboard.

WP Smush


Shorter website load time with smaller photo files, free/paid options

They may not know they need this plugin, but one day they will! With multiple images on their website, Smush helps to keep a low loading time.

  • WPMU DEV has other plugins as well. Be sure to check them out!

Under Construction


Create a landing page to “hide” your website before the launch

Under Construction is a plugin that can “mask” your behind the scenes. You just turn it on or off depending on if you want site visitors to be able to view what you have been building! It is possible to whitelist certain people to be able to view the website while others are not.

  • Different landing page designs! It’s pretty cute illustrations for the free version. The paid option has more features on your landing page.
  • Once your website is live & you are certain that everything is working correctly, I would recommend deactivating & deleting this plugin. Having too many unnecessary files on your backend can slow down your website.

With every WordPress.org website design, these are my top 5 plugins to automatically install on the dashboard. If you aren’t sure how to code but want some extra features on your website don’t hesitate to google different plugins! Just definitely read the fine print to make sure that it’s updated regularly (usually on the right-hand side of the plugin page).

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Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

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Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

Work with Me

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