Here are the five WordPress plugins I can’t live without on any website build or optimization.

Redirection WordPress plugin add new redirection window screenshot


This plugin lets you take incoming traffic to page A and send it to page B. When you’re fixing up website architecture issues or dealing with broken backlinks from a website redesign, you’re going to need the Redirection plugin. Developed by John Godley, this plugin has over 1,000,000 active installations currently. It’s simple to use but loaded with features.

You can import from a CSV and track 404 page errors in real-time on your site. This is a mandatory plugin for less technical website managers or if you can’t get your hands on the .htaccess file to setup redirects manually.

WP Rocket WordPress plugin "best wordpress caching plugin"

WP Rocket

I prefer WP Rocket to all the other caching plugins out there. It’s a paid plugin currently $39 for use on one website, with one-year of support and updates but it gets things done right.

I’ve been able to reduce load times of websites and get better GTmetrix and Google Pagespeed scores using WP Rocket vs. the competition. Plus, it doesn’t have the dreaded uninstall nightmares of something like WP Total Cache. Like all caching plugins, you need to go one-step at a time to monitor breaking of CSS and Javascript.

AMP for WordPress plugin banner ad


This is somewhat controversial but the way Google has moved towards mobile first indexing and adopting AMP, I think this is a no brainer. The AMP for WordPress plugin is a super simple way to add AMP pages to the blog on your WordPress site. This isn’t a full site AMP converter, it just loads your blog content into AMP page shells in an SEO friendly way that Google likes. So if you’re looking to improve the mobile experience of your blog, then this is for you. Keep in mind AMP strips out a lot of scripts so you’ll need to setup special Google Analytics tracking for AMP. It may not be for you if you have a strategic sales funnel with your blog either because it can kill things like pop-ups and web forms.

Screenshot of the Customizer Import / Export plugin

Customizer Export/Import

There are three major components of any WordPress backup: files, database, theme settings. This plugin lets you quickly export and import your theme settings from the Appearance -> Customize window. It’s a routine part of our backup process along with automation using BackupBuddy.

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin Logo

Yoast SEO

Of course, Yoast SEO goes in this list. I doubt I need to explain the importance of this plugin, but it lets you easily modify your technical SEO information to improve page rankings in Google, Bing, etc. Though I’ll be honest, we’re in the process of testing alternatives because we’ve heard good things about The SEO Framework and Yoast keeps adding premium features and ads that cause loading issues. This may get swapped out once we complete our head-to-head of those plugins.

Have a favorite WordPress plugin for your builds?

Let us know in the comments!

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