To get a sense of the importance of WordPress plugins to your passive income site, think of a car.
In its simplest form, a car is an engine, transmission, four wheels and a driver’s seat. It will get you from point A to point B, but it won’t necessarily do it in comfort or style. What really makes a car a joy to drive is all the accessories — the sound system, air conditioning, sunroof, and heated seats.
This analogy ties closely to WordPress. In its simplest form, WordPress is nothing more than a bare-bones platform to host your content. It’s the plugins that can flesh out your site, adding bells and whistles to make it perform faster, better, and more profitably.
In fact, there is a plugin for just about anything you need and many of them are free of charge. You can find plugins on the official WordPress site, which offers a simple search tool.
In building our passive income site, we’ve experimented with dozens of plugins. The sheer number of them available can be overwhelming. However, a handful have made a huge difference in the performance of our site. That’s why to help you get started, we’ve cut through all the noise and rounded up five free plugins that we think every passive income site needs. There are all plugins that we use personally on our sites, and best of all, they are all free.
1. Make Your Site Faster with WP Super Cache
If you want to rank well in search engines like Google, then your site needs to be fast. Search engines take your site’s load time into consideration — on both mobile and desktop — when determining your rank.
If you want to make your site faster, then WP Super Cache is a must-have. In simple terms, the plugin created a “cached” version of your site that it can serve up more quickly to visitors. Even if your site already loads quickly, this plugin could help it load even faster.
2. Optimize for Search Engines with All in One SEO Pack
You know that SEO is important to a passive income site, so it’s obvious that a plugin that helps to make optimization extremely easy makes our list of must-haves.
All in One SEO Pack is exactly what it sounds like. The free plugin integrates seamlessly into WordPress. Whenever you create a post on your site, it will have fields to fill in important SEO fields like page title and description, meta data, and more. Even if you don’t fill in the SEO descriptions, the plugin will automatically optimize based upon the post.
3. Save Your Site with BackUpWordPress
There isn’t a more boring plugin on our list, but there also isn’t a more important one, either. As you can likely guess, this tool is a free backup service. Everyone knows that they should regularly backup their computer files. It’s the exact same for your website. Should something happen and your site goes down, you don’t want to lose all your hard work.
What we like most is how convenient this plugin is to use. BackUpWordPress has a scheduling feature that makes it ridiculously simple to remember to backup. We set our to backup every two weeks. Like clockwork, we receive an email with a link to the backup file. From there, we simply click the link, login to our site and download the backup ZIP file.
4. Make Google Ads Easier with Wp Adsense Plugin
This plugin is no longer available, so why are we telling you about it? Because even if you don’t use this particular tool, you’ll want to use a similar one.
Google Adsense is the most popular way to monetize a passive income site, which we attribute to its simplicity and ease of use. You get the ad code from Google, plug it in where you want the ad to appear, and then make money when visitors click.
But the code you get from Google is actually pretty hairy and intimidating. And if you have an ad that you’d like to change across your entire site, it can be a huge hassle.
That’s where plugins like Wp Adsense Plugin can help. With this tool, you enter your Adsense code into one place in the plugin’s menu. Then you can use a “snippet” — a small piece of code just a few letters long — to place your ads. This is convenient because if you ever need to make a change to you code, you simply update it in one place and the adjustment is made everywhere you placed the snippet.
Since Wp Adsense Plugin is no longer available, you can try out Google Adsense, which is published by Google. It will help you in placing ads on your WordPress site.
5. Turn Your Site Mobile with WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Today, your site has to be optimized for mobile. Google takes mobile optimization into account in considering your ranking. More importantly, more users than ever are accessing the web on mobile devices and the numbers are just getting bigger. If your passive site isn’t meant for mobile users, then you are creating a terrible experience for a ton of potential visitors.
The problem is that very few of us are pros at creating a mobile experience, or even know where to get started. The good news is that many WordPress themes are “responsive” — they automatically make your site look good on mobile devices. For everyone else, there is WPtouch Mobile.
This plugin can automatically make a mobile version of you site that will look good on any phone. It only takes a few minutes to setup, and provides a ton of options as far as site banners, colors, and more.
Have another plugin that’s a must-have for WordPress? Let us know in the comments below.