What is wordpress?
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system, referred to within WordPress as Themes
What is WordPress? At its core, WordPress is the simplest, most popular way to create your own website or blog. In fact, WordPress powers over 40.0% of all the websites on the Internet. Yes – more than one in four websites that you visit are likely powered by WordPress.
On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free. A content management system is basically a tool that makes it easy to manage important aspects of your website – like content – without needing to know anything about programming.
The huge range of useful plug-ins for WordPress are a contributing factor to its huge popularity both as a blogging platform and as a content management system. The great thing about the plugin system is that – in theory at least – it’s dead simple to setup. You upload the plugin to your plugins directory, then go into the wordpress admin area and activate it. Any special instructions will then appear from the plugin itself.
Of course life isn’t always that simple. A client called early this morning saying that he was having problems installing a new plugin (the mailchimp wordpress plugin- that he was getting a ‘Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.’ message. Working through his problem is hopefully instructive for others, so here’s what we did.
What is WordPress used for?
WordPress is web publishing software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. It just may be the easiest and most flexible blogging and website content management system (CMS) for beginners.
WHAT IS A PLUGIN
A WordPress plugin is essentially a bit of code that “plugs in” to your self-hosted WordPress site. In human terms, that means a WordPress plugin is something that adds new functionality to your WordPress site or extends existing functionality on your site.
How do plugins work in WordPress?
Each WordPress plugin installed on your site is registered in your WordPress database. You can activate and deactivate them at any time you want. Upon each visit, WordPress connects to the database, loads the core software, and then loads your active plugins.
TYPES OF PLUGINS
10 most popular WordPress plugins of all time
Based on the actual download numbers from WordPress.org, these are the 10 most popular WordPress plugins of all time from the 55,000+ plugins that are currently available.
1. Yoast SEO
Author(s): Team Yoast
Current Version: 16.0.2
Last Updated: March 18, 2021
One of the plugins that gets a lot of love from people is, without a doubt, Yoast SEO. This plugin is used by (almost) everyone who has a blog or site on WordPress. In fact, it can be hard to find websites that DON’T have Yoast SEO installed (well – we know of ~50 million actually! Check out #7).
So, if you’re one of those people who doesn’t use this plugin… well, it helps you improve overall SEO score of your articles and pages. With it, you can set your main keyword, the meta description, slug, SEO title, the alt attributes of your images, and it also recommends the best practices for good readability. It’s nice because the plugin offers stats and actionable advice on how to improve your work and, when everything is done by the book, you get the green light.
Who can use Yoast SEO? I think it’s for everybody because we all want to rank better in the search engines don’t we?
Current Version: 9.5
Last Updated: March 2, 2021
Another plugin built by Automattic makes the top of the most popular WordPress plugins. This time, it’s Jetpack, a multipurpose tool that’s good at (almost) everything. It helps you with marketing, design, and security. Among its various features, you can find site analytics, automated social media posting, multiple WordPress themes, spam filtering, downtime monitoring, malware scanning, login security, lazy image loading, CDN, and more.
Jetpack comes in one free and three paid plans, so not all of its features are free of charge. The plugin is suitable for personal blogs, and for both startups and corporate businesses. It fits all the basic needs and all budgets.
Current Version: 4.1.9
Last Updated: March 2, 2021
Not far from Yoast SEO when it comes to the number of downloads is Akismet Anti-Spam. Akismet is a tool developed by Automattic, made to automatically block spam comments. Every day, we are spammed by either promotional links, irrelevant stories, malicious content or simply by mistake. And it’s very hard to filter them all by yourself, especially if you own a business that gets hundreds of comments per day.
The plugin is good not only for automation but also for security purposes since it won’t allow malicious or problematic content to be published on your site.
Akismet also checks all your contact form submissions against their global database of spam, so you’ll be sure only the good and relevant information gets to you. The plugin is mandatory for blog and business owners who receive at least tens of comments daily.
4. Wordfence Security
Current Version: 7.5.2
Last Updated: March 24, 2021
As you can see, the most popular WordPress plugins are diverse and come with a wide range of features. Now, Wordfence is a plugin only about security; it was created to keep your site safe. Wordfence puts a firewall on your site to keep it away from malicious traffic. Apart from that, it offers a malware scanner which blocks suspect external attempts and provides a secure login system.
What’s nice about this plugin is that it provides alerts every time something weird happens on your site. By weird, I mean anything that shouldn’t happen in terms of security. For instance, when a plugin that you use gets closed or abandoned or when a vulnerability issue takes place.
At a first sight (and in a professional’s book), having Wondfence installed on your WordPress site is mandatory if you don’t want to face unneeded problems or at least if you want to decrease potential dangers. But of course, there are lots of people in this world who don’t think security is something to worry about, so… Keeping your site in check would be ideal, but it’s only up to you how you see things and how you want to deal with issues (prevent them or fight them when it’s the case).
5. Contact Form 7
Author(s): Takayuki Miyoshi
Current Version: 5.4
Last Updated: February 24, 2021
The next most popular plugin is Contact Form 7, which creates simple and effective contact forms for your blog. Given that all of us need an easy way to connect with people, it’s not a surprise to see this plugin so high on the list. The plugin was developed by Takayuki Miyoshi and can handle multiple contact forms on the same site; it also integrates Akismet spam filtering and lets you customize the styling and fields that you want to use in the form. The plugin provides CAPTCHA and Ajax submitting.
Again, this is one of the plugins that can be used by absolutely everyone, no matter if you’re running a personal blog or you’re having a business that you monetize. Why? Because it’s free, easy to configure, and efficient.
Current Version: 5.1.0
Last Updated: March 9, 2021
How could e-commerce miss this list of the most popular WordPress plugins? WooCommerce is the plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into an online shop, so you can sell your products to your clients on the web.
Of course, this plugin was built for commercial purposes, so all its users must be business owners (be it for side projects or for a living).
What’s nice about WooCommerce is that it’s very flexible in terms of customization options. Apart from the built-in settings, lots of developers built a community around it and created extensions, so that selling online can be as smooth as possible. With WooCommerce you can sell both physical and digital goods, add product variations, use affiliate links, and extensive payment methods.
7. Google Analytics for WordPress
Current Version: 7.17.0
Last Updated: March 23, 2021
Is there anyone in this world who’s not using Google Analytics? I mean, especially if you have big plans with your website. If you want to grow your personal, hobby blog into something that you can monetize you can’t do it without Google Analytics.
So Google Analytics by MonsterInsights is a plugin that makes the connection between your WordPress site and Google Analytics easier. The plugin offers quick and powerful integration if you simply copy and paste the tracking code to your site. After you do this, the plugin just works. A cool feature is that you can monitor the stats without leaving your dashboard because it imports the numbers from Analytics to your WordPress admin area.
8. All in One SEO Pack
Author(s): All in One SEO Team
Current Version: 4.0.17
Last Updated: March 17, 2021
SEO is a very popular topic across the web. When it comes to what gets shared in WordPress, we found out that SEO was the second most interesting topic, after plugins. So, if you want to experiment more or need an alternative to Yoast, you can try All in One SEO Pack, created to help both beginners and advanced users alike (including developers).
How does this plugin help you? Apart from the basic SEO instructions for content optimization, the plugin also offers XML sitemap, Google Analytics, and Google AMP support. An awesome feature of this tool is that it provides SEO integration for e-commerce sites.
Who can use All in One SEO Pack? Everyone. If you host a personal blog which you want to grow, own a business of any type, or you’re a professional blogger, this plugin should be a valuable addition to your artillery.
Current Version: 3.1.4
Last Updated: March 10, 2021
A beautiful landing page is essential, so it’s no surprise that #9 is a plugin that lets you build custom pages independent of what your current theme allows you to do. How does it work exactly? It gives you a visual design interface where you can craft your page from scratch or use one of the available templates.
This plugin is one of those that you must install on your website because it helps you big time, especially if you want full control over your design. There are a lot of free templates in the Elementor library that you can use for creating a page straight away.
Read our Elementor review to learn more.
Current Version: 1.6.5
Last Updated: February 18, 2021
As we finish up this list of the most popular WordPress plugins, let’s meet WPForms, which is also part of our list of must have wordpress plugins If you want to add a fancy form to your WordPress site, this plugin lets you do it in a few clicks. WPForms allows you to create a beautiful contact form using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
This plugin was built for people who want to be able to create trendy forms without hiring web developers. WPForms Lite is limited to three types of forms (including contact forms). WPForms Pro offers advanced integrations to create survey forms, quizzes, payment forms, and more.
Solutions To WordPress Plugin Activation Error Message
Error messages appear for a very good reason. They’ll give you the clue as to what the problem is. So try to activate the plugin, and at the top of your plugins page, when a problem occurs, you’ll get an error message.
In many cases the problem exists because of a limit placed by the server setup on memory allocated to php. In this case you’ll get a ‘Allowed memory size of xxx bytes exhausted while upgrading WordPress‘.
That, though wasn’t the problem for this client. Instead he was getting the following error:
‘Warning: main(/public_html/testsite/wp-content/plugins/mailchimp/MCAPI.class.php) [function.main]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in/public_html/testsite/wp-content/plugins/mailchimp/mailchimp.php on line 28
To solve or fix plugin activation error in wordpress, login to your cpanel of your site, locate the file manager in cpanel,click on public_html folder,click on wordpress content locate the plugin folder and delete all plugins,later you reinstall them when you login to your site dashboard.
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