Google Analytics is a free tool created by Google, which allows you to analyse the traffic on your website. It can tell you where things are working, and where they are not, so you can solve any issues and take advantage of opportunities.
Google Analytics is useful for performance optimisation, search engine optimisation, and search engine marketing. Even if you are not doing any of these things at the moment, Google Analytics is still a must-have, so you've got the data you need when you do start working on these areas.
CDN stands for “Content Delivery Network”, and its function is to store elements of your website across a global network, so that these elements are loaded in a location physically closer to whoever is viewing your website.
CDNs are one of many tools that can be used to help speed up your website.
There are a number of different CDNs which can be used, however the most popular (hands down) would be Cloudflare. You can sign up for free, and the way you set it up is by having Cloudflare manage your DNS. We won’t get into all that now, but you can read about the process here.
Put simply, website caching allows your website to be “saved”, so that your web server does not have to load your website every time someone visits. Instead of having to go through all the complex processes of loading your website, the “saved” version of your website can immediately be served to your user.
Website caching is used to speed up your website, and can help improve your website scores in Google Pagespeed, specifically the “Reduce initial server response time” parameter.
When it comes to caching, there are a lot of different options, and a lot of opinions on which is best. If your web server has LiteSpeed enabled, then this would definitely be our top recommendation. If not, then there are a myriad of different plugins available—However we use Hummingbird on many of our sites as it is effective and has a great user interface.
Security plugins are add-ons you can install on the website level which help you manage your web security, and help keep the nasties away!
Uses for security plugins include:
There are a number of security plugins available—Our recommendation would be either Wordfence or Defender. Both these plugins will provide the tools you need, however Defender does have a very nice user interface.
SEO or “search engine optimisation” is the process of improving your website in ways that will be favoured by search engines, with the aim of climbing the ranks in the SERP, or “search engine results page”.
A good SEO plugin will not only allow you to set your website’s SEO settings, but will also provide you with feedback on how to improve your website’s SEO rankings. It can even do page-by-page analysis where it will give you pointers on things like page titles, keyword usage, image formatting, page links, and more.
As per usual, there are a lot of plugins available (which is what makes WordPress great)—We would suggest either Yoast SEO or Rank Math. Rank Math does have more features included in the free version, however it can be a bit much if you are just looking to manage basic settings.