It’s a new year and you want to refresh your website and build upon last year’s results. We get it and we did it, too!

The beautiful thing about WordPress sites run on the Genesis Framework is the fact that there’s so much you can do to improve it’s performance, appearance and functionality through simple plugins.

Today’s post, 10 Amazing WordPress Plugins That Your Website Needs Now, will give you the low-down on some of my favorite WordPress plugins that will benefit most sites, whether you want to:

  • Increase your SEO results
  • Ensure that your site is backed up
  • Improve web performance
  • Install some powerful features
  • Minimize spam
  • Track your results
  • Increase your conversion rate
  • Achieve more shares

Plugins offer so many different options, and the benefit is that, in 99% of cases, you don’t have to touch the code at all. That means that your website stays intact (especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing!), but… better.

Top 10 Amazing WordPress Plugins That Your Website Needs

Let’s get right to it:

  1. Increase Your SEO Results

Recommended Plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Yoast SEO Plugin

There are many SEO plugins, but WordPress SEO by Yoast has been hailed the best by most experts. Why? Because it offers a total web optimization package and not just SEO.

  1. Ensure That Your Site is Backed Up

Recommended Plugin: BackupBuddy

Perfect for people with limited experience, BackupBuddy combines backup and migration to allow you to quickly (and easily!) set up an automatic backup schedule. It will store your backups in the cloud, and you can rest assured, knowing that your valuable content is safe.

  1. Improve Overall Web Performance & Speed

Recommended Plugin: W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache Plugin

Search engines will consider your website’s speed when it comes to allocating your rankings. If you want to increase your performance and speed, W3 Total Cache will allow you to set up a content delivery network for static files, compress large pages to ensure quicker downloading, and setup browser and page caching.

  1. Install Some Powerful Features

Recommended Plugin: Jetpack by WordPress

Jetpack Plugin

Jetpack is a powerful suite of essential tools that cover a range of needs, ranging from increased visitor engagement to improved site performance, enhanced security and additional features, such as Post by Email, Related Posts, Social Sharing and spam-free Comments.

  1. Minimize Web Spam

Recommended Plugin: Akismet

Akismet Plugin

There’s only one downside to owning a blog, and that is spam. Thanks to Akismet, though, that no longer needs to be a problem. This awesome plugin automatically checks comments against the Akismet Web service, filtering out any comments that look like spam.

You can view the history to see comments that were cleared or flagged by Akismet.

Recommended Plugin: CAPTCHA

Prevent web form spam with CAPTCHA, a free service to integrate with your registration, login, comment forms and recovery.

  1. Track Your Results

When it comes to tracking your results, there are many different factors to consider, and obviously, various tools to use.

Recommended Plugin: Google Analytics +

Google Analytics + allows you to view and track search results for all your sites. Now you don’t have to log into your Google Analytics account in a separate browser window because it is all in your WordPress dashboard. Google Analytics + is easy to navigate, whether you’re using it one on site, or all your sites.

Recommended Plugin: Extended Analytics

Take your analytics to a new level with Extended Analytics, which allows you to track events, such as downloads, and outbound links, as well as linking your Adsense account to analytics for greater reporting ability.

  1. Increase Your Conversion Rate

Recommended Plugin: Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 Plugin

This flexible, simple plugin is ideal for creating, managing and customizing multiple forms and mailing lists. Set it up with CAPTCHA and Akismet to help manage spam.

  1. Achieve more shares

Recommended Plugin: ShareThis

ShareThis Plugin

Get more social love with ShareThis, a powerful plugin that allows for easy sharing of your articles across 50 different social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Digg, to name a few, as well as email. The plugin also has the Google+1 button and the Facebook Like button.

These amazing plugins will provide you with the essential basics you need to achieve a variety of functions on your site. In fact, we use each and every one of these plugins and options on our own website.

Did we miss any? Please share your favorites in comments below.