WordPress is one of the most widely used website building platforms in the world for a number of reasons. It’s easy to use, reliable and ultimately it allows people to create websites without needing knowledge of coding. However, aside from the basics, WordPress offers plenty of plugins to make life easier. Here’s some of the best WordPress plugins you need to be using for your site.
In short, search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your website rank higher on search engine results pages, and should drive more traffic to your site. Yoast makes on-page SEO incredibly easy, from helping you get your metadata and image tags right, to analysing all aspects of your content’s readability.
If your goal is bringing more people to your site using SEO, it’s difficult to go past the ease-of-use and functionality of Yoast.
All websites need a contact form, because it means visitors can contact you more easily. While there are plenty of contact form plugins out there, WPForms sits above them all. Not only can you easily create and add contact forms, but a whole range of other forms too. Order forms, surveys, email subscription forms, polls – you can do it all with WPForms.
It also integrates super easily with most of the major CRM and marketing platforms, making everything so much easier to manage.
The one criticism of WordPress is that it’s not necessarily as easy to create your pages as some of the other drag and drop platforms like Wix. Well, that was until Beaver Builder came along. This plugin allows users to create their websites using drag and drop functionality. This makes it a perfect tool for businesses who don’t have a lot of technical expertise, but also don’t have the budget for expensive website development.
Chatbot development can be expensive, but the LiveChat plugin for WordPress makes customer service a lot easier. It’s not an artificial intelligence chatbot, but it does allow customers to live chat with your available support staff. With easy integration into CRMs and other business systems, LiveChat is a must-have for small business owners.
Many website owners use Google Analytics to find out how people are finding and interacting with their website. With MonsterInsights, you can connect your site to Google Analytics but access all the key stats in your WordPress dashboard. It’s not just convenient, but it helps you improve your website to generate more traffic.
When you’re building a website, getting your social media icons and links on each page isn’t a terribly difficult process. However, it’s much harder to truly link them to your social media accounts. With Shared Counts, users can easily add the ‘share’ buttons, but impressively it will also display real-time stats on how many times a page has been shared. Think of it like an automatic testimonial that people are reading and sharing your content.
WooCommerce is the WordPress answer to the e-commerce boom. Users can turn their website into a powerful selling tool with WooCommerce. It allows you to add and sell numerous products, and in the scheme of things it’s pretty easy to set up. Of course, already being linked to WordPress, it makes sense to establish your online retail store through this plugin if you’re using WordPress for your website already.
Naturally, you want your website to be secure. If visitors are somehow being hacked or falling victim to cyber attacks through your site, they won’t be coming back any time soon. For website security that prevents malware and viruses, Wordfence Security is a great option. It also has a built-in firewall, email alerts for warnings and plenty more.
Google XML Sitemaps
Your website needs to be indexed by search engines like Google and Bing before it can show up in search results. The process can take some time, unless you have a sitemap. This plugin makes the process simple. Just install the plugin, and it will automatically create a sitemap which makes it easier for those search engines to index your site.
Smush Image Compression
One of the big issues in website design today is page load speed. Users lose interest very quickly if your pages take too long to load. One of the main culprits is images not being compressed properly. The Smush plugin puts a stop to that, meaning you can just upload your images easily and not worry about re-sizing or compressing them yourself.
The fact is, there are vast amounts of plugins out there. These are just the tip of the iceberg, but some of the best on the market today. When building a website, research carefully because many of these plugins offer free versions, but you won’t get the full benefit without a cost. Make sure you factor these expenses into your budgeting, because they will certainly make your website better and easier to manage.