WordPress users will know that plugins are an important feature to for any website, but finding the rights ones can be a bit of a chore.
WordPress, for those, are unfamiliar, is the most popular content management software on the market, so much so that nearly 27 percent of all websites are powered by it. A plugin is an extended piece of coding that can be added to these sites and are used to add in specific additional functions that weren’t present before. Types of plugins can include social media sharing, spam filters for comments, search engine optimisation tools, photo gallery functionality and much more.
The best part of WordPress is that it’s free to use and there are over 50,000 free plugins available to the public, this means for any budding entrepreneurs who are on a budget, this is a very attractive feature of CMS tool.
1 – Anti-Spam Plugin
Every WordPress installation comes with a blog commenting feature and this free plugin pre installed. What you might not have realised is that it already hasn’t been activated and a lot of users don’t even bother to activate it either. If your site is inviting users to engage with the content on the site, the Akismet plugin will be a necessity. Spam is just a fact of life and you can’t avoid it at all costs but having this plugin running in the background will help remove some of it giving you more time to create content rather than cleaning it up.
2 – Content Optimisation Plugin
Obviously, if you have a website your main goal is rank high in search results and let’s be honest hoping for that front page on google. The All in One SEO Pack is a free plugin that helps you nail down the basics of SEO for content that you are putting up on your site, enabling you to edit metadata without ever having to touch the source code. Effective SEO isn’t as easy and simple as a plugin, this tool helps to maintain some semblance of it while you are else where building up your business.
3 – The Online Security Plugin
Hiring a dedicated IT professional is difficult for most early stage business owners and often very expensive. Wordfence helps to fill in any of those gaps until you are able to find someone who can help protect your site from cyber attacks. Wordfence is likely the most trusted security plugin available for WordPress, this means that there is already a large community of users and experts ready to assist if you ever have a question or need.
4 – Page Loading Optimisation Plugin
A lot of entrepreneurs overlook at how long it takes for a website to load. Loading time affects the user’s ultimate experience and also your SEO too. Caching is the process of temporarily storing internet files on your device which helps reduce loading time, making future requests for that data faster. WP Super Cache not only does the dirty work of handling this for you but will also ensure an overall better experience for your site visitors too.
5 – The Image Optimisation Plugin
Site speed is affected by the content you put on your site greatly, the heavyweight in all of this is normally the imagery. With today’s phones capturing high – quality images and able to store larger files than ever before many website owners are taking the original file and embedding them onto the site, only resizing the appearance of the image, and not the image itself. The main problem with this is that although the imagery looks optimised on the page, your site is storing the original larger file. The plug in Image Optimizer is your in between image editor which helps you store the optimal file size of the image.
6 – The Social Media Plugin
If you don’t have any kind of sharing button on your website you are not doing your website any kind of favours. Social Media is a way to increase crucial exposure for your business and website visitors. Ideally, you wanting more people to find your social sites which are why adding in AddThis to your site can benefit your business greatly.
7 – The Contact and Lead-Generating Plugin
Providing your business’ contact information for a potential customer is an essential function. Some people may prefer to call but most will want to leave you a message instead. You can create a simple contact form on your site with this plugin or can take it another step further with Gravity Form which can turn your forms into a lead generator by offering a newsletter sign – up too.
8 – The Data Plugin
Obviously there is a standalone dashboard for accessing Google Analytics, however, the Google Analytics plugin brings the data to your WordPress dashboard for easier access. You are now able to quickly view your sites overall performance while accessing the backend of your site or post new or edit existing content. You can see your top articles, traffic to the site, site referrers and more in a one glance thanks to this plugin.
Now you have the basic set of plugins, once installed and activated don’t forget to update them on a regular basis. WordPress needs to keep up to date in order to prevent new online threats from hackers as shockingly over 85% of hacked WordPress sites were not updated.