For an entrepreneur running a WordPress website, the primary concern would be to make sure the site itself runs smoothly, without any glitches. And that is exactly what plugins are for! With the right plugins supporting your WordPress site, you will be able to give your site visitors a much better user experience, which can be of paramount importance when it comes to building your brand’s reputation. For instance, a very useful plugin would be one that processes different locations of your offices (if you have several) and the contacts visitors can look for when they need information. Another example of a plugin is one that can post trading office hours and work days for vendors so international buyers can be guided accordingly. Of course, certain plugins are free, while others come with fees. Most free plugins will require coding experience and technical know-how.
There are a few reasons why the paid plugins are recommended such as:
• Full technical support
• Upgrades to latest versions
• Variety of themes
• Compatibility with other plugins and with WordPress
Given below are a list of some of the best tried and tested WordPress plugins that will make your task of managing your website much, much easier!
SEO is perhaps the most important way of attracting traffic to your website. WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most downloaded SEO plugin, with about 40 million downloads, and has been recently named as the top plugin for WordPress users. Although it has a premium version, you can actually use the free version and be happy with it, although you will not get support from the company. This means you just have to figure it out on your own, aside from the basic tutorial that you get when you start using it. WordPress SEO by Yoast works as a complete optimization platform for the page content to every user.
Some of the most appealing features of Yoast are content analysis, description management and meta keywords. You also can use a feature that restricts search engines if you don’t want to get indexed by certain search engines. You can also hide your archives.
Aside from the SEO, this plugin also features XML sitemaps, snippet editor, Meta and configuration, as well as permalink cleanup. If you upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium plugin, you can possibly get more visitors from Bing and Google, gather subscribers from social media, and even increase your reader’s engagement.
The pros about Yoast are:
• Comes with recommendations (even with the free version!)
The cons of Yoast are:
• Customization is not as user-friendly, as you have to search for what you need in the Advanced menu – which needs to be turned on manually
• Recommendations are only helpful if you are a newbie because Yoast encourages keyword stuffing and is very sensitive and flags down content that it thinks has the “passive voice”
• While functional, it is a heavyweight plugin with so many features that you may never need
Keep all the hard work you’ve done on your site safe with this plugin! BackupBuddy makes sure that your contents are safe from being lost. You can set a schedule for your backups so that in case you forget to do it, there is no problem. Backup is important because it saves you from losing your WordPress Website forever. In addition, this plugin prevents hackers, malware and server crashes. You should also consider installing this plugin first after setting up your site, simply because it is one of the plugins that is easiest to set up.
Two of the top reasons to consider this paid plugin are: (1) automated backups, and (2) one (1) GB of BackupBuddy’s cloud storage. Thus, no matter how many times you back up your site, it won’t be eating space and memory on your laptop or computer. Further, you can delete old backups automatically or sign up for more cloud storage space by paying $35 a year for an additional four (4) GB.
Other features of BackupBuddy are:
• Comes with a malware scanner
• Allows you to restore backups easily
• Full support, as it is a paid plugin with option for limited or unlimited sites
One issue that has been raised about this plugin – and is rare – is the failure of the plugin to backup files in the wp-content and wflogs folders.
There’s nothing like spam to ruin the experience of your site. Avoid them by using the Akismet plugin. It works like this – say a visitor visits your site and leaves a spam comment on your blog posts. If Akismet is activated, it will automatically check and search for comments that go against the Akismet web service. The filtered spam will then be deleted and you won’t have to see any of it.
You get Akismet automatically with a WordPress website, as it comes pre-installed. To activate this plugin, you will need to secure an API key on your WordPress account. The activation of this cloud-based plugin happens in the background so there is no need to play around with any settings.
On the downside, Akismet can erroneously tag certain legitimate comments as spam, creating false positives. A false positive will alert you to a security problem where none exists so it’s like putting out imaginary fires – and you can’t verify it until you do a check.
Interestingly, this plugin’s worth to you is based on two choices: you either pay them what you think it is worth to you, or you pay anywhere from $5 to $50 per month, depending on the number of sites you have. Needless to say, paid plans have priority support. Lastly, it is impossible for this plugin to block spam 100% so you will still have to some monitoring.
W3 Total Cache improves site accessibility and speed, which is important for optimal user experience and is also good for search engine results and page rankings. It also reduces the time for downloading contents, as it uses some features like Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration. When fully configured, it improves the overall site performance by about ten times!
According to studies, when a website fails to load quickly, it loses traffic. In fact, when it comes to page loading, every second counts! If your page takes as long as ten seconds, you can lose up to 40% of potential traffic. Most people want to see the website within 6-10 seconds or they abandon the page altogether. In terms of dollars and cents, a business that sells $10,000 every day can lose as much as $250,000 a year for every second a page’s loading is delayed!
This is a free plugin tool but you should get another plugin that will help optimize content delivery because W3 Total Cache simply eliminates cache. To use this plugin, you will need to activate after your download and then configure the settings in General Settings by selecting the features you want.
This plugin is known to cause errors including difficulty logging into your WordPress account, but most errors can be fixed. The main reason for the errors is compatibility so before you download anything, do make an effort to check for compatibility. You have to expect the errors sometimes while using this plugin because it is free. The best option may be to reinstall the plugin and then install – but you must uninstall properly.
Have an eCommerce site? Then this plugin is a must for you! WooCommerce basically turns your website into an eShop or online business to sell anything. WooCommerce has about 30 million downloads covering 28% of online stores. For store owners, this plugin allows you to control what products you want to sell. If you also want to enhance your site, you can find premium and free extensions, as well as themes, in here.
When you activate this plugin after download, you can start generating customer reviews and post them on your site to improve your credibility and legitimacy. This plugin does have reported conflicts with PayPal IPN and GoDaddy. You will have to make sure you using the latest version, 3.0.0, which was released last April 2017. Some of the new additions in the most recent version include new product gallery, faster speed and performance, new logging system, new CRUD classes and new CLI (interface). The best news about this plugin is that all issues have solutions. You just need to search for them and be sure to back-up your files.
WordFence offers the best security available to make your website 50 times faster and secure. This is basically a two-in-one plugin, caching with Falcon Engine and security. It uses features like the real-time blocking of known attackers, whereby it scans your site and files for vulnerability and ensures integrity, and also asks you to set a strong password.
Currently with over one million active users, this plugin could be the most popular among WordPress sites. As a security solution, it’s pretty easy to download and will require just your email to get started – after activation. You should do a site scan immediately so you know what you’re facing.
This scan will detect malware, virus, unknown files, backdoor entries, modified core files, unsafe URLs, updates that were not done and other vulnerabilities. After this complete scan and fixing the issues, the plugin is designed to automatically scan once a day. If there are no issues, you will not be notified via email – so a quiet WordFence is good, so to speak.
WordFence has a learning mode, which is recommended at the start and will prevent mistakes from being permanent or damaging.
Some of the other features include:
• Live traffic updates
• Advanced firewall
• Password quality checks
• WHOIS lookup to investigate domains and IP addresses
• Two-step authentication
• Remote scan
To utilize these features, you will have to pay for the premium plan at $99 per annum per API. It isn’t exactly user-friendly because it covers a complex area – security – but you get a lot of support and suggestions and there are available resources online.
Convert your site visitors into subscribers successfully with the OptinMontser plugin! This is a simple plugin that allows users to A/B test lead capture without the need of a professional developer. The A/B Split Testing helps you to test various headlines, designs and contents. This plugin also has multiple form types such as the lightbox popups, sidebar forms, floating bars, side-in and more. It can also easily perform and interpret analytics because of its Built-in Analytics, where you can see which optin forms perform well.
For OptinMonster to work, you should have an email marketing plan because the plugin doesn’t work automatically. You need to have the content to draw in subscribers. This cloud-based plugin has been around for four years so it has been honed and upgraded, removing major kinks. It also will be of great help in reducing operating costs because you won’t have to hire a developer to do this kind of job.
You get 94 templates to choose from, a user-friendly visual editor that is a point-and-click, reporting of conversion rates traffic, and its simplicity and speed. If you don’t like any template, you can create your own layout with a blank canvas theme screen. Finally, you will have customize the plugin such as when the opt-in box should appear.
If you are looking for the best responsive WordPress slider plugin, Soliloquy might be the one for you. This plugin makes responsive WordPress slider in just a minute without slowing down your site. This plugin is mobile friendly, which generally works across all devices like tablets, laptops and mobile phones. The additional bonus is that it allows you to create product slider to boost your sales in your WooCommerce store!
This plugin will help your conversion rate, and use is extremely simple and friendly. Furthermore, you get to use both images and videos on your sliders! You can create beautiful accents to your site and lower your bounce rate. If there is any downside to this plugin, it is that you can’t preview your slider after creating it. You will have to actually post it in order to see it, which is a tad inconvenient. Probably the best feature of this plugin is its speed. It loads in just 44 seconds, making it one of the fastest slider plugins, if not the fastest.
Newsletters are the way to go when you’re trying to engage your subscribers. With MailPoet Newsletter, you can fulfill your need of an email marketing software. With it, you can build an audience on your site. This plugin helps you in managing your subscribers and sending email newsletters, either autoresponder or post notifications. And the best part is, it allows you to have at least 2,000 subscribers without the need of paying for the premium edition.
This plugin lets you send emails from the dashboard of your WordPress account, which helps improve engagement and loyalty. The process is all explained in a video together with a demo email. You can choose between an organic email or an automated email, very much like a template.
If you have a highly developed market and require segmentation, trigger targets and analytics, you will need to upgrade to a paid version or another plugin. Otherwise, this is the app for you!
This plugin can very well be regarded as the all-rounder! JetPack is a plugin where you can actually do anything. For marketers and entrepreneurs, they can quickly get a glance of what’s happening and what is hot on their website. It tracks the number of visits, referrals and search terms used with the help of the Stats module. The additional modules for businesses include email subscription, contact, social networking enabled comment, embedding videos, social media posting automation and much more!
This free plugin is truly packed with features but the main question is whether your site’s speed and performance will suffer. No, it will not! This is possible because the code will not allow an un-activated feature to run in the background.
Some of the top suggested features of this plugin include:
• Image CDN
• Site statistics
• Automatic publishing
• Site monitoring
• Social sharing
• Comment enhancement
• Contact forms
To use this plugin, you need to have a WordPress account. If you want access and full support to all features, you will have to subscribe to the paid version.
If you haven’t yet tried any of the above mentioned plugins for your WordPress website, then get going! There are plenty other plugins out there as well for you to explore. When you want to do a great job on your WordPress site, having the right bunch of plugins can simply make that task way easier. So transform your entrepreneurial journey by powering your site up with the best plugins!