One reason why WordPress has become the most popular website development and content management platform is the sheer number of plug-ins available for you to choose from.
More than 55,000 plug-ins!
With so much to choose from, how would you know which plug-ins will work best for your website and help you achieve your business goals?
What Is A Plug-In?
A plug-in is a software program that is designed and developed to carry out specific functions, improve the performance of your website, or add features to your website’s current program.
Plug-ins are written using the PHP language and are easily integrated into WordPress.
You don’t need an IT professional to install a plug-in. The good people at WordPress saw to it that those without knowledge of coding can add plug-ins on their own.
The reason for this is that most WordPress plug-ins are for free and are not covered by Tech Support. As long as you are the administrator of your website, you can install a plug-in.
Plug-ins are important because they allow you to improve the functionality and performance of your website. As we like to tell our clients at Mountaintop, “Whatever your business needs, there is a WordPress plug-in for it.”
Do you want to add contact forms? Are you looking to speed up your website? Is an e-commerce portal something you’re considering for your business?
There is a WordPress plug-in for that!
What Are The Best WordPress Plug-Ins For Your Business?
1. Yoast SEO
You can have the most beautiful website on the Internet with content written by award-winning writers but unless your website is optimized for search, no one will find it.
Yoast SEO is perhaps the most popular plug-in for optimizing your website. What can Yoast SEO do to help give your search ranking a boost?
- Enhance your brand building strategies by providing you with the best templates for title and meta descriptions.
- Take advantage of Yoast SEO’s innovative Schema implementation which helps search engines understand your website and improve your chances to contend for the high volume search results.
- Access to tools that improve the searchability of your content such as SEO analysis and Readability analysis.
- Use Yoast SEO’s Snippet Preview to get a peek into how your page will appear in the search results.
And much more!
Yoast SEO is like a do-it-all plug-in for your website. In addition to optimization, Yoast SEO has features that allow you to manage your website and ensure it can perform at its best all the time.
2. Ninja Forms
The great thing about having a website is that it can do everything for your business.
If a prospective customer wants to find out more about your products and services, he can simply fill out an inquiry form.
If someone wants to attend a seminar you are hosting, he can sign up via your website’s event registration form.
These are the advantages of having forms on your website. And one of the best plug-ins to use is Ninja Forms.
How good is Ninja Forms? It has been downloaded more than 11,000,000 times!
So you started out with a standard business website but have decided to sell some products. Should you pay for a new e-commerce website?
No need! All you have to do is download the WooCommerce plug-in!
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that has been designed and developed for WordPress. This amazing plug-in is fully customizable to fit the needs of your business.
WooCommerce is fast and easy to set up. Within minutes, you can have an e-commerce feature with payment and shipping options that are 100% safe and easy to use.
If you plan to use WooCommerce on your website, you will be in good company! WooCommerce is used by Google, PayPal, MailChimp, and Facebook among other big-name companies.
Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for converting interest into paying customers. According to a study by eMarketer, the average ROI on email marketing is 122%.
With these in mind, you should have email marketing as part of your digital marketing toolbox. One of the best plug-ins to optimize your email marketing strategy is OptinMonster.
OptinMonster will provide your site with high-performing and easily customizable opt-in forms that allow you to target specific segments of your audience.
Are potential customers abandoning their shopping carts at your e-commerce site? Don’t worry! OptinMonster can convert the visitors who abandoned their carts into email subscribers.
5. Updraft Plus
Part of your website’s security and protection protocols should be an automatic backup of your assets. Without backup, if your website gets hijacked by cyber-criminals, your assets will be hard to retrieve.
Updraft Plus is one of the most popularly downloaded plug-ins for WordPress because it triggers an automatic backup of your system. You can keep your assets safe in secured sites such as DropBox, Google Drive, or Rackspace.
If your website goes down, you can easily get it back on the Internet because your assets have been held safe and secure.
The next 2 plug-ins – WordFence and iThemes Security – are some of the best security plug-ins you can install on your website.
We have written about WordFence in our article “Why You Need WordFence For Your WordPress Website.”
For its part, iThemes Security has a lot of security features that can protect your website from different forms of cyber-attacks.
We cannot understate the importance of security for your website. It’s estimated cyber-criminals launch 30,000 attacks every day. Because WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet, it’s a safe bet these attacks are centered on WordPress websites.
One of the best security plug-ins for WordPress is WordFence which functions as a malware scanner and firewall. The app is designed by Defiant.
The objective of Defiant in developing WordFence was to address cyber-attacks that were coursed through flaws in the website’s Cross-Site Scripting program or XSS.
If a visitor landed on a compromised home page, he would be redirected to a malicious website.
According to Defiant, WordFence has been downloaded more than 150 million times.
7. iThemes Security
Your WordPress website can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to faulty plug-ins, weak passwords, and the lack of adequate security. Unless your website is covered by round-the-clock security, you could become a cyber-security statistic while you’re sleeping.
iThemes Security is a high-level security plug-in that does not fall asleep on the job. It will give you more than 30 ways to protect your website from various threats.
Some of the plug-in’s security features include:
- Two-Factor Authentication
- Scheduling of Website Malware Scanning
- Assistance in Creating Stronger Passwords
- Integrate Google CAPTCHA
- Immediate Scanning of Your Website to Identify Vulnerabilities
When it comes to your website’s security, it’s a good idea to have more than one plug-in.
Website Speed And Performance
To move up the search rankings, your website has to ensure top-level user experience all the time. For this reason, website speed should be a priority.
According to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon the search if the page fails to load within 3 seconds.
Your website has to be user-friendly. This is very important if you have an e-commerce website. Similar to shopping at a high-end mall, you want to make sure the shopper is having a great time inside your store.
If you must have only one WordPress plug-in for your website – surely, JetPack should be on the shortlist.
JetPack is an all-in-one plug-in that can provide multiple amazing features for your website:
- 24/7 Security for your website
- Use built-in tools that can improve your website speed, optimize images for search, and reduce bandwidth usage so you can save more money.
- Thinking of selling merchandise? Add PayPal buttons to your website.
- Use JetPack’s SEO tools to optimize your content in your various social media sites.
WP-Optimize is an important plug-in to have for your WordPress website because it will help speed up download time.
How? WP-Optimize offers you 3 benefits that focus on improving site speed and performance:
- Removes unnecessary data to clean up your database and retrieves space that was lost due to fragmentation.
- Compresses large image files that slow down your website.
- Caches data and stores it in a temporary storage space for quick retrieval.
WP-Optimize also has a unique “minification” feature that minimizes the size of your assets. This results in fewer requests to your server which improves performance and the loading time of your website.
10. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a plug-in that helps improve the performance of your website and speed up its loading time through a host of features:
- Caching the web pages for faster viewing
- Caching for logged-in subscribers and for mobile users.
- Reduces the volume of http requests.
- Incorporates a GZIP Compression system that reduces the amount of bandwidth usage.
- Concatenation and minification of CSS and JS files.
And many more!
WP Rocket is compatible with WooCommerce which is a big plus because many performance-optimization plug-ins aren’t.
The great thing about having a website for your business is that you can introduce improvements any time you wish without shutting down, unlike a brick-and-mortar location.
There are free versions of these plug-ins that give you access to the basic features. For a small fee, you can acquire the more advanced versions with upgraded features and more tools to improve your website.
The fees are reasonable and if you think about it, are justifiable if the additional features will significantly contribute to the protection and performance of your website and eventual success of your business.
What about you? Do you have a favorite plug-ins? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
And if you want to improve your website’s performance and security, please feel free to give us a call or an email.