If you aren’t using WordPress plugins on your small business’s site, do you think you’re getting the most from your Web page? (Hint: you aren’t.)
Are you so baffled by the seemingly endless selection of WordPress plugins that you just gave up trying to figure out which ones to install, so you didn’t install any?
Thousands of small businesses rely on WordPress, not only for the design of their website but also for organizing their content. What’s missing for many is the added customization that WordPress plugins can provide, even beyond the themes and layouts.
Plugins provide so much added functionality to your WordPress site that it’s almost silly not to use them, but it’s understandable why many small businesses don’t. There are thousands of them out there, many good, but many horrible. Some don’t work at all.
To help you down the road towards a better WordPress site, we’ve got 13 plugins that are vital to your business.
Jetpack is probably the first plugin most small business sites should have installed, because it’s multiple tools in one. Designed by the WordPress developers, Jetpack boasts features that will make it easier to customize your site, make it mobile-friendly, and increase your traffic. Jetpack also allows for an easier job creating and publishing richer content.
Spam be gone with Akismet. If you’ve ever managed a busy WordPress site, you know how annoying the thousands of spam comments can be on your site. Akismet polices those comments, and prevents spam from ever appearing.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress is pretty friendly when it comes to SEO, but there’s always room for improvement. WordPress SEO by Yoast automatically optimizes your Web pages for higher Google rankings, letting you know when a title is too long or too short and also helping you know when you need to add more or fewer keywords to your content.
Marketing Optimizer for WordPress
Creating landing pages can be a challenge, so Marketing Optimizer for WordPress helps you with that. It offers you a landing page template, but it does so much more. This plugin also helps you conduct A/B testing where you present two versions of the same webpage to different sets of visitors, and determine which version gives the best results. This is crucial for any small business’s ability to achieve leads and conversions.
This one isn’t free, but it starts at just $39 for one website. Gravity Forms lets you build a complicated contact form, even a multi-page form. It’s also useful for creating order forms, and integrates deeply with third-party services like PayPal, Stripe, MailChimp, AWeber, and more.
Contact Form 7
As a free, but not as feature-rich, alternative to Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7 is still very good and provides you with everything you need to create your own contact form. It’s easy to use, especially since it offers in-depth tutorials and FAQs to help you understand how to display and customize a form on your Web page.
To get the most out of Contact Form 7, be sure to also incorporate one of these three plugins along with it.
Bogo helps you localize your blog for other languages, a straight-forward multilingual plugin for WordPress. This allows a global audience to participate in your website in their native language.
To make it easier to manage your contact list and save messages sent in through the contact form, Flamingo is one of the top tools around.
Really Simple CAPTCHA
One of the main reasons some small businesses shy away from contact forms are “bots.” Really Simple CAPTCHA helps keep those automated spammers from interfering with your forms.
Create your very own Facebook with Buddy Press, AKA the “social network in a box.” With Buddy Press, you can create your own online community within your WordPress site. Site members are able to register, create profiles, and they can even carry on private conversations with each other.
Helping your visitors engage with your website is crucial, and there are few ways better for that than creating your own forum or bulletin board for your audience to use. The bbPress plugin makes that quick and easy, with simple installation and great customization features.
Got a great email subscriber list, but want to grow it even more? The Mailchimp plugin for WordPress helps you ramp up your newsletter subscription list, letting you add MailChimp signup forms to your Web site with ease.
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)
Last, but certainly not least, is the No. 1 WordPress security plugin, iThemes Security. This plugin provides more than 30 ways to defend your WordPress site against hackers, so you definitely want this one installed.
There you go. 13 plugins that you should be using for your small business’s WordPress site. If you’re still bewildered by the choices, give Anabolic Technology a call. We can help you choose the right plugins for your WordPress site, and can even help with installing them.