When it comes to websites, there is no other platform of choice than WordPress. About 24% of today’s websites are powered by them, and with WordPress working towards increasing that number, pretty soon it is going to be the most widely used content management system. There are many reasons why they are the most effective when it comes to website creation, such as:
- Ease of use
- Search engine friendly
- Multiple user capability
- Customisable Design
- Dynamic and interactive blogging set-up
But more than these, one of WordPress’ key features are the plugins. These are what extends your website’s functionality by allowing you to install features on your website that will help you reach out to more users and make it stand out amidst thousands of sites out there.
Of course, just like deciding which website hosting will help make your website perform well, it can be overwhelming to choose the plugins that will help you strengthen your online presence. Here is a list of plugins that have been tried and tested, and ones you should have on your website right now.
W3 Total Cache
If your website takes too long to load, you could lose a significant amount of sales or readers because people got tired of waiting. When users visit your page, you have a time window of three seconds, minimum. A second delay will mean a drop in conversion, about 7% according to TagMan. To reiterate how important website speed is, Google has made it part of their algorithm. And with more people using mobile devices to access the Internet, it will become even more imperative.
For this, you will want to install W3 Total Cache. It offers wide range of features which includes database and browser caching, CDN support, and a functionality which removes unnecessary characters from the source code. It is a free plugin, so if this is your first webpage, you will not worry about shelling out money.
All in One SEO Pack
While WordPress offers designs that are adaptive and search engine friendly, there are optimisation efforts that you will have to execute on your own to make sure you retain your first-page position on Google. This includes setting up the site’s meta data, canonical links, and more. For this, you will want the help of the All in One SEO Pack plugin, which is free but also offers premium features. Its features include an advanced canonical URL support, built-in feature manager and XML sitemap generator, and the ability to choose how search engines will index your posts.
The best part is if you have concerns with the plugin or are in need of support, the forum gets updated almost instantly. If you check the threads now you will see the most, if not all concerns, have been resolved already.
These days, you have to make sure you have enforced security measures on your website to fend off hackers and phishers. Most of them have become so clever, you would not know that you are already under attack. Which is why other than purchasing an SSL certificate, installing the Wordfence Security plugin is imperative. It comes with a two-factor authentication capability, malware scanning, real-time cyber attack blocking, multi-site compatibility, IP blocking, and more. All these features for the amazing price of free!
Getting spam is extremely vexing. Once your website is getting significant traffic, you will start receiving lots of these messages, and manually moderating them is going to take up time which you could have used doing something more relevant. To curb this, make sure you install Akismet. The filter uses the spam information they collect from all the sites they handle, and then uses those same spam rules to block future spam. It also features hidden link reveals, monthly statistics, and standard support staff to help you with your concerns. Akismet is offered as a free plugin, but you can also purchase any of their plans which starts with $9 per month.
A website’s bread and butter is not just the number of visits it gets, but also the number of shares and subscribers. The perfect tool to help you with conversion and social sharing is none other than Sumo. It offers support for about 16 social media networks, mobile adaptive social buttons, display and track share count, and automatic optimisation based on which network gets the most traffic. Explore the Sumo plugin more and you can see they offer email and newsletter capabilities, subscription pop-ups, and heat maps which can help you with conversion. You can get Sumo for free, but they do offer a whole slew of features for a paid premium.
Maximise the use of these plugins for your website and take advantage of the security, optimisation, and conversion benefits they all offer.