Our Favorite WordPress Plug-Ins

So many people out there today are looking for (and creating) simple ways to build websites. One of the easiest to use and most accessible is Wordress. In fact, over 409 million people view more than 16.3 billion pages each month on their platform. That number is staggering. We love to take advandage of this easy to use content management system (CMS), especially with some of our Nurture clients who are just starting out. We’ve also recently published a blog highlighting the newest update: WordPress 4.0 Benny. There are more than 30,000 plugins that you can use with this flexible system. Plugins can help your site go from boring to brilliant in both functionality and design. Here are some of the ones we use most often.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce offers a well-rounded set of features to create e-commerce stores. It gives you some control over shipping immediately out of the box. This includes a calculator and options to send free packages or set a flat rate. You can also offer local pickup, local delivery, and overseas delivery. The SEO capabilities are more than adequate to make a great impression. It’s an open source program that’s free to download, but can be used to its fullest with some add-ons. Overall, you can’t beat this customizable solution for an e-commerce site.

2. SEO Yoast

Yoast created a simple interface to use which makes implementation simple for anyone. This tool incorporates so many SEO features and tools that it has to be considered one of the best out there. Beyond just making little SEO tweaks, the editor gives several recommendations for making your post content, title, and description more clear and concise. This is a must have in order to be successful creating a website on WordPress.

3.Sociable

This is a plugin that lets you automatically add links to popular social networks on all your WordPress posts. These links will provide you with great exposure. On top of being easy to connect to most WordPress themes, it also makes your social sites accessible to your users. Immediately, you can choose 17 different social networks and bookmarking services on which to share. You can even choose to share content via email.

4. Wordfence

Everyone knows that online security is of the utmost importance. If you didn’t before that last sentence, we need to have a cup of coffee and discuss a couple things before moving forward. The fact that there are so many sites and users on Worpress makes it a prime place for security issues and hackers. Wordfence is one of our favorites plugins because it can be effective even if your site is already infected. In a realm where speed can be the be reason someone becomes a customer or forgets your brand, Wordfence boasts that it will improve the speed of your existing site by up to 50 times!

5. Google XML Sitemaps

Anyone ever heard of Google? Anyone want to make it easy for Google to search, find and feature your website? We thought so. This plugin will produce a site map that is optimized for the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. The free version is great, but the stand alone version gives you a high degree of control, supports really large websites and generates multiple types of site maps. Plus, updates are free for life once you purchase it for $19.99. It has been around for awhile and is highly rated. This one isn’t going anywhere people.

6. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is lead data management and form generating plugin. You can easily create new forms with the simple drag and drop tool to make forms simple or extremely long and complex. Some form plugins only send you an email or display the data in admin panels, but Gravity Forms allows you to view and edit the data that has been submitted. You can also export that data. When displaying your forms, you can use any post, page, or custom post type. You can also display simple forms using the Gravity Forms widget.
Not everyone has a huge budget that they can dedicate to building a presence online. WordPress is an easy to use platform that gives beginners the tools they need to at least get started. We have listed several of our favorite plugins for some absolutely necessary features and services. If you have questions about how WordPress can help you, plugins and online tools, or you need a fresh perspective on your online presence, you can always contact us here or learn more about our Nurture Program by clicking the button below.