WordPress (WP) has become a household name as they have dominated the internet, hosting approximately 35% of blogs, corporate publications and small business websites. One of the things that has made WordPress such a popular platform is the abundance of beneficial WordPress plugins available that help to personalize the user experience. According to wpbeginner.com, there are over 55,000 plug-ins, to be exact. It can be a difficult process trying to navigate which ones will most positively impact your site. In this article, we will take a look at some of the more popular WordPress plugins you may choose to use to help with everything from SEO to visitor engagement and beyond.
Why Consider Using WordPress Plugins
So, what is a plugin anyway? A plugin is a broad term related to any type of software that can be synced with an existing platform or program to offer additional features that may not otherwise be available on it. This enables the user to completely customize their site so that it is easy to use for both themselves and site visitors. WordPress plugins can help to track analytics, improve communication between site owners and guests, and improve SEO. They can also help optimize your social media platforms, increase site speed, build email lists and so much more. There really is no limit as to how a plugin can improve your site, but some have gained more popularity than others.
1. Yoast SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of influencing search engines (like Google) to display your website at the top of their search results. Without implementing proper SEO practices, your site will not rank so well. Subsequently, it will not have nearly as much valuable traffic driven to it. The Yoast SEO plugin can help your WordPress site live up to its best potential. It makes it easier for the website manager to implement SEO best practices, connect with the Google Search Console, and more. This is, by far, one of the most widely used WP plugins.
If you plan on having an online store attached to your site, this is a must-have plugin. Easy to set up and navigate, WooCommerce allows you to quickly design an online store complete with various product pages, checkout, payment and shipping options. You can also upgrade your plan to include premium options such as coupons and subscriptions.
3. Constant Contact
Any business plan should consider the importance of building a solid email list. With Constant Contact, you can create customized intake forms. This will help you gather and organize your site visitors’ most pertinent information. Examples of this include names, email addresses, and phone numbers so that you can easily reach them in the future. You can even collect info such as their interests, ages, locations and more; helping you to better understand your demographic.
4. Akismet Anti-Spam
Spam can slow down your entire site and make the user experience an overall painful one. Akismet understands how frustrating spam can be and works diligently to block it from infiltrating your site. This plugin helps keep unwanted comments, malicious content and bad links at bay. Additionally, Akismet will monitor contact information submitted through your site to ensure it hasn’t been found on any of their global spam lists.
Another popular form builder, WPForms makes the process of creating all different types of forms super simple and quick with a drag and drop feature. It goes beyond collecting simple data. It also helps you create beautiful and safe payment forms, surveys, polls and more.
MonsterInsights is one of the best data trackers available for WordPress. It connects directly with WP and Google Analytics to create the reports that matter most to your individual business. Who is your audience? What is your audience doing? Where are they spending their money? The more that you learn about them, the easier it will be to market directly to them in the future. This plugin also allows you to track where your site visitors are coming from so you can determine which campaigns are working best for your brand.
If you notice your site visitors aren’t spending as much time on your site as you’d like them to (or that they’re jumping ship before they fully engage), OptinMonster is another great tool you may want to consider using. It will help you to convert more visitors by popping up the right messages for the right visitors at the right time to help them follow through with their site engagement.
If you are thinking about monetizing your site through the implementation of advertising, Adsanity is a good consideration for you. Even if you’ve never engaged in advertising before, the Adsanity platform is easy to navigate and makes the process simple and measurable. You’ve worked hard to build up your site traffic; make the most of it!
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Email marketing is a super effective way of getting your audience engaged and maintaining open lines of communication with them. It also allows you to keep your audience up to date on all of the new happenings going on within your business. The Newsletter plugin makes this process easier by offering you access to a complete email marketing system right from your existing WP dashboard. A built-in analytics tracker allows you to see which campaigns are gaining the most traction and with whom.
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10. The Events Calendar
If your business hosts a lot of events, this is another plugin you won’t want to miss. The Events Calendar plugin helps you create a visually appealing calendar to display on your site that lists all of your upcoming events. You can pair this plugin with the Event Tickets plugin to streamline the sign-up process and allow your visitors to purchase tickets and reserve their spot right from the convenience of your website.
11. Seriously Simple Podcasting
Podcasting has grown significantly in popularity over the past few years, with over one million podcasts available to listeners today (according to PodcastInsights.com). Now is a great time to start your own podcast, with subject matter ranging anywhere from golf to fashion to medicine and beyond. The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin allows you to easily send your RSS feed from your existing site to some of the top podcast directories on the web (such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more).
12. Visual Composer
Your website is only as good as its design. A well-designed website will engage your visitors and keep them coming back for more. That being said, not all of us are designers, which is why the Visual Composer plugin is so handy. It’s easy to use elements will help even the least tech-savvy individuals to create a site that leaves a quality impression.
Elementor is another plugin that offers site designers access to a huge library of templates (both free and paid) that help them to create a site that is memorable and professional. It makes the process relatively simple and fast.
Lastly, let’s take a look at Jetpack. This plugin offers a bunch of beneficial features that will help make the process of running a website a lot easier, even for beginners. Jetpack will help keep your site safe, while at the same time providing analytics trackers and social media sharing tools. Additionally, you can use this plugin to create contact forms, back up your site and so much more.
Out of the 55,000 plus WordPress plugins available, we’ve obviously barely skimmed the surface, but the 14 we’ve looked at today will be a great starting point, as you start on your WordPress journey. If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, visit the plugin directory on your WordPress dashboard. You should also do a Google search for popular plugins within your niche.
If you need any help customizing your website with these WordPress plugins mentioned above, or in any other way, let us know! We would be happy to learn about what you’re looking for, and seeing how we can assist. You can connect with us via the contact form below, or through our contact page.
Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More