There are many tools that you can use to manage content on your website. My personal favorite is WordPress. It’s free to download and run and completely open source. That means that if you can modify it in any way you want. There are some things that WordPress can’t do, which require add-ons called Plugins. In this post, you’ll know what the top ten WordPress plugins you need for every WordPress site.
With so many plugins to choose from it may be hard to choose which ones to use and it largely depends on what you need to do. Regardless of what kind of site you have here are what I think every WordPress site needs.
WordPress is primarily for blogging. These blogs allow visitors to make comments on the posts. It’s one of the great things about a WordPress site, that you can create community over your content. Sadly, people have figured out how to spam blogs with annoying, and sometimes harmful stuff. Akismet is created to help screen comments that are made so that spam doesn’t get on your site
A big concern of people who operate websites is getting found in the major search engines like Google or Bing. It’s called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. One plugin that helps me create posts that get found is Yoast. When you write a post Yoast walks you through everything you need to write a good post that is search engine optimized. It even grades your post and helps you make your post better!
Contact Form 7
Every website owner needs a way to be contacted by users or potential customers. You could code your own, but Contact Form 7 helps you create forms easily. You can create as many forms as you need and insert it into your site. Further, you can customize the message that your sender receives and other cool things. You don’t need to know any code.
If you ever want to sell anything on your site, whether physical products like furniture, artwork, pottery, or digital goods like a course, ebook, or files, you’ll need an e-commerce solution. Woocommerce is a free plugin that allows you to create an online store that you can sell your wares straight from your website. You’ll need to configure a payment system and you can do that simply through PayPal.
Perhaps one of your purposes of creating a website is that you are a speaker or musician that wants to make sure that your speaking events or concerts are on your website. Events Calendar is a free plugin that will allow you to do it easily. Out of the box you can put the venue of the event and put a map to the venue. There are some add on features that you can use too, to sell tickets, collect RSVPs, etc. There is a free version and a paid version.
CoSchedule is your all in one marketing calendar where you can keep all your blog posts, webinars, email messages, etc. scheduled and organized. You can work on things in a solo environment or with your team if you have one. I love it because you can write a blog post, and schedule it to post to your social media profiles. It integrates with a lot of different services like Google Docs, Evernote, and Google Analytics, Bit.ly, and others. You can also reuse content using their ReQueue function. It’s a big investment, but worth every penny.
If part of having a website is to host your own podcast, then you’ll definitely want to install this plugin. It allows you to put a player in your post that will play your audio file on your website. It’s a free plugin that will help you share your podcast with people who don’t subscribe or would like to listen from your website.
Often in the course of your work, you will reference links to blog posts on your site that are long, confusing, or awkward to say. Pretty link allows you to create a link that is easier to remember and tell people. Instead of
you could reference
It’s an extra step, but one that could reap the rewards of increased traffic to your site and clear communications between you and your audience.
While WordPress comes with a pretty good commenting system built it, many users of WordPress use a third party commenting software called Disqus. It’s free to install and use and has many features built in. And you can moderate your comments from Disqus, so you don’t have to be logged in to WordPress to do so.
If you’re into data and tracking your site’s traffic, Google Analytics is the place to start. It’s the standard when it comes to getting started with interpreting your traffic sources, conversions, etc. You could use Google’s website, but if you want it all contained in the WordPress system, this plugin is for you!
Whether you’re getting started online or you want to add functionality to your website you can’t go wrong with the above plugins. Many others are out there, so keep looking for the things you need and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Question: What plugins do you use right now? What would you add to this list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.