WordPress will never be able to do everything you want it to do… and that’s a good thing. If the platform contained every functionality known to man, it would be a monster. Goodbye, five-minute install!
Fortunately, there are plugins. Lots of plugins. WordPress add-ons make up for what the core lacks. It’s no wonder the extendability provided by plugins is one of the platform’s biggest strengths.
In an attempt to divide the wheat from the chaff, here is a list of some must-have, WordPress plugins for BUSINESS websites.
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OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers. If you want to grow your email list, then this is a must have WordPress plugin.
As a business owner, allowing your customers to contact you should be your top priority. WPForms is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, payment forms, and other type of online forms with just a few clicks.
There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution. If you want more advanced features, then get the Pro version. Use “WPB10” to get 10% off your purchase.
MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can learn more about your website visitors such as where are they coming from and what are they doing on your website.
You can then optimize your site accordingly to improve your earnings.
MonsterInsights also has a free version. If you would like to take advantage of the advanced features, then you should get the Pro version. Use “WPB10” to get 10% off your purchase.
Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing service providers. It allows you to build an email lists and send emails to your subscribers.
It is by far the most beginner friendly platform, with quick and easy setup. It comes with built-in tools to add signup forms and also works well with lead generation software like OptinMonster.
Security is going to be a big concern for online business owners in 2017. Sucuri’s web application firewall is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.
They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack.
If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then add one today.
While we’re talking about security, there’s no better security than having a reliable backup system.
As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose your business and customer data in case of a hardware failure or an attack on your host’s servers. The first thing you should setup on all your WordPress sites is a backup plugin. I recommend using BackupBuddy because it is one of the most reliable and easiest way to backup and restore your WordPress sites with just a few clicks.
Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It allows you to optimize your WordPress site for search engines.
It not only helps you add meta tags, it optimizes your site as a whole.
W3 Total Cache
Speed is one of the most important SEO factors. Faster websites rank higher in Google, this means more visitors for your business website and more conversions.
W3 Total Cache allows you to serve compressed and cached files to your visitors. This reduces the load on your server and your website becomes faster.
Images and other static content on a website take the longest time to load. If you want to make your website even faster, then you will need to use a CDN to deliver your static files. MaxCDN is the most reliable CDN service, and it integrates easily with WordPress.
While you can easily create image galleries in WordPress without using a plugin, these galleries are fairly basic. Envira Gallery allows you to create beautiful responsive galleries in WordPress.
You can create multiple galleries, add them anywhere on your site, create albums, open images in lightbox popups, and much more.
Sliders on your WordPress landing pages allow you to easily display your featured content, products, and announcements in a beautiful interactive way. Soliloquy is the best WordPress slider in the market. It allows you to easily create your own beautiful sliders and add them anywhere on your WordPress site.
Keeping your followers engaged on social media requires you to frequently post updates. Buffer allows you to easily schedule your posts for the entire day.
This allows you to keep your social media accounts active while you work on other things.
As a smart business owner, you need to make the most out of your time, but you cannot be everywhere all the time.
This is where IFTTT comes in. It allows you to put the internet to work for you.
Quick and Easy FAQs
When launching a new product or website, you may need to add a FAQs section in WordPress. You can add a new page with all the frequently asked questions (FAQs), but in most cases FAQs grows as your product evolves and as your customer base grows.
By adding the FAQ section, you can significantly reduce your support overhead and improve conversion.
Insert Headers and Footers
While managing your WordPress sites, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress site’s header or footer. This means you will have to edit the theme files which could get messy and break up your WordPress theme. Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files.
WordPress themes rely on CSS for the visual appearance of your website. If you want to make customization to your theme, then you will have to learn CSS. This can be time consuming for a business owner.
CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing a single line of code.
As a business owner you may soon realize that placing things differently on your pages can result into more conversions and sales. But how do you create those landing pages without learning to code?
Beaver Builder is a powerful drag and drop page builder tool for WordPress. It allows you to easily create your own page layouts using a simple user interface.
Google Apps for Work
Google Apps for Work is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful suite of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free. Most importantly, it allows you to use your own business domain name for emails.
Freshbooks is a cloud based accounting software for professionals, freelancers, and agencies. It allows you to easily send invoices to clients, receive payments, and manage your finances.
As a business owner, you need data to find out what your competitors are doing for their websites. SEMRush allows you to look at the keywords where your competitors are ranking. You can checkout their paid keywords as well as their organic traffic. This way you can optimize your own content and marketing strategy.
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets are special markup that you can add to your content and describe your content more precisely to search engines. This information is then used by search engines to show your content differently. For example, star ratings below your product listings, maps when someone searches for your business, and so on. All in One Schema.org rich snippets plugin provides you an easy user interface to generate that markup and use it in your WordPress posts and pages.
If you need a solution for your business website where your users can book and pay for appointments, then BirchPress is the solution for you. It allows you to easily add a complete online booking system to your WordPress site.
Testimonials allow you to showcase your past clients and their feedback about your services of products. People love to hear what others have to say about your business. It helps you gain trust and build lasting relationships with your clients. Testimonials Widgets makes it super simple to add customer testimonials on your WordPress site.
Slack is a team management, productivity and communication tool. We use it to communicate with our team spread across different timezones and locations. Slack is more convenient than email, and it can integrate with tons of other online tools you may be using.
Which WordPress Plugins Are Essential to You?
By now, a huge number of plugins are available for WordPress. It’s only natural that some are better than others.
The above collection lists a number of high-quality additions to any WordPress website. However, that doesn’t mean you have to or even should install all of them.
I know the word essential sounds like definitely must-have on your site. Yet, what is essential should always be seen in the context of your website and its objective.
What is a can’t-go-without for one site might be completely useless for another. Therefore, you need to think in terms of what is essential to you.
Pick what seems useful, test it and keep it if it makes sense. Don’t go overboard, just stick with the what you absolutely need. After all, isn’t that the meaning of essential?
What are your personal must-have plugins that you install on your site? Do you disagree with anything on this list? Let me know in the comments 👇