WordPress is a dynamic and versatile content management system. Its versatility comes from essential plugins that add massive amounts of functionality.
In fact, there are over 50,000 plugins available from WordPress. They do everything from securing your site against hackers to turning it into an e-commerce store.
As well as the plugins available from WordPress, many companies market their own. Some sell for a one-time fee while others have yearly membership fees.
Sounds like a lot of choices, but don’t worry. We’re here to make choosing plugins easy so let’s start with these 6 essential plugins for your business website.
Despite all the benefits, WordPress sites are still vulnerable to hackers. Getting hacked is no picnic. It can affect current and future business and cost a lot of money to clean up an infected site.
A security plugin is a must for a business website and we recommend Wordfence. It’s a robust free plugin, upgradable to a feature-packed paid version.
Wordfence sets up a firewall and monitors all traffic coming to your site in real-time. It also completes periodic scans of all your WordPress files, comparing them to originals from the WP repository.
Wordfence also allows you to set extra login security rules. For example, you can automatically block anyone entering a certain username. Wordfence sends emails when your plugins need updating or someone was blocked from accessing your site, as well.
This group of powerful, free features makes Wordfence one of the essential plugins for your business website.
2. W3 Total Cache
Ever left a site because it was loading so slowly?
You’re not alone. This happens a lot and Google notices when it does.
Site load speed is one of many metrics Google’s algorithms use to determine where your site ranks in search engine results.
Thankfully, W3 Total Cache improves your site load speed by saving pages, images, and files to the user’s local hard drive. The next time your site is accessed, it renders quickly from the local cache.
Faster page loads increase your visitors time on your site, making it easy for them to view more pages. Google keeps track of this too.
Combining W3 Total Cache with great hosting is sure to make your website fly. Click for more information on choosing the best hosting company.
3. Yoast SEO
Search engine optimization is a key to your business website’s success.
Ranking high for your target keywords brings more traffic. With traffic comes more opportunity for building relationships that lead to conversions.
WordPress offers many plugins to help with SEO. But Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded WP plugins of all time.
That’s no accident.
This plugin lets you add an SEO Title, Meta Description, and keywords to all your pages and posts. We know what you’re saying, “So do most SEO plugins.”
Where Yoast SEO sets itself apart are its additional features, like page analysis.
This feature reviews each post for readability, subheadings, images and keyword density, among other things. Each post receives a green, yellow, or red score with feedback on what needs fixing.
Another important function of Yoast SEO is the creation of XML sitemaps. Google and Bing use them to crawl your site and index your pages and images.
With accurate XML sitemaps every time you add new content, search engines are notified so they can update their indices.
4. Beaver Builder
An appealing, user-friendly site design delights visitors and helps SEO. Unless a professional is designing your site or you’re using a premium, customizable theme, you’ll need a design plugin.
Beaver Builder is a popular and highly rated design plugin that lets you build custom web pages without having to know HTML. You can see your page layouts as you build them, whether they’re for desktop or mobile formats.
Beaver Builder is available in a free “lite” version or as a comprehensive, paid plugin. The free version offers multiple content modules, full-width layouts, and various backgrounds.
The premium version adds additional modules, like a slider. It also allows custom module building and offers pre-made layout templates.
The free community is friendly and helpful while the support provided with the premium version is second to none.
5. Social Warfare
Social media isn’t going anywhere.
Facebook and Twitter are strong as ever and always adding more functionality. Pinterest and Instagram are growing by leaps and bounds.
Show us a business website that doesn’t promote content sharing and we’ll show you a business that’s doomed to fail.
Social Warfare is one of the essential plugins for succeeding with social media. It features eye-catching social sharing buttons, placed where you want them.
Social Warfare also features floating share buttons. They follow the user down the page when the static buttons are no longer in view.
It provides share counts to use in creating a popular posts sidebar for whichever social network you select.
With the ‘click to tweet’ feature, the user can tweet a quote from your posts, significantly increasing average tweets. In addition, “Frame Buster” protects your posts from hijackers placing ads over your content.
Perhaps the best benefit is Social Warfare doesn’t slow down your website, unlike other social media plugins.
6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. This means a Google Analytics plugin is a must to monitor the performance of your site.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is fast, secure and free.
From your WordPress dashboard, you can view the number of visits, the number of visitors, bounce rates, and pages per visit. There are also detailed reports breaking down the performance of each page and post.
Additional functionality allows you to track downloads, emails, outbound links, and affiliate links.
You won’t need to install the Google Analytics tracking code on your site because the plugin does it for you.
The Final Word on Essential Plugins
These 6 essential plugins take a basic WordPress site and make it into a powerful business building engine.
This dream team offers security against hackers, speed that keeps customers on your site, and SEO to rank your keywords. You also get a professional looking design, social sharing to make your content go viral, and analytics to find what works and what doesn’t.
Download the free versions of these plugins today and give them a try.