Regardless of your industry vertical, type of product/service, or your target market, your business won’t survive today without a digital presence. Heck, even local Farmers’ Markets have at least an online listing.
The web is the ultimate directory for information and people have a small modicum of trust for businesses they can find online (it’s the entire reason why online scams are even a thing).
So you heard about WordPress and got yourself a domain and server space, and now your website is all dressed up and ready to roll. Well, almost ready. As amazing as WordPress is, you still have to make sure your business website does well, and for that, you’ll need more than sharp business acumen: you’ll need the tools.
Here are 7 super efficient WordPress plugins you can’t pass up on:
Contact Form 7
One of the simplest and most efficient contact form plugins.
Contact forms make for a great way to generate quality leads and giving site visitors a choice to get in touch with you. Contact Form 7 is a free plugin that has attained ‘classic’ status since its original release.
From the same developer who created Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin, Contact Form 7 is quality through and through. The plugin supports an unlimited number of forms on any given website, which can be created and customized by anyone. Features like AJAX-powered (dynamic) form submission, spam filtering (by Akismet), CAPTCHAs and more make this plugin a must for every business website.
Local SEO by Yoast
You probably already have a Yoast SEO plugin, but this one’s built specifically to improve your online visibility if you have a brick-and-mortar space to receive clients/customers.
For example, when you type ‘Café’ into Google search bar, the first thing you see (before the usual results) is a map, along with a list of local businesses matching that term. Local SEO helps you improve your visibility and ranking in search results for local searches.
The plugin lets you add Google Maps to your website and creates a separate space within the interface to let you set and display critical information like opening hours, contact info, store locator (great for businesses that are branching out), etc. in a Schema.org markup: further improving your search result rankings (local and global).
There’s more to SEO than search result ranks. Here’s a complete list of the best WordPress SEO plugins.
The price may look staggering ($69 for a single site), but the brutal efficacy of this plugin makes up for it.
W3 Total Cache
This is the ultimate WordPress caching and performance optimization plugin.
Your website needs to load fast on all devices for the sake of SEO as well as good user experience. W3 Total Cache helps with that.
This free plugin gives dramatic boosts to page load speed, thanks to powerful features like minification and compression of feeds, scripts, and stylesheets, browser caching (instant page view for recurring visitors), progressive rendering, CDN management, and everything in between.
This plugin is the only performance optimization tool recommended by top notch web hosts like HostGator, MediaTemple, etc. for its superb compatibility with all types of hosting.
This simple, powerful plugin was created with a vision and is updated consistently by the social media marketer and WordPress consultant, Frederick Townes. Can you say legacy?
Social Share and Locker Pro
Simple sharing buttons may not cut it. Social Share & Locker Pro is smarter than that.
This plugin has social sharing buttons with 7 placement choices across the page. It has share counters, animations and effects, and the namesake Content Lock feature which makes this plugin an absolute win with the marketers.
The plugin’s Content Lock feature aims to increase content sharing on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ by making denying access to the visitor unless they share a content first.
It’s not wholly awful from UX point of view either: there are time delays, unimpaired access to registered users, and similar triggers to make the locker popup interactive and not merely mean-spirited.
There are various styling options built-in with the plugin, along with ‘share counter twiddling’ feature which is especially useful for new and small businesses.
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
How would you progress without knowing your own audience?
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights is a powerful plugin. If you’re familiar with Google Analytics interface and find it confusing to use (or even integrate Google Analytics with WordPress in the first place), then this is the plugin for you.
The plugin has sophisticated tracking features for eCommerce, outbound links and downloads, an improved visitor metric dashboard, role-specific tracking (special WordPress feature), search results, error pages, and more.
Basically, the plugins bring the might of Google Analytics to WordPress admin and make it simpler to work with.
Inbound Now is available for free with good enough features for small businesses. For a punch that packs more power, premium versions start from $10/month.
This marketing automation SaaS is popular, specifically for its beautiful integration with WordPress. It lets you create, track, analyze landing pages and CTA button clicks. It comes with emailing integrated, complete with starter templates for newsletters and more. There are tools for effective lead generation and management and so much more.
Furthermore, it’s a complete tool for online marketing for small businesses, with highly customizable payment plans to make sure you get what you need.
Add a hint of human interaction to your business website with Pure Chat.
This live chat plugin has a highly customizable chat interface, which makes it perfect for integration with any theme or business website. The plugin has features like set schedules (appear online), save transcripts of chats, multi-chat, capture visitor device specs, customize with other languages, a built-in CTA, SSL security, Native iOS & Android Apps and more.
Small business can start slow with Free or Starter ($15/m) plan.
Finally; There are plugins on WordPress for every need imaginable, and you can hire WordPress developers for the rest. Finding the best plugins for your site without compromising its performance or security is the real challenge.
Remember to do your homework and research every plugin thoroughly before installing it.
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