WordPress is one of the leading DIY website tools around for small business website owners, and the best part about using WordPress is that website designers have already done a lot of the development work for you. Whatever your website needs can generally be found in the WordPress plugin directory. That simplifies the website management process so that you can focus on your business.
If you aren’t sure where to start or which plugins are best for your website, check out this list for some of the top plugins to consider adding for the new year:
Google Page Speed Insights WordPress Plugin
Loading time can make or break a visit to your website, leading to a higher bounce rate and a dip in sales or leads. There are plenty of tools you can use online to track this, but why not integrate a tracking tool right into your website?
This Page Seed Insight plugin can be installed right into your WordPress dashboard so that you can figure out when your site needs a bit of maintenance in order to keep it up to speed.
All in One SEO WordPress Plugin
While the SEO by Yoast plugin is another great SEO tool, website developers agree that this plugin is a must-have for optimizing your website for search engines, adding the metadata you need and keeping your pages and posts in a format that is easily indexed and crawled by search engines.
While it works great out of the box, it also offers several fields where you can add images, descriptions and other SEO-focused data for each post or page. Search engine traffic is out there for the taking. Don’t overlook this important asset to your business.
Social Gallery Lite WordPress Plugin
If images are a big part of your online business, then you need to use this plugin to both make your images easier to browse and to share on Facebook. Facebook is optimized for larger images now, and therefore this plugin that connects Facebook to WordPress sites is an essential tool for better engagement with your social media community.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress Plugin
Google’s Analytics data is extremely useful for determining which parts of your website are effective and which parts need a new strategy. Analytics data isn’t something you need to check every day, but if you review trends over the past month, you’ll find out which topics and days draw the most engagement from your readers.
WordPress provides some helpful stats as well through it’s Jet Pack plugin, but if you want to work with an industry standard analytics tool, this is a really useful plugin that saves you from having to log in to your Analytics account every time you want to review your stats.
All in One WP Security and Firewall Plugin
This is one of the essential WordPress security plugins, and you may not even know that you need it. I’ve had my site scrubbed clean and then added this plugin, and I still find that attacks come from time to time that it blocks. No matter how tight your website security, you can’t play it safe enough.
One note, if you want to update your site, you need to disable this plugin first.
Contact Form WordPress Plugin
If customers can’t easily contact you through your website, you’re going to lose a ton of potential business. That’s why you can’t lose with a simple contact form plugin that will make it easy to integrate a contact form into your website.
Disqus Comments for WordPress
While WordPress comes with the Akismet spam filter already installed, that’s not enough to stop the steady flow of spam into your website. If you neglect the spam that accumulates, you run the risk of slowing down your business website. You need a low maintenance way to handle discussions on your website, and Disqus is a great option.
While it has had plenty of bugs in the past and you’ll find lots of negative reviews, Disqus has worked out many of the bugs and is used widely by many mainstream and professional websites. Users will need to log in and create a simple profile, but Disqus is widely used and shouldn’t wreck the conversations on your site. You can say goodbye to spam (at least a lot of it!) and focus on creating great content for your website.
WordPress Back Up to DropBox
There are few things more terrifying than losing your entire website to a hacker or to a problem at your hosting company. This low maintenance plugin will load a back up of your site right to your DropBox account in a compressed file.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a more robust back up program like Back Up Buddy if you want to be able to restore your entire site with a few clicks. This just saves your database.
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