The Five Essential WordPress Plugins
Let’s set the scene. Your agency have just finished building your dream WordPress site with your slick new branding and it all looks exactly how you imagined. Now it’s time for you to take the reins and run the site day to day…huh, where do you begin? You might have a few ideas of how to grow the amount of visitors to your site but if you’re at a bit of a loss as to how to get the ball rolling, we’re here to help.
We’ve taken a look at the overwhelming world of plugins and chosen the five essential WordPress plugins that will help you get the most out of your brand new website. Our choices are applicable to every type of website, whether you’re a boutique hotel looking to grow your customer base, or an online craft store who’s taken the leap from Etsy to your own branded site.
It’s hard to find an article about running a website that doesn’t stress how important SEO is to get your website recognised in today’s saturated online market. With Google’s ever changing ranking rules and everything from keywords to SEO titles and meta tags to get your head around, SEO can be a very confusing subject. Luckily there is a plugin to help you SEO-optimise all of your posts. Phew!
The overlord of all SEO plugins, there really is no better choice than Yoast’s easy to use but always effective plugin. Its simple traffic light system and handy checklist helps take the mystery out of SEO so you’ll be climbing up the search engine ranks in no time, rather than spending hours decoding the mysteries of meta tags.
Over one million WordPress sites can’t be wrong! If you’re looking for a simple, clear way to add forms to your WordPress site then Gravity Forms is the plugin for you. With Gravity Forms you can build, customise and publish forms to your WordPress site in a matter of minutes – no wasting time, no confusing options.
Want to add forms to your website that will allow users to sign up to your newsletter? One of the plugin’s handiest features is the ability to create forms that can be integrated with a number of third party websites, including MailChimp.
Take full control of your edit screens and custom field data with this popular and trusted plugin. Described as being ‘simple and intuitive’, after installing all you have to do is create a field group, add your fields and define the location rules – and it’s that simple.
Advanced Custom Fields provides you with over 20 field types to choose from, ensuring that your custom data management ‘couldn’t be easier, or look any better!’
We talked about WordPress security earlier this month and the first plugin we mentioned was Sucuri – for good reason. Rather than a single product, the Sucuri Security plugin features a full suite of security features that will complement your existing security measures.
Features include file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning and effective security hardening, among others. The security of your WordPress site is imperative and with Sucuri you can relax in the knowledge that your site is in safe hands.
5. WP Mail SMTP
Talking about SMTP and SSL encryption may send your head into a spin if you’re not technically-minded but the WP Mail SMTP plugin handles the confusing work for you and leaves you with a well-designed panel of options that makes configuring your email much less intimidating.
The main benefit of using this plugin is so your emails are not sent by the webserver, as these can often get treated as spam – particularly in shared hosting environments. By using WP Mail SMTP you ensure that you’re using a much more trusted SMTP server.
The above list covers the basics of marketing, functionality, security and email, giving you a diverse, reliable toolkit of resources that will help you produce high quality content for your website. There are thousands and thousands of WordPress plugins out there but the five in this list form the basis of what you should be using to help your website grow and develop as your brand does.