WordPress is probably the best way to build a website or blog. As an out-of-the-box content management system, however, it lacks a few essential things.
Thankfully, WordPress is the most expandable platform on earth and the number of options and features you can add is seemingly limitless.
Compiled below are the eight most essential WordPress plugins to enhance your blog that you should add today.
According to a 2015 marketing report, the second most important thing to blog visitors – coming in just under the actual content of your blog – is your contact information. In fact, 44% of surfers stated that they would leave a website if it did not contain a contact form.
Contact information plays a powerful role in establishing trust between you and your readers and can even create new opportunities for you and your website. It’s no surprise, then, that Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It makes it easy to create contact forms and includes a spam filter and CAPTCHA.
Slow websites are a drag. Literally.
It is no secret that blogs that load slowly are less frequented than those that provide zippy load times. In fact, users will opt for a competing website if it loads even just a few hundred milliseconds faster! In such an impatient world, what is one to do?
W3 Total Cache can speed up your WordPress blog by avoiding re-downloading data that already exists in a user’s browser. This reduces your website load time significantly – often by a few seconds – and can mean the difference between a bounce and reader. That even makes Google happy, as faster websites are known to do better in SEO ranking.
The Google-backed Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) Project aims to speed up the mobile web by creating sites that load blazingly fast and are optimized to perform well across devices. This near-instant loading provides proven engagement increases and gives you a leg up on non-AMP sites.
A responsive design can only go so far and taking your website to the next level with AMP is as simple as installing a plugin. See results instantly and discover why the biggest names on the internet back this extraordinary project.
There is no doubt that the WordPress visual editor is the best way to create and edit blog content. Sometimes, however, it can feel incomplete, preventing users from creating truly creative and interactive content.
TinyMCE works to fix that by adding the features that the developers missed, including the ability to change fonts and font sizes, search and replace, create different lists, and add and edit tables. It’s so effective, you may not have to use the text editor again!
You already remind your readers to share your content with social prompts and buttons, but sometimes it takes an additional push to really nudge them in the right direction.
Better Click to Tweet engages users by allowing you to create tweetable text that your users can share without having to leave your website. These pre-made tweets are effective and also make your content more appealing and interactive. They even link to your article and your Twitter handle and serve as yet another way to build a bridge between you and your visitors.
Even if you create interesting content, if your blog does not conform to basic SEO guidelines, you might be missing out on huge numbers of potential visitors and readers.
Solve your SEO problems today with the Yoast SEO plugin. Not only can it do a page analysis of all of your posts, it ensures that you write a meta description with your focus keywords, that you use subheadings to make your content more readable, and that your site is visible for all of the right reasons.
An average of 30,000 websites are hacked every day. With an alarming stat like this, it’s important to protect your site behind a powerful security suite.
iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security) provides you with over 30 different ways to secure your blog. Features include two-factor authentication, scheduled malware scanning, password expiration, Google reCAPTCHA, online file comparison, and many other features that ensure not only your safety, but that of your readers.
The ultimate supplement to all of the aforementioned plugins is Jetpack.
Jetpack includes tools that track and increase traffic, secure and backup your website, assist in content creation, and improve interaction with your readers. While some of these features are paid, the plugin offers enough free features to make it worth your while. Some features of Jetpack are also available for certain site building platforms as well.
Why do you need Jetpack if you have the first seven plugins, you ask? Although plugins work great as standalone products, much like WordPress itself, there are always holes to patch and improvements to be made. Using Jetpack will nicely supplement your plugins.
With just a bit of work and a lot of help from these eight amazing plugins, your website is sure to reach new highs!