There are literally hundreds and thousands of WordPress plugins available and to be honest, a lot of them are absolutely fantastic and are essential for business websites (amongst others). However., with a database of thousands of WordPress plug-ins to choose from, you might have a tough task figuring out which ones you should install and which ones you shouldn’t.
Luckily, we’ve used our years of knowledge and expertise to create a list of the most essential WordPress plugins out there. If you have a website for your business, we highly recommend installing all of these plugins.
In terms of SEO-related plugins for WordPress, WordPress SEO by Yoast has to be one of the best. It allows you to optimise your blog posts and site content with ease; adding keywords, relevant meta tags and more in just a few seconds.
What’s more, this plugin also handles the XML sitemaps for your site and even allows you to optimise your RSS feed. TO put it simply, this plugin makes a lot of the complex SEO stuff easy.
#2 – W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache should be installed on any business website, blog and practically any other website running the WordPress platform.
It’s main job is to improve the visitor experience on your site by improving page load speed times, improving the performance of your server and decreasing bandwidth (thus saving you money). It’s a very beneficial plugin for SEO too as it helps your website to load faster.
#3 – Gravity Forms
Unlike the others that we’ve mentioned on this list so far, Gravity Forms isn’t actually a free plugin, but the price it costs (from $39), it’s well worth it.
Essentially, it allows you to create customised forms on your WordPress website with ease. This is perfect for creating order forms, polls and anything else your business might need.
#4 – Popup Domination
Popup Domination is an essential tool for converting your visitors to your newsletter. Essentially, it adds a customisable pop-up that is activated on your website whenever a page is visited.
You can choose what you want to offer using the plugin, but most people choose to offer a free download (e.g. an eBook) in return for the visitor signing up to their email list. It’s a great way to increase your revenue and generate leads from your website.
#5 – Disqus
Disqus is a fantastic commenting plugin that increases the functionality for visitors leaving comments on your website. Essentially, it adds great add-ons such as spam filtering, automatic backup (via Disqus), increased exposure and more admin tools.
It also ensures that the comments left by your visitors are indexable by the major search engines, thus making the comments on your site more SEO friendly at the touch of a button.
Unfortunately, because WordPress is so widely used these days, a lot of WordPress websites regularly get hacked and when this happens, it can be a catastrophe.
Having a backup is essential and WordPress Backup To Dropbox is a fantastic solution. This plugin backs up your sites directories and database and automatically dumps it in your Dropbox folder. Once you’ve set it up, everything is automatic and you have full control over the scheduling.
#7 – Sharebar
Social media is a big part of marketing these days and your business can’t afford to miss out on the increased exposure that social sharing offers.
ShareBar essentially adds a social sharing bar to every blog post (and page if you like) of your website. This has Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus share buttons (among others) to ensure that your visitors are able to share your content with ease.
#8 – Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that allows you to track th traffic on yor website. It allows you to track where it came from, what search terms were used to get to your website, how long visitors stayed and more.
Adding this functionality to your WordPress website would require coding knowledge but with this plugin, everything is taken care of for you. You literally need to install it, add your Google Analytics ID and it’s done.
When you share a post or page of your website on Facebook, chances are that it won’t look that user friendly. This Social Graph Protocol plugin gives you more control over how your content is displayed when it’s shared on Facebook.
You can customise the text, image and even allow video content to be displayed right from the Facebook news feed if you like.
#10 – Akismet
Akismet is a plugin that actually comes pre-installed when you install WordPress and essentially, it allows you to protect your blog against comment spam.
You’ll find that if you have a WordPress website, you’ll regularly get people spamming your posts and this plugin aims to stop that. It checks with the Akismet database when a comment is posted and if it thinks it’s spam, it won’t be approved.