5 WordPress plugins you actually need

We’re well-versed on the many benefits of using WordPress.

What started out primarily as a blogging platform, has evolved into a powerful website builder and a robust CMS.

The platform’s strength lies in how easy it is to operate for users and the flexibility it offers for developers with a host of features and plugins.

So – it’s no wonder that WordPress powers a whopping 43% of the web – a figure which rises every day.

WordPress boasts an extensive catalogue of plugins that make it simple to extend and customise for users and their specific needs.

But to get the most out of using the platform, it’s critical to know which plugins are essential and which are nice-to-haves. Here are the five WordPress plugins that you actually need:

1. Yoast SEO

You can have the most beautifully designed website, with a plethora of cutting-edge features and bespoke functionality, but if no one can find it, what’s the point?

This is why SEO is such a crucial component to your website’s success. Although there are many ways to drive traffic to your site, none offer as much potential as search engines.

Content is still king in the world of SEO. It engages the reader, increases search engine rankings and traffic, and increases the likelihood of quality links from other sites.

But without understanding the dark arts of SEO, you’ll struggle to do any of this.

The most popular plugin on WordPress is Yoast SEO. Simply put, it’s a must-have, and it’s completely free.

Not only will this tool help improve your search engine ranking, but it will also analyse your content’s readability. In an age where user attention spans are shrinking and they have access to more content than ever, the scannability of your content will be a deciding factor in whether or not they remain engaged.

Search engine optimisation can be daunting, but the magic of Yoast SEO is how it breaks down the complexity of SEO into something user-friendly for the whole marketing team. A traffic light system guides you through the process of adding meta descriptions and adding keywords is made easy with clearly labelled fields.

2. iThemes Security

As the most popular CMS in the world, it stands to reason that WordPress will receive heightened attention from hackers. The vulnerabilities of the platform are well-known and exploiting these vulnerabilities could give hackers access to thousands of other sites.

However, just because WordPress sites are a target for hackers, that doesn’t mean yours or your clients’ websites are the proverbial sitting duck.

On average 30,000 websites are hacked every single day. The good news is that there’s a WordPress plugin called iThemes Security that can help your business avert potential threats and the financial fallout thereafter.

Your first line of defence should and will always be server-side protections, but a security plugin offers you an extra layer of security to help mitigate the risk even further.

iThemes Security can be customised to your business depending on your needs. It offers a range of templates that provide the right level of cover for your website, and it offers different levels of login security depending on the users that need to access your content – be they employees, clients or customers.

3. WPForms

When visitors land on your website, you ideally want them to do one of two things: buy something or get in touch with you. To enable the latter, you’ll need an easy-to-use and simple to install contact form plugin.

This is where WPForms comes in. Using the drag and drop format you can create everything from a contact form to a poll or survey within minutes.

With over 300 pre-built form templates to choose from and a range of features that are exclusive to the plugin (like form abandonment and geolocation tracking), it’s a simple but effective solution that takes a matter of clicks to set up.

Not only does form creation become an absolute breeze, but it allows for seamless integration with various tools like email marketing, payment processors, web apps and other useful add-ons.

For businesses looking to scale rapidly, it’s an invaluable tool for lead generation, ensures that you are compliant with GDPR regulations, and it’s also SEO-friendly.

4. UpdraftPlus

To consistently create content that engages your target audience and inspires action from them requires a lot of skill, time and effort.

But all of this hard work can be easily undone if you don’t have a backup solution in place.

Although most web hosts offer backup services, it’s an unnecessary risk to rely on this alone.  UpdraftPlus is a comprehensive plugin solution that protects your entire site, ensuring content is backed up and sent to the cloud, giving you one less thing to worry about.

In the event of a data loss due to an accident or cyberattack, regular backups can be a lifesaver. Even in the event that your entire website is compromised or erased, you’ll be able to easily restore any lost files or databases at the click of a button.

This all-in-one solution is the most popular backup plugin in the entire WordPress repository, and this will come as no surprise to the million or more businesses that have downloaded it.

Whether you’re a prolific blogger or an ecommerce site selling around the world, UpdraftPlus is the ideal solution for websites of all sizes and budgets, and allows you to perform complete, manual, or scheduled backups quickly and easily.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a string of useful add-ons that permit functions like site-to-site content migration and non-WordPress files backup.

5. WooCommerce

According to a report commissioned by law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, online transactions account for 19% of all retails sales in the UK, with this figure set to rise to 53% in the next ten years.

If your business wants to start selling products on your website, an ecommerce plugin is a much better alternative to outsourcing transactions to a third-party company.

A plugin like WooCommerce enhances the customer journey and empowers you to track, monitor and change things yourself.

With the help of its core plugin feature WooCommerce Admin, businesses have direct access to an intuitive interface that displays an analytics dashboard, helping businesses accurately track order performance and reveal insights about market or product trends.

It’s also a plugin that supports multiple payment gateways. By affording your customers the choice of which currency they pay in and payment method they use, you’re more likely to see an increase in conversion rates and repeat purchases.

Another fundamental aspect of WooCommerce as a plugin is the in-built capability to print out shipping labels, integrating with USPS and DHL to further enhance the customer journey.

Are you unsure of which plugins would best serve your business?

6B gets WordPress. We’re an experienced web design and development agency and we know how to get the most out of the platform, so your business’ unique requirements are catered to and you achieve your long-term objectives.

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