WordPress is, by itself, the most popular platform for web site owners to manage their content. What used to be a robust blogging platform is now the framework for major companies that many of you shop at and just don’t know it. There are many ways to extend the functionality of WordPress, but the most diverse and nearly infinite supply of are WordPress Plugins.
Plugins You should Seriously Considering Installing in 2016
I’ll try to arrange these by category to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for:
Digital Content and Marketing
That’s any type of content you put on your web site, whether it’s text, images, video, or a combination of all or some of them:
- 2 SITE MAPS: An HTML SEO: Friendly Site Map for people, and a one just for search engines called an XML Site Map (Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin comes with the XML site map so installling that one addresses this need as well as many others.
- A WAY TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB PAGES AND POSTS: Wordpress SEO is the best one around, it helps you optimize your web site for you, pages and posts and even pages with other media. There is a paid version of WordPress SEO
- ANALYTICS AND SOCIAL METRICS: A Plugin that shows you who is visiting your content, and what they’re typing in to get there on what search engine, and shows you how long a visitor stays as well as what pages they leave quickly (the industry rate that a “bounce” rate. Google Analytics is the Industry Standard but now with Social Media playing a more important role in yoru site’s
Communication both ways is now one of the most important tools you can have in your web site. Here are some examples:
- A Form Creator Plugin – Contact Form 7 is the top free plugin, Gravity Forms is a very popular premium plugin for forms of all types.
- a Forum Plugin – BBPress is the industry standard but there are others if that one will not fit your specific needsd.
- Sumo Me provides many ways to get your visitors to provide you with their personal information. It helps you create pop up boxes, and boxes that pop up asking your visitors to like your Facebook page, like my site does.
- A Testimonials Plugin, one where poeple can fill out a form and leave it themselves for you to approve, of course before it goes live.
- Sharing Plugins – let your visitors build links forr you by sharing content for you on every possible social netowork. I like Shareaholic because it links with Googlel Analytics helping you get insights as to who’s sharing what how many times. It will let you focus on promoting what’s working and redoing what isnb’t being shared.
- Reviews – there are many plugins that can actually do more than just display reviews from your web site, if you have lots of reviews on Google Plus, Facebook, or Yelp or other sites, there are ways we can embed these reviews of your business. Plugins like Google Places Reviews and Yelp Widget Pro place them right on your site, whereever you want them, whether it be on the homepage or a page of their own, or showing in a sidebar of the bottom of every page. The possibilities are endless.
Reviews are a very powerful sales tool. They are incredibly helpful, especially for local businesses like restauranbts, attorneys, plumbers, coffee houses, dentists and doctors and the like. You have to give people a way to get to your social media pages where reviews are possible. I put every social media account in every email I send out. Try that to see if it helps build your reviews. And ASk FOR THEM. I’m going to have a spot on every page where people can go leave reviews. It’ll be at the bottom of every page of my site, in the footer area in a widget box. It’s not there now but like I said, my site is a work in progress.
I look forward to helping you and your company with whatever way shape or form by installing these plugins that make your web site more than just a brochure on the web, like it used to be. I want to help your site be an interactive, shareable, information providing, list building machine!
Security Plugin or Plugins: Wordfence Security, IThemes Security (who bought the #1 Security Plugin, Better WP Security, and All in One WP Security.
SSL Certificate: not a plugin, but a way to secure the content on your web site by making the URL have and “https” instead of just “http”. Many studies show that web sites that use an SSl certificate to secure their entire web site do better in search engine ranking because they’ve gone one extra step to keep their viewers safe.
If you decide to add this layer of protection, you can use a quick SSL certificate at my favorite company that provides wholesale pricing cheaper than on the company’s web sites that sell the same SSL Certificates, use a company called Certs4Less.com.
They have SSL certificates that come in many prices from any basic one up to a premium Extended Validation SSL Certificate where your business is completely validated as well as your web site. It’s more extensive and you need to provide information about your business to the SSL company but it gives you a clickable graphic that shows you’ve gone through en extensive process to get certified as a real business, and your URL bar turns entirely green. I highly recommend it for people wanting to sell products as it adds trust, credibility and that’s hard to get in today’s world of a million web sites selling similar products. it’s a way to be more competitive.
Check out your online competition to see if they’re using an SSL certificate by simply going to their site and looking up on the address bar. Look for the “S” after the http, in the http:/www.companyname.com.