The WordPress Plugins Must-Have List

WordPress plugins are software elements used to expand your website’s functionality, improving its design, and making it easier to manage for you and your visitors. There are five areas where WordPress plugins are helpful.

1. Improve Blog

Related Posts by Zemanta – This plugin is used for blogs to improve bounce rate. The bounce rate is the measure of time a person spends on your website before leaving the site. Search engine bots consider the bounce rate when ranking. If someone bounces quickly from the page they landed on, it indicates a lack of relevance. This plugin shows relevant posts in a blog that a person is currently on to keep them on your site longer.

Yoast SEO – This one helps set up keywords and descriptions for search engines. You can set titles and meta descriptions for all your posts. It scores every blog post based on SEO (search engine optimization) factors and suggests improvements. It also shows you how a specific page will likely appear in Google search results. Because this plugin also has so many features to optimize your blog, you won’t need additional WordPress plugins — some of which could result in your website crashing.

2. Improve Website

Broken Link Checker – The older your site gets, the more maintenance and cleaning it requires. You might have old blog posts with broken images or links to websites that no longer exist. In addition to checking blog posts, the Broken Link Checker also looks for broken links throughout your website. One or two broken links may not seem like a big deal, but too many can ruin a visitor’s experience and hurt your SEO rank. This plugin checks all links and allows you to configure the way you want to manage each one.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization – When your website includes several large images of high quality, your website visitors will likely experience long load times, which decreases their chances of sticking around. This plugin optimizes and compresses (reduces size without losing quality) all images in your media library to dramatically improve your site’s load time. In turn, site visitors will not be frustrated and leave your site, thus improving the site’s bounce rate.

3. Gain Email Subscribers

Thrive Leads/Thrive Architect – These two plugins work together to help you build your email list. They come with templates designed in sets for opt-in forms and landing pages so you can customize to your brand and colors without knowing any code. The template sets also help you create uniform email campaigns. These plugins will increase conversions and make it simple for your readers to subscribe.

MailChimp for WordPress – Speaking of an email list, you need a place to keep those emails! This WordPress plugin can integrate with your MailChimp account. There are several email campaign platforms, but MailChimp is one of the most popular and affordable. This plugin helps you seamlessly create opt-in forms for lead capture because it syncs with your MailChimp account. You can add signup forms with this plugin and use Thrive Leads for even more customization!

Set Up E-Commerce

WooCommerce – This is the most popular plugin for creating an e-commerce shop on your WordPress website. With popularity comes easy integration, making WooCommerce a convenient way to sell your digital and physical products directly from your website. WooCommerce includes built-in themes for all aspects of your online shop, so you don’t need any coding knowledge to use this plugin.

WooCommerce Checkout Manager – Shipping products to your customers naturally requires that you collect personal information such as address and phone number. However, if you sell digital products, you don’t need to request all that information because you aren’t physically shipping anything. This plugin allows you to remove unnecessary fields from your checkout page. You can keep it simple by requesting a name and email address from your customers, and that’s it! An uncomplicated buying experience makes happy customers.

Track Analytics

Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress – Data tracking informs you of your website and its traffic to help you focus on methods to increase traffic. It also helps determine which pages are the most popular and which pages could benefit from improvement. This plugin gives you detailed information about your visitors, and with Google in the name, you know it’s the most comprehensive analytics tool out there. Google Analytics is priceless for helping you understand your audience as you develop marketing strategies.

JetPack – This plugin has a tool that shows detailed tracking of your visitors, such as what they are searching for, where they came from, what links they are clicking on, and more. However, it is simpler than Google Analytics. For the beginner or casual user, the general and quick traffic stats provided by JetPack could be the right choice for you. Not to mention, Jetpack also has other helpful features and tools for design, marketing, and security as a one-stop-shop plugin!

These WordPress plugins help to improve your website and make it easier for you to manage. You don’t need too many plugins since you don’t want to experience coding issues. However, these basics should have you good to go!