I was talking to you the other day about how to capture an email address on your site. I was thinking now that in order to do this, you need a well-developed website or blog, technically speaking.That’s why I think it’s appropriate to talk about the most important WordPress plugins you need to have to start implementing your desired marketing strategy.
In addition, plugins will help you create an effective sales page.
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But first, we need to clarify one thing.
What is a WordPress plugin?
There are tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of such plugins. They are also called modules (or extensions) and are defined as “pieces” of software that add additional features to your site.
Technically, they are written in the PHP programming language (which underlies the WordPress platform) and are specially built so that they can be easily installed from the admin panel of your WordPress site.
There is even a saying in the WordPress community: “whatever you want to do, there is a plugin for it”.
Indeed, plugins are like mobile applications – they help you implement even the craziest ideas you have in mind.
To install a WordPress plugin, you need to go to your admin panel, the Plugins section and select the “Add New” option.
From here, you can search for the name of the desired plugin and simply press the “Install” button, then “Activate”.
Just as easily, you can uninstall your plugins.
Now that we’ve clarified this, let’s review the most important WordPress plugins that, in my opinion, any site should use.
All the plugins in the list below are free, so you have an extra reason to use them
Recommended WordPress plugins:
This is without a doubt the most effective WordPress SEO plugin you can have. It allows you to optimize for search engines each page of the site, giving you a score consisting of polka dots (red for insufficient, orange for enough, green for very good).
This plugin helps you even if you have no knowledge of SEO: at the end of each page it gives you tips, very clearly explained.
2. Contact Form 7
This is probably the most popular WordPress plugin of all. If you want to have a direct contact with the visitors of your site, provide them with contact forms so that they can write to you.
It is much more professional to contact you through a form and structure their message as you wish, than to simply write you an email. After all, their message will also reach your email.
You can easily create and manage multiple contact forms, you can customize them as you wish.
If you want to learn how to use it, you have the Contact Form 7 guide for WordPress. In that article you will find everything from the installation to the actual configuration of the plug-in.
3. Wordfence Security
One of the most important things when you have a WordPress site is to protect it from cyber attacks. The WordPress platform is one of the most attacked by hackers and Internet robots, and the more plugins you have installed, the more vulnerabilities you risk.
Therefore, in this article, I recommend only those plugins that provide basic functions of your site.
The Wordfence Security plugin is probably one of the best security modules. It blocks your spam comments and attempts to enter your admin panel, periodically scans your site and notifies you when it is compromised.
4. Google Analytics
What’s the point of promoting a site if you don’t know how much traffic it has, right? Therefore, it is mandatory to use Google Analytics for your site.
To do this, you need to create an account on the Google Analytics platform and then obtain the code specific to your account, which you can manually insert in the place indicated by the Google Analytics plugin.
Another option is to simply register with your Google account, directly from the plugin, to make the connection.
Want to learn how to use Google Analitycs and its performance metrics? Read the article and find out how this Google service can help you increase traffic to your WordPress site.
With a funny name, this WordPress plugin managed to become the most popular and stable way to add social media share buttons on the pages of your site.
In addition, it allows you to add to each end of the article a list of similar content from your blog or even from other sites on .com, chosen according to the keywords you insert.
However, I don’t think you would use this feature on a company blog. It is enough to limit yourself to the function of social share, because …
This is probably the most complex plugin out there. It is, in fact, a combination of functions designed to help you increase your traffic to your site, protect it and retain your readers.
From the tools it includes, Jetpack allows you to:
- View your site statistics in real time
- Insert similar articles at the end of each article on your site
- Insert social share buttons (as does Shareaholic)
- Protect the site from attacks
- Create dynamic content (embedding with other platforms, interactive carousels and photo galleries, additional sidebar sections, etc.)
- Allow your readers to subscribe to your blog, to receive the latest articles by email
- Customize contact forms
- And more…
All the features I mentioned here are free, but this complex WordPress plugin offers at least as many premium, paid features.
7. WP Super Cache
This module has an invisible function for your readers, but very useful for the back-end area of your WordPress site.
In short, it helps increase the loading speed of your site, especially when you have high traffic at the same time or when you use slow hosting.
How does he do this? Well, I will try to explain as little technically as possible: this plugin turns dynamic PHP codes, difficult to read by the server, into static HTML files. This way, your readers will not feel the difference, if your site will be hampered by traffic.
8. Google XML Sitemaps
Any site, consisting of several pages, needs a map with all these pages to be read correctly by Google. The search engine should quickly see all the links between these pages and have the address of each one, so that they can easily read them.
Therefore, there is a special WordPress plugin to generate this map (which is, by the way, mandatory).
Any site should have a main map (and can have multiple sub-maps, if it has a large number of pages). This map is an XML file that consists of a list of all the links on that site.
There are many ways to generate it, but in WordPress, the Google XML Sitemaps plugin is the most popular.
Attention: the same function can be offered by the AIO SEO plugin, so it would not be necessary to use both plugins at the same time.
The sitemap generated by these plugins should be used not only to facilitate navigability of the site. It can be integrated with the Search Console account associated with the website. And in the Search Console you then receive a lot of relevant information and reports about the organic activity of web pages. These reports will help you optimize in SEO every element of your website.
Throughout the life of a WordPress site, it generates many “dump” (“useless”) files, which make it difficult to operate. Some of these are temporary, but some are attached directly to the site’s database and are not automatically deleted.
The database consists of a series of SQL files that contain all the information of your site, from the accounts created to the text and photo content on each page.
Through the optimization process, the WordPress WP Optimize plugin actually cleans your database of unnecessary files and codes. In addition, it constantly scans for data that is extra and not needed to remove it.
What other WordPress plugins would you recommend?
I hope the list and explanations above help you. I would like to point out that a site loaded with too many plugins may no longer work properly.
Each plugin you install adds files and new lines of code to your site. Therefore, my advice is to limit yourself to only the plugins you really need and never use more plugins that have the same functions.
In addition, each newly added plug-in will take a few hundredths of a second to load your site. As you well know, it would be best to optimize this loading speed as much as you can. Otherwise, Google will penalize the site, which means that it will not appear in the first results of search engines.
If you want to help me complete the list of recommendations, please leave me a comment with the plugins you use and they are very useful.