Essential WordPress Plugins for Online Businesses
The global pandemic and resulting lockdown measures have forced many businesses to shut and, in turn, has seen a dramatic increase in businesses adjusting to online shopping and other digital services. Many businesses, which once relied on footfall, have now established their online presence to ensure they can continuously deliver their goods and services throughout the pandemic.
With an online presence, comes a new website and a higher demand for web development and website maintenance services. There are a large number of website platforms, but perhaps the most popular (dominating over 60% of the market share) is WordPress.
If you have a WordPress website for your business but aren’t sure what essential plugins you need for your business and improve your SEO, then we have selected the top plugins that you will need below.
- Contact Form 7/ WP Forms
If you are hoping to receive enquiries then you will need a contact form on your site. Two of the best free contact form plugins are Contact Form 7 and WP Forms. WP Forms is very easy to use and good for beginners and the lite version is free but you can pay to use PRO features. Contact Form 7 is a popular plugin and easy to set up with Recaptcha and Flamingo plugin, so you can see a saved list of all messages sent to you in your database.
It goes without saying a website will require an eCommerce plugin of some sort! If you have an existing WordPress website or are looking for a brand new website with eCommerce functionality, then WooCommerce is one of the best plugins out there and allows for a huge amount of customisation. You can add extra add-on plugins to ensure your shop’s functionality is exactly how you want. For more information, read our helpful guide to adding eCommerce plugins to your site.
- Yoast SEO
An essential WordPress SEO plugin on your site is Yoast. In a nutshell, SEO improves your website’s visibility for relevant searches. Yoast is a great little plugin that allows you to add a Title and Meta Description to your web pages as well as creating a robots.txt file and sitemap. You can also set breadcrumbs on pages, to allow better navigation between web pages. A lot of plugins also integrate with Yoast, which makes it the most popular choice for an SEO plugin.
- Security Plugin
There are many security plugins to choose from but all are important to ensure your website does not get hacked and your business can keep running. Some of the best WordPress security plugins are WordFence, Sucuri and iThemes Security Pro, which are free but some of the better features are paid for. They will alert you if there is any malware, any unwanted attempt at accessing your site and any other issues.
- Live Chat
Adding a live chat feature will allow you to respond to any queries quickly and efficiently. LiveChat, Tawk.To and Zendesk are some good options for chat plugins. Some have a free trial which then changes to pay monthly after the trial has ended.
- Insert Headers and Footers
Insert Headers and Footers is a great little plugin if you don’t have access to the code or want to add a piece of script to your site – i.e. Google Analytics script.
With a contact form allows the potential for spam, so make sure you have some anti-spam plugins to keep your inbox clean! Adding a ReCAPTCHA to your contact form is one method – you can sign up with Google and then install Invisible ReCaptcha and pop in your Site and Secret Key. You can also add Honeypot for Contact Form 7, which adds an invisible field to your contact form which bots will automatically fill in and then they are filtered out. You can also use an alternative Honeypot plugin for other contact forms.
- Caching Plugin – WP Rocket
Keep your site speed fast with WP Rocket – your site will need a caching plugin to decrease the load time of your site and therefore improving your SEO. WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins – although not free, it is probably one of the easiest ways to ensure a blazing fast site and doesn’t require any programming knowledge. An alternative free caching plugin is W3 Total Cache.
These are just a few of the plugins you should be considering adding to your website to ensure your online business is a success. If you are looking for website hosting or website security services or need help adding plugins to your site, then get in touch with a member of our team and we would be happy to assist.