Whether you’re an online blogger in search of a wider audience, a budding entrepreneur looking to scale up a side hustle, or a business owner with designs on market domination, WordPress’s free open-source software comes with a multitude of benefits. It’s easy to install, simple to use, and incredibly adaptable, making it a fantastically-versatile foundation.
Whatever your ambition, though, you should aspire to get the most from WordPress, finding ways to ensure that your blog, ecommerce store or business website (whatever your WordPress site happens to be) is fully optimized for success in 2022. To that end, there are countless apps and plugins (50,000+ and counting!) designed to augment almost every feature and function of a WordPress site, from fundamental concerns to niche factors.
With a baffling amount of choice, though, it can be near-impossible to separate the best-in-class from the second-rate when it comes to the best plugins for your WordPress website. Read on for a run-down of the 10 best plugins available right now, covering the most important aspects of any successful website.
Best for eCommerce: WooCommerce
If you’re running an online store, it goes without saying that you’ll need a robust and high-performance eCommerce platform to manage essential elements such as storefront creation, product listing, and order processing. WooCommerce is a fully customisable and free WordPress-based eCommerce platform, so a WooCommerce integration is a no-brainer for any eCommerce business already using WordPress.
With the WooCommerce plugin, you can access and manage all data (products, orders, reports and more) via an integrated dashboard, so you can oversee all aspects of your online store from one central hub. What’s more, you can easily update and refine your store’s design with access to thousands of store-appropriate WordPress themes.
This app creates a seamless automation between WordPress and Cloudways, a fully-optimized cloud hosting service. Offering best-in-class managed cloud hosting, Cloudways helps businesses unlock their full potential by taking care of all hosting-related issues so they can focus on building and optimizing their websites.
With the Cloudways WordPress Migrator tool, there’s no need for an in-house technical team to manage the complex process of migrating your website(s) to the Cloudways cloud platform, saving you precious time and allowing your team(s) to effectively prioritize mission-critical projects pertaining to design, development, and even sales.
Best for Analytics: MonsterInsights
Regardless of the nature of your website, you surely want to mine its full potential, and analytics give you the insight you need to make that happen. And if you want to stay on top of your KPIs so you can react accordingly, it’s important that your WordPress site has a powerful analytics integration so you can measure interaction, engagement and performance in real time.
MonsterInsights integrates with Google Analytics to pull up-to-the-minute data directly into your WordPress dashboard, allowing you to closely track performance goals and actionable insights. The GDPR-friendly plugin offers enhanced eCommerce tracking for WooCommerce, detailed page-level analytics, affiliate link and ads tracking, and seamless integration with other plugins and apps.
Best for SEO: Yoast
An effective SEO strategy is essential for any website owner looking to increase visibility, boost rankings and build traffic to their site or online store, but SEO is about more than just keywords. It’s also about building trust, establishing authority and providing a better overall user experience.
Yoast SEO has been helping websites rank higher in search engines since 2008, using an all-in-one solution to manage every aspect of on and off-site SEO. The most widely used SEO plugin for WordPress, it offers advanced XML sitemaps to help Google understand your site structure, automated technical SEO updates, title and meta description templates for consistent branding and many more features besides.
Best for Social Media: Smash Balloon
Online businesses are increasingly leveraging the power of social media to connect with users, build their brand profile and circulate share-worthy content. A great way to boost engagement and ‘social proof’ your website or store is to host content uploaded to your social media platforms directly on your site.
Used by brands such as Coca-Cola and Indeed, the Smash Balloon plugin pulls in feeds from all major social platforms, allowing users to seamlessly display relevant Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube content on their websites. The feeds are fully customisable so you can match the design to your brand, with optimized page speed for minimal load times.
Best for Email: Mailchimp
It’s no coincidence that many online retailers are willing to offer generous discounts in exchange for ‘opt-ins’ to their subscriber databases, as email marketing is still an important and powerful element in any online marketing strategy. Building subscribers and serving them relevant, read-worthy content remains an effective way of building engagement and customer loyalty.
The Mailchimp plugin for WordPress allows you to create user-friendly, mobile-optimized signup forms for enticing new subscribers and build attractive, engaging email content using a multitude of tools and templates. What’s more, its customer journey builder helps deliver personalized experiences based on the way your users interact with your site, driving engagement and helping to build meaningful relationships.
Best for CRM: HubSpot
A dynamic CRM (customer relationship management) strategy helps businesses build relationships with their customers which, over time, can aid in building loyalty and driving customer retention: key qualities that are essential to the success of any online business.
Built natively into WordPress, the HubSpot plugin is a powerful all-in-one tool encompassing CRM, free forms, live chat, email marketing and analytics. The CRM and contact management aspects allow your website forms to automatically sync with HubSpot CRM to easily manage your contacts, segment them into lists, and measure their interactions with your site, enabling you to create more personalized experiences and drive engagement.
Best for Live Chat: LiveChat
Increasingly, online businesses large and small are turning to live chat solutions to instantly connect users with service agents, resolve quick-fix issues and enhance the customer experience. And though it might not win any prizes in the imaginative name stakes, the LiveChat plugin makes this possible with its simple chat box solution, allowing businesses to respond to queries quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
With LiveChat, your customer service team can manage all conversations from a single dashboard (even if you have LiveChat set up on multiple sites) making it even easier to keep on top of customer comms at all hours of the day, while the easily accessible on-site chat box can be opened with a single click, enabling effortless, instant interaction for users.
Best for Search: Ivory Search
According to research, prospects who use a website’s search function are up to 4 times more likely to convert than those who don’t, so an optimized onsite search experience should be high on your agenda if you want to drive engagement, conversion and revenue on your site.
The Ivory Search plugin improves content visibility by allowing you to fully configure the search functionality of your WordPress site, firstly by creating an unlimited number of search forms and displaying them anywhere within the customer journey. You can then fully customize the ordering of search results and maintain total control over which content can and cannot be accessed via search.
Best for Online Security: Wordfence
One aspect of your website that absolutely cannot be overlooked is security. For eCommerce sites particularly, it’s critical to maintain the trust of customers and protect the integrity of your brand by ensuring your website is a safe and secure environment, from the safeguarding of customer data to the prevention of fraudulent transactions.
Wordfence is a comprehensive security solution for WordPress sites. With a global team of security analysts, researchers, software engineers and support staff, Wordfence offers 24/7 incident management with a 1-hour response time for critical security breaches. In addition, the plugin includes secure login controls, two-factor authentication, malware scanning and security firewalls to ensure your site is fully protected from outside threats.
If you are a WordPress user and you want to take full advantage of all the functions and features it has to offer, these invaluable solutions can help you unlock the untapped potential of your website or eCommerce store. And whilst there are (literally) thousands of plugins available right now (from free tools to premium subscription packages), these tried-and-tested options will go a long way toward ensuring your site is fully optimized
WordPress is a popular content management system that can manage a website. While it is easy to use, some tips and tricks can operate your website more effectively. This blog post will discuss some of the best ways to manage your WordPress website. It will cover topics such as creating backups, updating plugins, and optimizing your website for performance.
One of the most important things you can do to manage your WordPress website effectively is to create backups. This will ensure that you have a copy of your website in case something goes wrong. There are a few different ways you can create backups of your website. You can use a plugin, or you can manually create backups by exporting your database and copying your files to a safe location. Creating regular backups is an essential part of effective WordPress management. By having a backup, you can rest assured knowing that you have a copy of your site in case something goes wrong.
2) Updating Plugins
Another important aspect of WordPress management is keeping your plugins up to date. Plugins are pieces of software that add functionality to your website. They can be used for a wide range of things, such as adding social media buttons or creating contact forms. While plugins are essential for adding functionality to your website, it’s important to keep them up to date. Outdated plugins can cause security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. To update your plugins, simply log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the “Plugins” section. From here, you will see a list of all the installed plugins on your site. If any of them need to be updated, you will see a notification next to the plugin name.
3) Optimizing Your Website
One of the most important aspects of WordPress management is security. You can do a few different things to secure your WordPress website. One way is to install a security plugin. Many different security plugins are available for WordPress, such as Wordfence and Sucuri. These plugins will help to protect your website from malware and hackers. Another way to secure your WordPress website is to keep your password safe. Be sure to use a strong password that includes letters, numbers, and special characters. You should also change your password regularly. Finally, you can also enable two-factor authentication on your WordPress website. This will add an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code sent to your phone or email before logging into your WordPress dashboard. If you want more information, be sure to visit kinsta alternative. Here you will find professional services that will help you make your WordPress website more secure and manageable.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the many different ways you can manage your website effectively. By following these tips, you can ensure that your WordPress website is secure, up to date, and running smoothly.
These Resources Can Help Take Your Website to the Next Level
Do you feel like your web-based projects aren’t getting the traction you’d like to see? Then maybe it’s time to enlist some essential resources to make a difference. Below, Throlson Web Design Services shares some tried-and-true strategies for online success.
Start a Blog
Many small businesses overlook blogs as niche areas of the internet. But the truth is, blogs are very effective at driving traffic to websites. If you don’t yet have a blog, it’s time to get on board and pump out readable content on a regular basis.
You may need to hire a freelance blogger to help you maintain it, but the benefits will far outweigh the costs. An experienced blogger will know how to use SEO to tie in with your website content for optimal search results among visitors.
It’s worth pointing out that if you’re posting and sharing images online, you must use high-resolution imagery. Do not make the common error of compressing JPGs in order to save space; they will look too low resolution if you do this.
A JPG-to-PDF converter is better, such as Baltsoft’s Free PDF Converter. If you have large files to deal with, you can combine multiple images into one PDF, thus reducing the file size.
Learn and Utilize SEO
A small business website that is highly successful will have SEO as an integral part of its regular strategy. If you aren’t sure where to begin with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), MOZ has a comprehensive guide that will tell you everything you need to know.
Engage Your Visitors
A web store is a great way to increase sales if you’re a retailer without a viable online presence. After you have received enough customer emails, create an email campaign to keep your message front and center for your customers. Be sure to make use of social media, too.
Online-only businesses should consider direct mail campaigns. This campaign could include a catalog with your top sellers to help you prospect new buyers. You will learn which channels are most effective for reaching your sales goals by testing different approaches.
Test and Measure Everything
Accounting software is essential for any business. After you have mastered the basics, you can start to measure other things. Understanding your inventory and cash flow is key. This is the right time to begin to measure your business and to use metrics to propel your business to new heights.
Use Security to Your Advantage
Businesses must prepare and strengthen cyber infrastructure to avoid being vulnerable to the next threat. However, this will also position them to capitalize on the information security opportunities that exist.
As a small business owner, you are constantly being reminded of the danger that cybercriminals and malicious software pose to your digital security. You must now challenge yourself to improve your information security infrastructure.
This will position and strengthen your business for government and corporate requirements. Information security should not be viewed as a means of protecting against threats but rather as an investment in the digital economy.
Create an LLC
You have many responsibilities as a business owner that can distract you from your web-based projects. By forming an LLC, you can save time and enjoy benefits such as tax breaks, reduced paperwork, and more flexibility.
However, LLC regulations can be different in each state. So always make sure you check their laws and familiarize yourself with them.
Enhance Your Business Skills
Enrolling in online courses can help you improve your online skills. With enough training, you can easily manage your web-based projects without hiring a professional.
Many of these online courses are flexible and can be adapted to your schedule. As a result, you will be able to take your company to the next level with the knowledge and skills that you acquire.
At some point, everyone has heard of WordPress. There are many reasons it is used heavily in making web pages. This is mostly because of its versatility. With it, designers can choose how to utilize it. If you can think of it, you can make it. You can even choose to build it from scratch or use one of the many in-built options. But what can we expect from it in the future? The updates and improvements keep on coming in regular intervals. What will be modified, added, changed, and removed? To understand its future, we will also have to go back and look at its development history. There is a reason it became a number one content management system. It is cost-effective, there is only a small learning curve, and there are a plethora of customization options. In this article, let’s cover if WordPress will remain relevant.
How changes occur
First things first, how do changes even occur in WordPress? Firstly, changes come from companies that make the ecosystem. This ecosystem is reportedly worth over 10 billion dollars as per Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder and project lead. The second, the community. This represents anyone that uses WordPress. Those who care about the software and the ecosystem will make suggestions. The community sometimes overlaps with the companies. But this is not always the case. Independent professionals and end-users all have a say in its development. Lastly, there is a constant, natural push to modernize and optimize. The web industry is moving at an ever-increasing rate. New technologies are emerging. Not only that, they are more affordable and available than ever. This means WordPress has to follow. Otherwise, the project risks falling behind and becoming obsolete. These forces work in unison. Also, competition like Squarespace and Wix are major factors in development.
Previous changes to WordPress
Some major changes happened in 2020. Features were added and impacted the ecosystem, mostly for the better. Of course, the idea is to constantly improve the landscape. Security is a major concern. That is why WordPress implemented auto-updates. Outdated versions of anything can pose great risks to security. This feature helps website owners to keep everything updated to the latest version. In turn, this minimizes the chance for successful hacking attacks. Version 5.5 was the first to introduce an auto-update plugin. WordPress 5.6 introduces a user interface. In it, you could opt-in to auto-update to the latest releases. WordPress is praised for its backwards compatibility. PHP dropped WordPress at the end of 2018. The users picked safety over modernization. That means, WordPress still supports PHP version 5.6. Due note this, old PHP versions will become obsolete. WordPress plans to drop those in a multi-year plan.
WordPress and performance
Performance is always a key factor in the online world. Speed matters when it comes to content delivery. The attention span of the average visitor is only a couple of seconds. If you cannot deliver what they want, there is someone else that does. According to Google, more than half of website visitors will bounce if the page does not load within three seconds. Everyone benefits from a fast and secure website. Owners, hosting companies, and most importantly, search engines. The last one is very important when it comes to SEO. Web designers in Perth are making constant strides towards improving page loading times. This goes for all content. Text, images, audio, and video. All multimedia content needs to present itself, and do it fast. Most notably, video is the heaviest of them all. For developers, there is always room to improve and optimize.
WordPress also improves accessibility. These are mostly bolstered by the community. Also, in smaller part by businesses. For the past few years, WordPress has put great focus on improving its accessibility. Accessibility compliance is also required by law. This is motive enough to invest time and effort into developing it. Even if it wasn’t, there is always someone with a disability. If your site does not account for those people, you will lose a large chunk of the market share. And in such a saturated online market, no one can afford to give ground. That is why WordPress is making great efforts to make its websites accessible for everyone.
Still, development is not slowing down. There are a hundred tickets every day. Developers keep coming up with new ways on how to make it better. The WordPress project is working on many different things all the time. For all the details, you can always check out the WordPress roadmap. Let us cover the basics. There are four stages for the future. The first one is the editor. This phase will introduce the block editor as a plugin. The second phase will utilize the full power of Gutenberg’s block model. This means that the entire site will be customizable. The third phase focuses on collaboration. This will allow multiple individuals to access the content at the same time. Lastly, phase four will focus on languages. This will make translation and language plugins unnecessary. Multilingual support will come natively. We can expect basic functionality in the near future.
WordPress is solving a lot of problems for individuals and companies alike. Anyone that has skills in WordPress can look forward to great career opportunities. Freelancers, conventional hires, and contractors will always be in high demand. Especially in the online industry. Writers, editors, developers, designers, marketers, content managers, tech support, you name it. Multiple industries will benefit and expand thanks to WordPress.
The future of WordPress is looking bright. Their focus on innovation is enabling it to remain the top CMS. For this to keep happening, this project employs a lot of people from different industries. WordPress has an interesting philosophy. Features that 80% of people welcome will be incorporated natively. For the smaller percentages, this falls down to plugins. WordPress provides flexibility, backups and is highly secure and fast. And it will only continue to improve upon those traits.
Born between the late 1990s and early 2000s, Generation Z can’t remember what life was like before the internet came into play. As true digital natives, Gen Z is the first to grow up with a wealth of information available at their fingertips.
Royalty Free Photo
While many people are quick to label Gen Z as anti-social smartphone addicts, marketers and designers would be making a massive mistake to ignore how influential they are in business success. To help increase traffic to your page, here are a few tips on how to design an effective WordPress website for Generation Z.
Understand Gen Z
Understandably, to create a website that appeals to Gen Z, you’re going to need to conduct research into who they are and what they like and dislike. If you don’t get a sound knowledge of Gen Z’s wants and needs, it’s likely that your website won’t do much to keep them interested. Generation Gurus may be able to assist you along the way, giving you useful tools on how to best connect with Gen Z.
Keep Things Simple
As Gen Z has grown up with technology, they will be experts at sifting through the noise to find information that interests them. With attention spans decreasing, it’s important that your website does what it says on the tin from the moment they land on your page. Making the user experience simple and straightforward should be your top priority, so make sure not to bombard them with needless content.
Fast Loading Speeds
You will be hard-pressed to find a Gen Z who doesn’t use the internet on a day to day basis. In the modern world we live in, we’re all used to receiving information when and where we want it, making fast loading speeds a crucial component that you need to factor in when creating a WordPress website. Generation Z are used to getting constant information, so make sure that your website loads within a matter of seconds, otherwise, they may not respond well and go elsewhere.
Keep 100% Authenticity
Generation Z is known for demanding brand authenticity, so when creating an effective WordPress website, you need to keep things 100% real and honest. Cold robotic marketing strategies will not appeal to Gen Z, so it’s best to appeal to your audience in a more conversational manner which will create deeper and meaningful conversations with Gen Z. Also, you need to show that your business is not just about making cash, but that you care about making a positive change in the environmental or social landscape.
Make It Accessible
To receive tons of traffic to your WordPress website, it’s important that you make your website accessible for all, meaning everyone can use it. Not only will doing so boost your SEO but increase your potential number of Gen Z customers. Many Gen Zs are always on the go. It’s vital that your website is optimized for smartphone users, so they can access your content while out and about.
In a nutshell, Generation Z wants information that is relevant and quick to grasp. For your website to gain traction, using all the advice above can be a great start in creating an effective website that is popular with Gen Z.
12 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs & Business Websites in 2020
We all know that WordPress as a CMS solution provides us the support of thousands of plugins representing almost every feature and function a business website or blog may need. These plugins make WordPress so versatile, rich and flexible a system for the website administrators and web users worldwide. But since there are thousands of plugins, the websites should always look for the best options for the required features and functions.
This is why here we are going to showcase 10 of the most useful and must-have WordPress plugins that business websites and blogs should use.
MonsterInsights is regarded to be the ultimate Google Analytics plugin for WordPress websites. Thanks to this plugin you can help establish a proper connection between your website and Google Analytics. The plugin allows you to see how your visitors behave, respond and use your website.
The plugin showcases the most important statistics regarding your website right on the WordPress dashboard. Based on the insights and stats the website owners can help boosting traffic, website subscribers and revenue.
The plugin comes with both a free and a premium version. For a small or startup website or blogs the free version is pretty efficient in offering all the key stats and metrics. The plugin as of now has powered more than 2 million WordPress websites around the world.
Jetpack comes as a great plugin with a deep and extensive repository of features that most business websites and blogs often require. The plugin developed by the same people behind WordPress made it almost as a must-have one for any WordPress website.
As for the number of features available with Jetpack plugin, you have quite an extensive array of feature choices. Because of so many features, by using Jetpack you can ditch many other WordPress plugins. Let us have a quick look at the key Jetpack features.
Jetpack allows adding a contact form.
With powerful analytics, Jetpack allows tracking page views and search queries.
It allows monitoring downtime and getting notification as and when the website is experiencing downtime.
Keeping hackers and intruders at bay from the login page.
Providing social sharing buttons.
Auto-scheduling the posts on different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Displaying related posts to boost engagement and user retention.
It also provides subscription options allowing users to subscribe to blog updates.
Creating a sitemap.
Taking daily backups of your website by using VaultPress.
It provides a CDN with Photon.
There can be hardly any website that doesn't need contact forms to help their visitors get in touch with the website. Well, there are too many great contact form plugins out there in the market. But WPForms stands as the best because of its easy drag and drop online builder and a variety of form formats.
The best thing about this plugin is it allows you create a wide variety of contact forms,
email subscription forms, payment forms, online order forms, and other forms with a simple drag and drop online builder. Besides these key features that are also available with the free version, the plugin offers a pro version as well and it can further boost the lead generation efforts of a website.
Social sharing and social bookmarking are now considered key factors for achieving a better SEO result. This requires providing social sharing buttons in appropriate places around your website content to help people share them. This plugin by providing social share buttons for both desktop and mobile interfaces does the job in an excellent manner.
The plugin supports all major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Telegram, Reddit and many others.
Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
For any WordPress blog having a dedicated SEO plugin is extremely important to gain consistent flow of traffic. There are many SEO plugins for WordPress websites that help in making the SEO elements perfect for optimum search results, but Yoast stats ahead of others simply because of the ease of use.
Yoast plugin can take care of all your on-page and on-site SEO needs. The free version of the plugin is pretty robust, though you can always go for the pro version for more value-added features.
Do you want to integrate e-commerce features to your WordPress blog or business website? Do you want your visitors to make transactions and make purchases through your WordPress website? Well, just a small e-commerce plugin can help you integrate the feature and get things done with ease. Woocommerce is the WordPress plugin for this purpose. Developed and maintained by WordPress it is one if the best e-commerce platforms out there.
The plugin comes loaded with a plethora of features, extensions, and customization options. If you want to make sales through your e-commerce website, there is not a better plugin than this. The Woocommerce plugin also offers a bounty of themes to build your product and transaction pages as per your UI needs.
Google XML Sitemaps
This is another powerful SEO plugin for WordPress and this one comes from search engine giant Google. The Google XML Sitemaps helps to find your website by search engines easier.
Just after you install and make the plugin activates, automatically an XML sitemap will be created for the search engine crawlers to find and index your website. This will help in gaining search engine ranks against search terms and keywords.
Website security remains an uncompromising aspect of any website and blog. WordPress offers quite a few great plugins to take care of security enhancements. Sucuri is a WordPress security plugin that also works as a web application firewall to protect your website from all kinds of malicious attacks.
The plugin is capable of tracking a variety of threats and attacks and provides protection against them. The plugin can protect your website from malware, DDoS, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and all other types of attacks and security vulnerabilities.
If you need a comprehensive toolkit to take care of all the marketing needs of your WordPress website or blog, SEMRush comes as the ideal plugin choice for that. The plugin comes with an extensive range of helpful tools for SEO, making traffic strategy, social media marketing, content marketing and PR strategy. On top of all these, the plugin also provides competitive insights about your closest competitor websites and blogs.
The plugin allows you to do research keywords, maintaining brand presence and mentions, tracking competitor activities, tracking post-performance and drawing attention to best-performing pages. It also helps the websites with an analysis of the ad strategy.
Finally, every WordPress website invariably requires protection from the spams. Akismet comes as a comprehensive and all-powerful plugin for protecting your website from spam comments.
Since instances of spam comments are too many and since these spams can often force your website to compromise on security, you should use this plugin from day one. The plugin can automatically detect and move the spam comments in the trash bean.
All the WordPress plugins that we have mentioned so far clearly show how the blogs and business websites can create richer and better web experience by using appropriate plugins. In this respect it is also advisable to keep the number of plugins lower to avoid performance glitches caused due to the non-compatibility of plugins.
Chirag Mudsa is the CEO of leading custom wordpress development services company, CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd. He is a goal-driven tech evangelist for a long time of 17 years, specializing in web and mobile development domains. His innovative spirit, strong leadership skills and a profound commitment to organizational growth have given him a key leading position in the industry.