WordPress is a fantastic platform for those of us who like to run a blog don’t want to invest too much time or money in building a website from scratch. Within a just few minutes, anyone can build a website with the famous 5-minute WP installation. What’s next?
Once you are up and running with your site, though, you’ll soon realize that WordPress doesn’t come with the tools needed to create an amazing website experience for your users and drive the right type of conversion. Regardless of which WordPress theme you choose to install, there are limitations in terms of front-end and backend functionalities.
The solution to this problem is plugins. Plugins are add-ons which contain certain functions that are compatible WordPress and easily installed through the WordPress admin panel. (If you are unfamiliar with how to install them, read this article by SiteGround).
There are thousands of plugins available, but here I will list some of the best plugins that I personally use on my own websites.
1. Yoast SEO
For those, like me, who do SEO for a living, you have probably already come across this famous plugin. It has become popular because, while WordPress is fairly search engine friendly already, this plugin help identifying opportunities for enhancing your website’s visibility in Google. Based on your target keywords, the plugin will tell you how optimised your content is and highlight where you might lack in terms of onpage markup and meta data optimisation. It also allows for integration with Google Analytics so that you can get a quick overview of how you perform is Search. A must-have for all SEOs trying to rank well with their WordPress website.
Website speed has been a ranking factor since 2010 and an important element for the SEO and UX of a website. One of the key factors for a blazingly fast website is image compression and ShortPixel is one of the best tools for WordPress users. Available as both freemium and premium, this plugin compresses images in JPG, PNG, GIF and PDF formats and is currently used by over 50,000 users (and counting). It is remarkably easy to use, with an interface that allows you to optimize already published images and reducing images even by 90%.
3. Ninja Popups
Popups, when used correctly, are a great way of displaying the right CTA to your visitors. Ninja Popups is a flexible, premium plugin that comes with dozens of responsive themes and a wide range of popup features such as A/B testing, Page Specific Targeting and Time Display Settings. What makes this plugin especially user friendly is the cookie setting which allows you to decide when to re-target non-converting visitors as well as when to disable opt-in forms depending on a specific time limit. For those who aim to create customized forms and opt-in CTAs to drive conversion with targeted offerings, this is the plugin for you.
Updated as late as October 31 this year, Contact Form 7 is one of the most, if not the most, popular contact form plugins for WordPress. This free plugin helps websites owners integrate good looking signup forms across 43 different languages. It’s incredibly easy to customize, with editable fields for each input line in the form. As the contact page is one of the most important pages on a website, this plugin helps you create and display contact forms in order to incentive use to get in touch or join subscription lists.
One of the goals for writing a blog post is to have it shared across the Internet. ShareBang is a plugin that adds social sharing buttons to your post with the aim of increasing sharing and, subsequently, drive user engagement. The social sharing fields are customizable and can be moved around to fit the format of your content: a total of 21 different locations is supported and it comes with 35 themes, with options of changing colors, shapes, share counts and more. With this plugin you will be able to find a theme that works with both the colors scheme of your site while at the same time testing the perfect location of the sharing buttons to identify what drives visitor engagement.
That’s it folks. Granted, there are numerous plugins that can be used to enhance the performance of a website build in WordPress, but these will give you a head start.
If you think I missed some, please add a mention in the comment section below.
About the author
Manuel Martinez is a SEO Strategist who specialises in iGaming. He is also a public speaker and judging panelist and on manuelmartinez.biz he writes about the latest in the world of search engine marketing and the state of SEO.