While WordPress is certainly the right website solution for any small business, it’s not the exact solution for your small business as-is. That’s where plugins come into play. Plugins allow small business owners to extend, expand, and customize WordPress, transforming it into a precise fit for specific website needs. As of the publication of this blog post, there are currently 54,884 plugins available for download in the WordPress plugin repository. Now while your website certainly does not need that many plugins (please, do not download and install 54,884 plugins—that would be awful!), there are certain plugins that we do recommend for all small business websites. We break them down into functions below:
Search Engine Optimization
There is no point in having a website if you are not driving traffic to it, which is why it’s important that you continually practice search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. With a solid five-star rating, Yoast SEO is one of the most widely used and trusted plugins for SEO. It’s also very easy to use. As a small business owner, you’re forced to wear a lot of hats and juggle many roles. You probably don’t want to add SEO specialist to that list. By installing Yoast to your WordPress website, you won’t have to. It does the heavy SEO lifting for you. Focus on creating content and let Yoast guide you from there. Yoast SEO offers both a premium and free plugin, with the premium version offering more features.
Whether you desire to capture customer data or give your website visitors a way to leave you a message or feedback, you will want a form on your small business website to accomplish that. We recommend Gravity Forms. From simple to complex forms, this WordPress plugin can be extended even further with the eCommerce add-on Stripe, allowing you to sell digital products, subscriptions, or event registration. Note that Gravity Forms is a premium-level plugin only, with no free version available for download. However, there are different pricing tiers offered, so you can find the right version to fit your budget.
Tip: if you are looking for a free contact form plugin option, we think Contact Form 7 will get the job done.
What elements on your website are successfully converting your visitors? What elements are not? What do you need to improve? The best way to find the answers is by tracking your website analytics. With MonsterInsights, you can track a plethora of website statistics, including where your visitors are coming from, what their behavior is when they’re on your site, and even which pages they like to view. Be aware that you will need to have a Google Analytics account set up first in order to benefit from MonsterInsights, but once you do, a whole world of statistics will open up for you. MonsterInsights offers a premium version with multiple pricing levels, but you can also download the free version here.
Internet users want to act fast and expect speedy results. To them, a slow website is indicative of the business’ customer service. If your website is running slowly, the size of your uploaded images could have a lot to do with it. Size matters and big images are often the culprits of slow websites. Compress your images with the plugin Smush Image. You won’t lose any image quality and your website’s speed will improve. Best of all, Smush Image is free!
WordPress is powerful, and when you corral the strength of its capabilities with the right plugins, there is no limit to what your website and small business can achieve. What plugins are you currently using that you would recommend to other small business owners? We invite you to leave us a comment.