WordPress is one of the best content management systems out there, and one of the key reasons is the accessibility of open-sourced software that adds functionality to your website. This special software is commonly referred to as “Plugins” by WordPress designers worldwide.
Plugins are created for various uses, for example, to help boost site speed on a website. Another plugin can be installed to provide better designed media galleries to host your pictures. We know it can be a little overwhelming, but if you break down your plugin use to a few key areas you’ll find better results.
These areas are:
- Design: Gallery and Slideshows
- Connecting With Customers
- Boost Sales
- Site Speed
Each of these offers the chance to enhance what you get from WordPress. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins you can use, based on what they do and what you’re looking to improve on your website.
GALLERY AND SLIDESHOWS
The right visuals are important for any website, making it easy for visitors to see your product in the best light possible. The best slideshows and galleries look great, are mobile friendly for large and small screens, and don’t slow down your site. Here are some examples.
Soliloquy looks great & is designed with performance in mind. There are many add-ons, including multiple themes, Pinterest, Instagram, and a carousel. Again, the look-and-feel is elegant and modern, which is definitely a must.
Jetpack tiled galleries turns images into a stunning mosaic for a truly professional look. Jetpack titled gallery is free, with many other great features included, such as the Jetpack Carousel, Protect (to protect your site against hackers), and Photon (to increase your image download speed).
CONNECTING WITH CUSTOMERS
Email remains an important part of connecting. While you can’t ignore social media, you’ll still want plugins that maximize your results from your email marketing for those visitors interested in learning more about what you have to offer.
This app lets you get started collecting more emails from potential customers easily. SumoMe is “freemium” meaning its free but you’ll have to pay to remove their branding or get premium featured.
Here at DesignHelp we love this one because it makes it simple for visitors to opt-in for emails from your business. There are plenty of different types of forms to capture emails and they are all well-designed.
Thrive themes is a full-featured suite of WordPress plug-ins that is your all-in-one marketing solution for your WordPress website. Thrive leads is a great way to add email opt-ins to your website. Thrive Content Builder & Landing Pages is a great way to create custom designed landing pages to draw more customers to your website through great content and SEO.
4. Twine Social
Twine Social makes it easy to have a social media wall or page from multiple social media platforms on your site. This means you can show off the user-generated content surrounding your products. You can curate or auto-approve certain hashtags. This will encourage fans to share their great experiences with your business with their friends.
SEO is a great way to drive visitors to your site, and we’ve found some great WordPress plugins that make it easier to optimize your page for search engines.
1. Yoast SEO
Simple to use but powerful SEO plugin. Yoast SEO will let you know if you should include more or less keywords, make the article easier to read and help you optimize it for social shares such as Facebook.
2. Yoast Local
Adds local info about your company to your SEO for better results. We implemented Local SEO to display all the grocery stores our clients’ product could be found through a fancy store locator. This is especially important for local businesses because Google tailors search results to location, especially mobile (which is over half of online searches).
Helps optimize your video for better SEO. This helps your videos come up in video search and optimizes them when the post is shared on social media.
WORDPRESS PLUGINS THAT CAN HELP BOOST SALES:
Easy to use tool for easier merchandise sales. WooCommerce is the #1 online store platform. We’re excited to see this platform improve with its acquisition by Automattic (the makers of WordPress.com) and to see it improve with its competitors, such as Shopify.
This is an add-on for WooCommerce. It simplifies booking appointments. This is great for salons, dentists, coaches, or consultants scheduling paid consultations.
This plugin lets you book accommodations online if you run a hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or Hostel.
The faster your site loads, the more people will stay connected to it and actually use it. These plugin tools can help speed up your site. Faster site speed will also increase your Google rankings.
Helps reduce image size without ruining the quality or clarity of your images, all while speeding up your site in the process. Images tend to be one of the biggest things slowing down a site, so any gains can create a big impact.
2. WP Rocket
Great caching plugin that is sure to increase site speeds. Caching saves your site as static files, so the server doesn’t need to “think” before loading the website. WP Rocket is easy to setup and improves site speed instantly.