Wondering Which Plugins to Use? Here Are A Few Of My Favorites
Plugins are the best thing that ever happened to websites! They offer the chance to make your website do almost anything you want with a few clicks.
As easy as they are to use, there is a drawback. Using too many plugins can slow your loading time fostering impatience and abandonment in some of your visitors. But, if you’re using a reasonable number of plugins and they are playing well together, your website can work incredibly hard for you, with very little investment.
If you’re new to WordPress then what you need to know is that the plugins option can be found in the left-hand sidebar of your dashboard. When you click on “plugins” you’ll see a list of plugins that are already activated on your website. If you want to add more, you’ll need to look at the very top of that page next to the word plugins for the button that says “add new.” Once you click on that you’ll be taken to a page where you can search for what you want.
That’s what I want to help you with now. I have a list of plugins that I use on both my websites and I think work well to create a dynamic and professional feel. I want your site to have that so here are my suggestions! All the plugins listed below are currently used on my websites.
Facebook Like Button
We all know that likes are the easiest way for people to spread your content. If they do it on Facebook that’s even better. That’s why I recommend the “FBLikeButton” plugin on both my sites. Even though I have sharing icons, I still use this button located at the top of all my posts.
Google Analytics Dashboard
If you are not set up for Google Analyitcs yet, please go and get your free account! It’s a robust tool that you may not understand at first (I didn’t and I’m still learning) but having it set up is invaluable. Once you do that, install the “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP” plugin so you can keep track right from your dashboard.
Pin it Button For Images
Again, yes I have sharing buttons, but when a visitor hovers over an image in my post and the “Pin it” button comes up automatically they are more likely to share because they don’t have to search. The one I use is the “jQuery Pin It Button For Images” I love it on my site and I love when I find it on other sites because it makes pinning so much easier.
Let’s face it, as much as we hear about SEO we haven’t the faintest if we’re doing it right or not without a little bit of help. “WordPress SEO by Yoast” is one of the best tools I have on my website. Once you’ve written a post it lets you know who well you’re doing with SEO. You can even specify what you want to show up on Facebook shares along with the image you’d like to have shared on Facebook. This is a must have plugin!
Keeping your website secure should be high priority! WordFence Security makes sure that your website is secure by alerting you when there are threats, plugins need updating or should be removed and who is trying to access your website. It’s one of the first plugins I add when I start a site.
We live in a very “social” world so embrace it and add those social connect buttons! Even if you’re on two social sites, those two sites should be linked to your website so your visitors have an easy way to find you on their favorite platform. The plugin I use is the “Subscription Options” plugin which is super easy to install and set up. Plus you can have it in several places on your website!
Magic Action Box / PopupAlly
If you have a website and you’re not collecting your visitors information, you’re missing out on the biggest opportunity to grow your business. I have two plugins that help me to that very effectively. “Magic Action Box” and “PopupAlly” are two plugins that I couldn’t live without. One is static and can be places wherever you need it placed, the other is a popup. Yes, I know we all hate those popups but you have the option of setting it up so it only pops when someone is leaving and it only comes up every 14 days once someone has already visited your site. Trust me, it’s valuable!
That’s is for now. . . those are some of my Must Have plugins for your WordPress website! Of course there are many more that you’ll find, but remember you don’t want too many because they will slow down your load speed. But, if you think of something that you want to do with your site (have a shop maybe) do a search on the plugins and chances are you’ll find what you need.
Is there a plugin you wouldn’t live without? One that has caused you pain? Share with us in the comments, we’d love to hear.