I think we would all agree that it is very easy to get started with WordPress since it’s completely free and packed with so many useful features right from the start. With more than 60 million WordPress websites currently present on the web, it’s essential that not only you but your visitors get the most when experiencing your WordPress website.
As a Cheshire Web Design Agency, we pride ourselves as WordPress experts amongst other things. With so many WordPress Plugins to choose from, we thought we would save you the time and energy by recommending 5 essential WordPress Plugins that will cover your WordPress website from security to social media.
For your WordPress website, we will recommend plug-ins on the following;
- Spam Recommendation
- Contact Form Recommendation
- Social Media Recommendation
- Performance Recommendation
- Security Recommendation
Spam Recommendation – Akismet
Akismet is a spam filtering service that automatically checks and detects all comments and track back links found in any blog or post found within your WordPress website.
Launched in 2005 by Automattic (The Company behind WordPress.com), Akismet checks comments using a spam filter that specifically combines information about spam captured on all participating blogs as criteria to capture and block any future spam.
Regardless of spam or not, when using Akismet each comment is assigned a status history so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or un-spammed by the administrator of the website.
Akismet offers both a free and a subscription version of the platform by providing an API Key, similar to what you find when purchasing any Microsoft product, to download and use the platform. The free version is available for personal blogs only whilst the paid subscriptions are available for both business and commercial WordPress websites.
Contact Form Recommendation – Contact Form 7
Supported by Ajax, the Contact Form 7 plug-in allows the user to create and customize the form with flexibility and simplicity. After naming your contact form, you will be presented with a set of default fields including name, email, subject, message and send fields. On the right-hand side, you will be presented with further options where you can drag and drop additional fields into the contact form.
In association with Akismet Contact Form 7 supports CAPTHA and Akismet spam filtering so whilst it may take longer to fill out the form, you can guarantee that your website will not be targeted by spam as easily.
Social Media Recommendation – Yoast
If you are a keen blogger or a small local business looking to expand local search engine results, Yoast may just be the thing for you! With its first objective to help you understand and write better SEO content, Yoast provides on-page technical optimization to help drive your website to its maximum search engine presence
Presenting a live search engine snippet preview of how your blogs and posts will look on search engines along with targeted focus keywords and on page analysis on how to improve the SEO even further, Yoast will be an instrumental asset if you are looking to expand your SEO.
Whilst there is a limited free Yoast Plug-in, Yoast also provide subscription packages for customers who are looking to expand with Local, Video and Premium SEO Yoast plug-in packages.
Performance Recommendation – Google Analytics
If you are looking to monitor and improve the performance of your WordPress website, the Google Analytics plug-in may just be the thing for you. Partnering up with Yoast, the Google Analytics plug-in will allow you to track how many visitors you have, where they are coming from and what they do when browsing your website.
Offering both a free and a premium version of the plug-in, users can;
- Start tracking with just a few clicks
- Track your 404 error pages
- Track search engine results
- Monitor clicks per post or blog
Security Recommendation – ‘BackUpWordPress’
For security and back-up, BackUpWordPress will back-up your entire WordPress site including the database and all your files on a schedule that suite you, and best of all you can back-up your website completely free of charge.
When downloading the free version of this plug-in, there is now set-up required and you can add multiple back-up schedules to your own server. The plug-in can be translated into numerous languages and allows you to exclude any files or folders that you no longer wish to back-up.
BackUpWordPress also present a ‘Premium’ version of the account where for a yearly subscription; you can upload and back-up your website on unlimited hosting sites such as Google Drive, DropBox and Amazon S3 to name just a small selection including priority support.
Call to Action
If you are looking for a fully responsive, custom-built WordPress website or would like to discuss free and premium WordPress plug-in recommendations that will help with the growth of your website, why not pop in and speak to the WordPress experts? We are a Cheshire web-design agency who thrives on all things web! Why not give James Cox a ring on 01565 653616 or send us a tweet @untitledtm