6 Essential WordPress Plugins for the Absolute Beginner

There are lots of WordPress plugins out there. In fact, currently there are over 23,000 plugins available for download from WordPress.org. It can really be overwhelming for the absolute beginner to WordPress. Here are 6 essential plugins that every new WordPress site should have:

6 Essential WordPress Plugins

1) Akismet

As your WordPress site gets increasingly popular, you will find that you will get more comments SPAM (assuming you allow visitors to your site to post comments). The Akismet plugin provides a robust and reliable way for you to manage this SPAM. Whenever someone posts a new comment on your WordPress site, it is checked against the Akismet web service which will quickly identify whether or not the comment is SPAM. The Akismet plugin is free for personal sites and you can choose how much you want to pay for your business site. So start by selecting ‘personal’ site and try out Akismet. If you have a business site and think the plugin is worth the money, then just back and pay what you feel it’s worth.

2) WordPress SEO by Yoast

If you want to get search traffic, then one thing you’ll need to do is ensure that you have great on-page optimization. WordPress actually has a lot of good SEO support built-in these days, but the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin actually takes that further and helps you to write better ‘SEO friendly’ content. The plugin is free and provides a lot of nice functionality that ensures every page on your web site is fully optimized for search engines. It also includes the ability to create a site map XML file which the search engines can use to better find all pages on your site.

3) WordPress Backup to Dropbox

It’s important to regularly backup your WordPress site and ensure that you can easily restore the site if there are any problems. There are lots of great backup premium plugins available for WordPress such as Backup Buddy which gives you a very reliable and easy to use backup solution. But if you’re just starting out, then the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin is a good place to start. It’s a free plugin which (as the name implies) backs up your WordPress site to your Dropbox account. You can also sign up for a free Dropbox account which will give you 2GB of free storage, which is plenty of space for most WordPress sites.

4) Shareaholic

It’s no secret that social networks can be a great source of traffic for your site and so you want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to be able to share your content. The Shareaholic plugin is free and makes it easy for your visitors to share your content with their networks. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can easily add great looking social sharing buttons to pages on your site for just about any social network out there. It also tracks and displays the number of shares, likes, tweets etc.

5) Google Analytics for WordPress

You will need some way to track your site analytics i.e. visitors, traffic, clicks etc. There are lots of analytics tools to choose from, but Google Analytics is usually a good choice for most people and it’s free. Once you’ve signed up, you can embed their tracking code on your WordPress site or you can use the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin which automates and simplifies the process of adding the tracking code. This plugin also provides a number of additional features to help you make the most of your site analytics.

6) Contact Form 7

You will probably need some way to let your site visitors contact you by email. Putting your email address on your web site isn’t a good idea, unless you enjoy receiving even more email SPAM. The Contact Form 7 plugin provides an easy way for you to create a contact form on your site, which your visitors can use to send messages to your email, without ever knowing your email address. Contact Form 7 is a free plugin and also provides additional features such CAPTCHA support, Akismet SPAM filtering etc.

For more information about setting up WordPress, check out our free WordPress Step by Step video tutorial.

The Advantages That WordPress Plugins Offer

Most of us are aware of the continuing popularity of WordPress blogs and websites. Yet, a lot of businesses and bloggers do not recognize the advantages they offer. So, we have come up with a list of 5 unique ways on how WordPress plugins give more advantages than other blogger sites that provide plugins (like Joomla or Drupal).

Live Chat Plugins

You have an edge over your competition when you use WordPress particularly for your business sales. WordPress Live Chat plugin lets you directly engage with customers to answer their queries and discuss issues. They would certainly love to talk to someone who is real, and including this in your customer service is an effective way to build a lasting relationship with them. This is where WordPress works to your advantage.

It is Easier to Create Email and Booking Forms

Though WordPress directly competes with Blogger, its widget functions make it a winner over them. As a matter of fact, even if you are not a technical person, WordPress plugins let you create booking and email forms. This can benefit low tech small-scale businesses that want their customers to find an easy way to provide their information.

Social Media Share Buttons

You can create social media buttons to let your readers share your content by using WordPress’ easy format for installing plugins. This is just great, since the idea behind websites and blogs is about sharing information and marketing products. Since social media is basic to online marketing, you need to include easy to access share buttons to expand your audience. WordPress sees to it that this is available via a variety of plugins and widgets. You can try the share buttons below.

Security

Creating WordPress plugins have made it possible to have access to a number of the best security features. The thought behind years of security data and technology has finally developed into some exceptional plugins. These protect your information, as well as that of your customer, to create a secure online experience.

Effective SEO Tools

Without a doubt, WordPress comes with the greatest number of accessible SEO plugins. It gives you a unique advantage due to the wide range of effective and comprehensive plugins you can choose from. SEO is among the most essential marketing tools that a website or blog should use. When you want to draw more viewers to your site, your site should be equipped with SEO plugins so that Google can notice you over other sites.

Over the years, all the tools that have been optimized for WordPress have given it an edge over its competitors (and for this reason it rules the web).

Always keep in mind that you need to add plugins to your site so that it can be the best it can be. All you need to do is to make the most of them.

Popular WordPress Ecommerce Plugins Useful For Your E-Store

Today, most people rely on the internet to purchase things and so there is a considerable boom in the ecommerce business. Setting up your online store is no more a difficult task as we have numerous platforms that are used to develop eCommerce stores. We all know that WordPress had started its journey as a wonderful blogging platform, but today it has evolved into a robust solution that allows business owners to create a feature rich eCommerce website at effective rates. With WordPress and various plugins available, you are now able to create eCommerce sites for your business quite easily.

If you have plans to create an eCommerce site using WordPress, then here are some of the plugins that may fit your best needs. The plugins discussed here are free to use and are simply perfect for building any profitable WordPress e-stores.

WP eCommerce: This is a simple yet powerful WordPress eCommerce plug-in that has been there for the past many years. The plugin allows you to customize HTML and CSS, so that you enjoy full control on the look and feel of the e-store. Whether you are interested in selling physical inventory, memberships or subscriptions or even digital downloads, this amazing plugin helps to sell anything easily. With more than 2.9 million downloads, it is the second most popular plugin used by business owners. Its streamlined checkout process helps to dramatically increase the store’s conversion rate. And moreover the plugin integrates perfectly with many shippers and payment processors and helps to add extra functionalities to your store.

WooCommerce: This plugin is built by developers at WooThemes and is the most popular and widely used free plugin for WordPress website development. It is packed with top of the line features and this highly extendable plugin empowers you to create your site into a million dollar e-store. The best thing about this is that its golden collection for paid and free themes and extensions are best to meet your specific business needs. A WordPress development company can use PayPal Standard integration, multiple shipping options, easy inventory management, flexible couponing and etc.

Easy digital downloads: This is a feature rich and lightweight and simple to use eCommerce solution for selling digital downloads via WordPress at no cost. The plugin offers useful features that can keep selling digital goods and offers a powerful reporting system that allows you to see your earnings and sales through easy to analyze data tables and interactive graphs. It comes with more than 200 extensions and themes that can be easily customized according to your needs.

Jigoshop: This is another reliable and secured WordPress eCommerce plugin from Jigowatt. This plugin is best suited for SMEs and offers an intuitive dashboard through which you can easily set up and manage your e-store in minutes. You will be able to choose from more than 30 customizable themes based on your needs and enjoy over more than one hundred of powerful extensions to take your e-store to the next level. The various reporting features include sortable sales graphs and stock reports that allow you to check how your store is performing.

MarketPress: This plugin is an easily customizable, well designed and feature rich and the prime motive behind its creation is to deliver the users a beautiful and enjoyable online shopping experience without the need for any extensions. It is an effort to put the powers of various plugins together into a single eCommerce solution.