WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CRM) in the world. What’s a CRM you ask? Well, most websites use software called a CRM to better manage their site; things like the copy on the website, page layouts, site structure, and more. Basically, a CRM makes it easier to manage a site without having to code everything in HTML.
The basic WordPress software is free. All you need to pay for is website hosting. A variety of themes are available, both free and paid. Same with plugins.
A plugin is an enhancement to the basic WordPress set up. WordPress is great out of the box, but most websites will use a variety of plugins to get better functionality in general and for their specific needs.
When we get started on a new website, there’s a number of standard WordPress plugins that we almost always install. These are the basics that take WordPress from basic and functional to everything you need for a great website.
WordPress Plugins We Suggest For A Website
We wouldn’t call any of these WordPress plugins mandatory but there’s little reason not to install these even if you’re not using the full functionality. Depending on your marketing strategy, some plugins may be more useful than others, but there should get you started.
Yoast SEO (Free and Paid Versions Available)
While there’s a lot to SEO beyond some of the backend basics that Yoast helps with, the basic WordPress set up doesn’t allow you to easily modify some of the things Yoast helps with. Things like:
- Modifying page meta descriptions which, while not necessarily a direct SEO signal, can help with clickthrough from search engines.
- Changing the URL of a page or post to make sure it’s keyword rich.
- Creation of a sitemap so a site is more easily crawled by search engines.
There’s a lot more that Yoast SEO can help you with, but that’s some of the basics that can really help improve a site.
Limit Login Attempts (Free)
Like anything on the internet, WordPress can be vulnerable to hacking attempts. If a website gets hacked it can get hijacked to serve someone else’s content, steal user information, or worse.
A common way for a website to get hacked it through a brute force attack. This involves a hacker finding out a user name (or guessing a user name) and attempting to guess a password for that user name by sheer brute force: just guessing passwords until they have access.
Limit Login Attempts prevents a hacker from being able to do these brute force attacks. It also allows you to block specific IP addresses or user names to stop repeated attacks.
Although Shortcoder isn’t found as often on lists of favourite WordPress plugins, we love it.
A shortcode is a small snippet of code that you can put into the text of a page in a quick and easy way. It’s generally handy if you want to repeat the same bit of copy or HTML in different places around your website. Rather than having to repeat this over and over again you can just create a shortcode.
This is especially helpful if there’s a common notice across the site that needs to be updated frequently. Instead of having to update a number of pages with the same notice, all you need to do is update the shortcode.
This is one of those plugins that may not be applicable to all sites, but it’s a great solution for others.
Contact Form 7 (Free)
Contact Form 7 is a basic plugin that makes it easy to set up contact forms on a website. It’s obvious why your site would need a contact form – so potential customers can get in touch with you!
Basic WordPress doesn’t have a contact form functionality, so you’ll need some sort of plugin for this. Contact Form 7 is the way to go.
Social Media and Newsletters (Usually Free)
Depending on what you’re doing online, you’ll likely need a WordPress plugin or plugins that interact with your social media. Regardless of your larger strategy, you’ll likely be doing paid or organic social media, and a plugin can help you do that better. Whether it’s something like allowing Facebook to see your online products, having Mailchimp automatically collect user data, or anything else, look for plugins that work with your social media accounts.
This Is Just a Taste
There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins out there. If you have a unique problem that needs to be solved there’s likely a free or inexpensive plugin that will solve it for you quickly and easily. For example, we haven’t touched on a number of layout plugins because many of those are unique to have a website is set up.
If you’re refreshing or rebuilding your website, feel free to get in touch. We’re happy to let you know how we think you should go about it and what software to use.