Some WordPress plugin popularity has been driven by personal or consumer-based installations. What about business? We’ve put together a list of our favorite plugins that we believe enable WordPress business users to capitalize on their content and drive results through search engines and social media, via mobile, tablet or desktop… and fully integrate their social and video strategies.
Having developed some popular plugins, I’m always enthusiastic about finding and sharing plugins that do an amazing job to enhance, optimize, and automate tasks within WordPress. WordPress plugins are both a blessing and a curse, though.
WordPress Plugin Problems
- Plugins sometimes leave security holes that hackers can take advantage of to push malware onto your site.
- Plugins often don’t fully utilize the WordPress coding standards, adding unnecessary code that can cause other issues.
- Plugins are often poorly developed, causing internal data or performance issues.
- Plugins are often not supported, leaving you with a dependence on code that may grow out of date and render your site useless.
- Plugins can leave tons of data in your database… even after you uninstall the plugin. Developers could fix this, but often don’t worry about it.
I believe WordPress has really stepped up, expiring old plugins from view in their plugin repository and then approving new plugins manually to ensure they’re not poorly written. Since self-hosted WordPress instances allow you to install any plugin, though, you have to do your homework or get a trusted resource to make recommendations.
Additionally, many of the Best WordPress Plugins Lists are tailored to the personal blogger and don’t actually focus on businesses and their unique efforts in designing and developing content strategies that help to promote their business. Below is a tried and true set of WordPress plugins for business that we believe are the best in the vast landscape of WordPress plugins.
Engage and Convert Visitors
- Gravity Forms – Quick and easy form building with a variety of configuration options easily integrated with third-party services like PayPal, MailChimp, AWeber, and others. Add-ons and an API are available for enhanced functionality.
- Highlight & Share – plugin for highlighting text and sharing it via Twitter and Facebook and other services including LinkedIn, Email, Xing, and WhatsApp. There’s also a built-in Gutenberg block that will allow your users to Click to Share.
- OptinMonster – Create attention-grabbing opt-in forms that turn visitors into subscribers and customers. Choose from popups, floating footer bars, slide-ins and others to create your opt-in form in 60 seconds flat.
- Jetpack – Jetpack continues to improve with both free and paid versions that extend the capabilities of your WordPress site. Two key features I believe are worth the installation are the social sharing capabilities and subscribe via email enhancements. There are a ton of other features, though! Best of all, this plugin is developed by Automattic so you know it’s written and maintained to the highest standards.
- WooCommerce – the most popular eCommerce platform for building an online store. Woocommerce is fully supported with a ton of enhancements and plugins by the team at Automattic, the developers of WordPress.
Enhance Your WordPress Administration
- Better Search Replace – there are times when you need to run a search/replace on the database for content, links, or other settings. This plugin is a great option for doing that.
- Google Tag Manager for WordPress – manage all of your additional scripts and other actions from Google Tag Manager. This plugin is specific to WordPress and offers a ton of options.
- Post List Featured Image – adds the Featured Image column in admin posts and pages list. It lets administrators see which posts or pages have a featured image set.
- Quick Drafts Access – Are you managing a lot of drafts? If so, this plugin puts a great shortcut in your admin menu that will bring you directly to your drafts (as well as display a count).
- Site Kit by Google – the one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make the site successful on the web. It provides authoritative, up-to-date insights from multiple Google products directly on the WordPress dashboard for easy access, all for free.
Power Up Your Content and Its Reach
- Advanced Custom Fields – Make it easy for administrators, authors and editors to customize your website by simplifying its administration. ACF is simple to implement and highly customizable. Buy the additional licensed add-ons for some incredible features.
- Easy Social Share Buttons – Enables you to share, monitor and increase your social traffic with a slew of customization and analytics features.
- FeedPress – A reliable alternative to FeedBurner, FeedPress automatically handles feed redirections and updates your feed in real time each time you publish a new post.
- OneSignal – mobile push, web push, email, and in-app messages. Notify subscribers with each post published.
- Podcast Feed Player Widget – This is a widget that I personally developed that is quite popular. If you’re hosting your podcast elsewhere, you can enter the feed and insert your podcast in your sidebar or using a shortcode within a page or post. It utilizes WordPress’ native HTML audio player.
- WP PDF – Embed mobile-friendly PDFs easily in WordPress – and prevent your viewers downloading or printing your original files.
- WP User Avatar – WordPress currently only allows you to use custom avatars that are uploaded through Gravatar. WP User Avatar enables you to use any photo uploaded into your Media Library as an avatar.
Optimize Your WordPress Site
- Kraken Image Optimizer – Optimizes images and thumbnails on the fly, enabling you to lower image size and load times without losing quality.
- PubSubHubbub – Lets people know in real time when your blog is updated. Used by Google Reader, Google Alerts and others.
- Redirection – You must incorporate a redirect strategy if you’re expiring content, updating URLs, migrating content, etc. so that old links properly bring your site’s visitors to the appropriate content.
- StackPath CDN – Achieve faster page load times, better Google rankings, and more conversions with StackPath CDN. Setup is simple and only takes minutes.
- WordPress SEO – The first true, all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps, authorship and more. Yoast has additional plugins to enhance videos, local, and commerce as well.
Protect Your WordPress Site
- Akismet – WordPress’ most popular plugin, Akismet is possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. Don’t just install it, report those jerks!
- VaultPress – Protect your content, themes, plugins, and settings with realtime backup and automated security scanning.
- WP Security Audit Log – The most comprehensive WordPress activity log plugin to keep a record of user changes, ease troubleshooting and identify suspicious behaviour early to thwart malicious hacks.
Need More Plugins?
There are some excellent, paid plugins that are fully supported on Themeforest that you won’t find elsewhere. The parent company, Envato, does a great job of ensuring plugins are supported and updated often.
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