What Are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site.
If you’re a publisher on WordPress, then you’re constantly looking for ways to make your website more attractive, faster, tidier and more effective.
With over 50,000 plugins for WordPress available out there, competition is tough. Whether it’s optimizing your page load time, adding popups to boost your lead generation, or optimizing your SEO, there are many WordPress plugins you can use to make your job as a publisher that much easier.
So in 2019, what are the top plugins to watch out for? If you haven’t tested them yet, take a peek at our list and start improving your WordPress site today:
Since it first broke onto the scene in 2016, Elementor has become a really popular page builder in WordPress, with over 2 million installs. This is due to the incredible functionality and freedom that Elementor provides. You can build your page layout from scratch, or use one of Elementor’s many templates, and adjust them to get the exact look you want. The live preview function is very convenient, helping to speed up the design process. Building your web page is actually really intuitive and simple, once you’ve grasped the way it all works and fits together. Another huge advantage of Elementor is the community support that comes from the active Facebook community of “Elementorists”, plus the company has a fantastic range of YouTube training videos to help you.
If you want to maximize your customers’ journey on your website, you might want to consider using popups. And if you are thinking of using popups, then we recommend Poptin, a plugin for WordPress that lets you create, run and optimize all kinds of popups easily on your site. It’s great for lead generation (such as inviting people to subscribe to your blog) and for ecommerce sites (promoting coupons and special offers). The plugin offers free, simple setup, and then you can dive right in and start creating your popup from a range of different templates. With Poptin, you can optimize your popups for desktop and mobile, choose which screens your popup will appear, how often they will appear to website visitors, which traffic sources the popup should display from, and much more. With built-in A/B testing capabilities, this neat plugin covers just about everything you need to create awesome popups.
We all know the stats: one extra second in page loading time can lead to a 70% drop in conversions! That’s good enough reason to use WP Rocket, a cache optimization plugin for faster page load. One of the great things about WP Rocket is its simple user interface, easy enough for even beginners to use. Another key advantage is that WP Rocket – unlike other similar products – doesn’t really need configuration. Even by simply activating the plugin on your site is enough to see a significant improvement in page load times. With WP Rocket, you get one cache optimization plugin that does the work of many plugins, all in a unified interface. We recommend WP Rocket to help shoot your page load stats to the moon.
Ok, so it’s pretty much one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time, and a must-have tool to help you with all your SEO requirements. One of the most loved features of Yoast SEO is the Snippet Tool, where you can edit and preview how your content will appear in search engine page results (SERP). It also provides guidance on how to optimize your SEO title and meta description, which are both key to your SEO performance. Just add your focus keyword and the plugin does all the heavy lifting for you. It analyzes your content against parameters such as keyword density, readability and links, with color coded “traffic lights” to show you how you are doing. With social media tools and a great indexing tool, there are plenty of things to love about Yoast SEO – even if you are not an SEO expert.
If you’re talking ecommerce websites on WordPress, you’re talking WooCommerce, one of the most popular ecommerce plugins, which the company claims powers over 28% of online stores. It offers everything an ecommerce business needs, whether selling physical or digital products. Integration with payment gateways, shipping options, inventory tracking and management, the free “Storefront” WordPress theme specially designed for online stores that interfaces deeply with the WooCommerce plugin – all this and more is available for you to easily build and maintain your sensational customized ecommerce site.
We all know how critical images are to the user experience on any website, but the fact is this: images weigh down your site performance and page loading times. That’s why you need a great tool to optimize your images, so you can have all the beautiful visuals you want without disrupting your performance. That’s where WP Smush comes into the picture. This handy WordPress plugin compresses all the images when they are uploaded to WordPress, without affecting their size. No need to manually optimize images – WP Smush does it for you automatically. It has a bunch of other automated options, like resizing large images automatically to a predefined, maximum size. You can also use the statistics in Smush to see how much space you saved.
Broken web links are bad news, both for your users’ experience and your SEO, so you want to avoid them at all costs. If you have broken links on your site, you can easily redirect them to new URLs or to other similar content on your site using Redirection WordPress plugin. Manage your 301 redirects, your 404 error pages, and just generally keep you site clean and tidy, so your readers can enjoy a better UX, and you can benefit from happier site visitors and improved search rankings. The plugin is free, easy to install, requires no configuration and is extremely simple to use – which is probably the reason why it has been the most popular WordPress redirect plugin for 10 years…
With thousands of WordPress plugins at your fingertips, it pays to be a bit selective. Make sure to choose plugins that can really make a difference to your website’s UX, performance and – ultimately – conversions. The list above includes those plugins that every WordPress publisher should be testing, if they aren’t already.