WordPress Plugins Explained
One of the easiest and most versatile ways to get a website launched for your businesses or organization is through a content management system (CMS). At SunCity Advising, we often recommend that our clients consider WordPress for a redesign or for a completely new construction.
WordPress is a scalable and self-manageable CMS that features very efficient and optimized (i.e. low memory, high quality) themes and plugins. According to Forbes, “Today WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day. Those run through its cloud-hosted service, which lets anybody create a free website online, attract 330 million visitors who view 3.4 billion pages every month.”
WordPress plugins help website owners maximize both website versatility and available features without sacrificing performance. The efficiency of WordPress websites also allows for a continuous stream of content with keywords, backlinking and compressed media embedding, improving the overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the website.
The initial release of WordPress in 2003, combined with a huge community means that almost every technical question has been answered within the huge WordPress Community. This community also releases and updates thousands of plugins and themes that help your website meet your business goals, performance standards and functionality.
WordPress Plugins can help you meet business goals
Below are some of our “go-to” plugins – these are widely used and efficient plugins for WordPress that help with security, performance, lead-generation, and e-commerce.
Plugins for Security
Website security should always be the primary requirement of a CMS; a website that has been hacked or is unavailable is a drain on valuable resources. When it comes to security plugins, a regularly updated and developer maintained plugin that offers auditing, malware scanning (detection), removal and prevention are what we look for. We like Akismet and Bulletproof Security because they are easy to use, regularly maintained and have great features like firewalls, backups, anti-spam, login protection and data logging.
Search Engine Optimization Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is its lightweight structure, allowing for beautiful themes, images, and a slew of written content to keep your website optimized for the Bing and Google Search Engine Algorithms. Yoast is hugely popular SEO plugin that help with seamless keyword optimization, internal linking and indexing when posting content to WordPress.
WordPress Plugins for Contact Management & Lead-Generation
Easily integrated plugins to add subscribers and contacts to your business or organization can be a great way to add value to your website. Once subscribers are added, a Call to Action (CTA) can be a substantial driver from newsletter emails and event invitations, helping your follows find your products, services or blog. WordPress plugins like Mailchimp embed opt-in forms to your website and seamlessly integrate with email management plugins like Contact Form 7. Once set up and integrated, these plugins allow you to grow your web-based business and reach out to your audience.
WordPress E-Commerce Plugins
If you are a product or services retailer, monetizing the traffic generated from SEO, content publishing and lead-generation can be a difficult process over the web. A lot of E-Commerce focused websites are clunky, difficult to navigate or sometimes underperforming. WordPress can also manage your E-Commerce page through simple, attractive, and flexible plugins like WooCommerce.
With multiple configurations and extensions, WooCommerce allows you to fully customize your e-commerce site. WooCommerce can also configure shipping, payment and provide analytics to help you track your sales. Regular audits and frequent updates help you keep both your storefront and your customers secure.
Compression and Website Performance
Wordpress is the most widely used CMS the web and as such, comes out of the box with a lot of configurable scripts for themes and features that your website may not need. This is often referred to as bloat that can hinder your web page performance. Slow webpage performance can drive your traffic elsewhere and can also hurt your page ranking for search engines. Eliminating the “shortcode” that comes integrated in to many WordPress themes can help speed up your page and make room for additional plugins.
Although these popular and highly sophisticated WordPress plugins are designed to seamlessly integrate in to a website, sometimes the sheer amount of content can cause problems on both the server side and client side. WP Smush is a plugin designed to compress images, strip excess bloat and help you optimize your website. Many of the problems our clients have are from high latency and slow page speeds and WP Smush can automatically compress media without diminishing quality.
Design your website with WordPress
If you have a limited runway and development costs but still want scalability and versatility that can be optimized for search engines like Bing and Google, WordPress is the way to go. SunCity Advising can help you redesign or build your website from the ground up with the functionality, aesthetic, and performance that your business or organization demands.
Author: Daniel Barry
Daniel Barry is an Advisor at SunCity. His background is in digital marketing, SEO and operational management. His client portfolio includes successful partnerships with startups, small businesses, medium-sized firms & large corporations.